Southern born and raised, it was a mutual love and passion for the rich culture and unique characters that call the South home that brought Whitney Long and Cheri Leavy together to create “the virtual front porch of the South.” With The Southern Coterie, Whitney and Cheri hatched a plan to create an online space about the people, places and things that inspire them. From country music to comfort food, fashion to football, they quickly realized a common denominator among their interests—the South. Recognizing the need for a platform where southern voices could be heard and creatives could connect, the social network of the South was born. Whether searching for the hottest restaurant opening, finding the perfect spot for a seaside wedding, or sharing grandma’s famous pimento cheese recipe, The Southern Coterie is the virtual version of a traditional front porch—a gathering place to learn, share and communicate. 

Whitney and Cheri shop Taigan for great summer & southern finds.

Whitney’s Picks
In our house, summer is the BEST time of the year! With four children, the school year is a time of structure, schedules, homework, tests and activities. Once the bell has rung on last day, routine and rules that apply during the school year are put aside (for the most part) and we officially kick off summer. We hide the datebook, put away the backpacks, play all day, go to sleep late and wake up late… fun!

Poolside or beachside is where you will most often find my active bunch. We are blessed to live at the beach so it becomes our playground during the long, glorious days of summer. The saddest part is how fast summer flies by!

Turkish-T Beach Towels
Pretty and practical for the pool or beach.

Classic ribbon belts are a Southern summer staple.

Beach Poncho
Look chic and be comfy while lounging poolside.

A mom of four needs a Beach Tote, not a beach bag.

For the beach bag, read Julia Reed’s Book while sipping sangria.

 Turquoise and Gold Cuff against tan skin – great combo and accessory that works with summer wardrobes!

 Stylish Shades
Great shape for protection from the sun in a fun color for summer.

Crisp Gingham Shirt for the hubby. Perfect for the 4th of July or a backyard BBQ.

Boys Polos in Summer Colors
For the above mentioned hubby’s three sons, color coordinate them all for a great photo op (I see Christmas card potential!)

Nine Holes Anywhere
Backyard fun for the long summer days.

Bonfires at the beach or lakeside.

Let their imaginations run wild in the summer with this Teepee. Great for an afternoon game or reading and rest.

When it’s too hot to go outside, and you know what I mean if you live in the deep South, bring summer inside with these fun Silk Ikat Pillows in vibrant colors.

For long, lazy weekends start the day with a Bloody Mary.

Fun napkin for a sunset cocktail.

Hot, Southern summer… a sweet way to cool off.

Cheri’s Picks
Cheri thought it would be fun to curate a collection of her favorite Southern finds from Taigan shops. Most of the items were made in the South and a few were found in hip Southern shops. In her typical “people person” way, she spotlights some of the personalities behind the brands she selected.


I always tell my Thomasville friends Margaret and Putt Weatherbee, the purveyors of Schermer Pecans, that the ultimate dessert is a glass of red wine and two of their chocolate covered pecans, ok maybe three.

I recently attended the oh-so-fabulous Thomasville Antiques Show and one day for lunch I enjoyed the Taste of Thomasville Cheese Platter (Thomasville Tomme, Asher Blue and Green Hill) with Blackberry Patch strawberry fig preserves, pecans, honey and a glass of a spicy Syrah. My kind of lunch plus the pimento cheese is to die for!

I enjoyed meeting Molly at The Southern C Summit in Nashville. Her designs are very chic especially this piece, The Love Knot Chain Necklace, that can be worn numerous ways.


I have admired Anne-Marie Varnell’s ability to vet the latest trends and find the up and coming designers for her shop, Cicada.   Hotty Toddy, have you ever seen an Ole Miss Rebel Belle that wasn’t well dressed? She knows how to wardrobe and keeps me happy with Great Blazers and the latest Rag & Bone bootie.

This Old Try tee is too much fun, “To Dixie with Love.” Old Try has a great story. The husband and wife artisans have created a company based on creating items that connect us to home, the South.

I love my “Cheri and Vance Leavy” Notepad from Lettered Olive and I leave it out on a desk in a hallway. My husband is scared to use it because he knows it is special and suspects it is part of the desk decor. Use it- I can get another!

I love the small version Cocktail Ham Biscuits from Callie’s Charleston Biscuits. I have called Carrie and her team in a panic to ship me a few dozen the week of a cocktail party so I can have some last minute ease and still appear homemade. People gobble this Southern party staple up!

These Peter Nappi Carina Booties in camel are perfect to transition into spring! I love the craftsmanship of any leathergood from Peter Nappi.

I adore this Palm Beachy Lacquer Bar Cart from my favorite bon vivant Jonathan Savage’s shop. Let’s take it poolside for a party and serve Southern Living Honeysuckle Watermelon Cocktails from it this spring. 

I either use a beautiful linen cocktail napkin or a a paper one with a funny on it. This is the best of both worlds with these hand Embroidered Linen Cocktail Napkins with whimsical images and jokes. LOVE!

Eighth generation from the Golden Isles of Georgia, I proudly use shells in my decor. I love this authentic Mussel Shell Lamp – so chic.

What’s not to love about Jules Reid? She is a southern belle that creates a fun bohemian line for us beach bound gals and she gives 10% of all her profits to single mother charities through JR GIVES. This could be my go to Cover Up this spring and summer.

Gena just gave me a copy of her Latest Cookbook and we have enjoyed several recipes already such as the Pecan Horseradish Stuffed Trout and the Hearts of Palm Salad. Her recipes are always successful and she has such a good updated spin on traditional Southern cuisine.

Two years ago I discovered Parasol and it totally changed my summer!  I have always stayed out of the sun.  Which means that doing things outside becomes very limited and can be, well, a little boring at times. A friend of mine used to say frequently  “no sun, no fun” I think as a reminder of how un fun I was to be with during the warmer months. A day at the beach was usually a short day, quick swims and elaborate cover up for beach walks and just hanging out. I used lots of sunblock, a hat, and an umbrella but  never really felt I had enough protection. Two friends of mine started Parasol and I bought one of their cute blue and white stripe shirts, at first just to be supportive. My sister also bought a few things as she was chasing after her 2 year old son all day long.  He had discovered the beach and the water that summer and could not be pulled away.


My nephew in his Parasol swim shirt


My sister in her Parasol swim shirt


I loved the way it looked on my sister and thought how fantastic, fashion and function.  That same summer was to be my “try paddle boarding” summer. How to avoid being burnt to a crisp? I had no idea how to protect myself from both sun AND reflection, a double whammy. Deciding to try it anyway, I brought my Parasol shirt along on my first voyage out at sea, to cover up and try it out. It was such a success that I ended up wearing it all summer. Suddenly I could be active with just a simple shirt and wore it on bike rides, walks and long swims. Never burning or feeling over sunned I could do things as long as I liked, things I was never really able to do before. It was a a whole new world for me and a very fun summer. That September I became a partner and creative director for the brand. I still wear my shirts (and hat and umbrella and sunblock) every day and love how easy it is to be safe in the sun.  My sister and her son wear theirs every day as well…we added boys shirts for my partner’s children and my nephew!

So while you prepare for the warm summer days coming up, be sure to try out Parasol!

Until next time, have a great week,

Fernanda Niven

The April 2014 issue of House Beautiful is out on newsstands everywhere and guess who is featured?? Taigan CEO Elizabeth Nichols herself! In this month’s issue, Nichols shows the world her bathroom vanity and it is quite a gorgeous view (no pun intended).

See below her favorite products and collectibles – among these are a combination of gorgeous heirlooms and also fun Bobbi Brown lip glosses. But the beauty of all this is that everything can be purchased in one place, online, on Taigan. And that is precisely what is so special about our site.

April 2014 issue of House Beautiful Magazine feature Taigan CEO Elizabeth Nichols’ bathroom vanity!


Full page story on Elizabeth Nichols’ bathroom vanity in House Beautiful Magazine!


So be sure to get your copy now and read all about why she loves the things she does. And while you’re at it, shop now for all her fun beauty products and vanity accessories!

I love beautiful things…and TAIGAN is a distillery of the most wonderful home furnishings, menswear and quirky objects. When shopping for myself, my design clients or even my store, I hone in on form, quality and material……cherry-picking the best items one at a time!

Spring is the proverbial ‘new beginning’ – and for my partner Billy and me that prompts wardrobe re-thinking (especially after cold-weather sluggishness), house evaluation in daylight (thanks to savings time), and even re-merchandising REVIVAL (our home furnishings store) after winter sales have emptied the showrooms a bit.

In the season’s brighter days, elements sometimes appear worn, sleepy, or just tiredly boring!

Instead of starting from scratch every time, items are cherry-picked for replacement….keeping the best of the past while looking boldly into the warm days ahead.

What a great resource TAIGAN proves when seeking these great components to make our lives fresher for the new season! From TAIGAN’s ever-changing chattel, I’ve cherry-picked a “favorites collection” to crash into existing wardrobes, interiors, terraces, and even client design projects.

Spring forward on TAIGAN.

Rodney’s 20 Favorite Things


FAVORITE ITEM No. 1:  Quirky Florist Stands
How oddly primitive FOUND’s French metal florist stands seem in all turn-of-the-last-century angles.  While I’d fill each branch with flowers, greens, or petit bouquet for festive parties, I adore the simple, hauntingly sculptural quality.  To be honest, I lust after every curatorial find at FOUND!


FAVORITE ITEM No. 2:  Boot Leather Bag
What guy (or gal) doesn’t covet an authentic, hand-crafted carry-all made of well-oiled boot leather?  When reading WALTZING MATILDA’s description, I started salivating over the artisanal leather-strapped bag — knowing that it’ll look even better after 30+ years of wear when my nephew inherits the piece.  Cool.


FAVORITE ITEM No. 3:  Buttoned Pocket Square
Stylistas are a different lot than fashionistas.  We tend to gather, collect, and wear great core pieces — making them our own with the odd shoe, the turned-and-frayed cuff, or the perfect kerchief.  ARMSTRONG & WILSON’s collection of fantastic linen pocket squares serves this purpose beautifully!  And who can resist each square’s name?  Shot of Whiskey, In the Wild, and Egg White!

FAVORITE ITEM No. 4:  “Out of Africa” Cowhide Cuff
The best warm day style seems always to nod to colonial Africa!  MOLLY JANE DESIGNS’ natural agate slab (edged in metallic band) adorns an adjustable zebra-printed hair-on cowhide cuff.  It’s a perfect gift for the women in my life – whether the hand-made accessory is crashed against a classic white-blouse-and-jeans or layered with linens and cottons in a sort of “summer safari” update.

FAVORITE ITEM No. 5:  Breezy Cotton Scarf
With summer’s heat paring down wardrobe options, this little “Malibu” cotton scarf from KRICKETTE is perfect to kick a simple jean-and-jacket into high style.  What could be more perfect for men or women than a simple white scarf?  (I love how it’s tipped in khaki!)

FAVORITE ITEM No. 6:  Suede Driving Moccasins
100% CAPRI has must-have basic wardrobe components —  always with a twist of luxury and color!  I have dozens of ever-comfortable moccasins in suede, glazed, pebble-grain, and even alligator leather.  This creamy tan suede “Moccasino” is perfect for my mono-chromatic summer whites!

FAVORITE ITEM No. 7:  Satyr Drinks Table
Every well-dressed home should have a perch for drinks within reach of every seat!  (Think:  Martinis.  Cellphones.  Petite espresso cups).  IRIS & COMPANY’s mirror-topped hand-finished “Satyr” table is a perfect attendant to sofa, chair, and even bathtub!  And it is wonderful to know it’s made-to-order in America.  Gorgeous!

FAVORITE ITEM No. 8:  Antique Painted Armoire
How much storage can be had in AND GEORGE’s antique French Provencal armoire, circa 1800?  Although large antique casegoods have been lately abandoned as a homes’ electronics storage, I embrace them for clothing, household linens, and myriad other items that need to be secreted away.

FAVORITE ITEM No. 9:  Art of the House
I have been waiting with baited breath (along with legions of other design hounds) for the Spring 2014 arrival of Bobby McAlpine and Susan Ferrier’s book, Art of the House:  Reflections on Design. This highly-anticipated follow-up to McAlpine’s first book poetically reflects upon the alchemy of architecture, interiors, art and color in which this design duo excels.  You’ll be able to get your own copy from REVIVAL on Taigan in April!

FAVORITE ITEM No. 10:  Antique Lead Roof Finial
Architectural fragments are a personal design favorite often re-imagined as sculpture, tables, and even lighting into my store’s chattel or my design firm’s interiors.  AND GEORGE’s lead roof ornament is particularly gorgeous — perfect to create a still-life atop an entry chest or on an outside dining terrace.

FAVORITE ITEM No. 11:  Gathered Mercury Glass
MAISON & Co.’s collection of 19th century French mercury glass bottle is intoxicating.  Coated on the bottle inside with silver nitrate, these bottles can fill an entrance hall sideboard, scatter among quirky library shelves, or march along your party table with a bit of rustic-but-shiny glamour.  How about a single overblown white peony in each bottle for a bit of spring garden?

FAVORITE ITEM No. 12:  Antique Alligator Card Case
Antique English men’s furnishings are vestigial reminders of my days working for Ralph Lauren Menswear…..dapper accessories crafted of alligator and sterling silver.  PETER ELLIOTT’s alligator card case is a sweet find that can double as a wallet!

FAVORITE ITEM No. 13:  Antique Sunburst Mirror
A little giltwood flash is a favorite design gesture — even if crashed against a rustic wall, industrial loft, or unexpected spot.  AND GEORGE’s antique Italian sunburst mirror would be especially perfect layered atop another grander mirror.

FAVORITE ITEM No. 14:  Shapely Antique Fauteuil
Having an antique and home furnishings store of my own, I am continually drawn to pieces that work from cabin to castle.  FOUND’s antique French oak chair fits the bill perfectly — especially wearing its fresh Belgian linen and nailhead.  This 19th century chair mixes as easily with traditional Continental casegoods as it does with contemporary upholstery.



FAVORITE ITEM No. 15:  Belgian Linen Napkins
I have stacks of humble Belgian linen napkins within reach of my home’s tables and counters. HUDDLESON LINENS’ gorgeous natural flax-coloured linen napkin is just begging to come to my house!
HINT: The more the linen napkins are used, the more luxurious they look! 

FAVORITE ITEM No. 16:  “Willy Guhl” Swiss Vessel
The mid-2oth century Swiss charm of Willie Guhl’s “Handkerchief” planters, circa 1950, are a sculptural favorite in my store and design studio.  I am so excited to find another vintage one at IRIS & CO!  Even empty, these vessels are beautiful.

FAVORITE ITEM No. 17 :  Cast Serpent Andirons
MAISON & CO.’s cast iron “Serpent” andirons are just plain fun.

FAVORITE ITEM No. 18:  “To Halston, Love Billy”
If you don’t know who Billy Baldwin was, you’re missing a key part of American mid-20th century interior design.  Oh, how I covet owning any of Baldwin’s books, but to have one personally signed in 1972 to legendary American fashion designer Halston is an amazing treasure!  NICK HARVILL LIBRARIES is the TAIGAN go-to source for out-of-print and rare books.

FAVORITE ITEM No. 19:  Hand-Sculpted Porcelain Flora
The delicate hand-sculpted porcelain flowers found at FAR 4 are breathtakingly wonderful.  I especially want the white matte porcelain dahlias and poppies to perch atop books and boxes for Spring!

FAVORITE ITEM No. 20:  Diptyque Baies Grand Candle
Of course, my TAIGAN FAVORITES list would be incomplete without something from my own REVIVAL!  For more than a decade, my store has proffered the lush French candles and parfum d’ambiance from DIPTYQUE.  Baies is our best-seller, commingling essential oils of black currant and Bulgarian rose.
Nothing is better than finishing my day with the heady fragrance of Paris hanging in the air.

ABOUT Rodney Simmons
With a career rooted in retail and buying, Rodney Simmons’ journey has taken him through the New York fashion business for nearly 10 years into home furnishings and luxury gifts.Working as Director of Retail Development for JJ. Farmer, Montreal, and then more recently as a Director of Presentation for Polo Ralph Lauren Menswear, NY, Rodney has immersed himself with the best talents in fashion, interiors and presentation.

A culmination of that sojourn can be experienced at R E V I V A L, an antiques and luxury gift store located in Chattanooga’s Warehouse Row.

“It’s more than an antique gallery.  We have uncommon goods encompassing centuries of beauty, ranging from a 14th century carved wooden Gothic sculpture to mid-20th century modern chairs,” expresses Rodney.  “Some people are intimidated by living with antiques.  It’s wonderful to show our clients how to crash the ancient with the modern.”

Indeed, alongside R E V I V A L’s antiquities, Rodney and his partner Billy Woodall carefully discipline the mix of upholstery, casegoods, lighting, and an assemblage of today’s finest luxury gifts:

  • Simon Pearce hand-blown glass
  • Diptyque candles and parfum d’ambiance
  • Match hand-burnished Italian pewter
  • Cire Trudon candles
  • Juliska glass hand-crafted glass and ceramics
  • Astier de Villatte hand-made terracotta

When opening its new store at Warehouse Row, R E V I V A L was noted by Garden & Gun magazine as among “the best new shops in the South,” May 2010.  Even noted architect and interior designer Bobby McAlpine [McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and McAlpine Booth & Ferrier] noted in the pages of Architectural Digest that “The savviest, prettiest, loveliest design store in America is

R E V I V A L in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  You might as well back your truck up to it,”  January 2013.

Most recently, R E V I V A L has evolved a separate design form, Revival Interiors – visit

The sun is out and we are ready for Spring. The excitement of longer days and warmer weather initiates a change in our palate from hearty soups and stews to backyard barbecues and fresh farmer’s market fruits and vegetables. We have been sifting through these great southern cookbooks as a way to get rejuvenated in the kitchen after the long winter. Here are a few of our favorites that are sure to deliver solutions to any Spring or Summer festivity in the upcoming season. Get inspired with these great southern chefs recipes as we have!

John Besh, My New Orleans
Lighten up lunch with Besh’s Chilled Blood Orange Soup or Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes, Cheese and Country Ham.

Gena Knox’s, Southern My Way: Food & Family
For your next dinner party serve Knox’s Salmon Spring Pea Orzo followed by something sweet like her Lemon Pot de Creme.

Anne Quatrano’s “Summerland”
Quatrano’s got your kick-off barbecue menu geared up with Watermelon Sangria, Corn on the Cob in a jar, and Roasted Peaches with Chamomile Ice Milk.

Carrie Morey’s, Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions
Her DILLicious Cucumber Sandwiches, BBQ Chicken Salad Biscuits, Fiery Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs, and Summer Crab Salad will make any picnic or casual get-together a true Southern affair.

Southern Cocktails: Dixie Drinks, Party Potions and Classic Libations
Raise a toast to old-time Southern hospitality with classic cocktails like Mint Juleps and Hurricanes to new concoctions like Blueberry Martinis and the Peach Mojitos.

Julia Reed’s But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria
Take delight in this collection of essays by Julia Reed, a master storyteller with an inimitable voice and a limitless capacity for fun, as she shows you how to entertain guests with style, have a good time yourself and always have that perfect pitcher of sangria ready at a moment’s notice.

Sitting Pretty

Design March 17th, 2014 — by:

Mix up your modern furniture with some old world, classic finds. Our wonderful home shops have done the hard work for you sourcing these unique and exceptional pieces to make any room feel more polished.

Take a peek at our top picks below.

Chairs clockwise from Left to Right.

19th Century Dining Chairs in Louis XVI Style • 19th Century Gustavian Chairs • 18th Century French Arm Chair • 19th Century Bergere Chairs • Elroy Arm Chair • 19th Century Gustavian Chairs