Indianapolis: A How to (Eat and Drink) Guide

While I prepare for my trip to High Point this weekend, I realize it's also my last trip before The Black Interior Designers Network Conference. It's been almost a year since I took my first flight ever to Atlanta for the conference and I can honestly say since meeting Kimberly there my life hasn't been the same! I have gone from never flying before the conference to being on a plane every other weekend. I'm so excited to see what the next year of my life will be like.

Since the conference I have traveled back to Atlanta, to Washington D.C, Arizona and this weekend I'll be in North Carolina to attend High Point Market for the first time! Traveling is definitely one of my new favorite things to do. I want to know what cities I should add to my must travel list so I reached out to other bloggers and Black Interior Designers to see what their places of residence had to offer.

A good friend and fellow blogger Martina Jackson who I also met at the conference, was more than excited to share what's special about her city. Not only is Martina an amazing designer, she is also a phenomenal photographer. Many of the photos you'll see throughout were taken by her! Keep reading to see the beauty and great places to eat Indianapolis has to offer.

Yes, there is much more than corn. As a born and raised Hoosier, I’m a little biased BUT, I must share some of the fabulous and fun that is going on in Indy. Often referred to as a “big, small city”, Indianapolis is in the midst of a huge growth spurt. In 2016, Forbes listed Indianapolis at number 10 for top cities for young professionals. With a low-cost of living, expanding tech industry and a surge in urban development – Indy’s got a few tricks up it sleeves that I plan to share.  

 

As an avid foodie, I love to explore new restaurants and local fare – so that’s what we will focus on today. The foodie scene in Indy has come along way! We are lucky to host some of the most talented culinary experts in the nation. We brunch hard, and of course, we keep it stylish while indulging.  Many of our newest spaces boast interiors designed by some of the top firms and architects in the Midwest. Good food and interior eye candy?! What more can you ask for? Here’s a few of my must-try places to fill your bellies (and spirits).

 

Bakersfield

Neighborhood: Mass Ave.

Food Type: Mexican Street Style.

Vibes: Always bustling and always a good ole (loud) time. I mean that in the best way! Get there early on a Friday night, there will be a crowd. Summer nights, the patio’s always rockin.

Gotta Have: Margaritas and a Short Rib Torta  

Décor Style:  Modern Industrial

 

Open Society

Neighborhood: So Bro (South Broad Ripple)

Food Type: Coffee and Wine Bar, Serving South American Inspired Fare

Vibes: Hipster game strong. Expect great food and better drinks, of the morning or evening variety. During the day, you will find plenty of professionals stopping in to work and have a quick bite. The moody styling, exposed brick and slick artwork sets a great atmosphere.

Gotta Have: Steak and Eggs.

Décor Style: Modern Industrial. Art forward with moody lighting.

 

 

 

Petite Chou

Neighborhood: Broad Ripple.  

Food Type: Bistro and Champagne Bar.

Vibes: Super chill brunch atmosphere, with a dash of class. Vintage modern décor and a lush outdoor porch make you think you’re not in Indiana anymore.

Gotta Have: Brioche French Toast (and a mimosa, of course)

Décor Style: Vintage with lush details and rich tones

 

 

Long's Bakery

Neighborhood: Haughville.

Food Type: Classic Bakery, Known for Donuts

Vibes: Simple, Mom and Pop bakery with a line that’s typically out the door. The long line gives you a chance to think about which tasty treats you’ll get. This is an Indiana favorite, and sure to spark a fun debate for “best donut”.

Gotta Have: Glazed Yeast Donut (and I’m a big fan of the German Chocolate Brownie)

Décor Style: Let’s be honest, we’re just here for the goods

Cake Bake Shop

Neighborhood: Broad Ripple. Food Type: Parisian Bakery.

Vibes: Pretend you literally stepped into a fantasy world of vintage European bliss, full of glitter, cakes, flowers and high tea. I suggest a full carryout of sweets to help you transition back to reality when you leave.

Gotta Have: Quiche. Rotates daily, made with some of the finest pastry dough you ever did taste. For dessert, a Lemon Tart with a Lavender Latte.

Décor Style: Parisian Luxury. Boundless elegance with fine details.  

 

Be sure to #myiconichome and let us know what cities you would like to visit!

Unless noted, all photos courtesy of Drea & Co. LLC

DINE IN BLACK CULTURE AT LIVE EDGE ATLANTA

LIVE EDGE ATLANTA INTERIOR DESIGN

The new Live Edge Restaurant and Lounge in Southwest Atlanta is one of my favorite new spots. Ronda Penrice who covers everything hip and hot in Atlanta and I stopped by last week, and I can’t stop thinking about the experience.  We happened to drop by on Thursday afternoon as the staff was preparing for dinner service and setting up for the evening's live performances.  Judging by the looks of things and the excitement in the air, I would say Live Edge is just what Atlanta needs.  

Stepping into the beautifully designed, and thoughtfully appointed space, I felt confident it was influenced by of someone with extremely good taste and a serious passion for interior design.   The design team captured unique aspects of the black community like hanging on the steps with your dad and infused that culture into the main dining space. The restaurant is a smart mix of whimsical art and luxurious finishes. The cobalt banquet and the honey colored leather chairs beckons for you to nestle in and enjoy the evening.  

LIVE EDGE ATLANTA DECOR

The art is a fresh mix where musical icons Jimmie Hendrix shares a moment with former 1st Lady Jackie O.  A portrait of a dapperly dressed Marvin Gaye hangs alongside a painting of Mayo Angelou.  Peppered throughout the space are creatively framed black and white photographs that depict life in the community that offers up moments of nostalgia to which we can relate.

LIVE EDGE Atlanta DECOR

One of my favorite design elements in the restaurant is an accent wall where snare drums are creatively mixed with drum shaped mirrors.   

LIVE EDGE ATLANTA DECOR
Live Edge Atlanta Decor

Everything about Live Edge sizzles.  The restrooms with their honeycombed mirrors and scented candles offer visual stimulation and a moment of relaxation for those looking to freshen up between dinner and dancing.   In a few weeks, we can expect the completion of the patio where the owners' will expand the stunning decor. The new space will be enjoyed by patrons looking to take in Atlanta air while dining alfresco.

Live Edge Atlanta DECOR

Goal for 2017: Travel!

Paris, France

Paris, France

As I was working on my goal book for 2017 I created a list of ten things I wanted to either do or accomplish next year. Among the top 3 was to travel twice at least one time being out of the Country. Considering that I'm 24 and I don't even own a passport I would say I have some work to do. I also realized another sad reality, being out of all the black people I know I can probably count on one hand the ones who have traveled outside of America for leisure purposes. Kimberly originally wrote the piece below and as I was reading I realized my only experiences and memories happened right here in America. Honestly it opened my eyes to the truth about my own space. My entire apartment lacks personal touches aside from being overrun by things I use in school. I will definitely be making some changes when it comes to my apartment in the New Year thanks to Kimberly! 

Take a look at what she has to say about reflecting yourself in your home. I also included some amazing IG pics from some of my favorite African American travel pages. 

Negril, Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica

Ngor, Senegal

Ngor, Senegal

Interior design is not only my career choice, but my life's passion. As a rule, I believe that your home should reflect your individual taste and evolve around the things you love. Of course there are rules for design, and formulas that help pull a room together, but the underline feel and style should come from your soul.

Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados

If you are looking for a place to start when designing your home, consider your life and lifestyle. It has evolved over time reflecting your personal journey. You have lived in different places, read different books and learned from different cultures. Your range of experiences are wide and unique to you. For me, I have kept a scrapbook and personal journal for years. I have enjoyed traveling and developing into the woman I am today. As an avid amateur photographer, I have chronicled my life on film. So, naturally, my home is filled with photographs. 

 

Recently, I encouraged a client that was planning a trip abroad to bring back mementos and photos to add to the decor of his home. We had already established a design plan, painted the walls, purchased the furniture and placed the accessories. I wanted him to thoughtfully add things that would compliment the design scheme as well as personal interest. Are you thinking of designing your space? Will it be inspired by a place you traveled to, things you love, or will it be based on an ambiance that relaxes or motivates you? Allow your home to be an extension of you and write us to let us know how liberating and more livable your space feels.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

All photos courtesy of @BlackGirlsTravelToo and @TravelNoire on Instagram! 

7 On-The-Go Essentials: A Guide To Traveling Like A Designer

Traveling is a nonnegotiable part of this job. Schedules change, meetings get moved up and for someone like myself, having a getaway bag packed and ready to go saves time and energy. Now, most of our travel necessities are available via our smarthphones: Airbnb, Hotels.com, Uber, etc. But there are somethings that 16GB of space won't store. I never start a design adventure without these 7 must-have items: 

1. Daily Greens 

Sticking to a healthy eating regimen can be hard when you're on the road or wandering through the airport trying to find something quick to eat. I truly believe the way you start anything in life will be the way you finish. So prepping a kale smoothie for the road then grabbing a Daily Greens en route really keeps me focused and on the right track.

2. Sketchbook

You've heard me say time and time again, there's no substitute for a pen and paper. I know, technology is like a godsend for this generation. I get it, but I'm old fashioned. I like the idea of drawing out my design plans and jotting down measurements. Even when I'm out to lunch and a brilliant new idea strikes I'd rather see it in black and white than stored on my iPhone. Needless to say, whenever, wherever I am, you can bet there's a notebook and pen nearby. 

3. Audio Book

If you've been following me for some time now you know I read one nonfiction book a month. I've committed to life long learning and now that my scheducle is more hectic than ever, you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover audio books. It is the best way to stay on top of  my business and nurture my creative mind. I'll turn on a Bishop T.D. Jakes sermon or revisit Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and breeze through the task at hand.  

4. Simple black dress 

After I'm done taking meetings and shopping for clients, I like to see what's going on in whatever city I'm in. I might check out a new hotel opening or make reservations at a popular local resturant, or just meet up with friends. Whatever the case, I find my simple black dress to be a godsend. I never underestimate the spontaneity that comes along with my line of work. 

5. Mutliple chargers

If you really want me to lose it, I mean really lose it, let me turn to you and hear you say "my phone is dead." My assistant now knows to pack mutliple chargers. On her list of chargers to pack: a chargable phonecase, car charger and a portable charger. Better to be safe than sorry. 

6. External storage drive

If being an iPhone photographer were a real thing, that would be my job title. I take a ton of pictures! There are thousands and thousands of pictures in my phone; client photos, development projects, industry trade shows, and design novelties I come across in my day-to-day. Having to stop and upload to my icloud or struggle with my ipad means I'm loosing out on capturing the moment. An external storage drive is the key to communicating visually with my family, friends and clients. 

7. XFINITY WiFi 

I just recently discovered XFINITY WiFi is virtually omnipresent. I totally stumbled upon it and now it seems as if I have access to the internet everywhere almost effortlessly. I'd rather pay on my cable bill than be bothered with crowded networks or shotty cellular service. If you're beyond over being cooped up in your hotel room and rather pick up your coffee to go, you may want to consider XFINITY as viable option. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Quann Twins Takeover the September 2015 Cover of Condé Nast Traveller

The September issue of Condé Nast Traveller UK has gotten a double dose of melanin à la mode. Shot at California desert resort, The Parker Palm Springs, the magazine’s 12-page spread features twin sisters Cipriana and TK Quann.

Not only are they a picturesque duo but the two trendsetters have more hats than one. Cipriana is a former fashion model and co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Urban Bush Babes. And TK a.k.a TK Wonder is a musician and fashion writer. Together, they’ve created a coveted powerhouse where high-fashion and naturalistas unite. They’ve received mentions on fashion media outlets like Vogue and The Coveteur and are represented by IMG Models Worldwide, one of the top international agencies, having represented Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Gisele Bündchen.

Photographed by Kristian Schuller and styled by Peggy Schuller, with Fashion Coordinator; Vicki Wright and Makeup by Sophie Haig.

See more images and the digital version of the issue, here.