New Orleans Road Trip

05.09.2011 | by: Meghan

Giveaway: Trip to New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

A finale to our big road trip from Detroit to New Orleans, designtripper teamed up with our generous sponsor Lincoln for an amazing giveaway: a weekend in New Orleans! That means airfare, three nights at Fair Folks and a Goat (or, if you choose, a different hotel of equivalent value), ground transportation and a $500 gift card! And so far, there are less than 100 entries (at the time I’m writing this), so you have really, really good odds. If you haven’t been following our trip, let me assure you: New Orleans is an amazing place to win a trip. Beyond what we’ve already covered, we have tons of other suggestions for places to see, eat, listen to music and hang out, so I promise the winner a designtripper-endorsed itinerary. Enter here!

05.04.2011 | by: Meghan
Goodtripper

Unexpected Design

Marion, Alabama

One of the best parts of traveling is uncovering inspiration in unexpected places. A lot of what we saw and experienced during our big road trip from Detroit to New Orleans came from dogged research and impassioned, word-of-mouth recommendations, but on a balmy night in the small, historic town of Marion (after we spent an hour or so driving around and gawking at the old antebellum houses surrounded by magnolia trees), we walked into an ice cream parlor and felt like we had accidentally stumbled into a European cafe, all bentwood chairs huddled around iron-based tables and a glowing chandelier.

The scoop shop section is the standard, cheery variety with candy-colored balloons and posters that perfectly inhabit the Frosty Cow name. But Ms. Jo, who moved to Marion when her son decided to go to college there, wanted to “create a place where people go on date night.” You see, the first week she lived in Marion she realized she had to travel several towns away to get a scoop of ice cream–and that just wouldn’t do. So she opened Frosty Cow in an old brick house downtown and painted the walls over-saturated shades of cobalt and kelly green. She only charges $1.25 for a cone and insists on giving kiddie cones for free. I asked Ms. Jo how she makes any money and she said, “Oh honey, I worked my entire life. This is about giving back to my community.”

A couple pre-teen girls wandered in with pictures they drew for the wall. She paid them with praise and free ice cream.

I’m still thinking about a lot of the architecture, design and people we encountered in and on the way to New Orleans, figuring out how it affected me and what I’ll do with all the inspiration. One thing I already know for certain: I’ll remember Ms. Jo for a long, long time. And it was a great reminder that sometimes the very best design comes from human kindness.

05.02.2011 | by: Meghan
Homes to Stay

Stay: Race & Religious

New Orleans, Louisiana

[If you saw Race & Religious on design*sponge Friday, there are a bunch of extra photos of the amazing house and courtyard here.]

We stayed in some pretty remarkable places on our way to New Orleans, but this is the granddaddy of the entire two-week trip. Named after the intersecting streets of a lonely industrial corner in the Lower Garden District, Race & Religious is a set of historic antebellum homes that look and feel like a brick-and-mortar history lesson about New Orleans.

The owner, Granville Semmes, “a warden of history” with a flair for the artful and eccentric, slowly researched and rehabbed the original Creole cottage over the course of 30 years. Almost the entire time, he had his eye on the 1836 Greek revival row house next door and its slave quarters (connected by a walkway from the main house with a bridge and a trap door), and he finally acquired the adjoining property seven years ago and spent four years excavating, renovating and decorating.

Although “decorating” is hardly a sufficient word for his daring interior experiments played across each room: murals painted on walls (my favorite is a typical New Orleans house hand-painted above a bedroom door); books stacked from floor to ceiling; art everywhere; mismatched Oriental rugs layered on top of one another; and cracked, peeling plaster exposing the original masonry work underneath. Honoring the name, there’s also tons of religious iconography, including outsized crosses, flying angels and a statue of the blessed Virgin from a bulldozed church Granville found on a Waveland porch. The stunning antique furniture is as old and storied as the house itself. It’s a relic of an older Louisiana, “of which few glimmers remain,” says Granville, who spent years researching the house and the area, discovering diaries and letters from the period that tell of a neighborhood of butchers and railroad families, drunken sailors and Creole orphans.

We’re exploring every square inch of New Orleans, but I’m constantly drawn back into the magical interiors—we sit around the kitchen table sharing food and stories from full days, and at some point during each day, I try to sit in a new room (there are at least 12, plus endless nooks and crannies, each filled with all kinds of weird, fantastic artifacts, including papers, textiles and cool old accessories). My kids run up and down the creaky staircases, play hide and seek in the courtyard and swim in the slender, cement pool. With all the secret passageways and hidden doors, the house feels like some kind of strange and whimsical wonderland. My four-year-old keeps asking if we can live here forever. I’m wondering the same thing.

The Details
There are four bedrooms between the two houses–plus tons of extra space with pullouts and air mattress potential–with enough room to sleep six to eight people comfortably. Two kitchens, two bars, and lots of little sitting rooms and hidden nooks and crannies. The courtyard almost doubles the space, and in the spring and fall, there’s no place you’d rather be. $800 per night. Rent it at raceandreligious.com.

04.29.2011 | by: Meghan

A Fantastic Web: Our Last Day in NOLA

New Orleans, Louisiana

Someone told us the other day that “New Orleans is like a spider web; Everything is connected.” He was talking about the streets, but the same could be said of the people here. Anthony from the fantastic Fair Folks and a Goat put us in touch with Michael Cohen, an architectural theorist and local woodworker, who moved here from New York on a grant and has been working on a range of interesting one-off projects for the past year. He’s the guy behind the slat-wood bar at Fair Folks and a Roast (all the wood was salvaged from homes that were destroyed during Katrina), and he’s also involved in the Hollygrove Greenline Project, which takes a look at the infrastructure of a Katrina-flooded neighborhood. Yesterday afternoon we toured his beautiful wood shop, which is tucked into an old white barn-like garage in the Irish Channel, and after showing us a big hunk of Magnolia wood he’s turning into a table, he asked if we had been to the Eiffel Society (he designed a piece of furniture for that space, too).

I don’t usually get overly excited about the slick interiors of fancy nightclubs or restaurants, but Michael assured us this hybrid underground supper club and special performance space was worth checking out (and since he’s a humble woodworker with a penchant for public service, we kinda trusted him). And even though I wanted to spend my last afternoon in New Orleans lounging by the courtyard pool at the beautiful house we’re staying in, I felt compelled to check it out. Turns out, Michael wasn’t exaggerating. The place is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The glass and iron dome, which looks like some kind of kooky spacecraft from the outside, is actually the former restaurant top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Apparently, the geometric iron dome was causing the tower damage and had to be removed in the early ’80s. They wouldn’t let the owner keep the name, so he refused to reopen the restaurant in Paris. An investor from New York convinced him to have it shipped to the United States on a boat like a set of iron Legos, and it sat there for a few years until finding a new home in New Orleans in 1986 for the World Fair.

And if the history isn’t fascinating enough, consider the latest incarnation: the newest interior design is a collaborative art installation curated by the local art collective Life is Art Foundation, who used the space as an artist residency while they worked on it. (Headed by Kirsha Kaechele, the Life is Art Foundation has gotten a lot of slack lately for their abandoned public art project in the St. Roch neighborhood, but that’s another story.) This space, which opened six months ago, is a total spectacle, from the Wooly Pocket-covered entrance to the site-specific furniture and lighting installations to the pretty significant artwork. Edward Burtynsky, who has made a name for himself photographing man-made disasters, was recently in town shooting the oil spill and donated a gigantic photograph of the inky black ocean swirls with one condition: It can’t be sold. They built a wall for it the next day. Designer Thomas Beeale, who was dating a girl from New Orleans, came to town to work on a gigantic, curvaceous floor pillow made from sculpted wood scraps. And Louise Kiley created an intricate dreamcatcher-esque chandelier made of bicycle frames and colored thread. Like so much happening in New Orleans right now, the work relates to transformation–taking the unexpected and making it beautiful and useful again.

New Orleans Giveaway!
For anyone inspired by our design pursuits in New Orleans, enter the Lincoln-Designtripper giveaway. Our awesome road trip sponsor Lincoln is sending the lucky winner to New Orleans for a weekend–airfare provided, with a Lincoln MKX to tool around in while you’re here, and a two-night stay at Fair Folks and a Goat (unless you want to stay somewhere else of equivalent value, but I have no idea why you’d want to do that. I mean, HELLO, you get to sleep in an art installation). Check out some of the places we visited, but even more importantly, get out there and create your own web.

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]

04.28.2011 | by: Kelly
Goodtripper

See Public Art

New Orleans, Louisiana

One of my favorite parts of the trip so far: Writing on Candy Chang’s Before I Die wall (my answer: learn to be present). I’m a sucker for design-for-good projects and have been following Candy‘s work for awhile, so it was really inspiring to see this installation in person. Along with James Reeves, she co-founded the Civic Center, which is dedicated to using design, art and urban planning to make cities more user-friendly and comfortable while engaging the people who live there. On the corner of Marigny and Burgundy streets, they transformed a crumbling, graffiti-covered, dilapidated house into a public, interactive art installation and social experiment. Chalkboard painted wooden boards cover the front of the house and pedestrians and neighbors can use the provided chalk to write what they want to do, see, experience before they die. Someone wipes the slate clean every morning. The house was recently sold, so the chalkboard will come down soon, but Civic Center has plans to recreate the installation in other cities around the world.

Candy also recently partnered with Hypothetical Development to create an imagined, no-boundaries future for an empty store front on Franklin Avenue. Responding to the limited availability of fresh, local food in her neighborhood, Candy designed  the Mobile Cornicopia, a fantasy food truck overflowing with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. A sign of the dream-like grocery fountain hung for a few months on the front of the abandoned building for public view and is now on display at Du Mois Gallery, along with other signs by local artists depicting fanciful futures for neglected buildings in New Orleans.

[Photos: Mobile Cornicopia photo via candychang.com]

For more photos of New Orleans, check back regularly at the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.27.2011 | by: Meghan
Inns & Hotels

Stay: Fair Folks and a Goat

New Orleans, Louisiana

Started in an old ballroom in Manhattan, this hyper-curated art-design-fashion-culture concept expanded to New Orleans a year ago. In New Orleans, Fair Folks and a Goat occupies an old, bright-yellow Creole shotgun cottage with green clapboard shutters in Marigny. In the front room, there’s a boutique filled with furniture, clothing and art, followed by a design studio, a cafe called Fair Folks and a Roast (which serves the best iced coffee I have ever tasted), art gallery, design parlor, and a one-room b&B with rotating, in-room installations by local artists and designers.

“It’s thought-out. Everything you touch and see–we pull our hair out trying to decide what to buy and where it should go and how it should be incorporated into the space,” says New Orleans cofounder Anthony Mazzei, who runs FF&G with his New York counterpart Aurora Stokowski. “We wanted to do a magazine and thought, ‘What would a magazine look like if you walked through it?’”

And just like a magazine, they have subscribers, who get something that resembles a community membership of sorts–with perks like on-the-house coffee and tea, sneak peaks, special events, and art and design discounts. Of course, anyone can come. For those visiting from out of town, it functions less like a community gathering place and more like an opportunity to get intimate access to local art and design. It’s an actual experience, not just a place to buy something. ”We want people to make a connection to it without having to make a financial connection,” says Anthony. “Initially, we brought in some international pieces to elevate the the emerging local design, but now, we’re bringing things in that you can only get here and are all handmade.”

The b&b is a bedroom in the back of the house that changes regularly. In its most recent incarnation, Foot-a-Night, local artist Hannah Chalew designed a site-specific bedroom installation you can actually sleep in. Inspired by the transitional spaces left by Katrina being taken over by nature (“Its a really sad thing, but also really beautiful.”), the room is covered in an ethereal tangle of “fabric vines”–pieces of old bedsheets from the full-service b&b that used to inhabit the space that Hannah shredded, painted, drew on and then sewed back together again. If you look out the window, the stone wall next door is covered with real vines, lending an illusion that the room is being “encroached from the outside in.” In reality, FF&G is very much alive–and the contagious creative force seems to be spreading outward.

The Details
Installation Room Rate is $199 per night through May 31st (rates change with each room installation). Amenities (that aren’t your everyday amenities): private access, bathroom with claw foot tub, back patio use, and complimentary tea and coffee from Fair Folks & a Roast cafe, which is right outside your bedroom door.  Like almost everything inside the Fair Folks house, everything from the art on the wall to the sheets you sleep in are for sale.

For more photos of New Orleans, check back regularly at the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.26.2011 | by: Meghan

Obligatory Antique Tour

New Orleans, Louisiana

Magazine Street is no hidden secret, but it’s just as lovely as everyone says it is! We spent our first full afternoon in New Orleans–a perfect hot, sunny day–ducking into air-conditioned antique shops, totally amazed by the sheer number of them. One of our favorite stops–La Belle Nouvelle Orleans–shakes up the signature New Orleans look with some really cool, clean-lined industrial pieces. The owner Fernando Promoslovsky (below), who moved to New Orleans 10 years ago after making what was supposed to be a quick detour on his way to Miami from Buenos Aires (“I fell in love with it here and had to stay,” he says), decided to follow in the footsteps of his granddad by opening a store. He heads back to Argentina one or two times a year on buying trips (and to visit family). Out back, through an interior courtyard behind the storefront, there’s a hulking building where Fernando sells large-scale pieces of furniture and anything else that overflows from his shop. But the landlord is selling the building, so he’s currently having a closing sale. I’m admiring a collection of tarnished, old silver plates, platters and serving bowls, and he offers to sell me the entire lot (at least 40 different pieces) for $100 flat. I scoop them up for my friends back in Detroit, who are opening a cafe next month (why not–we have plenty of room in the Lincoln!).

For tons more photos of antique shops in New Orleans, check back regularly at the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.25.2011 | by: Meghan

On the Farm: Folsom

Seven miles west of Marion, Alabama

We pull down Folsom’s long, dusty, tree-lined drive, and the owner of the farm, Charles, greets us at the car window with a shovel in hand. “Welcome!” he shouts over the idling engine. “I was just getting ready to go plant a pomegranate tree.” We learned pretty quickly that he’s always getting ready to embark on some kind of seemingly impossible-sounding project (like bringing back the nearly extinct Long Pine trees or routing a stream and waterfall behind the farmhouse where we’re staying).

Charles is a farmer. And so was his dad. And his uncles. And his grandfather. And four others before that. This same farm has been worked by the same family for seven generations–dating all the way back to the 1819 when William Moore, a wagon maker from South Carolina, came to Alabama just before it came into statehood. He homesteaded 80 acres and went back for the entire family. Eventually, the farm grew to 35,000 acres (which was only broken up between various family members a decade ago). Many farms in the area failed after slavery ended, explains Charles’ wife Jenny, because none of the landowners knew how to run the farms, but Folsom has always been a family-run farm, so it survived. “We call it a plantation, because to me, a plantation is self-sufficient,” says Charles. And although it’s gone through so many changes that it’s hard to keep track (the farm once milled cotton, but “the boll weevils are ferocious.”), they’re still inventing new ways to stay successful and relevant. “You’ve got to be diverse,” says Jenny, who met us at the house and gave us a half-hour history lesson on the surrounding area. These days, they raise hormone-free cattle and sheep, grow timber and are tinkering with organic farming.

And then, there’s the extraordinary 1920s cottage we’ve rented for a night. Decorated with simple farm antiques, paintings of the country life, old family and farm photographs, and vignettes put together with pinecones and branches gathered from the grounds, the house feels like a living record of those who passed through before. “We didn’t buy anything from flea markets or antique stores,” says Charles. “Everything in here came from buildings around the farm.” Long, unfinished wooden floorboards creak, sheep gather right outside the windows, and a big southern porch has worn wicker chairs. Cooper–the youngest of Charles and Jenny’s three grown sons–is a woodworker who manages the former caretaker’s house, including working with nearby RuralStudio, whose students often come out to the farm to draw and study the way these old structures were built.

Built in 1920, it’s the newest structure on the farm with most dating back to the 1830s. If we had more time, I’m sure we’d have received a full oral history presentation on each building. Charles is as good at talking as he is farming. We wander over to a big barn on cement blocks, check in on the animals and peek into the old wooden structures–the log seed house used with the first cotton gin, a carriage house, the smoke house, chicken coop, plantation store, weaving house. It’s like Colonial Williamsburg without any of the sheen. Or explanatory plaques or period costume. Folsom is a real, working farm, where a family still makes a living off the land. They will, however, give you a personal tour if you ask nicely and make arrangements ahead of time. And I can guarantee, it will be more meaningful than anything you can get into with a ticket.

The Details
Starting at $100 a night. If you want to grill out, they’ll have a hunk of hormone-free beef waiting in the fridge when you get there, along with complimentary juice, milk and homemade sausage and cheese spread for breakfast. Cooper makes cutting boards from old fencing around the farm, and there are several in the house to buy. Four bunk beds, a full bed and a pull-out. Two bedrooms, sleeps eight.

On Jenny’s recommendation, we made the trip into the historical town of Marion while we were there. Check out the rest of our photos from the Alabama leg of our road trip at the Designtripper-Lincoln site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.25.2011 | by: Meghan
Foodtripper

Pie Lab

Greensboro, Alabama

One of the big reasons we decided to stop in Greensboro, Alabama (just after Magnolia trees) is the Pie Lab–part humble pie shop, part ambitious social change experiment. Started in Belfast, Maine two years ago by the design collective Project M, the Lab, which opened as a pop-up, has grown into a permanent fixture in this small Alabama town of 3,500.

It’s a hot, sunny day, and a Mason jar of sweet tea has never tasted so good. I tell the woman helping us that we drove all the way from Detroit to visit the Pie Lab, and she walks out from behind the counter to give me a hug. There’s a photo shoot underway in the back, and moveable, reclaimed wood-slab walls are covered with photographs by a local artist in the front. We get two slices of mixed berry pie with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and buy two whole pies for Easter dinner–the mixed berry and a coconut cream. All deliciousness aside, this place is every bit the community center it was intended to be. Folks walk in and out, and it feels like one, big ongoing conversation with different characters floating in and out. We were honored to be a part of it for a small slice of an afternoon. Special thanks to Marvin (below) for being so hospitable, making the most amazing sweet tea, and for having the idea of selling pecans to raise money for GED scholarships.

For more photos from the road, go to the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]

04.22.2011 | by: Meghan
Inns & Hotels

Victorian Home Base: Top O’Woodland

Nashville, Tennessee

This is where we’re staying in Nashville, and it could not be more charming. The owner of the Top O’Woodland, Belinda, who’s also an investment advisor, Opera singer and triathlon competitor, bought the 1898 Victorian 11 years ago (“before the neighborhood was this cool”) and filled it with a mix of salvage and inherited family belongings. Her mom’s lace wedding dress from the ’50s hangs on the wall above one of the guest beds, and her great grandmother’s leather lace-up boots sit next to a Stetson fedora that belonged to her great-great-grandfather, who put himself through dentistry school by secretly playing the piano at a speakeasy. There’s a story behind everything. The huge, mahogany four-poster bed in the master bedroom came from a thrift store. “I get deals or I don’t buy,” she says. “I was there when a divorce truck rolled in.”

Our kids love it here, partly because they’re not confined to a hotel room, but mostly because of the magical outdoor area with wrought-iron tables and chairs, strung-up lights and a winding path through the lush landscaping that leads to a little koi pond (with fish food tucked behind a wooden mushroom in the flowers). Another kid bonus: there’s an old, fantastic pizzeria across the street, located in the original storefront location of the H.G. Hills grocery chain. Located on a picturesque street in the East Nashville neighborhood, the Top O’Woodland is also within stroller-pushing distance to an ice cream shop, organic market, amazing vintage clothing shop (Fanny’s House of Music, owned by a former fashion columnist and editor for the New York Post) and Wonders on Woodland (an another old Victorian filled to the brim with vintage furniture).

The Details
Prices start at $160 a night. We’re staying in Mr. Greene’s cottage, which has a kitchenette and two bedrooms. Sleeps six. Make reservations at topofwoodland.com.

For more photos from the road, go to the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.22.2011 | by: Meghan

Made in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee

I knew Nashville would be my kind of town. We’d only been here a half hour when I spotted some guy (not a farmer) walking down the street in overalls. And in less than 15 hours (10 of which were spent sleeping), my obsession with the no-frills, down-home countrified aesthetic I’ve always romanticized from afar has been intensified by two particular stops: Imogene + Willie and Hatch Show Print.

They’re incredibly different. One sells denim, the other posters. But at both places, they still make things–and their honest, hard-working, old-school process is on display right in the shop. And for anyone who’s interested in the design and craft behind the eventual product, it’s like being a sugar-deprived kid in a candy factory. And the interiors! The buzzing sewing machines and colorful thread spools at Imogene + Willie and old wood blocks stacked from floor to ceiling at Hatch Show–it all becomes part of the story. Some of the people who run the sewing machines are also Imogene + Willie denim models, and the wood blocks sitting on shelves made from even older wood blocks that were discarded more than 100 years ago are the same blocks responsible for the greatest concert posters of all time. Hatch Show Print has been making posters for 132 years for musicians like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Luna, The White Stripes and every other band that lives in or comes through the Music City these days.

I bought a poster for my kitchen at Hatch (“a dash equals 1/4 teaspoon”) and I couldn’t resist a custom pair of jeans at Imogene + Willie (“the Imogene stretch”). I’ve admired photos all over the internet, but in person, this place exceeded my already pre-hyped expectations. Our kids explored every little nook and cranny, and the staff–who were all disarmingly friendly–made instant buddies with them, which made it so much easier to walk around the store, try on jeans and get fitted. (I was horrified, but they laughed and hustled to try to take a photo when my two-year-old picked up an errant power tool). And in the time we walked down the street for a hand-crushed raspberry and lime popsicle at Las Paletes, my jeans had been hemmed, wrapped in brown butcher paper and tied up with a scrap denim ribbon.

For more photos from the road, go to the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.21.2011 | by: Meghan
Foodtripper

Discovery of the Day: Hillbilly Tea

Louisville, Kentucky


We made the fortuitous stop at Hillbilly Tea yesterday and cannot get over how perfectly Louisville the interiors felt–a city take on Kentucky Appalachian. Just the right amount of hipster hillbilly kitsch without being too theme-y. And the food–road kill stew (ok, a little theme-y), corn pone, succotash, white bean and sage fritters, and homemade vegan cookies–is exactly what it should be: good ole fashioned country cooking with local ingredients. And super reasonably priced. Even the kiddos were smacking their chops and licking their fingers. We just got to Nashville, and we’re already feeling all nostalgic about the place.

For more photos from the road, go to the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.21.2011 | by: Meghan

Jackpot: 90,000 Square Feet of Antiques

Louisville, Kentucky

We only spent two days in Louisville, but it was enough time to get totally hooked on this beautiful city on the river. Along Main Street downtown, the cast-iron facades—pre-fabricated units made in the Louisville foundries replaced masonry buildings in the 19th century—are being restored in big stretches, but I love how they look with the paint peeling away from the muscular rusty pillars. And with azalea trees in full, brilliant bloom, this is one of the greenest cities I have ever seen. Even the grass seems greener in the Bluegrass State—like fluorescent carpet lining the streets.

I got a tip from a Louisville-born pal whose sister still lives here (and owns a clothing shop called the Peacock Boutique): She instructed me to head over to Goss Antiques, and both Kelly and I are still reeling. It’s 90,000 square feet! Originally a cotton mill from the 1800s, the place is packed full of Louisville antiquities—the kind that make you feel like you’ve slipped back into a time when everyone wore fancy wide-brimmed hats, served mint juleps in stamped silver cups, and decorated their parlors with horse busts, statuettes and racing paintings. There’s even a restaurant inside.

We could have easily stayed for lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon lost in decorating history,  but we wanted to check out Jack Frye’s—a local institution, opened in the 30s as safe haven for bootleggers and bookies, where folks still go today to get fancy Southern fare (confession: we went for the storied old-school interiors). On the way, we stumbled across a little store on Baxter called Oxenrose. The owner Jonathan Thornton, who has a background in “visual merchandising, crafting and compulsive hoarding,” refinishes just about anything and makes a ton of his own stuff, including lighting from the craziest old objects (an old phonograph horn and a rat trap cage).

For more photos from the road, go to the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]
04.21.2011 | by: Meghan

Designtripper Road Trip: Meet the Car

From Detroit to New Orleans

So this is the car–the  MXK Lincoln gave us to take on our big design tour from Detroit to New Orleans. And I’m not saying this because they asked us to (for the record, they didn’t): Best car ever to drive on a road trip. The seats are so big and cushy, it’s kind of like riding a leather cloud down Highway 65. And really, how cool is it that Lincoln is sponsoring this trip? We’re T+3 already and it still feels like a dream. For anyone who’s just joining us, here’s the gist: two design/travel bloggers explore an uncharted design course down one of the most interesting routes in America–and here’s the kicker–with our toddlers in tow! So far, it’s a little outlandish, slightly ridiculous, incredibly inspiring and totally authentic… a true modern-day adventure.

For more photos from the road, go to the Lincoln-Designtripper site!

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper's road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]