One of our favorite events each year is the Nashville Antiques & Garden Show for the romantic garden settings, the incredible antiques and the a-listers in the design industry who make it a point to attend each year. We have sponsored the early shopping event for several years and we always look forward to sipping bubbly with the eager antiques enthusiasts who want a peek at the wares before everyone else. With the 29thshow wrapping up several weeks ago, money was raised for two excellent organizations, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and the Economic Club of Nashville.
A Luminous Evening
We also experienced Nashville hospitality at its most luminous, hosting with Eric and Ruthann Ross a lovely dinner for the design community in their gracious home Boxwood Hill. You can see the transformation they’ve achieved by watching the series of before-and-after videos they’ve created, one of which we’re sharing below. It illustrates the metamorphosis the dining room, shown here at its most romantic, and the den have undergone thanks to Eric’s painstaking direction.
It wasn’t just the candlelight that made the home luminous that evening; the lush table settings Ruthann created shone in the flame-dappled spaces. It’s as if the event was foreshadowing Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and not just because Boxwood Hill is the Ross’ latest labor of love, but because the show we were attending has been a Valentine’s tradition for Eric and Ruthann for years.
“The Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville used to be the week of Valentine’s every year so Ruthann and I decided we would attend rather than going out to dinner,” Eric explained. “We spent the week doing what we loved, collecting.” Being avid collectors individually before they were married was one of their bonds, a passion that has remained steadfast during the 24 years since they’ve been married. He adds, “We decided that we’d enjoy the events and the show much more than trying to make a dinner special when the restaurants were over-crowded and we were being rushed to leave.”
Treasures akin to the ones they found at the show each year served as the foundation for the romantic tablescapes Ruthann created for our designer dinner. “We’ve been collecting blue and white since before we were married,” Eric says. “We have always believed in serving people on the dishes we collect, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.”
The Romantic Backstory
Boxwood Hill is one of a dozen homes featured in Eric’s new book titled Enduring Southern Homes, which he will sign in our showroom during High Point Market. Stay tuned for all the details as we draw closer to the event that will take place on April 7th. To give you a taste of the design wisdom between its covers, during our interview, Eric said this about how he achieves the level of beauty in his projects: “Early on, it’s very important for me to find out what makes my clients tick because it’s up to me to create the romantic backstory in their living spaces.”
Design Influencers Conference
This level of thoughtfulness contained within the book makes us eager to land a copy. But before we swing into action in High Point, we will be setting the stage (literally) at the Design Influencers Conference again this year. It’s back in Atlanta after several years in California, taking place at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead from February 24 through 26. Have you registered to attend yet?
Giving the Earth Some Love
Along with sharing the new products we’ll be debuting and flaunting our entertaining ways during High Point, we will be strengthening an initiative we’ve been instituting behind the scenes that may not be obvious to everyone. Our caterer Anna Thrower of G. Anna, Inc, has been transitioning as much of our dishware as possible to products that are made from recycled material, as well as recycling as much as possible. She’s been sleuthing dishes that are plant-based, such as plates made from sugar cane and utensils made from wheat stem. Even her chic chef’s coats are made of plant-based materials.
If you’ve ever searched for recycled dishware that has a refined aesthetic, you’ve found, as we did, that there are challenges and that the cost is sometimes triple that of non-recycled products. These points do not deter Anna at all. “We need to enlighten our neighbors and try to influence more showrooms in High Point to be more sustainable,” she says. “How wonderful is it that we’ve created this farm-to-showroom program that sources from the Currey gardens and other small organic growers in North Carolina!”
Deepening the plan going forward, Anna has found composting companies who deliver large containers that we will fill with the foodstuffs we discard and the compostable dishes like the bitesize wonders in the image below, which will help us make our showroom as sustainable and environmentally conscious as possible. After market closes, the recycling company will take the containers away and turn the refuse within them into compost and fertilizer. “We receive credits for this, and once we have contributed enough waste, we can cash them in,” Anna explains. “I am planning to donate the compost we are given to community gardens in the area.”
Anna’s passion for sustainability echoes our own. Though the transition has been a challenging one because finding aesthetically pleasing dishes that are durable enough to hold up to the demands of a broad menu, we are managing to rid our showroom of plastics bit-by-bit. We just thought you might want to know, because when you see our lovely (and yummy) morsels being paraded around the showroom or when you reach for one of our salads made from produce just picked at Elm Street Gardens, know that we are thinking of beauty, flavor and what’s good for the earth.
We look forward to showing off our culinary consciousness when we see you in April. And we’d like to thank Beth Tilley Green for always capturing the people, products, food and fun as beautifully as she has in this post. We’ll leave you with this by Eric Ross, as it’s truly a compliment considering the source. We feel it sums up our commitment to design and to sustainability: “I like to work with Currey & Company because there’s feeling behind everything they do; just like there is for me.”