In 1993, interior designer Evon Kirkland McAngus founded Evon Kirkland Interiors, through which she transformed homes with an eye for classic and sophisticated design. In 2007, she opened Westend to spread that passion and curate a show room filled with her favorite finds. She and her designers help shoppers navigate the 5,000-plus-square-foot show room to find pieces from reputable high-end lines such as Baker, Henredon, Oly Studio, and Vanguard Furniture. Because they've all honed their design chops, the staff can expertly advise shoppers on purchases.
As shoppers explore the show room, they'll also find antiques from the United States and Europe, as well as plenty of pillows and linens, artwork, and accessories, including candles and kitchen items. The staff also curates a lighting selection that includes table lamps, floor lamps, and chandeliers, which emit more sophisticated glows within homes than dangling light bulbs or half-opened barrels of toxic waste.
Though built only in 2011, the nonprofit Redux Contemporary Art Center’s new 12,000-square-foot facility stays bustling all year, hosting six to eight free exhibitions in two galleries. After taking in the artwork, visitors can attend numerous free events, such as artist talks, film screenings, panels, and concerts. More than 100 classes foster artistic inclinations throughout the year as local qualified instructors help students master disciplines such as painting, drawing, and printmaking.
Redux's galleries stay full thanks in part to its 22 private artist studios, which accommodate emerging and mid-career artists with up to 240 square feet of creative space. Twenty-four-hour studio passes grant access to Redux’s darkroom, print studio, and woodshop. To encourage a sense of community, artists can participate in quarterly critiques, attend visiting-artist lectures, and debate their studio neighbors on artistic controversies such as whether Michelangelo’s David is as good as the earlier one he sculpted from Play-Doh.
Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
When it came time to design The Coastal Cupboard?s demo kitchen, owner Brad Pitner shied away from industrial-grade appliances, opting instead for the kind of layout you?d find in your average home kitchen. That decision reflects the Cupboard?s mission to make gourmet cooking accessible to all.
To that end, Mr. Pitner and his staff of gourmands stock a vast selection of cooking gadgets, bakeware, and cutlery by top-tier brands such as Zwilling, J.A. Henckels, and Kuhn Rikon. Staff members are happy to walk customers through each product?s function and share their own favorite gadgets and dish towels with sentimental value. They also stock gourmet foods such as small-batch wines, baking mixes, sauces, and rubs.
Customers have a chance to see those tools and ingredients in action during the store?s weekly cooking classes. Most are led by in-house chef Bryan Breland, who tailors his class offerings to suit the interests of customers. Bryan has a heart for people and a passion for food. He makes classes fun, relaxed, and approachable. He brings a french twist to Lowcountry classics, while also mastering southwestern and asian-inspired dishes.
It’s hard to determine if a mattress is comfortable just by lying on it for a few minutes or keeping a picture of it under your pillow. The Bed Store has rethought the mattress-shopping experience from the ground up. Its has replaced the typical showroom feel with a spa-like atmosphere that removes distractions and allows thorough tests of Serta or Tempur-Pedic mattresses to take place in peace and quiet. At its other locations, The Bed Store and its employees also foster sound sleep decisions, helping shoppers choose from a wide array of mattress features, such as memory or temperature-regulating foam tops or eco-friendly sleep surfaces with bamboo-fiber covers and soy-based foam.
Certified professional photographer Gene Taylor has fine-tuned his artistic vision while working in photojournalism and portrait photography for more than 30 years. During classes at Your Photo Safari, Gene introduces students to the photographic arts and the workings of DSLR cameras. Sessions begin in classroom settings, allowing students to get acquainted with camera basics as well as advanced features such as setting white balance and reducing blur. After learning how to navigate the multiple settings and buttons on their digital cameras, students traipse to area gardens to explore the natural world through their lenses. The hands-on experience allows students to take home artfully composed shots of plants bathed in natural light or trees planking over riverbanks in a bid for Internet fame.