Flower Magazine

SEP-OCT 2018

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

Issue link: http://digital.flowermag.com/i/1013720

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66 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 ABOVE AND RIGHT: A Bloody Mary bar on the screened porch allows guests to build their own libations. "It has everything I can't resist," says Carter. "Bacon, pickled okra, vodka." Sybil Sylvester fashioned a towering arrangement of pampas grass, leucothoe, eleagnus, 'Little Gem' magnolia, sea oats, maple, Pee Gee hydrangea, and wild grasses. BELOW: Stormy weather did not deter guests, who were rewarded with great food, drinks, and conversation. L LIKE MANY DESIGN PROFESSIONALS, Birmingham, Alabama, architect James Carter creates exquisite homes for other people but had never quite gotten around to his own house. For years, he had inhabited temporary quarters that never really reflected his tastes and talents. The wait was worth it, however, when he finally built his dream house and in 2017 was able to unpack the treasures he had accumulated over years of study and travel. "For three years, I lived in a tear-down on the property where I eventually built this house," he says. "It was basically a storage shed, and I never had people over." When his new house was finished, one of the most gratifying prospects was his newfound ability to repay the hospitality of friends who had entertained him during his years in the proverbial desert. On a fall weekend, with the Antiques at The Gardens show drawing many of his friends to Birmingham, Carter invited a group of locals and out-of-towners for brunch, toasting the conclusion of a weekend of creative inspiration. "To me, brunch can be an elegant way to entertain," he says. "The food may be simple, but it has to be delicious. Good wine is important. But it's really about the people, and they want to chat. Most people I know go to parties to socialize, not eat." Rather than seating his guests around a formal table, a buffet allowed for ease of eating while catching up. "I don't cook, but I know people who do it really well," says Carter. A main course of quiche, prepared from Thomas Keller's recipe, served with candied bacon and a salad,

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