WAITING ON MARTHA
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Styling a Chic & Functional Office Coffee Bar

The Makings of a Small But Mighty Corner for the Waiting on Martha Team
June 29, 2016

Coffee bar styling ideas and organizationCoffee station organization in office, Waiting on MarthaOffice morning routine with Ashley Brooke Designs, Waiting on Martha Office coffee bar and beverage station, Waiting on Martha Waiting on Martha office coffee stationWaiting on Martha's office coffee bar with Ashley Brooke Designs mugsOffice bar organization, Waiting on Martha

When designing our new Waiting on Martha Team office, it was simple to design the easy-on-the-eye aesthetics.  But what about the practical we’re-getting-sh**-done-here part of the space?  We needed a working kitchenette that doubles as a tech/printer storage solution to keep things organized, and we DEFINITELY needed a coffee bar to kickstart our mornings and of course close out our days with wine.  But the real catch; I didn’t have a big budget for all of those needs. 

To stick to the budget I journeyed to Lowe’s and found a wardrobe, bathroom vanity unit and simple white wall shelving that I DIY’d to create the kitchenette you see now.  I drilled holes in the back for all our tech chords and switched out the handles brass versions which gave the unit a bit more pizazz.   The wardrobe, part of the Allen + Roth organizational line, does a great job housing our office printer, mode, phone, etc. and is easy on the eye because it blends in completely with the space.

On top of the kitchenette (and all around the office) I added woven baskets to stash stuff.  Baskets are one of my favorite ways to add warmth to a space and hide and/or store anything you don’t want just lying around.  Lastly, our office French press and all of our coffee accompaniments live nice and organized on the “bathroom vanity” beside it, (to my immense delight, having our office at ADAC allows me to use hot, steaming water at a snap of a finger for my French press coffee…#gamechanger!).  I even used the drawer to hold all of our coffee and entertaining extras.

Above the “bathroom vanity” I installed two simple floating bookshelves (which perfectly align with the popular open shelving trend) to hold our mugs, water, water bottles by Ashley Brooke Designs, bowls, glasses and favorite King Bean coffee.  This is probably the absolute easiest shelving option to install; I got mine from Lowe’s, but TargetIkea and West Elm sell a variety of options at different price points.  Just pull out your level and hang them on the wall with brackets. 

Lastly, since I segmented the large office space into several separate vignettes, I knew I wanted to create an inviting area for members of the team to meet over coffee.  The corner, however, is on the smaller side, so I turned to this skinny marble top console table to serve as our bar, with two white cafe stools.  This is where I did splurge and spend the majority of my budget because I knew—just like a home’s kitchen—this space would end up being the heart of the office.  A place where we’d sit, plan, gab, and enjoy our beloved coffee and wine.  And it’s marble, so duh.  The end result?  A chic, functional corner to share all of our brilliant ideas.  Truly, MKR

P.S. Head over to Ashley Brooke Designs’ blog today to find my essentials for stocking the perfect office coffee station! xo

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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

AS PICTURED: COFFEE BAR TABLE | STOOLS | GINGER JAR VASE | “LIKE A BOSS” MUG | “ALL THE FEELS” MUG | “BUSY BUSY BUSY” MUG | “HELLO SUNSHINE” MUG | FRENCH PRESS | FLOWER VASE/PITCHER | WOVEN BASKETS (SIMILAR HERE) | “TOO LEGIT TO QUIT” WATER BOTTLE | “I LIKE THE WAY YOU WORK IT” WATER BOTTLE | BLUE GLASSES | COFFEE | PELLEGRINO | PINK CITRUS LEMONADE

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival: Asian Inflection

A Magical Rooftop Dinner, with crafted details and simple settings
June 25, 2016

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While Atlanta Food & Wine Festival‘s pop-up urban vineyard was show-stopping, the next night was just as magical.  With the help of the Lee brothers and Blooms of Dunwoody, we set an absolutely stunning Asian inspired dinner for the festival’s Connoisseur Dinner Series on the Loews Hotel rooftop.  The theme for the evening celebrated and explored the Asian influence on Southern food, and offered a multi-course meal with award-winning wine and cocktail pairings with each dish.  And just to walk you through the vision of our Asian inspired dinner: we were literally surrounded by a concrete, mirrored, glass jungle, and we then created a zen-like oasis with paper lanterns and live orchid garland hanging from a chuppah canopy made of live birch trees. #Swoon.

The setup, however, didn’t go off without a hitch (like most outdoor events, am I right?!). The rooftop proved to be incredibly windy (I mean WINDY) and we watched with panic in our eyes as the chuppah swayed from side to side with each new gust.  We quickly brought in sand bags and stabilized the canopy, but the wind was so strong that we all had to make an executive decision to bring the long dining tables inside for guests.   

To my relief, the result was just as magical; guests enjoyed cocktail hour outside to then join along long dining tables in clean white linens stretched down the inside hall, adorned with simple votive candles and low, airy white florals snaking down the expanse of the table.  

When recreating this event (on a smaller scale, I expect!), consider simple linens and monochromatic florals for an understated, yet elevated effect. And while big centerpieces are always beautiful, the short, square glass vases were the perfect vessels for the florals because they didn’t risk obstructing the view around the table. This is a great thing to keep in mind if you’re hoping for conversation to be flowing (just as much as the wine) at your dinner party. And of course, placing votive candles (the long-lasting ones!!!) is one of my favorite, easy and affordable ways to bring the magic by soft candlelight to any tabletop.  Truly, MKR

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival: In the Vineyard

Setting the Scene for Magical Memories in Midtown
June 24, 2016

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When I first heard the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival crew was scheming to create a real-life pop-up vineyard in the heart of midtown, I immediately started imagining the dreamiest-of-dreamy setups for each and every event.  Think long farm tables between the vines with romantic, sweeping greenery and rustic, simple place settings.  And of course plenty of twinkle lights once the sun went down!  Think of all of this with some of Atlanta’s tallest skyscrapers in view.  I died at just the thought of being part of such a magical installation (the first in the US), so too see my dreams come to life was just beyond. 

We set the scene at the Grapes A to Z Sommelier Wine Lunch with Jason Tesauro from The Modern Gent, with said farm tables and the most amazing live garland by Blooms of Dunwoody. Candlesticks of varying heights added a little interest to the tablescape, but otherwise we kept things super simple with the natural vibe created by the farm tables, garland, and grape vines really allowing the 26 wines poured to shine.  And like our Powerful & Delicious dinner, we added informational #knowthesouth cards—placed into each fork—with a few basic definitions and terms related to wine to our little daytime vineyard party. 

The vineyard, I must tell you, was hot.  “…hotter than a billy goat with a blow torch” to be exact.  We knew our guests would be a little toasty throughout the day and well into the evening, so we supplied palmetto fans with entertaining phrases about the heat attached.  My personal favorite might have been “It’s Hotter than Hell’s Pepper Patch” but it was really too hard to decide.  These fun details played perfectly into Atlanta Food & Wine Festival‘s #KnowTheSouth theme this year, and I know guests were grateful for the chance to cool off with them. 

The rest of the evening events (6 in total) were just as magical as you can imagine with a backdrop of twinkle lights and sky scrapers.  Guests mingled between the vines, stopped at chef stations to savor some of the best bites in the South, sipped award-winning wines, and even played a little bocce ball. It’s safe to say that it was a huge treat for me to see this space make the transformation from city lot to dreamy urban vineyard and grounds for two gorgeous events during one of my favorite weekends of the entire year.  Truly, MKR

P.S. The pop-up vineyard will remain open through June 30 for community use and private events. Be sure to check it out for yourself across from the Four Seasons on 14th street and follow along on social with #VineyardInTheCity. xo

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha | Florals, Blooms of Dunwoody

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