Shop Local: Pepper Place

Home to dozens of antique dealers, designers, architects,  and furniture emporiums, Pepper Place is the design terminus from which creativity flows in Birmingham. More than just a Saturday market, this is the place where you can design, build, furnish, and decorate an entire home and never have to move your car or feed a parking meter.  


Cyndy Cantley knows kitchens. And baths. And any other spot in your home that calls for a bespoke blend of form, function, and design sensibility. Cantley and her team create cabinets and spaces that work—from kitchens in Greystone to downtown multi-tasking lofts. Bring in your wishlist, admire the showroom, and let the team run. Your PB&J sandwiches will taste even better in one of her spaces. 2821 2nd Ave S, 205.324.2400 •

Charlie Thigpen's Garden Gallery


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One of the oldest design institutions at Pepper Place, Interiors is a well-curated collection of more than two-dozen antique and furniture dealers who’ve created individual style vignettes.  A mid-century modern living room might run adjacent to a French country kitchen set-up.  Shop from both to create a style that is completely your own.
2817 2nd Ave S,  205.323.2817 •

It’s a long name for a jewel of a shop. Add extra time to your schedule to discover treasures at every turn in this brick warehouse. As former Associate Garden Editor at Southern Living, Charlie knows how Southerners love their foliage. Inside the shop you will find a well-honed blend of indoor plants, flowers, gifts for gardeners, and unique artwork. The courtyard garden, always teeming with outdoor specimens, water features, and furniture will soon share space with Chris Hastings’ new restaurant venture, Ovenbird. Charlie, his wife Cindy, and their team helped the award-winning chef develop the new outdoor space to fit seamlessly with its environs. 2805 2nd Ave S, Suite 300,  205.328.1000

“Your sideboard is on my Oushak!” 

“Your runner is under my rafraîchissoir!”

Okay, so maybe that’s not your normal design-centric conversation but, if it could happen anywhere at Pepper Place, it would be at King’s House. Owner Susan Kidd has a devoted client base who come to her again and again for the caliber of antique furnishings, lighting and accessories, as well as fine Oriental rugs and handmade carpets she offers.  2807 2nd Ave S,  205.320.2535 • and

Featuring a quirky mix of mid-century modern, traditional, and contemporary furnishings that play well with others, Atmosphere manages to feel current not kitchy, well-edited not cluttered.  Let their people help your people create a space that is as personalized as it is comfortable. 224 29th St S, Suite I,  205.324.9687 •

If your house could talk, it would beg for the accessories Roy Morton sells at Architectural Heritage. That antique fountain SHOULD be in your garden, tippling ever so lightly, with a sound that connotes lazy champagne brunches. This is where you go to add those details that make a house your own. 
205.322.3538 •

Richard Tubb Interiors


This airy atelier of classic understated design is a welcome respite. Every item in the showroom is a study in serene and deliberate, yet still consciously unstudied. Those soft taupe sofas could be equally at home at The Ridge or your Rosemary Beach condo; that long narrow table could pull double duty as a console and extra dining space during the holidays. And if you need an excuse to bring home that must-have accessory that just makes you happy, the staff at RTI can help you find a way to make it look like it’s always been a part of your décor. 2829 2nd Ave S,  205.324.7613 •

This pop-up is here to stay, serving as an incubator for young emerging artists and designers all across the Southeast, who might not be ready yet for their own brick-and-mortar space.  Founders and owners Paul Jones and Mary Clayton Carl carefully curate the offerings, layering their rotation. Don’t miss the open house on the first Thursday of every month featuring a band, booze, and nibbles. The May event promises to be an especially delightful one as the Pop-Up Shop celebrates Birmingham Fashion Week (5/7 – 5/9).
2821 2nd Ave S, Suite K • 205.812.7156 •

Where to Eat

The locals’ favorite for fresh Italian salads, thin-crust pizzas, sandwiches, and savory entrees like flat-iron steaks and pasta Bolognese. Chef James Lewis’s house-cured meats are only rivaled by Bettola’s strong bar program and thoughtful wine selection.

Tex-Mex with a heavy accent on the Mex—Yucatan Peninsula to be more precise. Trios of fish tacos and grilled vegetables get paired with queso fundo with chorizo. We promise that the tortilla-encrusted tilapia just tastes better with classic corn in a cup.

Snaps to this local coffee joint featuring lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolate, beer, and wine. A brief menu of omelets, Greek yogurt, paninis, salads, and wraps mean you can fuel up with more than just caffeine.

This highly-anticipated casual restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Hastings is scheduled to open June 2015. Offering small plates and a well-considered wine list, Hastings and his team will cook all food by wood alone (via live fire, ash, indirect heat). The restaurant will share outdoor space with Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery. Restaurant décor heralds from local sources: the Chelsea Antique Mall in Vincent, The Concrete Farmer, Southern Accents Architectural Antiques in Cullman, and graphic design from Elise Jones.

text by christiana roussel • photos by art meripol

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