Outdoor Spaces: Summer Beckons in Appalachia

By on June 1, 2016


Summer Time is Outdoors Time! Here are Six Local Businesses That Have Everything 
You Need to Bring Your Outdoor Space to Life Just in Time for Summer.

As leaves unfurl on their branches and flowers bloom and blossom, cool breezes temper the hot Southern sunshine. Birds flit between towering pines, maples, and magnolias, while clear mountain creeks crash in sparkling cascades over mossy rocks. Warm weather has finally arrived in Appalachia.

Outdoor enjoyment is as Southern as sweet tea and barbecue, and we pride ourselves on creating beautiful outdoor spaces where we can laugh, drink, cook, and entertain. We build lovely patios and gardens, arrange comfortable seating, hoist brightly colored hammocks between trees, hang string lights, and even construct outdoor kitchens for the ultimate grilling experience. Spring and summer mean life itself, and nowhere is this more true than in Appalachia, home to innumerable coolly shaded watering holes, smoky barbecue joints, midnight hoedowns, and illicit distilleries.

In short, we have elevated outdoor living to an art form, such a crucial part of our culture that we take it for granted that just about every party, every dinner, every social event from Memorial Day until Labor Day will take place outside. But although a love of outdoor living comes naturally to every true Southerner, we aren’t always clear on how to create the most comfortable, beautiful, and functional spaces. Here are some local businesses that have mastered the craft and are eager to share it with you.

Outdoor Living, Indoor Comfort

If there’s one thing Julie Heinsman knows a lot about, it’s how to best enjoy the great outdoors in our Appalachian mountain climate. The owner of Outdoor Living, Indoor Comfort specializes in creating comfortable, clean spaces that stay clean with minimal effort, all year long. With custom-designed outdoor enclosures that have been engineered to withstand everything from rough spring weather to seasonal pollen dumps, Outdoor Living, Indoor Comfort can turn an outdoor porch into a space that has the charm and fresh air appeal of a porch, with the comfort and cleanliness of a living room.

Their enclosures are not made of glass, like traditional sunroom panes. Instead they are made of a clear, vinyl-like material that is both strong and easy to clean. And unlike regular glass, it filters UV light, providing an extra level of protection against the sun’s most damaging rays. The panes can be easily removed and cleaned individually, eliminating the need for professional window washers or precarious ladders.

In addition to custom porch enclosures, which can be designed to fit virtually any outdoor space, Outdoor Living, Indoor Comfort offers an impressive selection of patio and outdoor furniture. With beautiful, high end pieces in wicker, aluminum, marine grade polymer—which won’t rot, splinter, warp, or fade—and cast iron, they have a look for every style and taste. Their collections from Windward Design Group and Meadowcraft will add elegance to any outdoor space, and they also offer custom options for those who want a more personal touch.

Visit their showroom in Jasper, GA to browse their large selection of upscale patio furniture. For indoor comfort outside, there’s nothing like Outdoor Living, Indoor Comfort.

Outdoor Living, Indoor Comfort
447 Harmony School Road, Jasper, GA 30143
Showroom Hours: Wed thru Sat 10am – 4pm

ACE Hardware Ellijay

Attentive passerby can measure the passing of the seasons by what their local ACE Hardware has on display outside, and the Ellijay location is no exception to this tried-and-true rule. Bales of pine straw, bags of fertilizer and mulch, chicken coops, gravel, plants, even chicken coops—this local, family-owned hardware store seems to have it all. And as summer draws ever closer, one category of merchandise dominates the storefront: outdoor furniture and accessories that will help discerning customers make the most of our beautiful mountain summers.

ACE carries everything from picnic tables to porch swings. With the biggest selection of outdoor furnishings in town, there’s always something to make our outside spaces a lot more comfortable. But it’s not just seating—eating outside is important, too. ACE also carries a large selection of grills, both charcoal and gas. No Southern backyard would be complete without a well-loved—and oft-used—grill, and ACE Hardware prides itself on its wide variety of options, in every price range. From inexpensive charcoal Weber hibachis to ultra-sophisticated propane outdoor kitchens, ACE has it all.

This family-owned business has been serving Ellijay for many years, and its central location, just south of the roundabout downtown, makes it easy to pop over and see what they have to offer. Customer favorites include rustic porch swings, powerful gas grills, rocking chairs, and family-sized picnic tables to accommodate even the biggest barbecue. Shopping locally means customers can feel good knowing that they’re giving back to the community, and every product comes with the ACE guarantee.

Next time you make a run to the hardware store for that one last nail or can of wasp spray, check out ACE’s collection of outdoor living essentials. And in case you forgot that other Southern backyard essential, pine stray, there’s no need to worry. ACE Hardware in Ellijay has that too.

ACE Hardware

305 South Main St, Ellijay, GA 30540

Mon through Fri 7am -6pm, Sat 7am – 5pm

North Georgia Furniture & Home Decor

Nothing says “summertime” like a well-made rocking chair creaking comfortably on a spacious, breezy front porch. And no one makes and sells beautiful, comfortable rocking chairs like Ellijay’s North Georgia Furniture & Home Decor, a local furniture and design shop hidden away on Tails Creek Road.

But great design and custom options don’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, owner Doug Shelburne likes to joke, “We meet anybody’s price even if we have to raise ours!” With more than 30 years of experience in the furniture business, Doug has made it his mission to deliver high quality home furnishings at competitive prices. Working in Cumming and Dahlonega before settling in Ellijay, he knows the North Georgia mountains better than most. And he sells a lot of outdoor furniture.

With many options for customers on any budget, North Georgia Furniture & Home Decor sells patio sets, outdoor dining sets, and rocking chairs in a huge variety of styles and designs. Their rustic furniture collection includes a long list of well-known furniture designers and builders, allowing discerning decorators in North Georgia and beyond to create that quintessential cabin look at prices just about anyone can afford. In particular, A&H Woodworking offers high quality white pine furniture at low prices, making that Appalachian mountain motif easily accessible for even the most frugal buyer.

Those with more modern tastes also have plenty to choose from, with recognizable brand names such as Ashley Furniture, Hillsdale, and Liberty Furniture in the store collection. There are even youth options—kid-sized furniture—and customers will quickly find beautiful selections for every room in the house.

As spring turns into summer, the need for quality outdoor furniture is becoming quickly apparent. And at North Georgia Furniture & Decor, that comfortably creaky front porch rocking chair is ready and waiting.

North Georgia Furniture & Home Decor
2142 Tails Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540
Hours: Mon through Fri 10am – 6pm, 
Sat 10am – 4pm


Around Back at 
Rocky’s Place

Spring is in the air, with summer quickly approaching, and it’s time to start enjoying the beautiful Appalachian great outdoors. Just as we wish to adorn and decorate our inside environments, we can do the same with our outdoor spaces. One way to do this is with fun folk art. Enter Around Back at Rocky’s Place. This wonderland of outdoor folk art, which dubs itself “the Ultimate Folk Art Gallery,” offers art for yards, patios, decks, and screened porches.

Rocky’s Place has metal sculptures created by several different metalsmiths, including Chris “CEB” Beck, Jeffrey Merritt, Tom Touchstone, and Ironman. Collectors and admirers of Chris Beck’s work have seen his current pieces at the major folk art shows around the country, but Rocky’s Place has his early work, which is very primitive and raw.

Jeffrey Merritt’s work can be seen not only at Rocky’s, but also around Atlanta’s corporate downtown offices. Tom Touchstone, a gallery favorite and a man of many mediums, includes several ironworks among the gallery’s collection 

of his paintings and pottery. And what is an authentic Southern garden without a bottle tree? Rocky’s Place has them, created by Ironman, in a variety of sizes, along with other metal works by this legendary local artist.

To decorate a more intimate screened or covered area, there are paintings on tin by John “Cornbread” Anderson, Scott Peppers, Lisa Pirkle, Jason Smith, and John Sperry.

Around Back at Rocky’s Place even offers a way to share art with our feathered friends, with a unique birdhouse made from a variety of mediums, wood, clay, or tin. For those who love folk art in all its forms, this one-of-a-kind gallery is a must-see.

Around Back at Rocky’s Place

3631 Highway 53 East, Dawsonville, GA 30534

Sat 11am – 5pm, Sun 1pm -5pm

Revive Us Again

There’s a certain kind of shopper who emphatically believes that “newer” doesn’t always mean “better.” That sort of shopper is exactly the customer that Revive Us Again, a consignment shop in Jasper, GA, is looking for.

Owners Michael and Vickie White pride themselves on their store’s eclectic collection of gently used furniture. Though the items are not new, they are mostly traditional, with a little bit of French Country style. Weathered barn wood and distressed paint are common features here, and each piece is carefully selected for both quality and style. Their outdoor furniture is no exception.

With wrought iron, wicker, and aluminum outdoor furniture and decor in a variety of styles, Revive Us Again sells one-of-a-kind items that add a pop of creativity and elegant uniqueness to any outdoor space. And while consignment is a savvy, cost-effective way to shop, it’s also a lot of fun. The thrill of the hunt when customers find that perfect piece of furniture or decor they’ve been waiting for is exciting and enjoyable—and it keeps people coming back for more. There are no cookie cutter, carefully matched showroom options here. With more than 400 consignors, the inventory rotates quickly, and the Whites excel at finding true gems to stock their shop.

And if Revive Us Again doesn’t carry a specific item that a customer wants, they can always add it to their wish list. A detailed description of the desired piece makes it easy for Michael and Vickie to find just what customers are looking for—something they frequently do with surprising success and accuracy.

Consignment shopping is both smart and fun. As warm weather approaches, those who are looking to adorn their outdoor spaces without overspending should pay a visit to Revive Us Again in Jasper. The items are never new, and always interesting.

Revive Us Again
14 Mark Whitfield Street, 
Jasper, GA 30143

Mon through Fri 10am – 6Ppm, 
Saturday 10am – 4Ppm

Sundance Gallery Gifts

No garden or outdoor space is complete without gently humming wind chimes, colorful bird feeders, and vibrantly colored glass objects to turn white sunshine into a splashing rainbow. At Sundance Gallery Gifts, customers can find a beautiful variety of colorful yet functional glass objects for decorating outdoor spaces. Gorgeous glass hanging bird feeders make feathered friends feel welcome, while creative recycled glass nectar feeders attract even the most timid hummingbirds. Colored glass “tinklers” of all shapes and sizes provide a soft and relaxing sound in a summer breeze.

This charming little shop offers perfectly tuned, American-made all-weather wind chimes of the most exceptional quality. Designed to create an aural atmosphere of total relaxation, they sing a sweet and heavenly harmony every time the wind blows. But as everyone knows, backyards are not just for peaceful meditation. Sundance Gallery Gifts also carries plenty of great accessories for outdoor entertaining, like vintage-inspired enamelware in bright reds and blues, available in an assortment of cups, tumblers, pitchers, plates, bowls, cake platters, trays, casserole dishes, serving utensils, beverage dispensers, and more.

Located in scenic Blairsville, GA, an historic town notable for its breathtaking mountain backdrops, Sundance Gallery Gifts blends the ingenuity and creativity of manmade art with the functionality and natural beauty of outdoor spaces like gardens and yards. There’s something for everyone here, and locals and tourists alike can find home decor and gifts for any occasion.

A jewel nestled in the mountains near Brasstown Bald, Sundance Gallery Gifts is not to be missed. So stop by and say hello. ACLM

Sundance Gallery Gifts

4397 Town Creek School Rd, 
Blairsville, GA 30512

Mon through Sat 10am – 6pm