COTE DE TEXAS: The Most Beautiful Ball

The Most Beautiful Ball


Did you happen to see the photographs on Instagram of the Swan Ball?  If you are a fan of Mark Sikes and Sarah Bartholomew – this year’s Swan Ball was made for you!   I know it was for me.

   Each year in Nashville, the Swan Ball is held to raise funds for Cheekwood, the mansion and botanical garden located on 55 acres in the Nashville Hills.

Mark and Sarah served as this year’s esteemed Event Designers of The Swan Ball – and as you can imagine Cheekwood was bathed in their favorite color.  The tables were pure Mark and Sarah.  These two are a perfect match and probably should be working together – they would set the design world on fire, even though they already have, separately!!!

Mark lives and works in L.A., but Sarah lives in Nashville – so their pairing for the Swan Ball makes perfect sense with Sarah holding down the fort, locally.  I was drooling over the table settings when they started popping up on Instagram this weekend.  They were gorgeous.

But first, what IS the Swan Ball?

This year is the 55th Annual Swan Ball and it is Nashville’s social highlight of the year.  Held each June, it benefits Cheekwood Estate and Gardens.   The dress is very elegant – white tie.  This partial list of who’s who from past years Swan Balls gives you a clue of how first class this event truly is.


The Honorable Walter H. Annenberg
Dr. Armand Hammer
Mr. Kip Forbes
Mr. Albert Hadley!!!
Mrs. Anne Hendricks Bass
Mrs. Lynne S. Wyatt
Mario Buatta!!!
Bunny Williams!!!


Johnny Cash
Tony Bennett
Jay Leno
Diana Ross
Aretha Franklin
Reba McEntire


Oscar de la Renta!!!
Bill Blass!!!
Carolina Herrera!!!
Carolyne Roehm!!!
Jacqueline de Ribes


Harry Winston
Van Cleef and Arpels

This year the entertainer was the singer Sheryl Crow, the jeweler was Mish, and the honoree was Carolina Herrera.  Not bad!

The event is so special the actual Swan Auction is held three weeks before the Ball.  On the night of the ball, the elders eat at Cheekwood, while the younger set have their own party and dinner at Massey Hall at the Botanical Center. After dinner, they come to see the “late night” entertainment over at the Late Party at Cheekwood.

To read the auction items go HERE.

And before all the festivities even start, in February there is an Unveiling Party to announce the details of the ball and to see a preview of the décor.

In other words, it is quite an event, to say the least!!!

The Swan Ball Event Designers Mark Sikes and Sarah Bartholomew at the Unveiling Party this past February.

Hmmm.  I wonder what their Décor Scheme for this year’s Swan Ball will be?!?!

Meanwhile, I’m busy staring at that Cy Twombly!! 


Mark Sikes is known for his casual style and his love of the color blue.  Here is a living room he designed – a vision in blue and white.

But, Mark uses other colors, sometimes, as long as they blend with blue!  I love this room!!!  And that’s his own rug!  Love, love, love that rug.

Mark’s design partner for the Swan Ball, Sarah Bartholomew, is a rising star in Nashville.

Be sure to visit Sarah and Mark’s blogs for their photos from the Swan Ball!!

Sarah’s design for an entry hall is bathed in blue.  One of my favorite foyers ever!!  LOVE!!

While Sarah loves blue and white like Mark, she also does a lot of green.  She especially loves to mix green with blue.

So…what design scheme do you think Mark and Sarah came up with for the Swan Ball?  Blue and white?  Blue with red?  Green and white?  Green with blue???

Patience, patience.

First, let’s take a look at the Cheekwood mansion:

Cheekwood Art and Gardens is located 10 miles southeast of downtown Nashville on the once private estate known simply as Cheekwood.  The 55 acres contain 12 distinct gardens, including a Japanese Garden, numerous ponds, fountains, walkways, and paths.   There is the Pineapple Room restaurant on the property, the large Massey Hall, the Museum of Art, the Frist Learning Center and the Wills Perennial Garden.

The Museum of Art, is the centerpiece of Cheekwood:  it is located in the 1920s Georgian mansion once owned by the Cheek Family.  The Frist Learning Center is located in the original carriage house and stables.


The story goes that in the 1920s young Mabel Cheek bought a floor to ceiling gilt mirror at an antique shop.  It was too tall for the home she and her husband Leslie lived in, so he said either sell the mirror or they would have to move.  Apparently Mabel chose to move and that is how Cheekwood came to be built.

The couple met when the single Mabel Wood stopped in Kentucky while on a train trip.  Leslie Cheek noticed Mabel and asked her name and where she was going.  A few days later a mutual friend brought Leslie to Mabel’s house to properly meet her.  He wooed her with weekly gifts of candy and flowers and in 1896, they married in Clarksville.  After the wedding, Leslie worked for CT Cheek & Sons, the family’s wholesale grocery distributor.

The wedding of Mabel and Leslie Cheek.

In 1929, after Mabel had bought her oversized mirror, they hired Bryant Fleming to design a 36 room, 30,000 sq ft house.

Cheekwood, as it was being built.

Originally the property covered 100 acres, and today, it is on 50 acres.   But,  since Cheekwood is right next to The Warner Parks, together, the two properties are over 2,684 acres of woodland, all designed by Bryant Fleming.   Bryant was not only the architect of Cheekwood,  he also acted as the interior and landscape designer.   When built, the Limestone house had 9 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, an elevator, a hidden staircase, and a library to hold the 1000s of books in the Cheeks’ collection.   For their two children, son Leslie Jr. and daughter Huldah, separate suites were built.  The house was furnished with English antiques from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Cheekwood, named after Leslie Cheek and Mabel Wood. 

A early aerial view from the rear.  You can see how the loggia on the back side of the house was originally open aired, with no doors.  Today it is closed off with extra tall French doors.  At the left of the main house are the carriage houses and stables.  Today, there is an additional new building there that is the site of the Frist Learning Center.  And notice the reflecting pool at the right of the house.  The drawing room overlooks this area.

1958.  The original fountain at the back of the house.  At one time the open air loggia was closed off by shutters as seen here.  Today, it is completely enclosed behind French doors.

Today:  A winter view of the back of Cheekwood shows the loggia with the installed French doors.  The same fountain remains.  At the left of the house you can see a rather ugly gray addition – this building was added in the 60s in order to provide necessary utilitarian rooms and fire escapes, etc.  for the art museum, as the house now is.

1958.  The original stables.   When the house was completed, the Cheek children were both in college, at Harvard and Bryn Mawr.  They kept their horses at home in the Cheekwood stables. 

Today.   The original stables on the right and the carriage house on the left.  A new contemporary building was added to connect these two vintage structures.  This is now the Frist Learning Center.

The stables and carriage house decorated for a wedding.  Cheekwood is one of Nashville’s most popular spots for a wedding and many brides choose this area for their outdoor reception.

The family were world travelers – newspaper clippings reveal they went to such faraway places as India.  One trip to England in 1929 lasted three months and was actually a buying trip for Cheekwood.  Bryant Fleming accompanied the family on this trip to supervise the purchases.


There are invoices and receipts from that trip that survive today.  The family visited Chatsworth and it said the staircase there inspired the one at Cheekwood.   Another source says the staircase was inspired by Queen Charlotte’s palace at Kew.  Hmmm.  The fireplace in the foyer was said to be a Robert Adam but to me there are others in the house that look more like Adam.   The mahogany doors came from Grosvenor House in London.  The receipt above showed they did buy 4 bronze grilles from Grosvenor House, but no mention of doors.   It took seven railway cars to deliver all their London purchases to Cheekwood.

But it all came to an early end for Leslie Sr. who died suddenly in 1935, just a few years after moving into his dream home.  Mabel continued to live in the house, entertaining, gardening and spending much of her time in the library.

Mrs. Cheek passed away in 1945 at 72, leaving the estate to her children and grandchildren.  Her daughter then moved into Cheekwood with her husband and her daughter Leslie.

The family gifted Cheekwood to the public in 1957.  Funds were raised to create the botanical gardens and museum.  The former Nashville Museum of Art offered their permanent collection to Cheekwood and finally in 1960, Nashville’s new attraction opened its doors.

For the past two years and at a cost of many millions of dollars, the house has been renovated and for the first time in years the original mirror is now on display, again.  Before the renovation, the house was used as a museum and for office space.  The renovation will give visitors a look into how the Cheeks actually lived in the house.

Much of the information needed for the restoration was taken from this magazine, published in 1934.  I would LOVE to read this!!!

Alright – I found this on EBay and ordered it!!!  Yeah!!!  I wish it still cost just 50 cents.

Past the front gates, the house, on a rise, comes into view.

In all, the restoration included several of the rooms:   the drawing room, library, dining room, loggia, morning room, recreation room and bedroom suite – all on the first and ground floors.  One the second floor, the Museum will keep its galleries for exhibition space.  The restoration was just completed and the new rooms were revealed at this years Swan Ball.

At one point, the ivy was allowed to grow all over the limestone.  This looks awful!!

Today:  An aerial view shows the front of the house and to the right, the stables and carriage house.

A plan of each 3 floors, thanks to The Devoted Classicist who wrote a long, and wonderful story about Cheekwood HERE.

Because of the hilly property, the house is a fancy kind of split level!  The living room/library wing on the left side of the house is a 1/2 floor below the main floor.  Guests entry the foyer on the ground level and take stairs to the first floor where the decorated grand hallway is.  The loggia runs parallel to the hallway.  To the left is the drawing room which looks out to the side of the house where the Wisteria Arbor and Reflecting Pool are.  

Guests at the Swan Ball entering the ground floor front door.  You can see the drawing room wing at the left – which is a half-floor below the main level.  Notice how the drawing room windows are below the first floor windows.   Look at the beautiful limestone façade.   The gray is so on trend for today!

1934.  An early photo of the foyer with its grand stone and iron staircase that leads to the main floor.   A similar tapestry is on the wall today.  It’s a shame the original tapestry is no longer there.  There are two magnificent staircases in the house and they are really the focal points of the mansion.  They are so very elegant and beautiful.

Before the restoration, these two paintings hung in the stairway.

Not the original tapestry, but this one now hangs in the entry hall.

A view from the stairs to the foyer with the Robert Adam? fireplace, which is so gorgeous.  Whether it is an Adam or not, it is an antique mantel from England.

The Foyer.    Here you can see the fireplace more clearly.  Notice the clock above the mantel.  Isn’t it beautiful?

From a Christmas party – the view from the landing down to the foyer.  Flanking the double wood doors are twin gilded mirrors.  These double doors open onto the grand hallway.

1934.   The grand hall off the staircase which is through the double wood doors.  Past the hall are the second set of stairs that lead up to the second floor and the rotunda.  This space is gorgeous.

1958.  A close up of the murals.

A newer view of the grand hallway.  Here you can see the murals.  That looks like the same console that was here in the 50s.

A later view of the grand hallway – you can see the doors that open to the loggia.   The loggia runs parallel to the grand hallway.  It was once open to the elements but today, the loggia is closed in with French doors.   The molding is painted dark here which is more dramatic.   But today the wood is white again – after the restoration.  What a stunning hallway!  Notice the chandeliers.  Past the doorway is the second stairway and the rotunda.

Looking the opposite direction towards the drawing room, which is half a floor down.  Through the double wood doors are the stairs that lead down to the foyer.

Close up of the original chandeliers in the grand hallway.  It looks like there are Oriental figures on the top of the chandelier.

A close of the mural in the hallway.  Amazing!  It looks so real!

Today.  The grand hallway, after restoration.  New curtains.  Newly restored/covered chairs.  The molding is now painted white.

From the Swan Ball, the guests in the grand hallway.  Also, notice the curtains and cornice around the French doors.

Let’s go inside the loggia that runs alongside the grand hallway.

The loggia today.  Through the doors off the grand hallway is the loggia, here set for a garden party.  Notice the medallions embedded in the stucco walls.  And notice the lanterns. 

On this end of the loggia, the doors lead into the dining room.  Love the putti!

This view of the loggia, set for another garden party. 

Set up for a dinner party.  The doors lead into the dining room.  So pretty!

The  view of the loggia at the back of the house. 

For the Swan Ball, a large tent is set up on the lawn and guests enter it through the grand hallway and loggia. 

1934.  Back inside, at the end of the grand hallway – are the half set of stairs that led down to the vestibule before the drawing room and library.  More medallions embedded in the stucco.

1958.  In the drawing room with the double wood doors, the view shows the vestibule and the half stairs that lead up to the grand hallway.


At a winter wedding, with the house decorated for Christmas, a bagpiper entertains the guests as he enters the drawing room vestibule.  The molding was painted black back then.

Today:  Looking towards the drawing room – the half stairs lead down to the vestibule.  Through the wood door at the right is a small anteroom that leads to the library.  Notice how pretty the surround around the drawing room’s door is. 

And, is that Mabel’s original too-tall mirror?  A wonderful photo of the vestibule.  Notice the medallion embedded in the wall – so pretty!  I love all the medallions that are placed throughout the first floor.

The drawing room – an early view, filled with all the English antiques purchased in London.  For the renovation, the curators tried to recreate this room as closely as possible.

These original photos of the interiors were the ones published in the Country Life Magazine in 1934.

1958.  Later, the room was partially cleared out, probably when Huldah’s family moved out the last time.   Huldah Cheek held her wedding reception in this drawing room.

The one thing I really don’t care for is the red curtains and of course, they reproduced these for the renovation!

Later, a new rug was placed down.  Display cases hold the large Ewers-Tyne collection of Worchester Porcelain.  What is so nice about the drawing room being half a floor below the rest of the house is that the ceiling is taller.

Still, a later view with the rug removed.

The drawing room set for a garden party.  This is the view facing towards the library and the grand hallway, on the right.   The French doors on the left side lead to the Wisteria Arbor and the stairs down to the Reflecting Pool.


Today.   And the newly renovated drawing room, as near to the original décor as possible.

No longer a museum, it is meant to recreate how the Cheeks actually lived in the house.  Notice the mantel.

Notice the pretty ceiling and beautiful molding.

The paint colors were recreated as were the curtains, which do look exactly like the original ones. 

And guests admire the fireplace and the newly restored living room.   In the corner is the Steinway piano, a wedding gift from Mabel to her son Leslie Cheek, Jr.  It was signed by Theodore Steinway himself, who wished the couple well.     I would love to see this room decorated for today without having to recreate how it once was.  I would love to see it with whiter walls and neutral curtains, not red, and with a more neutral rug – it is such a beautiful room.

The main view from the room is through the large window at the end of the room and the other view out the side French door, that leads to the wisteria arbor and reflecting pond.

Here you can see the living room’s main window with its Juliet balcony. 

The large living room window from the outside, taken at a wedding.  Look how pretty the balcony is.

Another view of the front façade with the left wing where the living room is.  Its large window overlooks the front lawn.

These French doors lead out from the drawing room to the large wisteria arbor. 

The Wisteria Arbor overlooks the hills and is a favorite spot where brides pose for a portrait.  Below this is the reflecting pond.

At the side of the wisteria arbor, double stone steps winding around the fountain lead down to the reflecting pond.

Another view of the urn/fountain that shows the French door that leads into the drawing room.

The view of the wisteria arbor from below. 

The stairs that lead up from the reflecting pond to the arbor to the drawing room.  At summer the wisteria is so thick!!

In the winter the arbor is exposed.  I wonder why they didn’t use evergreen wisteria.  Maybe it doesn’t grow in Nashville?

The view from the drawing room, down to the wisteria arbor and to the reflecting pond and beyond.

The pond.  You can see the stone stairs that lead up to the wisteria arbor and the drawing room.

1934:  Across from the drawing room is the paneled library.  Here is an early view of the room filled with the Cheek’s English antiques.  Notice the clock above the mantel.  Also, the door to the left of the mantel leads to the vestibule and up to the grand hallway.

Later, the room was cleared out.  The house/museum’s silver collection was displayed in this library.

After the recent renovation, the library looks as it once did, filled with the books the family owned.  Also the furniture is similar to what was once there.  The same original chandelier hangs above.   The door to the right leads to the drawing room.

A closer view of the marble mantel.

Mabel was said to spend almost all her time while inside, in the library.

The vestibule leads to this anteroom that leads to the library.  Notice the antique porcelain portraits on display.

1958:  Going back down the grand hallway – at the end of it is the stairway to the second floor with its rotunda ceiling.  

An early view of the rotunda.  Through the arched door is one of the bedroom suites.

Along the wall of the staircase is an arch that opens up to the hall beyond.

Each year there are different artists who do installations for the Swan Ball.  Here it was the great Chihuly who was invited.  One of his light fixtures was installed in the second stair hall.  It is fabulous!!!!!   You can see the rotunda here.

The second stairhall – looking back toward the grand hallway and further, into the drawing room and the French Doors that lead out to the wisteria arbor!  To the right of the mirror and console, out of sight, are the doors that lead to the dining room.

And another art installation – chandelier.  Under this stair, you can barely see an arched door that leads to a bedroom suite.  More about that bedroom, later.

The contemporary light fixture – it looks like rain here!   It hangs down from the rotunda.

1934:  The dining room with dark walls.  The double wood doors open to the stairhall.  Through the doors by the fireplace is the morning room/breakfast room.

1958.  Light painted walls.  The museum’s large snuff collection is through the right door, in what was probably once a butler’s pantry.  The floors are black and white marble.

Another early view of the dining room.  Later, the ironwork on the console will be removed.

Before the restoration, the curtains were red and gold. 


Today:  The new dining room under the restoration.  Double doors with the gilded molding open to the dining room.

Furnished in blue to coordinate with the original mantel.  The chandelier appears original too, as does some of the furniture.

This restoration is really pretty.

From the Swan Ball.  The furniture was removed to make room for the jewelry cases to display Mish’s jewels.

The fireplace.

Close up. I wonder if this is lapis or blue marble?

The morning room is going to be restored.  It has marble floors, a bay window and it opens to a terrace.  This room is a stop on the Christmas tour.

The 1934 photo of the recreation room.  What an incredible room!  Look at the furniture.  It looks like a English house in the 18th century.  Most exciting is behind the stove and terracotta brick fireplace is the hidden staircase!   On the far left, notice the suzani fabric on the table!!  Wow!!

1934:  Mabel’s mother slept in this room – through the short door under the stairs.  The two room suite is separated by the black and white marble bathroom.   This room has been turned into an office, but it was restored back to the bedroom.

And here is the office that was once the two bedroom suite.  I wish we could see the fireplace at the left!

1934.  In this room is the original mirror that Mabel bought which was too tall for her house, causing her husband Leslie to build Cheekwood.  Today, the mirror is back at Cheekwood, in the drawing room vestibule, after the restoration.

1934:  The reading room on the second floor.  This amazing room is quite different from the Georgian style. 

This girl poses in the Reading Room, an atmospheric, small room on the second floor that will be restored.  With its dark wood beams and stucco mantel, the room is very Spanish in feel!  Wonder what happened to the medallion on the mantel?

Today.  The Reading Room cleared out. 

It’s a shame that there is no photograph of the master bedroom suites or bathrooms.

To see more of the Cheekwood, go HERE

The auction catalogue gives a hint of the decorative scheme for the 2017 Swan Ball designed by Mark Sikes and Sarah Bartholomew.

There were 475 floral arrangements created for the dining tables, along with numerous other arrangements created by The Tulip Tree.

Mark Sikes brought along his biggest fans!  Sarah is in white.  These dresses are all gorgeous!  I love the gingham and the red/pink combination which was custom designed by Mark.

The foyer is decorated for the ball.  Notice the skirted table in striped fabric with trim!!!  OMG!!!  To die for!!!  Those flowers!!!

Too pretty for words.

Gorgeous.  The foyer mantel is decorated with masses of flowers and trellis.

The skirted table with blue and white porcelain.

The guests go up the stairs.

Another view.

A beautiful arrangement in the niche at the top of the foyer stairs.

Guests spilled out onto the Wisteria Arbor off the Drawing Room.  More arrangements decorated the arbor which doubled as a bar.

This young couple posed in front of the second staircase decorated with the trellis motif and flowers in a blue and white bowl.

Appetizers and drinks are served in the grand hallway while guests visit the jewelry display in the dining room.

Off the main hall the guests enter the loggia.   The bar/dinner tent is set up on the lawn right past the loggia.

The loggia decorated by Mark and Sarah.  A skirted table in Mark’s signature blue and white fabric.  A grass wall divides part of the loggia off from the guests.  Topiary balls on the skirted table.  Just beautiful!

Close up of the bench and skirted table.

And another view of the loggia.

Past the loggia the doors open to the tent with the gazebo designed by Mark and Sarah.  This is the area where drinks were served.  Beyond is the dining tent.  Notice how they tented the tent (lol!) with Mark’s signature blue and white fabric – and really Sarah’s too!   The gazebo is covered in wisteria – a nod to the famous Wisteria Arbor outside the Cheekwood drawing room!

The view from the tent looking back towards the loggia.

The party is in full swing.  I wonder how many yards of fabric Mark used?  AND I wonder if they are reusing the fabric???

A view from the loggia into the bar tent and further back to the dining tent.

Hand painted wallpaper was used to decorate the back of the bar area.

At the bar – with another handpainted mural.


The dining tent is a mix of round and rectangular tables.  Chintz fabric skirted the round tables!!!  Round drum chandeliers decorated with greenery.

Another view of the rectangular dining tables skirted in the striped fabric.

Notice how pretty the calligraphy table numbers are.  Rattan votives.  Linen napkins.  Silver mint julep cups.   Very very nice!!!

A mix of flowers at each table.  Just beautiful!!!

A round table, piled with flowers.

A view to the stage at the rear of the tent. 

The stage has a blue and white! checkerboard dance floor – and notice the backdrop:  a huge handpainted chinoiserie mural.  Of course!!  This is Mark after all!

Beside this band, Sheryl Crow entertained.


Sarah and Mark with this year’s honoree Carolina Herrera.  Her dress!!!

As guests leave – notice the turquoise blue boxes holding topiary!

The décor?

Genius.   Mark and Sarah outdid themselves!!!

Be sure to visit Sarah and Mark’s blogs for more photos.  Mark has already moved on from the ball.  He is now busy decorating the Newport Coastal Living house all in the blue and white and it is, of course, to die for!

A bit of news:

My favorite local decorative store Olivine is having a Summer Sale!!

Helen just got in these darling Mexican dresses for little girls.  So on trend.  Direct from San Miguel de Allende!!!

She has the entire Kai line – which I love!!!

Glasses, kitchen ware, and Turkish towels.

Those white dresses are the cutest!

Summer scarves – tassel wraps!!

Custom made jewelry.

Les Indiennes.  My fave!!

Le Cadeaux Melamine.

Alixx candles from a French family in Miami!  Fabulous scents.

OK.  I LOVE this scarf!!!

Summer Sale – 20% off STOREWIDE (except Jewelry and Mexican dresses!)

PomPom Bedding – 30 percent off!


Don’t live in Houston?  Call Helen!!!!


2405 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005


  1. I adore your posts! Thank you for taking so much time to research them and put them together. They are appreciated!

  2. Everything but Sheryl Crow.

  3. Wonderful party!!! Thanks, Joni, for another comprehensive post.

  4. Joni- Thank you!So fabulous! I had been searching for more Swan Ball pictures!Did you know they then do an online auction and public dale of all the decorations used?If you get on the Swan Ball website or Facebook page you will find the links.There is not very much left.I was shopping for my daughter's wedding decor next April.
    I just adore you and all your well researched and thoughtful posts.I just learn so much and it you just always transport me to exactly where I want to go!I don't know how you know where I want to go next but you always do!

    1. wow! thanks! did not know that. i'm curious about all the fabric.
      Thanks for your kind words too!!!!

  5. More amazing research! It is so interesting to see the evolution of styles over the years. I must say the mirror at the heart of the move was pretty fabulous.
    Carolina Herrera's dress is gorgeous. She is my fave.

  6. Love reading your posts - so full of quality content - images and commentary. Your posts are the gold standard for blogging.

  7. Lovely place but very white! Even the waitstaff are white. Not one person of color, in Nashville??? Really. I guess some things never change. And then you post Mexican dresses from San Miguel de Allende. That's Gringoville in Mexico. It's where all the white people go to live in Mexico so they can avoid paying taxes in the U.S. They don't speak Spanish. They expect the Mexicans to speak English. Maybe Trump can get them to pay for the wall. They can afford it.

    1. Oh Nora. I don't know what to say. I never even noticed the color of the people at the party. I assume that anyone with enough money can go to the ball, if they want NOW. I would suspect that the ball was not open to PoC before the 70s or 80s. I have to disagree about SanMiguel. There are many many Mexicans that live there. There are lots of US but there are also Mexicans too. Trump said that Mexico is going to pay for the wall. I assume if Americans are paying taxes in Mexico, their money will go to the wall -IF Mexico pays for it, like
      Trump promised.

    2. The pictures shown did not show any PoC, but they were there. We have plenty of wonderful African Americans in our town, and no matter what Nora implies, we are not a racist society here. If you look at the official photos of the ball this year and past, you will see most of the attendees. Also, the sale post ball is wonderful. I got some beautiful items a few years ago and the price was right.

  8. To: Nora Chavez 8:08
    If the wait staff hadn't been white I'll bet you would have had something to say about that also.
    U.S. citizens are required to pay taxes on income regardless of where they are living including in the world.
    If any "person of color" or anyone else wants to donate to this cause and attend this function, they should send in their money for tickets next year.

    1. Word "including"=typo.

  9. This is the precise weblog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost arduous to argue with you. You positively put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

  10. I loved reading about the estate - I would love to visit - but, I have to say, the Ball decor did not appeal to me at all :( Very thorough and enjoyable post, though!

  11. Another amazing post, Joni! Beautiful photos. Wonderful, interesting, informative article. Loved reading it....twice!

  12. Great article. I read this article properly. This is one of the best posts. Thanks sharing this article
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  13. Fantastic post AS ALWAYS sweet are a marvel!!! I adore Mark Sikes (I purchased his "famous" magazine with the cover of his mantle, blue and white, and seagrass log basket and tortishel box collection (one of my favsl that was all over pinterest a few years back...couldn't afford the 1934 Country Life magazine...ha! The flowers give Pippa a run for her money...but not a fan of those drum lights...that could NOT have been Mr. Sikes's touch surely? So tired of the "Noras" that post on your extensive post regarding beautiful homes!!! Clearly Nora needs to move on to tiresome's EVERYWHERE!!!


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  15. This was a lovely article and I will be sharing it throughout social media space to promote Nashville's culture. My family has enjoyed all that Cheekwood has to offer for decades. Swan Ball is an impressive event designed to raise funds to preserve it for our community. I am not sure that the photos will ever capture the impressive nature of the decor. Take a moment to think of iconic humans. I read articles and see photos of them. "Nice, but, why drool or scream when in their presence?"

    It was when I stood in rooms with, met, spent time with, and worked for people like former US Presidents, Diplomats, Bishops, Country and Pop Stars, etc- all of a sudden, I understood.

    Swan Ball decor always has the same effect on people. This leads me to the people- guests and servers.

    As for the skin color- I do understand how the photos can make a person feel, but, this is 2017. Anyone who works for what they want to- can have their hearts desire. Often- those people avoid cameras at all cost. Others do not mind or are comfortable and do not notice cameras.

    That said- there are as many people of color that desire to be. Both- guests and staff.

    Imagine what you prefer. When you want truth, simply ask. Don't accuse or ASSume. Although passionate- it is ignorant. If we desire change, be a part of it. President Kennedy inspired us to stop asking others to make us FEEL good. Instead, get up and DO good. I will add: Before doing, research the history, study the "map", or get lost and never make an impact.

    With all of the love in my heart- Mrs Wisdom

    1. I almost forgot to add:
      (The last time I paid attention)

      Cheekwood Donors donate continuously. Donations come in from around the world and no one checks for ethnicity. The cost to keep this estate beautifully kept for the public is astounding. Continuous donors are then invited to the ball. The minimum donation to attend the ball was $15,000 per person. Some people attend due to loyalty. Others decide once they know who the headliner will be. I remember the place being "standing room only" for Dianna Ross and a few others. Donors should not attend if they do not mirror their "inner Cinderella". I will allow you to imagine that cost. Also, there are more events that continue to raise money for this estate. Get out your calculator and warm your fingers. It is worth every penny. Cultural experiences that happen on this hill spread across and benefit the entire city. Unfortunately, because so many do not bother to enjoy and invest- even at the cost of reading free articles, by paying for tours, or by purchasing yearly memberships- they never understand how the city benefits. This is quite an undertaking.

      The staff- Anyone who loves the art of service is welcome to serve. Service is NOT for the lazy. Swan Ball has multiple events happening at once. Staff needs to have stamina, a great attitude, a good back, strong legs, willingness to work up to 24 hours, transportation, properly cleaned and pressed attire, protective and supportive shoes, etiquette and fine dining experience, etc. They must not be intimidated by wealth, not drool over celebrities, not take off their shoes and sit in public spaces while complaining to guests that this is "slave work", not show up late, not desire to leave or walk out in mid shift, not steal drinks and get drunk, not be financially desperate, have knowledge of food and culture, not "hit up" the guests just because they went to the same school or are "frat brothers", not think it is their party, not hide while others work, not take photos and post to social media during the event, not steal, not feel belittled because they are the servers, not spit in food, wash their hands, not beg for tips for doing what they are supposed to do, not get intimidated because they FEEL that they should be guests, not drop trays of plates and glasses,.... It is hot and sometimes raining. Service professionals need to be just that.

      Know this- every single person that enters the gates at Swan Ball are invited guests. Say it with me: INVITED GUESTS.

      Staff for next year is earning their invitation through their performance right now. They are being tested and do not even know it. They are and will be well paid. Professionals earn the right to return year after year. Yes- the same way attendees earn the right to attend.

      You must be properly certified and security cleared, federally.

      I challenge each of you to consider these and unspoken facts before you pull the race card, in the future.

      Live WELLthy~
      Mrs Wisdom
      (Retired Swan Ball Professional, personal friend of many patrons, and Professor of equality through personal responsibility)

    2. Mrs Wisdom you sound adorably deplorable. Correction: not adorably,, but frighteningly deplorable.

  16. شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام من الشركات التي تمكنك من نقل اثاث الفنادق والشركات والمكاتب الكبيرة حيث أن الشركة يعمل فيها طاقم فني ذو مستوى عالي من الخبرة .
    نصيحة من شركة نقل الاثاث بالدمام لكل العملاء عندما تتخذ الخطوة الأولي لنقل الأثاث يجب أن تبتعد عن العمالة الغير مدربة جيدة وأيضا التي لا يتواجد لديها الإمكانيات العالية لعملية النقل ولا تخاف عبئ التكاليف حيث أنه في حالة مقارنتها مع المخاطر التي يتعرض لها الأثاث سوف تحقق مكسب حقيقي لو تم استخدام أحدي شركات نقل الأثاث والأفضل هنا هي شركة فرسان النيل .
    - تعمل الشركة على تعيين العمالة والفنيين المتواجدين فيها بعد عدد كبير من الاختبارات سواء النظرية أو العملية .
    - تقوم الشركة بتدريب العمالة لديها على أحدث أنواع الأجهزة حتي تسهل عملية رفع مستوى الجودة .
    شركة نقل عفش
    - عملية نقل العفش تحتاج إلى فك وتركيب ومن خلال شركة نقل عفش بالدمام سوف يتم توفير المعدات اللازمة .
    - تقوم شركة فرسان النيل بفك وتركيب كل أنواع الغرف " غرف النوم ، الأطفال " .
    - تقوم الشركة بفك وتركيب غرف المكاتب ومكتباتها .
    - تقوم الشركة بفك وتركيب المطابخ الخشب وأيضا الالومنتال .
    - توفر الشركة خدمة فك وتركيب التابلوهات الأثرية دون إحداث أي ضرر عليها .
    - تقوم شركة نقل عفش بنوع خر من الخدمات منها تغليف العفش والأجهزة الكهربائية.
    شركة تخزين اثاث
    - إن عملية البحث عن مخازن ذات جودة عالية وخالية من الرطوبة ومعزولة تماما من درجات الحرارة لا يمكن أن يوجد بسهولة .
    - من خلال شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام سوف يصلك عدد كبير من السيارات حتى تقوم بنقل أي عدد من المفروشات والأثاث الراغب في حفظة لفترات طويلة.
    - كل ما تطلبه الشركة من العميل للحصول على الخدمة التواصل مع الشركة وتسجيل البيانات .
    لمزيد من خدماتنا
    شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف
    شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر


  17. شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام
    قد تكون شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام آخر من تتوقع مقابلته كون مشكلات الصرف في الغالب لا يمكن التنبؤ بها ، لكن إذا ما وقع العطل في صرف منزلك فإنه من الضروري أن يقترن بوجودنا كشركة متخصصة بتفوق في معالجة جميع مشكلات الصرف مهما بلغت حدتها ، حضورنا يضمن لك رحيل العطل من منزلك فورا ، فوق ما نمنحه لك من ضمانات عملية تقطع الطريق على عودته مجددا

    شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام
    شركة تسليك مجاري

    يمكنكم الإتصال عبر الهاتف مباشرة:
    أو من خلال الواتساب : 0505108424

    للتعرف على مميزاتنا وخدماتنا من هُنا:شركة-تسليك-مجارى-بالدمام/