David and Becca Harman are the owners of Native Maps, a printmaking studio known for its meticulously designed neighborhood maps of American cities. “All too often, maps generalize a city,” the duo says on their official website. “We didn’t want to leave any neighborhood out. Neighborhoods are personal.” Given the studio’s hyper-local approach to research and design, it felt only fitting to ask them to be our official tour guides for their own home turf—Knoxville Tennessee. Recently transplanted to the city by way of Dallas for graduate studies, the couple has fallen head-over-heels for this Appalachian city and it’s laid-back lifestyle. Now self-proclaimed Knoxville Natives, David and Becca are sharing their must-see spots for the perfect Saturday in town. Check them all out below + shop Native Maps on westelm.com!

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Wild Love Bakehouse
1625 N Central St

Our first stop of the day means fueling up on cappuccinos and baked goods at the brand new Wild Love Bakehouse, owned by longtime Knoxville locals. With mouth-watering biscuits, scones, cakes, and top notch espresso right at the end of our street, let’s just say we had to adjust our coffee budget when this place opened up, but we’re not complaining.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Dale’s Fried Pies

As we cruise down Central Ave, the neighborhood thoroughfare, we have to stop for a savory fried pie because, well, Saturday.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Downtown Knoxville

Gay Street is marked by newly thriving downtown culture. Walking through downtown today, you would never guess that economic downturn and outsourced manufacturing brought this town to it’s knees a few decades ago. But that Smoky Mountain ingenuity and passion reemerged as a vibrant culture with a great deal of loyalty towards local businesses and entrepreneurs.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Market Square Farmer’s Market

Buying local may be trendy elsewhere, but here its a way of life. Our next stop is the Market Square Farmer’s Market. Knoxville rests in the heartland of agricultural life. It’s easy to know where all of your food comes from in Knoxville. We pick up a few things for the week and talk about dinner plans as we walk.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Rala
323 Union Ave.

Right off the Market Square, we stop at our favorite shop supporting local artists, although we might be a little biased. Talk about well-curated, you can always find something good at Rala.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Ijams Nature Center
2915 Island Home Avenue

What would a Saturday be without a stroll through the woods at our local nature center. Marble Quarry turned wooded oasis, Ijams offers ample ground to get lost and get back to your roots. We let this little one lead the way.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Vintage Shops at Central and Broadway

On our way back, we duck into a few of the vintage shops that line Central Ave.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Striped Light Letterpress Studio
107 Bearden Place

These aren’t just printers, they are community instigators. If they aren’t manning the presses, you can find Striped Light opening their doors for a gallery show, weekend workshop, or an open house. We drop in to grab a few of their signature “harsh cards,” because even if you’re harsh, you can always be classy.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

Central Collective

Our last stop of the evening takes us across the street to the newly minted Central Collective. They truly embody the community-driven, do-it-yourself attitude that makes Knoxville so lovable. Part studio, part collective kitchen and mixed-use space, you can find anything from a guest chef pop-up dinner to weekday yoga or medicinal herb workshops at the Central Collective. Tonight we drop in to see one of our favorite local artists, Victoria Buck.

There you have it, our favorite people and places in town. Now that you’re practically a local, drop by sometime. You won’t be disappointed.

west elm - Knoxville City Guide with Native Maps

David and Becca Harman are the founders of Native Maps. The make research-driven neighborhood maps, and they hand-pull each screenprint out of their home studio in Knoxville. David recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with an MFA in Painting. Becca is wrapping up her Masters in Soil Science. Whether in the lab or the studio, both of their work encourages engagement with the local community and landscape. Shop Native Maps on westelm.com!

Photographs by David Harman and Shawn Poynter

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LMo

April 1, 2016

These images are beautiful but upon second glance, they are White. White washed everywhere. Where is the cultural diversity of Knoxville in this piece? What a missed opportunity.

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