Good morning Lacquered Lifers. It is another dreary day here in Charleston – hello, sun, where did you go? – and I am taking the opportunity to look through some beautiful new books that have recently found their way to my doorstep. Despite the fact I went to school in Connecticut and Massachusetts, I have never been a rower, was never involved in crew in high school or college, and was never particularly interested in the culture of crew – until now. Rowing Blazers, written by Jack Carlson, he himself a rowing champion, explores the culture and history of rowing through its most recognizable attribute – the rowing blazer. I am now officially ashamed that after having gone to Boston College I never once watched the Head of the Charles. Through photographs of rowing champions wearing the blazers of their school or rowing club, Carlson shares with us the history of rowing, and some of the great stories of the individual schools and clubs. A beautifully laid out book, with photos by F.E. Castleberry, one cannot help but think that a book like this will propel the rowing blazer into one of fall 2014′s biggest trends. With representation from Wisconsin to New Zealand, Carlson paints a picture through these vibrant blazers which is both entertaining and fascinating. A must read.
Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Thought I would start a bit of a new series here on Lacquered Life – Flash Back Friday Favorites. You know some of those interiors and homes that just stick with you? The ones that go into your inspiration folders and pin boards and never cease to inspire you despite the fact they may be from five years ago or even decades ago? Well that is what this series is about. Today I start with one of my personal favorites, a 1920s stone house and horse farm in Kentucky owned by Mark Badgley and James Mischka of their namesake label, Badgley Mischka. This spread appeared in Elle Decor in 2008 and six years later I am still constantly referencing it – especially the details. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the spread.
Good morning Lacquered Lifers. I am not feeling so hot today. Not surprising with the fast paced NYC visit, airplane travel, and the change in weather conditions down here in the South. Sorry for the short post this morning, because I wish I was feeling like this … But instead, I am feeling like this … These are both wallpapers from the new collection by New Orleans-based artist Amanda Stone Talley . Celebrated for her abstract drawings and paintings, this talented southerner is now producing wallpaper and fabric. It’s nice to shop local isn’t it? Now back to a cup of tea and covers.
I think that we should credit the resurgence of the bar cart to the popularity of shows like Mad Men that give us a look into our midcentury past. A time period in which drinking happened seriously and often, when the idea of cocktail hour was just as important as dinner time, and when entertaining at home certainly trumped going out to the hottest new farm to table restaurant. I have always appreciated the concept of cocktail hour. Yes, yes the drinking, but really more of the trappings of cocktail hour. Perhaps mixing something interesting like a martini or a gimlet or a fizz instead of pouring a glass of wine – and perhaps doing it all in a location in your home specifically created for the purpose of mixing drinks. Perhaps you have a bit of a catch up with your spouse, partner, or friend before you finish cooking (or ordering) dinner and turning on the t.v.I have always loved the bar set up in Humphrey Bogart’s office in the movie Sabrina. Sterling Cooper’s bar carts do not hold a candle to Bogey’s built in bar complete with marble backsplash, swing arm sconce, and sink. And it seems that while the bar cart craze is seemingly never ending, some companies have begun to manufacture not only a cart, but a full bar set up which include storage or even a place to lean.
The first is West Elm’s Midcentury Bar Cart, is a more traditional bar cart, not too dissimilar from the cart that Don Draper and his colleagues are surrounding in the first photo – I so appreciate the combination of the walnut veneer with its antique brass accents. A great pick for Sterling Cooper.Next is West Elm’s Baron Deco Bar Cabinet again in walnut veneer with brass accents. While this cabinet still has the display option offered by a more traditional bar cart, you also have the ability to store additional bottles, glassware, napkins, and other bar accessories below. A great choice for those who like to entertain in small groups and appreciate a variety of cocktails that require different mixers that don’t need to be displayed. Finally there is West Elm’s Leather Upholstered Bar. This would certainly suit the Bogey in all of us. With a true “bar” to put a foot up on, and a place to lean. this piece is for the mixologist who loves to entertain and appreciates a good cocktail. Made with a walnut veneer, with a facade upholstered in leather, this is a serious bar which is sure to impress. This Leather Upholstered Bar has no shortage of storage – room for bottles, a rack for hanging glassware, and two drawers, you can have everything you will possibly need to host a great party – or simply to appreciate the importance of cocktail hour.
Good morning Lacquered Lifers! Sorry for the radio silence over the last few days – Mr. B and I are just getting back from a whirlwind couple of days in NYC. Although we have adopted Charleston as our home and embraced the Lowcountry lifestyle, New York will always be where Mr. B and I grew up and thus holds a special place for us. When we venture up to NYC, we are typically running around catching up with friends and trying to visit some of our old neighborhood haunts. Here’s a little recap before I get back to all things Lacquered Life tomorrow. Sant Ambroeus, the best coffee in NYC. And the best biscotti. And the best little sandwiches on brioche. And gelato. Despite the fact Sant Ambroeus now has locations in the Loews Hotel, Soho, and the West Village, I am an Upper East Sider and thus frequent the location on Madison and 78th Street. You know what’s great about your neighborhood coffee place in New York? You walk in and it is like you never left – the regulars say “long time no see” and the baristas ask you where you have been and say you have been missed. It’s like we never left … My dear friends L & R just moved into a new UES apartment that is absolutely wonderful … and it has a roof terrace. What a lucky couple and what a lucky girl I was to get to hangout with friends looking at the skyline. Friday meant venturing out of the city to see a new client’s c. 1903 home. Finding little treasures like this made my day, and I’m so excited to be involved with this project. The evening meant some music and martinis at Bemelmans with Mr. B before heading to our favorite neighborhood italian restaurant with my brother and his girlfriend. What I love about Bemelmans is despite the cost of the martini they keep bringing you nuts, cape cod potato chips, and cheese straws so you can effectively eat dinner for the price of a martini. Finally, what would a trip to NYC be without a burger and some cottage fries at Melon’s? It wouldn’t be much of a trip at all. As always thanks for following on Instagram and here at Lacquered Life. Come back tomorrow when we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming.