Shine a Light

Exterior 2Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! People are always asking me about the lanterns on my house, and so this morning I thought I would share a wonderful source for gas or electric lanterns – Bevolo. Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights was established in 1945 in New Orleans, LA, and three generations later is still owned by the Bevolo family, and each lantern is still made by hand in New Orleans. Bevolo’s French Quarter lantern has come to be one of the most recognizable pieces of a visit to New Orleans’ French Quarter. While our lanterns are not in fact Bevolo, they were made by a lamp company in Charleston that is unfortunately no longer in business, I am a huge fan of the Bevolo brand it is now my go to resource for beautiful copper lanterns.

BevoloThis is Bevolo’s bracket mounted Williamsburg lantern, which is extremely similar to the lantern on the exterior facade of Church Street. Portraits, InteriorsThe six sided lantern on the piazza at Church Street is mounted with a yoke, which is a great way to hang lanterns if you want to prevent them from moving around in a strong breeze or storm … something we have to be wary of in both Charleston and New Orleans. bevolo 3And this is the Bevolo Six Sided Lantern, which looks very similar to the lanterns on the piazza. So when you’re looking for that perfect handmade copper lantern, look no further than family-owned Bevolo. These southern talents have sold lanterns to customers in all fifty states, and thirty-two countries. So whether you’re looking for a lantern for your home in Charleston or London – Bevolo has got you covered. Happy lantern hunting!

Photos of Church Street by Francesco Lagnese

Turkey Table Time

Turkey Table 10Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Thinking about my Thanksgiving table this morning and how I would like it to feel this year. The photo above, from LisaMarieBlog, gives a bit of an indication of the casual & homegrown vibe I am going for. I really love the magnolia garland down the center of the table. I think that is something I will definitely be doing. If I could serve Thankgiving dinner outside, that would be amazing. It wouldn’t be totally out of the ordinary to have a beautiful warm day here in Charleston, but you can’t really plan on it. So instead I’ll bring the outside in! turkey table 9

I am planning on using my blue Spode Heritage plates, and I think a little orange (not too much) will be just the ticket.

IMG_2377Here is the flatware that I am thinking about using. This was a total score at Terrace Oak Antiques here in Charleston – it was quite the steal. I have yet to use them because I am so attached to my silver (also a steal), but I think Thanksgiving is the perfect time to bring these babies out! Below are some additional items I have either purchased or am planning on purchasing for the table. Turkey Table 2I love this Cut Edged Washed Linen Tablecloth from Terrain. While I would love to show off the table’s wood, I have to seat more people than my antique table can take, so I have to put a tabletop on it. I thought this tablecloth might give off just the right relaxed vibe I’m looking for. Turkey TableI love these Rattan Chargers from World Market. At a fraction of the price of other rattan chargers, these are a great buy for Thanksgiving. Also, I think they will help connect the blue and white plates to the more natural look I’m going for. Turkey Table 4These Tortoise Votives from Ballard Designs are just the right color to nestle amongst my magnolia wreath. Turkey Table 6Thinking that my hit of orange may need to come from these Mark & Graham Linen Satin Stitch Dinner Napkins. I also would love an excuse to buy some inexpensive monogrammed napkins. Turkey Table 3I am not usually a fan of napkin rings, but then I used them at Easter and couldn’t have been more pleased. I thought these Oak Branch Napkin Rings from Terrain were quite beautiful – and again they add that connection to nature I’m looking for. Portraits, InteriorsAnd finally a photo of my dining room, to give you a sense of where this is all taking place! I really love my table, and I wish so badly that it were bigger so I could set the table like this, but I think that tablecloth from Terrain might be just the ticket! You can find pictures of my Thanksgiving 2012 table here.

In Remembrance: Oscar de la Renta

Oscar 3Renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died yesterday, he was 82. I have always been a serious admirer of Mr. de la Renta’s, despite the fact I have never owned one of his pieces. Reading Vogue and watching red carpets over the years, I always thought that when my red carpet moment came, there would be no other choice for me but Oscar de la Renta. While I have yet to have my red carpet moment, my appreciation for and love of Mr. de la Renta’s designs has not waned. Through his designs, Mr. de la Renta showed his understanding of the female form, and her desire to look beautiful. One of his most oft quoted comments was, “Always walk like there are three men walking behind you.” 
Oscar 7His love for designing clothes was matched only by his love of his wife Annette and of gardening, particularly in his home country of the Dominican Republic. He and Annette could often be found on their hands and knees in the soil of their property in Punta Cana. More familiar with the climate and soil conditions on the southern shore of the DR in Casa de Campo, de la Renta had originally envisioned a lush, tropical, flowering garden here in Punta Cana. However, when the couple realized that the climate and soil conditions didn’t support that, de la Renta went on to design a contained jungle-like environment, with a series of garden rooms connected by pathways, gates, and living archways. So today, in memory of an extremely talented gentleman, I leave you with pictures of the de la Renta’s garden in the Dominican, a place that stands as a living and growing memory.Oscar 10 Oscar 8Oscar 4

Photos via Architectural Digest

The Shingle Life


The Benson House

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Happy to be back in South Carolina this morning after a very busy and productive time in Connecticut. Part of that productive time was meeting with a favorite client, a client whose 1903 Shingle Style home I am so privileged to be helping restore. So today we’re going to talk about some of my favorite Shingle Style houses, the Montauk Point Association Houses. Built between 1882-1883 in Montauk, and designed by renowned architectural firm Mckim, Mead & White, these homes exemplify the Shingle Style.

Scan 1The land for the association was purchased by shipping magnate Arthur Benson from a local farmer for $150,000 – how many more zeros do you think that would include today? Benson envisioned a summer colony of like-minded people who would appreciate a relatively casual social life and enjoy time out of doors. Frederick Law Olmsted planned the community, siting the homes and common buildings over looking the Atlantic Ocean and following a contours of the land – connecting buildings via an informal network of unpaved paths.

Scan 2

The de Forest House

Scan 4

The Sanger House

Scan 3

The Sanger House

All the homes are different, but feature common architectural elements that embody the shingle style. As in the de Forest house above, all the houses feature shingled roofs and upper stories, sitting on a painted clapboard base. Gables, and accents such as moulding around the windows, and porches all connect the houses casual atmosphere as well as their distribution along the cliffside. Scan 5The clubhouse burned down in 1933, and the Orr House in 1997 (it was fully reconstructed), however, the majority of the other houses are still intact and privately owned. While lifestyles and needs have changed – kitchens and bathrooms enlarged, heating systems installed – the houses still retain the hallmarks of the Shingle Style and would be easily recognized by their original owners and designers. And how about that view?

Photos via The Houses of Mckim, Mead & White available here.

Book Review: Markham Roberts – Decorating the Way I See It

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, despite my plans for being organized prior to leaving for Connecticut, I was not, and LL felt the impact …

Fall is that great time of year when all the fabulous new coffee table books are published. This fall has been no exception, and I couldn’t help my excitement when a box arrived from Vendome Press containing Markham RobertsDecorating the Way I see ItMarkham Roberts_cc MR_022-23Decorating the Way I See It is organized into six sections: Floor Plan, Background, Scheme, Furniture, Collecting, Art, & Custom. While someone can simply browse the beautiful interiors contained within the chic python cover (yes, python!), the book also functions extremely well as a guide to decorating.MR_033 MR_068-069One of the most distinctive features of Markham Roberts is that none of his projects are easily identifiable as his. While that may sound like a criticism, it is in fact the opposite. His decorating range, as illustrated by this book, is very broad, and some of my favorite spaces of his (shown here) are completely unrelated. That fact makes Markham RobertsDecorating the Way I See it, one of the more interesting design books that I have seen in a long time. Because his style is so varied, you never tire of picking up the book to flip through it or reference it again. MR_126-7.2 MR_224For a book that deserves a spot at the top of your stack, order Markham Roberts – Decorating the Way I See It. Congratulations Markham!

Photos courtesy of Vendome Press