The South and its Gracious Rooms

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Starting a renovation is daunting. Despite what you may think about someone who does this for a living, the design and management of your own project is always twice as hard as it is for your clients. Why? Because like in anything, you are your own harshest critic, and find yourself second guessing yourself in ways that you don’t with other projects. That being said, during the infancy stages of a project I am always stocking up on new books and magazines to get my creative juices flowing. The most recent arrival? Barbara Westbrook’s Gracious RoomsBarbaraWestbrook_cover

Westbrook was raised in Virginia, and has spent all of her adult life in Georgia, making her a consummate Southern Lady, and it shows in her decorating. From  lakeside retreats to country houses in the city, this book cuts a wide swath showing you all manner of design scenarios. It also has sections with titles like “Living with Collections,” “Everything in its Place” and “The Ins and Outs of Symmetry,” which offer tips and details on achieving some of the designs put forth in the photographs. Who doesn’t love a good decorating book that includes tricks of the trade? BarbaraWestbrook_p087BarbaraWestbrook_p079 BarbaraWestbrook_p053 BarbaraWestbrook_p015Westbrook’s interiors have that chic, yet extremely comfortable look, that to this Yankee transplant seems to be something that can only truly be captured by Southern decorators. The title says it all, Gracious Rooms, that is exactly what each of these rooms are. Gracious. Just like all of the great Southern ladies I have been lucky enough to know here in Charleston. 

Click here to purchase Barbara Westbrook’s Gracious Rooms.

More Books

G&G Gift List

  • Books
  • December 15, 2014

GG Gift GuideGood Morning Lacquered Lifers! All of a sudden Christmas is a week and a half away, and I am nowhere near finished with my shopping. In fact, I have barely started. If you’re anything like me, and you’re looking for that one stop shop for all your gifting needs – look no further than the Garden & Gun Store, G&G Mercantile + Co. I was lucky enough to attend the Garden & Gun Jubilee last weekend, which introduced me to all the wonderful made in the south products that Garden & Gun has available through their store, and let me tell you there is something for everybody. Here are some of my picks, but this list only scratches the surface of what the site has to offer.

1. But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria by Julia Reed – A favorite book of mine, by one of the great Southern tastemakers, this is a collection of hilarious and heartwarming stories about friends, family and entertaining, accompanied by some fabulous recipes. A great gift for a good friend.

2. Sallie’s Jams – I just picked up a jar of the Peach Pepper + Ginger yesterday, and I can personally attest to its magnificence. A great gift for a hostess, which will stand out amongst the numerous bottles of wine she received.

3. Dart Earrings by Another Feather – A perfect gift for any lady in your life, she will get tons of wear out of these beautiful gold studs.

4. Catchall – You can never have too many catchall’s and the simplistic design and awesome Mark Twain quote on this one is a great gift for anyone on your list.

5. Ledbury Seersucker Shirt – Looking for something for that special guy in your life? Try this beautiful seersucker shirt by Ledbury. He will have it forever, and think of you every time he puts it on.

6. Curated Vintage Cocktail Napkins – One of my favorites. No two sets are alike. Great for your best friends who you love to share cocktail hour with. Each combination is unique, discovered by Garden & Gun.

7. Copper Flask – Beautiful, fun, and yet serious. I think this is the perfect gift for your little brother … who’s not so little anymore.

Happy Shopping!

More Books

Entertaining? I’ll Drink to That.

  • Books
  • November 18, 2014

betty 1Good Morning Lacquered Lifers. During my plane travels over the weekend I finally had the time to read a book. Isn’t that something? Honestly between all the shelter magazines, the NYTimes, and Vanity Fair I am rarely able to finish a book. This weekend I read I’ll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich, the grand dame of Bergdorf Goodman’s fitting room. It was a really wonderful book, both lighthearted and very honest. Chatting with my mother about the book, we both agreed that it definitely opened a window into Betty’s generation and how they lived. Betty 2Betty has lived in the same Park Avenue apartment for over 60 years, and when I found these pictures on Town & Country’s website, I knew I had to share them. These photos display a way of life with a value put on presentation and entertaining, that is almost extinct. While I am extremely guilty of leaving the house without makeup, or wearing workout clothes when I’m not headed to the gym, the house always presents itself well in public. betty 3As I am sure you all have gathered from my frequent entertaining posts, this appreciation and value for being a good hostess is something I take very seriously and something I have seen coming back into fashion. And thank god. Because honestly what is better than being able to share your home and your things with your friends. Take your wedding china and your silver out of the cabinet and eat on it … because that’s what its for. I’ll drink to that.

Photos via Town & Country

More Books