Southern Life, Southern Style, Southern Lifestyle

TMagNolaGood Morning Lacquered Lifers. By now you all have seen (a million times) the T Magazine piece on Sara Ruffin Costello and Paul Costello’s New Orleans Garden District home. I have seen it a million times as well, but I keep coming back to it. Obviously for the architecture – their Italianate home was built in 1868, and my Greek Revival Italianate mix built in 1873, but for the lifestyle. There is a comment in the article that Sara makes about living in New Orleans, which just about hits the nail on the head about how Mr. B and I live in Charleston. ” The other thing I love here is blending with all age groups, we hang out with a lot of older people here.” For a long time, this part of our lifestyle here in Charleston has been one of our favorite things. Age has never been a barrier to entry at a party we have been invited to, or a party we have hosted. TMagNola 5Sara also mentions what it has been like moving into a home with so much history, even history for those still living … now that we have moved to New Street, stories about our house keep coming back to us, and people have been eager to reminisce about all the wonderful times they spent here with the previous owners … who had a tenure of 52 years. TMagNola 3It seems that us northerners, Costellos and Brocks, have really lucked out with our transitions to the South, and to our homes filled with history. I look forward to getting our renovation started, and to uncovering more of the stories that the Louis Barbot house has to share. TMagNola 4 TMagNola 2 TMagNola 6

Photos via T Magazine 

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Building with Blue

WOIGood Morning Lacquered Lifers. Villa Templa Mare, Ravello. I just want to dive into this floor. Built in the 1920s by architect Giulio Barluzzi on the ruins of a nineteenth century church as his family’s summer residence. The tiles on the floor are from Vietri sul Mare. These particular tiles are called pennellato, each tile is hand painted with large brushes in order to evenly spread the color. These tiles are actually not original to Barluzzis design, but he replaced the floors throughout with them in the 1940s. WOI 3 WOI 2I love how the tiles mimic the turquoise of the mediterranean in the distance. While we all may not be able to import tiles from the Amalfi Coast for our homes, we can use paint. Below, one of my all time favorite paint colors, Benjamin Moore’s Caribbean Blue Water, which will make you feel like you’re floating on the Mediterranean everyday. Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 11.20.53 AM

Photos of Villa Templa Mare via World of Interiors

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Someone’s In the Kitchen with Martha

Skylands 4Good Morning Lacquered lifers! Just an inspiration shot from me today, Martha Stewart’s kitchen at Skylands. Located in Maine, this home was completed for the Edsel Ford family in 1925, and the family occupied the house until 1980. When Martha purchased the home in 1997, it came complete with furniture, linens, and china. And look at all that china! And the sinks. And the walls. And the floors. For someone who appreciates historic architecture like Martha Stewart does, this home is something special … it’s her favorite.

For more photos and the full article about Martha’s Skylands Estate, visit

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