Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Seaside Glamour in the Bahamas

Believe it or not, but the home I'm featuring today was once a "builder's special with too much Sheetrock and not enough chic." The home owners, a young Texas family with two pre-teen boys, hired designer Amanda Lindroth, and pow! An injection of color, pattern, and seaside glamour brought it to life with a tropical punch. Let's head over to Lyford Cay for a peek inside!

The foyer steals the show inside. The trelliswork, mirror frame, and demilune table were designed by Philippe Le Manach of Accents of France and painted in Benjamin Moore's Spring Break. Ordinary terra-cotta floor tiles were painted in Decorators White and Bath Salts, both by Benjamin Moore.

A backdrop of neutrals gives the living room a fresh, breezy air. Walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's Atrium White. Slubby Basket cotton by P Kaufmann was used for curtains and to reupholster the existing sofa and armchairs. Lindroth loves stripes — and her client loves purple — so she had pillows made in Quadrille's Lane Stripe, in a custom shade. Empire chairs from Bamboo & Rattan, with cushions in China Seas' Turtle Batik. Serena & Lily Elsa side tables. Borobudur abaca rug, Stark. Seaview blinds.

In the living room, a Kent mirror from Christopher Hodsoll hangs above a Georgian-style side table by English Georgian America.

An upstairs TV room is dominated by a long sofa covered in Perennials' Bigger Stripe. Walls are clad in Phillip Jeffries's Driftwood grass cloth and trimmed with Samuel & Sons' French grosgrain ribbon. Floor lamp, Visual Comfort.

Vintage mirrors framed in stick rattan line the bedroom hallway, creating the illusion of windows.

The large-scale pattern of faux-bois Chene wallpaper from Nobilis adds a rustic touch to the family room.

A Ballard Designs banquette, Ikea Docksta table, and Circa Who fretwork chairs offer ample seating in the breakfast room.

Stripes galore for the young boys' bedroom: Phillip Jeffries's Island Raffia wallcovering, Matouk bed linens, and Dash & Albert rugs.

Spicy orange energizes the master bedroom. China Seas' Lysette linen covers the walls, and the headboard is upholstered in a Norbar canvas. Meridian bed linens, Matouk. Hamilton table, Bunny Williams.

Pagoda mirrors and Serena & Lily dhurries give "a little jolt" to the master bath. Kohler tub with Waterworks fittings.

The veranda outside the bedrooms serves as an outdoor room. "It has a beautiful view of the entire property," Lindroth says. "And it's a great place for the two young boys to take a nap on the vintage French daybeds." The sea grass wingback armchairs are from Pottery Barn, and the kilim rugs are from Home Decorators Collection. Hobe Sound lanterns by Oomph in Sherwin- Williams's Knockout Orange. Ceiling fans, Nassau Glass Company.

Lindroth gave the exterior "a showstopping personality" with big splashes of bold orange. Bench in Sherwin-Williams's Knockout Orange. Pillows in a Link Outdoor canvas. Awning fabric, Sattler.

Lush greenery provides privacy for the pool area.

A twilight view of the double gallery side of the house, where Lindroth made full use of outdoor space.

To learn more about this amazing transformation, click here for an interview with Amanda Lindroth. I would like to move right in, please! Images and captions are from the November issue of House Beautiful. Photography by Thomas Loof

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Palm Beach Lately for the Holidays

If you are planning an upcoming trip to Palm Beach, you'll want to make sure to take advantage of the "Holiday Haute Ride," a free and eco-friendly car service that provides transportation to the island's best hotspots. The dynamic duo at Palm Beach Lately partnered with The Free Ride to create this holiday treat for visitors and locals on Saturdays and Sundays November 8, 2014 through January 4, 2015.  I am absolutely in love with these cars, which are wrapped in the most adorable banana leaf and pink print!

Sisters Danielle Norcross and Beth Beattie Aschenbach of Palm Beach Lately 

The "Holiday Haute Ride" is sponsored by Hamilton Jewelers, Neiman Marcus, Nick and Johnnie's, Sail to Sable at C. Orrico, The Colony Hotel, The Gary Pohrer Group for K2-Realty, and Vineyard Vines. The schedule and additional information can be found at

"Holiday Haute Riders will not have to worry about parking and walking with shopping bags and will have exclusive access to the holiday giveaways and promotions at the participating locations," said Palm Beach Lately co-owner Danielle Norcross.

Prizes include a one night stay at The Colony, a $500 shopping spree from Sail to Sable at C. Orrico, a $250 Hamilton Jewelers Gift card, a $250 Vineyard Vines gift card, and a $100 Neiman Marcus gift card. If you ride or spot the Holiday Haute Ride, snap a pic and post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag @PalmBeachLately and @PBFreeRide and hashtag #PBLFreeRide for a chance to win prizes.

I would like to bring one of these cars home, please!  

I am a huge fan of Palm Beach Lately's blog, which serves as a guide to Palm Beach's best beauty, living, social, and style trends. I also adore their online shop, which features Palm Beach and Old Florida themed cocktail napkins, pillows, art, jewelry, and more. For example, I simply adore this Palm Beach map print, which is also available in wrapping paper...

8"x10" Palm Beach Map Print 

Lastly, don't forget to bookmark Palm Beach Lately's Guide to Palm Beach... You will want it for your next visit to the island! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mario Buatta and Patricia Altschul Exude Southern Charm in Charleston

Did you see the October issue of Architectural Digest featuring Patricia Altchul's stunning antebellum mansion in Charleston, South Carolina? It is absolute perfection! I confess my guilty pleasure is watching Southern Charm... I love getting to peek inside the cast members' historic Charleston homes, particularly Altschul's.

Known as the Isaac Jenkins Mikell House, the imposing Greek Revival was built in 1853-1854 by cotton planter Isaac Jenkins Mikell for his third wife, Mary Martha Pope. The house was bought in 1935 by the Charleston Free Library and served as a public library until the early 1960s when it was sold and restored as a private residence. Patricia Altschul bought the house in 2008 and commissioned legendary designer Mario Buatta to revamp the interiors.

I have featured this home before, including images from the in-depth and brilliant feature by Joni at Cote de Texas. Let's revisit and take a look at Architectural Digest's October 2014 feature!

The landmarked Isaac Jenkins Mikell House boasts 9,500 square feet and 10 bedrooms. Altschul called upon Richard Marks to restore the home to its historic glory. Every surface was revived, as were glorious details like the elaborate plaster ceiling medallions. The house was honored at the Preservation Society of Charleston's 2012 Carolopolis Awards for outstanding historic preservation. 

The elegant and glamorous Patricia Altschul, dressed in one of her trademark caftans. 

To soften the wood floor of the apple-green double drawing room, Mario Buatta took a Stark carpet from Altschul's former Long Island, New York, estate and cut in in half, dividing it between the spaces. A Lee Jofa floral upholsters several armchairs and the love seat, and a Colefax and Fowler check covers the French bergere. Both the Regency sofa table in the doorway and the cocktail table on the right are from Philip Colleck.

via Cote de Texas from Altschul's Bravo home tour.

Antique silhouettes hang in the stair case, which is furnished with a borne settee covered in a Brunschwig & Fils chenille. The lantern is 19th-century Gothic Revival, and the stair runner is by Stark. Artisan Haleh Atabeigi painted the floor in an octagonal pattern based on Victorian tilework. 

As seen from the entrance hall, a Regency mirror from Mallett is mounted in the stair hall, above an 18th-century table from Florian Papp.

An antique Zuber wallpaper depicting Revolutionary War scenes lines the dining room; the 19th-century Waterford chandelier is from Nesle, and the dining table is English. 

The Zuber wallcoverings are sentimental, as an ancestor of Altschul's advised George Washington when he defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown. She has removed and reinstalled them every time she has moved since childhood. Image via Cote de Texas

A Colefax and Fowler striped wallpaper sheathes the morning room; the Mario Buatta-designed ottoman is clad in a Brunschwig & Fils cotton. 

Another view of the morning room, via Cote de Texas.

Richard Marks created the airy kitchen and a new butler's pantry. 

A blue and white tiled fireplace at the opposite end of the kitchen, via Cote de Texas.

In the cherry-red library, a Chinoiserie fabric was used for the curtains and upholstery; the gilded 18th-century mirror, from Gracie, once hung in Scotland's Keir House. The tiger-stripe velvet is by Brunschwig & Fils, and the ocelot-spot carpet is by Stark. 

A 19th-century canopy bed dressed with a Colefax and Fowler floral dominates a guest room. The bed linens are by D. Porthault, and the carpet is by Stark. 

In the master bath, the toilet is concealed in a tall Chinoiserie cabinet; a Manuel Canovas print covers the slipper chair at left, a Brunschwig & Fils fabric was used on the chair at right, and the garden stool is from John Rosselli Antiques. 

I think this is one of the most beautiful bathrooms I have ever seen. I love the mirrored walls and vanity, the ribbon painted floor, the Sherle Wagner swans, and all of the blue and white Chinoiserie. Image via Cote de Texas

Altschul's chef delivers her new and "extremely rare" matte pink alligator Hermes Birkin bag... color coordinated to match her bubble gum pink .38 special, of course.  Click here to watch the scene from season one.

A Manuel Canovas fabric swathes the master bedroom, where a Donald Roller Wilson painting is displayed above a 19th-century Chinoiserie étagère from Philip Colleck.

One of my favorite lines from the first season of Southern Charm is when, upon the death of her beloved cat (RIP), Altschul's son Whitney states gravely that his mother has "taken to bed with a martini, a Xanax and Turner Classics." I just adore this lady! 
Image via Cote de Texas

Patricia Altschul... with her "medicine" via Cote de Texas.

If the contents of this magnificent mansion look familiar, it is because many of the furnishings came from Altschul's previous "Buattafied" addresses, including Southerly, a 30-room Long Island, New York, estate she shared with her late husband. Visit Cote de Texas for more pictures of Southerly, the Altschul's former Fifth Avenue apartment, and for pictures of the Isaac Jenkins Mikell home before and after Altschul's renovations. And don't forget to head over to Bravo for a home tour led by the delightful Mrs. Altschul and her son... I would like to be her when I grow up, please! 

Want to see more of Mario Buatta's recent work? Click here to view the Southampton and Palm Beach homes he decorated for a chic Manhattan couple. You may also wish to add his recently released book, Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration to your holiday shopping list! Known as "The Prince of Chintz," Buatta is pure genius.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Carleton Varney Colorizes The Colony Hotel

Last month, my husband and I had the privilege of attending the grand reopening soiree for The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach. The Colony had closed temporarily over the summer to complete its multi-million dollar renovation, led by renowned interior designer Carleton Varney.

Located within steps of Worth Avenue, the Colony has been a symbol of Palm Beach glamour since it opened in 1947, and it boasts an impressive guest list that includes American Presidents, British Royalty, movie stars, and corporate czars.

Mr. Varney’s task was to refresh while preserving the legacy of the hotel’s rich past. Precisely 285 fabrics were selected for the curtains, throw pillows, and various upholstery throughout the hotel's 91 rooms and suites, featuring Floridian shades of pinks, yellows, blues, and greens.  My all-time favorite print, Brazilliance - which features palm fronds and grape clusters, is used repeatedly throughout the hotel. Each room has its own personality with unique colorways, pattern combinations, lamps, and artwork including original watercolor paintings by Palm Beach resident Edwina Sandys. The renovation instills a happy, whimsical vibe that stays true to the hotel's traditional British Colonial architecture.

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel
The exterior walls of The Colony Hotel have been many shades over the last six decades from brown to yellow. The current color, selected by Mr. Varney, is Wolcott Salmon, which was Dorothy Draper's favorite color - and it is named after her ancestor Oliver Wolcott, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Click here to view the Dorothy Draper/Carleton Varney Paint Collection for Fine Paints of Europe.  

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel
The Colony's glittery new chandelier in the lobby weighs more than 1,300 pounds and contains 637 individually hand-hung crystal pendants.

The walls of the main lobby are covered in Jasper Peony from the Carleton V limited wallpaper and fabrics collection. 

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel
Aren't you just loving all of the Brazilliance?!

 Image via Patricia Sheridan
The famous Polo Lounge now features photo murals by photographer Harry Benson, gingham and cowhide fabrics, and generous doses of emerald green. 

 Image via Patricia Sheridan
The hallways on each floor are are done in different shades - Carleton Blue, Dorothy Pink, and Millbrook Green. 

Image via my iPhone
The wallpaper in the halls below the chair rail was designed by Mr. Varney's son, Sebastian. 

Image via Patricia Sheridan
The veranda between the pool (which is shaped like the state of Florida) features blue and white checks and a Brazilliance banana leaf canopy. 

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel
The $9 million+ renovation cost breaks down to just under $100,000 for each of the hotel's 91 guest rooms and suites. 

Image via my iPhone
No detail has been left unturned... from the menus to the ice buckets to the glass covers - a trait Mr. Varney undoubtedly learned from his mentor, Dorothy Draper

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel

Image Courtesy of The Colony Hotel

Known as "Mr. Color," Varney is president and owner of Dorothy Draper & Co., the oldest design firm in the United States, and I could not have been more thrilled to meet him in person! 

Want to see more of this spectacular hotel? Click here to read an earlier post I wrote on the Colony renovations, or visit thecolonypalmbeach.comFor more on Dorothy Draper & Co. and Carleton Varney products, shop online at or

And if you are in Palm Beach this season, make sure to take advantage of cabaret at The Colony Hotel's Royal Room, described by The Palm Beach Post as "probably the best place for cabaret on the planet." More on that to come! 
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