Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Al Capone's Oceanfront Miami Estate

Recently, a friend sent me a link to a video (below) featuring Al Capone's 1922 Mediterranean Revival estate on Miami's Palm Island. According to Curbed, the house was restored before being sold in June 2013 for $7.43M. It then went back on the market in 2014 and sold for around $8M to property investment company MB America. After $1.4M in further renovations, it will now be used for video and photo shoots.

The 6,077 square-foot house is located on a 30,000 square-foot waterfront lot with a private sandy beach and a huge pool said to have been built to rival that of the nearby Biltmore Hotel. (We rented the notorious - and haunted! - Al Capone Suite at the Biltmore for my husband's birthday, which you can read about here.)

Capone purchased the home, located at 93 Palm Avenue, from Clarence Busch of the Anheuser-Busch brewing dynasty for $40K in 1928. It is where he is said to have plotted the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and where he spent his final years in deteriorating health due to syphilis before dying of cardiac arrest in 1947 at age 48.

The original Art Deco black and yellow mosaic bathroom remains in tact!


Please visit Curbed for more on this fascinating home, truly an iconic piece of Miami history!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Thrill of Brazilliance

Recently on Instagram, I found this incredible space decorated by Leigh Olive Mowry of Atlanta-based Olive Interiors, and I couldn't wait to share it with you! It is a reception area and pool for a luxury residential development decorated in true "Hollywood Regency meets Palm Beach" style. And of course you know I am in love with the Brazilliance wallpaper by Carleton Varney...

The round sofa is covered in a palm green velvet and was custom made by Bradley, a showroom in Atlanta. 

Framed scarves in the hallway are vintage Vera from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The window treatments are from Schumacher. They are stenciled circular cutouts backed with hot pink linen.

Tall modern wing chairs are custom made by Bradley and covered in hot pink snakeskin.

This development feels like a fabulous tropical retreat! I adore how the pink, black, and white pop against the green palms both inside and out. For the project, Leigh collaborated with Historical Concepts, the internationally recognized architectural firm in Atlanta. Click here to see more of the outstanding portfolio of Olive Interiors. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

One Room Challenge: Palm Beach Regency Nursery Reveal

Today is the nursery reveal for my baby boy, due July 3. Over the last six weeks, I have been linking up to the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda at Calling it Home. You can review my progress with Weeks OneTwoThreeFour, and Five. My inspiration for the nursery was classic blue and white meets Palm Beach Regency meets safari. 

We already had the queen sized bed in this room, and we wanted to keep it. It will transition nicely into a big boy room, and it will also come in handy for me during those initial sleepless nights with baby. I also had to work around the gold silk dupioni drapes, which were already in the room. I never would have chosen them otherwise, but now I think they add a nice pop of color and tie in nicely with the other accents in the room... So without further ado, here it is! Photography by Emily Allongo Photography.

Michele with calicodaisy did a beautiful job with the monogramed shams! They are hand-appliqu├ęd, and they match the fabulous Jill Sorensen Key bedding perfectly

(Note: Crib will be kept bumper and stuffed animal free in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics.) 

My inspiration board. (In full disclosure, I did not get around to replacing the white palm frond fan currently in the room with my vintage brass sputnik chandelier, as I originally intended.  Practicality won out in combat with the hot South Florida weather!) 


Crib: Amazon 
Faux bamboo dresser and nightstand: Vintage Thomasville  
Glider: Land of Nod
Moroccan pouf: One Kings Lane  
Vintage elephant side table: Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach
Headboard: Custom made with Congo fabric by Clarence House

Navy Key duvet and Euro shams by Jill Sorensen
Monogrammed shams, crib sheet, shower curtain, and hand towel: calicodaisy - Etsy ***Use code THEGLAMPADMAY2015 for 10% off through June 1, 2015!***
Bedskirts and pillow on glider: Custom made with Congo fabric by Clarence House

Elephant above crib: White Faux Taxidermy 
Animal prints above changing table: The Animal Print Shop
Elephant print in bathroom: The Pink Pagoda 

Elephant hamper: Amazon
Changing pad and cover: Serena & Lily 
Lamps: Vintage Murano
Brass giraffes: eBay
Herend fishnet elephant: Similar here 
Leopard carpet: Lowe's

Striped walls: Open Air and Extra White by Sherwin Williams 
Dresser and nightstand: Valspar Paint + Primer Premium Finish in White Gloss, Rust-Oleum Gold Metallic for handles

Emily Allongo Photography.

A huge thank you to Linda whose One Room Challenge motivated me to get my nursery finished with plenty of time to spare... I still have two months until baby boy arrives! Now, I'm off to check out the other talented ORC linking participants' grand reveals, and click here if you missed the 20 ORC participants who posted yesterday.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Historic Preservation in Charleston: A Lacquered Life

Last month, my husband and I took a mini trip to Charleston. It is one of our absolute favorite cities, and we wanted to squeeze in a visit before the baby arrives. The only problem with going to Charleston is I never want to leave. And while I have been known to daydream about owning an antebellum mansion someday, in real life I can live vicariously through Olivia at Lacquered Life. Olivia is a historic preservationist who, with her husband and two precious King Charles Cavaliers, restored a beautiful 1780s Charleston single located South of Broad on Church Street. You can read all about the amazing transformation in Southern Living.

After restoring her historic home to perfection, Olivia got the bug for a new project. The family sold their home and moved last week from the 18th century to the 19th century. You can follow Olivia's adventures on her blog and Instagram as she restores her "new" home.  In the meantime, let's revisit Church Street through these amazing photos, taken by Francesco Lagnese for Southern Living, May 2014.

Hamish the Cavalier, pictured above for the front cover of Southern Living's March 2015 issue.

I am so excited to watch Olivia's new home transformation! You can learn more about her preservation services here, and if you are planning a visit to Charleston, you will definitely want to check out her Charleston Guide. Thank you, Olivia, for giving us a glimpse into your lovely Lacquered Life

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Patricia Altschul's Derby Party is full of Southern Charm

It's no secret that I adore Patricia Altschul, the breakthrough star in the reality TV show, Southern Charm... I want to be her when I grow up. And I am obsessed with her Charleston antebellum mansion, decorated by the legendary Mario Buatta, which you can tour here. Southern Charm is my guilty pleasure, and I have been known to watch the scenes featuring Patricia's home in slow motion so I can absorb ever single exquisite detail. It is absolutely breathtaking. So when I read this feature from the New York Post featuring her tips for a winning Kentucky Derby party, I couldn't wait to share.

Patricia begins planning her Derby parties in March, which is when she secures catering and sends out the invitations. In the true spirit of Southern hospitality, handwritten invitations are always mailed, eschewing modern conveniences such as email and Facebook. She recommends hosting the event between 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

"Most people drink, chat, and nibble until it's actually time for [the horses] to go to the gate. The race is short-lived, and then afterward they go back to drinking and nibbling," she told the Post.

When it comes to attire, Patricia simply instructs guests to wear "Derby attire" on the invitations. For women, this typically includes a white or pastel dress, while men don seersucker suits and bow ties. For indoor parties, she suggests skipping the hat. 

Patricia's floral arrangements include roses - a nod to the Kentucky Derby nickname, the "Run for the Roses." 

There is one essential accessory for throwing an authentic Derby Party... silver julep cups. "Some people serve [juleps] in a glass, which is blasphemous," says Patricia. And she always uses a Lewis Ice Bag and mallet for properly crushed ice. "The worst thing possible is to run out of ice, especially if you're making mint juleps. That would be disastrous," she says. She recommends purchasing a pound of ice per guest. 

1 ¹/₃ ozs. Bulleit Bourbon
1 ¹/₂ tsps. sugar
Fresh mint leaves
Using a silver julep cup and a silver muddler, crush sugar, mint leaves and a splash of water. Add Bulleit Bourbon, fill glass with crushed ice and stir until frosty. Garnish with fresh mint.

Along with mint juleps, Patricia also serves her family recipe for General Lee's Artillery Punch. (One of her ex-husbands is reportedly related to Robert E. Lee.) 

And if all else fails, she recommends renting an industrial frozen-drink machine from a local catering company. Patricia loves to serve pomegranate margaritas.

When it comes to food, Patricia has three rules: "nothing that's squishy, drippy, or red." Her favorites include ham biscuits, crustless tea sandwiches made with pimento cheese and shrimp paste, deviled eggs, and a shrimp tower. She sets up food and drink stations around the house to create flow and avoid bottlenecks. 

Patricia with Southern Charm co-star Cameran Eubanks and her husband, Jason Wimberly.

Patricia never uses paper napkins, linen is a must.  

Limit kitsch by investing in quality linens. She purchased these from Leron over a decade ago. 

Patricia purchased her antique figurines from the estate of John Hay Whitney through Sotheby's in 1999.

The jockey-embellished plates are from Horse and Hound.

Tea sandwiches prepared with pimento cheese (a Southern specialty) and shrimp paste are perfect "one-bite appetizers." 

Equine-themed chocolates are from Christophe's, a Belgian chocolatier in Charleston.

Patricia makes sugar cookies shaped like horses and horseshoes for good luck. "I have little bags of them at the front door for people to take when the leave, and I'll have a big platter of them at one of the stations." Horse shaped cookie cutters can be purchased from Sur La Table.

Millhouse the horse transports guests to her Charleston home. 

Michael Kelcourse, one of Patricia's butlers, serves mint juleps to guests.

Next year, I think I will throw a Kentucky Derby party, and these tips will definitely come in handy! Thank you, Patricia!! Tune in to Southern Charm on Monday for a glimpse of the tres elegant and glamorous Patricia Altschul in all her glory. And to read more of her Derby party tips, please visit the New York Post.
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