Monday, February 20, 2017

Melissa Rufty Transforms a 1936 Georgian Home

Located in Monroe, Louisiana, I have admired this gorgeous 1936 Georgian-style house ever since originally seeing images of it designed by the legendary Mark Hampton. So when I saw it featured in the March 2017 issue of House Beautiful, transformed by designer Melissa Rufty, I took note. This was the childhood home of the late American novelist and playwright Speed Lamkin, sometimes known as “the poor man's Truman Capote.” After establishing his career in Manhattan, Lamkin returned to the family home and commissioned Hampton to decorate. There was another homeowner between Lamkin and the current owners, Rufty explains, "so I didn't have to perform the sacrilege of taking Mark Hampton's rooms apart - they were already gone, except in pictures." Here it is today, via House Beautiful with photography by Kerri McCaffety...

The front of the house from the Mark Hampton days, as featured by The Peak of Chic.

Click here to see this gorgeous home featured in the March 2017 issue of House Beautiful, and here to read an interview about the transformation with designer Melissa Rufty. To see this house as designed by Mark Hampton and featured in the September 1981 issue of Architectural Digest, please visit The Peak of Chic. It is also featured on pages 52-55 of one of my favorite books, Mark Hampton: An American Decorator.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Blue and White Beach House by Phoebe and Jim Howard

During our last move, I got rid of most of my issues of Southern Accents... a decision I regret. Now defunct, Southern Accents is still my favorite interiors magazine. A friend lent me her July/August 2008 issue, and I loved revisiting this stunning blue and white beach house by Phoebe and Jim Howard. Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the beach house was designed to reflect their clients' nautical interests and Charleston roots. Jim Howard oversaw the interior details from the moldings and the mantels to the floors and fixtures, while Phoebe was responsible for the furnishings. Using understated details, the Howards created a classic and comfortable home that is fitting of its surroundings without resorting to clich├ęs.

"You can capture the feeling of the beach without direct reference to it," Phoebe said. "You can do it with casual rugs, comfortable overstuffed furniture, less formal curtains, and mirrors, which keep things light and bright." She saturated the house in a variety of blues reminiscent of the sea while Jim's use of paneling and elaborate moldings pays homage to the antebellum homes of Charleston, creating a classic setting to complement the antiques.

For the daughter's bedroom, Phoebe selected shades of turquoise "to make it younger, fresher, and a bit more whimsical," she said. Reproduction sailors' Valentines serve as a reminder of the beach just beyond the veranda. Fabrics by Quadrille. 

The bath adjacent to the daughter's bedroom features a custom mosaic floor and hand-painted mural. "We're all about creating details that are different and unique," said Jim. 

French mahogany chairs and a black lacquer table add weight to the color palette. 

The dining room walls were painted robin's egg blue and incorporate darker blue and white murals. A subtle blue diamond pattern by Brunschwig & Fils covers the chairs, and a Venetian glass chandelier hangs above. 

China is displayed in arched niches, each topped with a rococo shell. The murals are by Bob Christian Decorative Art.

Phoebe saturated this "frothy" bedroom in shades of pale blue. "The chandelier is beautiful, like a piece of ice hanging in the air," she said. 

The bedrooms received wall treatments, such as specially milled tongue-and-groove wall paneling and stick molding, to establish them as cozy, private respites. 

So beautiful, I could move right in! Photography by Roger Davies via Phoebe Howard. Captions and quotes via Southern Accents. You can see more of this beautiful beach house here.

And if anyone has any extra issues of Southern Accents they would like to part with, please message me. I would be happy to take them off your hands! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Classic Design with Holly Holden

Designer Holly Holden founded her company Holly Holden & Company, Ltd. in 1989 on the premise that classic interior design transcends trends. In her first book, The Pretty and Proper Living Room, Holly cracks the code and spells out the secret language of old-school interior design. Her style is about decorating once... for a lifetime, and she is dedicated to teaching others how to create timeless, tailored interiors rooted firmly in English tradition.

Last year, Holly expanded her mission to YouTube, creating Classic Design Channel. Here, she takes us inside her glamorous world, exposing us to her tips and sources, touring grand homes, and introducing us to other experts to share exactly what it takes to create a classic interior that is timeless, just like a string of fine pearls. Highlights of Classic Design Channel include a visit to Highclere Castle in England (where Downton Abbey was filmed), a luncheon she hosted at her historic Connecticut home for Lady Carnarvon, and advice from Scully and Scully on how to create the perfect bridal registry. She also shares tips on how to shop at auctions, perfectly polish your brass, keep artwork level, collect and display Herend porcelain, write the perfect thank you note, and she even divulges her secret recipe for Southern Cheese Crispies.

Through Classic Design Channel, interior designer, author, and television host Holly Holden shares her ideas and advice on classic design, timeless interiors and understated elegance.

Here, Holly explains how to write the perfect thank you note along with tips on what classic stationery and pens to use. 

Click here for Holly's delicious Southern Cheese Crispies recipe.

Holly advises on how to collect and display Herend porcelain here

Learn the secret to perfectly polishing your brass here

Here, Holly takes us to Scully & Scully in New York City for tips on creating the perfect place setting for your wedding registry... or your next dinner party! 

Halloween decor doesn't have to be ghoulish and scary... Holly explains how to create a lovely and understated look instead. 

Holly shares her preparations for a luncheon honoring Lady Carnarvon. 

A glimpse into Holly's elegant living room. 

And if you are wondering how to use a YouTube channel (I didn't know either!), click here and Holly will explain! 

An introduction to Classic Design Channel can be viewed here.

Holly relishes sharing her knowledge and loves to impart her passion for well-appointed style and elegance. Please visit Classic Design Channel for more... not only are her tips fabulous and fun, but I also love getting inside glimpses into her gorgeous home, Fox Hall, built in 1803. Stay tuned for Holly's next video, which will offer tips on how to shop at auctions (you can also check out pages 356-361 of Holly's book for her Auction Primer.) And if you don't already own her book, The Pretty and Proper Living Room (which I reviewed here), I cannot recommend it more highly. It is available for purchase through and Amazon.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Grey Gardens is for Sale!

Thanks to the 1975 classic "Grey Gardens," Jacqueline Kennedy's eccentric aunt and cousin Edith Bouvier Beale and Edith Beale became iconic cult figures. The documentary depicts the everyday lives of the two reclusive, former socialites who lived in squalor at Grey Gardens, a dilapidated mansion in the wealthy Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton, New York. In 1979, Grey Gardens was purchased by Sally Quinn and her husband Ben Bradlee who restored the iconic property to its original grandeur. And now the classic Hamptons shingle sided home, built in 1897, is for sale!

Restored with historic appreciation, Grey Gardens has been lovingly maintained for the past 40 years. The spacious main house features approximately 6,000 square feet, 8 bedrooms and 6 1/2 baths, and plenty of spaces for year round entertaining. Tucked away in the lush and elaborate gardens is a charming stucco cottage, heated gunite pool and an irreplaceable Har-Tru Tennis court. The iconic compound is approximately two acres and is located a stone's throw from the ocean. It is listed for $19,995,000. And if you would like to obsess over the history of Grey Gardens and Little Edie and Big Edie Beale, please visit this fabulous post from Cote de Texas.
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