Story of Autumn

 
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The crisp autumn air, the leaves starting to change and the days begin to feel much shorter. Now that October is over, we find ourselves almost a week away from Thanksgiving. I wanted to share our living room mantel, in which I’ve decorated with fall fiery leaves and pumpkins. I like to decorate with an autumnal theme, allowing us to enjoy for a longer period of time, as early as September all the way through November. Although I am itching to begin decorating for Christmas, but I will resist the urge.

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I love opening the seasonal decor boxes every time the holidays come around. This year I found these paper leaves above, that I had purchased from Micheals the year before. I thought it would be a great idea to string them together, creating a very colorful and festive garland for our mantel.

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This year I am dressing up our front door with colorful foliage with an earthy edge. This simple grapevine wreath from Micheals has seen many events and gatherings throughout different seasons. All the added berries, leaves and flora aren’t glued to the piece, quite simply woven and braided into the vines. This allows for easy removal and quick change for a different season. I like to keep the foliage in our fall box in a zip lock for save keeping for next years events.

I would love to hear all the creative ways you blend holiday decor into your home? I am always up for new ways of decorating the home.

Photography credits: S. Pellegrini Living

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Design in Charleston

 
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Who doesn't love coffee table books?! Said Nobody EVER!

My passion for design never stops even on vacation. To my surprise along our journey down king street in Charleston, SC we noticed Mitchell Hill it looked like a store we couldn't pass up.

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Abstract & Geometric forms are all the craze right now.

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Patterns & Colors around every corner.

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Transforming traditional chair forms & re-upholstering the piece with high contrast textiles. The pillows are also beautifully showcased with one larger square pillow and a small lumbar support. When deciding on throw pillows for your space, one must first know there color scheme. Pillows are always best when the scale of the pattern is different than the one next to it. Mixing with colors & texture brings an added interest to the seating arrangement. 

Remember those tips next time you find yourself staring down the pillow wall. Questioning yourself on if you need another pillow or not?! We all do it!

What is your craziest must have when you find yourself in a home store? I have to pull myself away from the coffee table books & throws. I believe you need a different throw for every season! It's almost time to get the fluffy fur blankets out, yay to Autumn near.

Please subscribe & like the post, comments & feedback always welcome. Thank you.

 

Castle on Craven

 
 Known as "The Castle" in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Photographed shot by Stephanie (author) on vacation in Beaufort.

Known as "The Castle" in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Photographed shot by Stephanie (author) on vacation in Beaufort.

During our vacation in the low country one of our stops was in Beaufort, South Carolina. One day we decided to take the car for a drive and see what we could find. We discovered many beautiful 19th century homes but one in particular stood out from all the others. This house has earned the nickname "The Castle" due to the nearby river flowing alongside the property resembling a moat. One can only gawk and imagine what the interiors must look like in this twenty-three room mansion and the amazing views held from each of the seventy-nine windows. 

Well, we are in luck. Veranada Magazine got the story and captured an array of beautiful shots inside the getaway home of jewelry designer Elizabeth Locke.

 Main entry & staircase  Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

Main entry & staircase

Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

 Antique Cane Sofa & Chandelier.  Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

Antique Cane Sofa & Chandelier.

Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

 Elizabeth Locke, on the porch of her vacation home   Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

Elizabeth Locke, on the porch of her vacation home

Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

 Large window opens out onto the front porch  Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

Large window opens out onto the front porch

Photo captured by Veranda Magazine

 

Aiken-Rhett House

 
 Once operating as the main entrance of the home now resides two symmetrical parlors divided between two pocket doors. The character and details of the house are popularly known as Greek Revival. 

Once operating as the main entrance of the home now resides two symmetrical parlors divided between two pocket doors. The character and details of the house are popularly known as Greek Revival. 

The Aiken-Rhett House is a beautiful time capsule built in 1820. The tour takes you back into time seeing what it was like living in Charleston, South Carolina during the era. The home was passed down through several individuals who created what we see today.  The wealthy merchant,  John Robinson, purchased the land and built the original house. Governor William Aiken purchased the house; therefore, passing it down to his son William Aiken Jr.  After William Jr.'s death the house went to his daughter Harriet Lowndes Aiken and his son-in-law Major A.B. Rhett. They went on to raise their children in the house and made renovations to the property that are visible today.

The house is now owned by the Historical Charleston Foundation and located at 48 Elizabeth Street. They’ve adopted a conservation approach holding true to the style and original state of the house. They seek to preserve and protect the building and artifacts of historical significance. 

 Circular plaster centerpiece located in the two symmetrical drawing rooms. From the center moving outwards with 12 radiating acanthus leaves enclosed within a plain band centered by a beaded trim. The ornate outer trim with rosettes encloses the medallion from which is suspended a glass French chandelier.

Circular plaster centerpiece located in the two symmetrical drawing rooms. From the center moving outwards with 12 radiating acanthus leaves enclosed within a plain band centered by a beaded trim. The ornate outer trim with rosettes encloses the medallion from which is suspended a glass French chandelier.

Stair Hall

 Main central stair hall leading to all three floors. This room is rectangular with a wooden staircase and two octagonal-and-turned balusters to each tread. 

Main central stair hall leading to all three floors. This room is rectangular with a wooden staircase and two octagonal-and-turned balusters to each tread. 

 The furniture and decor in the house are original to the families who lived there. It is clear that time has left its mark. There is still something so beautiful about the scroll work and "C" - curves that go into this floor mirror spanning the second floor hallway as shown above.

The furniture and decor in the house are original to the families who lived there. It is clear that time has left its mark. There is still something so beautiful about the scroll work and "C" - curves that go into this floor mirror spanning the second floor hallway as shown above.

 View looking up to the third story ceiling, a plaster cornice, and centerpiece consisting of  12 radiating acanthus leaves surrounded by a greek key fret band.

View looking up to the third story ceiling, a plaster cornice, and centerpiece consisting of  12 radiating acanthus leaves surrounded by a greek key fret band.

Verandah's of the Aiken-Rhett

 Buildings in the south have two and three story porches, known as piazzas, that are strategically designed to take full advantage of the local winds. The porches also come in handy as a covering when the afternoon rain showers begin. 

Buildings in the south have two and three story porches, known as piazzas, that are strategically designed to take full advantage of the local winds. The porches also come in handy as a covering when the afternoon rain showers begin. 

 The columns of the porch are doric in character with turned baluster railings. The single hung windows transform into doorways that allow you to walk onto the verandahs. These windows are advantageously placed to allow for a cross breeze through the house and are extremely common in the South.

The columns of the porch are doric in character with turned baluster railings. The single hung windows transform into doorways that allow you to walk onto the verandahs. These windows are advantageously placed to allow for a cross breeze through the house and are extremely common in the South.

Historic Details

All of the colored photographs pictured above were taken by me on our tour of the Aiken Rhett. The information I gathered was from an audio tour and, much to my surprise, the amazing documents compiled after 1933 by the Historic American Buildings Survey. I found the information through the Library of Congress

The black & white photographs appear to be taken between 1977 - 79. 

I cannot pinpoint the era in which the drawings were created but to my understanding it appears to be after William Aiken junior died and passed the home down to his daughter & son-in-law. The drawings show changes to the structure by transforming the size of the two drawing rooms and moving the main entrance to the side of Elizabeth street. 

 Front elevation, drawing

Front elevation, drawing

 Front elevation

Front elevation

 Main entrance after the renovations

Main entrance after the renovations

 West elevation, drawing

West elevation, drawing

 First floor southwest room, also known as the two symmetrical drawing rooms.

First floor southwest room, also known as the two symmetrical drawing rooms.

Check out my other post about The Charleston Foundations additional property, The Nathaniel Russell House

Please let me know what you thought about this post? All feedback is always welcome & helpful.

 

 

Eats & Drinks in Charleston

 

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The building dates back to the 1800s each dish is styled and displayed beautifully. The cocktails are something to try. Live music into the evening hour.

The locals informed us we should make our way down King Street just passed Calhoun where the shops end and great eats & drinks begin. 

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The rooftop offered covered bar seating and a lounge area. The breeze on the roof was heavenly amongst the southern heat. Stop by for a quick drink or watch the sunset at this hidden rooftop bar in Charleston. 

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Savannah Bee Company

King Street is the place to shop in Charleston, during our afternoon stroll we found a lovely honey store. Anything honey we are usually all over it and to my surprise they had a mead tasting room. Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water sometimes added fruits, grains and hops. We purchased the local honey and whipped honey. 

270 King St
Charleston, SC 29401

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Husk

"The kitchen reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in Charleston." - Husk

We added our name on the 2 hour waitlist for the evening. It sounds crazy but we didn't waste anytime as we continued to explore Charleston along Bay Street. The wait flew by and to our surprise we got a table on the second story balcony overlooking the magnolia tree. 

 

Magnolias Uptown Down South

“Magnolias remains a forerunner in upscale Southern cuisine, blending traditional ingredients and cooking techniques with modern flair for artful presentations.”   - Magnolias

Starter: Down South Egg Roll Collard greens, chicken, tasso ham, red pepper purée, spicy mustard, peach chutney

Fried Mac & Cheese Bacon jam, hot pepper relish

Entrees: Parmesan Crusted Market Catch creek shrimp & jasmine rice pirloo, warm asparagus, sweet corn & tomato salad, citrus beurre blanc

Spicy Shrimp & Sausage tasso gravy, creamy white grits

Poogan's Porch

“TUCKED AWAY on charming Queen Street, Poogan’s Porch is one of Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishments, with a fresh approach to Low country cuisine.” - Poogan’s Porch

Starter: Ribs & Pickles Poogan’s Signature BBQ, Garlic Pickles

Mac & Cheese Country Ham, Aged Smoked Gouda, Ham Dust, Green Onions

Entrees: Shrimp & Grits Andouille Sausage, Sweet Onions, Bell Peppers, Tasso Ham Gravy

Crispy Snapper Pimiento Cheese & Tasso Ham Grit Cake, Pulled Pork, Local Radish, Wilted Watercress, NC BBQ Reduction

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The Macintosh

The restaurants menu is inspired by the low country and southern flare. Ingredients are sourced locally with a menu that changes daily. 

Cocktail: Sister Basil Vodka, Yellow Chartreuse, Strawberry, Basil, Balsamic, Black Pepper

Starter: Sautéed Scallops Mixed with watermelon and Jalapeño dressing

Peach Salad grilled peaches, blackberries, granola on a bed of arugula with sweet dressing.

Entree: Confit Pork Shoulder Corn, Spinach, Sorghum, Peppers

Sides: Pecorino Truffle Frites

We shared the entree & side of fries for our meal, it was perfect*

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Cocktail: Roots, Rock, Rum Punch Spiced Rum, Silver Rum, Absinthe, Grapefruit, Lime, Basil

Starter: Focaccia Bread

Entrees: Double Cheeseburger* Bacon, Mornay, Aioli, Pickle, Fries

Lamb Shoulder* Creamed Sweet Corn, Nduja, Okra, Basil

 

Stars Rooftop & Grill Room

We spotted this gem walking home from dinner as we noticed a sign "rooftop open". We're from San Francisco and never pass up a rooftop opportunity. Through the reclaimed Appalachian Walnut wainscoting, passed the leather lined high curved booths and up a flight of stairs lie a rooftop for the stars. 

Cocktail: Nectar of The Stars                                                      Peach and clementine vodka, fresh orange juice

 
 

Cocktail: Dont Call Me Sweetheart                                                    Rum, Brandy, Strawberry, House Rhubarb Shrub, Mint, Black Pepper, Lemon

Starter: Kentuckyaki Glazed Crispy Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad, Togarashi

Broadbent Country Ham, Buttermilk Biscuits, Dijonnaise, House Made Pickles

Entrees: Atlantic Snapper, Carolina Gold Rice, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Roasted Fennel, Sweet Peas, Vadouvan Broth

Carolina Heritage Pork, White Acre Peas and Sea Island Red Peas, Summer Peppers, Jowl Bacon, Spinach, Smoked Tomato

Dessert: Peach Profiterole Peach Sherbet, Honey Mascarpone, Blueberry

Funnel Cake Summer Berries, Whipped Cream

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We hit this spot right around lunch time, perfect place for a good bite & some time to cool down

Cocktail: Peach Tea Punch  

**loved this restaurant, definitely atop destination in Charleston.

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Cocktail: Sangria

When on Vacation - One deserves a drink :)

 
 

The food in Charleston was a wonderful selection of local, farm-to-table and southern style that we were looking to find. We are inspired to try a new restaurants in San Francisco each month when we get back home. 

If you find yourself hungry in Charleston stop by one of these places. You won’t regret it. 

Please leave comments or questions below I would love to hear what you think.

Have you been to Charleston before? Tell me about your experience and what places you went to eat? Thank you.

 

 

Nathaniel Russell House

 

The Nathaniel Russell House is a historic house at 51 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina. I am breaking down our destinations as we adventure through the low country. 

Nathaniel Russel House - Charleston, South Carolina. The rectangular house has a symmetrical facade. The second floor windows are ornamented with white marble lintels recessed below roman inspired arches. 

 Gardens leading to the visitors center

Gardens leading to the visitors center

 Front of house

Front of house

I am absolutely in love with the gardens in the low country. The climate is humid and tropical, resembling a hothouse. It rains almost every afternoon so I doubt many people have to think about watering their plants. I live in California and envy this flourishing horticultural climate. 

The most important architectural feature in the home is the warm yellow ochre staircase hall that spans three stories. The spiral staircase is a canteliver design (the step above supports the step below). This was all accomplished by the use of wooden pegs, not a single nail or screw was used during construction. The center features a troupe-l'oeil painting, an artistic illusion to trick the eye into believing the design is 3d.  

 Elipitial medallion to meet the second story

Elipitial medallion to meet the second story

The shutters and pine plank flooring is original to the house. To prevent the furniture from being further damaged by the sunlight, the shutters are closed during specific times of the day. 

Adjacent to the spiral staircase sits the oval dining room. The walls are covered in turquoise wallpaper applied square by square and painted after application. Interesting fact about life in the south: they begin the day with breakfast; as much of us do, although they eat an early supper around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Later in the evening around 5 or 6 leftovers/cold-cuts are served or available if people are still hungry, followed shortly by dessert. 

The oval drawing room is located on the second floor right above the dining room. This is where the women would retire to after dinner, separating themselves from the men. The brightly colored and ornate rug is reflected through the entire room with its apricot walls and detailed crown molding.  

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This room is similar to what we refer to as the master bedroom. The walls were hand painted with a special brush to replicate how it would have looked in the 18th century.  The furniture in the home is not directly related to the Russell family, but pieces from the time period that they resided in the home. The Nathaniel Russell House is definitely a site to visit if you find yourself in Charleston, South Carolina. The surrounding area and neighborhood of this site allows for an incredible opportunity to walk around and enjoy the beautiful homes. The sister property to this house is the Aiken-Rhett House. I will share more about the Aiken-Rhett in later post. 

 Georgian style four poster bed with upholstery hangings for ornate and warmth purposes.

Georgian style four poster bed with upholstery hangings for ornate and warmth purposes.

Have you had the pleasure to visit Charleston, SC? If so what was your favorite thing about the historic downtown district? 

Please share comments below if you enjoyed the following post. Thank you.

 

 

Colorful Additions

 
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Just because it's spring that doesn't mean hide the blankets and put away the throws. Yes, the weather is warming up and maybe we don't need the fur throws on the sofa any longer. A new element in a space can change it dramatically, introducing a new color or texture like this wool throw for instance adds color we didn't have in the living room before. This can be achieved through any piece in a home through a new entry rug, table cloth and or duvet cover. It is the little changes that can make a dramatic impact and change the feeling of a space.

 

Decorator Showcase

 
 San Francisco Decorator Showcase House, 2015

San Francisco Decorator Showcase House, 2015

Every year at the end of April the biggest thing to hit San Francisco Interior Design Community comes around. It is known as the Decorator Showcase House. Groups of local designers, some known in the industry and many are using this as a platform to be known. The designers get a room in the house and transform it into something beautiful. The funds raised through this event go towards the San Francisco University High School. 

This years house is at 2698 Pacific Avenue San Francisco, California 94115.

This is a must see and go to event and not to be missed. I know I look forward to this event every year and carve out an evening to attend.

http://decoratorshowcase.org