Keep it local

 

Just in case you missed my Monacelli Press Instagram takeover (@monacellipress), I will be posting twenty tips about ways to live creatively with heirlooms and antiques.

 

Tip 8: Keep it local

 

 

 

 

Fashion executives Charles Keller and Glenn Purcell furnished their 1898 cedar-shake cottage in East Hampton with heirlooms of place—objects fabricated in the area or once owned by local families. Here, surrounding a well-provisioned cheeseboard, blue Venetian glass inherited by Keller complements silver spoons by East Hampton silversmith David Hedges, arranged in a crystal salt dish. #setthetable #pastpresent

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Dress up the garden for dinner

 

Just in case you missed my Monacelli Press Instagram takeover (@monacellipress), I will be posting twenty tips about ways to live creatively with heirlooms and antiques.

 

Tip 7: Dress up the garden for dinner

 

 

 

 

For al fresco parties, decorator Mary Finch often combines fine antique silver with casual contemporary pottery on a toile quilt unfurled across a long stone table. When the table decoration is completed by a flower arrangement composed within a hollow log designed by friend and floral artist Jan Miller, Finch’s vision is fulfilled in a magical way. “This is the way I show people I love them,” she says. #setthetable #pastpresent

 

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Mix the formal with the relaxed

 

Just in case you missed my Monacelli Press Instagram takeover (@monacellipress), I will be posting twenty tips about ways to live creatively with heirlooms and antiques.

 

Tip 6: Mix the formal with the relaxed

 

 

 

 

Decorator Mary Finch likes to mix the formal with the relaxed when she sets tables for gatherings in her Birmingham home and garden, creating a sophisticated country mood whether dining indoors or out. A favorite setting for the indoor dining table combines woodland tones of antique brown and white English transferware, Mexican etched green glass stemware, and green linen napkins. Dressed up with Tiffany silver, the place settings are arranged around a centerpiece of hydrangeas arranged softly in a majolica cachepot. #setthetable #pastpresent

 

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Make it modern

 

Just in case you missed my Monacelli Press Instagram takeover (@monacellipress), I will be posting twenty tips about ways to live creatively with heirlooms and antiques.

 

 

Tip 5: Make it modern

 

 

For a contemporary effect, David Feld and partner Kurt Purdy place table settings directly on the dark granite surface of a 1985 Racetrack table designed by Joseph D’Urso for Knoll. A striking silver-and-white composition combines platinum-resist Wedgwood lusterware with flatware in two patterns, one designed in the late 20th-century design by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany and the other, the classic 18th-century Scottish shell pattern. Feld’s great-grandmother’s crocheted lace napkins add another element of style. #setthetable #pastpresent

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Never set the table the same way twice

 

Just in case you missed my Monacelli Press Instagram takeover (@monacellipress), I will be posting twenty tips about ways to live creatively with heirlooms and antiques.

 

Tip 4: Never set the table the same way twice

 

 

If you never set the same table twice, you will find that you use everything you own, from the exalted silver punch bowl to the humble crystal saltcellar. Treat yourself and your guests by using sterling silver, antique china, embroidered linens, flatware with hand-carved horn handles, and brilliant cut glass on a regular basis. Entirely antique place settings are exquisite, but combinations of traditional and contemporary design are equally engaging. For this luncheon party, Charleston artist Marty Whaley Adams combines heirloom tableware and linens with Mexican stemware and crystal candlesticks. #setthetable #pastpresent

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Heirlooms on the Road: When and Where

Here’s a list of all the whistle stops for my traveling antiques and heirlooms road show. Please come if you’re in the area and celebrate with me the joy of living with heirlooms and antiques.

 

Thursday, May 5th, 6 PM

Charleston Library Society

Lecture & Book Signing

164 King Street, Charleston

843.723.9912

Charlestonlibrarysociety.org

 

Friday and Saturday, May 6& 7, 2:30 PM

Lecture & Book Signing

Hay House Spring Stroll of Macon Houses and Gardens

Macon, Georgia

478.743.8155

Hayhousemacon.org

 

Sunday, May 8, 1 to 5 PM

Book Signing

Black Sheep Antiques

39509 Highway 25, Harpersville, AL

205.283.6796

 

Tuesday, May 10, 4 to 6 PM

In the Garden—A Garden Book Debut

Hosted by Mary Finch, Circa Interiors & Antiques and Flower magazine

2405 Henrietta Road

Birmingham

RSVP 205-868-9199

 

Wednesday, May 11, 5 to 7 PM

Book Talk and Signing

Edgar Reeves Lighting and Antiques

425 Peachtree Hills Avenue, Atlanta

404.237.1137

edgar-reeves.com

 

Images from the Charleston and Macon events have already been posted. Here are a few from the Harpersville, Birmingham, and Atlanta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Sheep Antiques is the latest venture of Barbara and Sonny Adkins, who also own a plantation house in nearby Chancellorsville that has been in Barbara’s family for four generations.  With a mix of family heirlooms and country antiques collected by Barbara and Sonny, the plantation’s interior provides a hint of the quality and style of pieces featured at their shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to being a gifted interior decorator, Mary Finch also has a great eye for garden design and a passion for entertaining. The table she sets for garden parties demonstrates her talent for layering textures, colors, and patterns at home and for her clients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Atlanta condominium of Stephanie and Bill Reeves reveals the same eye for beauty and creative style that can be found at Edgar Reeves Lighting and Antiques, over which Stephanie presides.

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Use the Things You Love

Just in case you missed my Monacelli Press Instagram takeover (@monacellipress), I will be posting twenty tips about ways to live creatively with heirlooms and antiques.

 

Tip 3: Use the things you love


 

If you use the things you love, however disparate in style, period, or formality, you might just find that they get along. You love them, so why shouldn’t they find a way to love each other? When you use the things you love, you enhance the emotional depth of your home. Whether you purchased them from a store or inherited them and decided to keep them, these things are a reflection of you. Each room in my house expresses a different aspect of my personality. An eccentric combination of chairs—19th-century French slipper chairs in creamsicle tangerine and French art deco chairs with turquoise blue upholstery—reflect the gregarious side of my personality. I like all kinds of people—and chairs.  My bedroom is a serene retreat, and my office, an introverted library.

One of things I inherited is a milking stool that hails from my great-grandfather’s South Carolina cotton plantation. At first, I had absolutely no idea how to use it, and the piece was about ready to be relegated to an out of the way corner. One day I noticed that the French art deco chairs needed occasional tables next to them. I had a Moroccan style one I’d bought at a resale shop that worked well next to one of the chairs, but I didn’t know what to do about the other one. Then, when I was rearranging things in the house, I stumbled across the milking stool. It was the right size and height…so I tried it out and it looks fantastic. It has the lines of a primitive African table, and in fact, was probably made by an African slave.

 

I love the way it’s primitive lines look next to the sleek silhouette of the art deco chair. Every time I look at it I think about the family plantation, and what life must have been like on it. I remember stories told my grandmother, who grew up there. This is a perfect example of finding an unexpected way to use something you love which doesn’t seem to fit your home or your life. Give things time and let them tell you where they want to go.

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Silver makes everything better

 

Just in case you missed my Monacelli Press Instagram takeover (@monacellipress), I will be posting twenty tips about ways to live creatively with heirlooms and antiques.

 

Tip 2: Silver makes everything better

 

The rustic nature of my dining room in the Blue Ridge Mountains was one of the factors that informed my entirely misguided and thankfully short-lived decision not to accept my family’s multi-generational collection of fine tableware. The floor was tinted concrete and the windows framed with vinyl. But I discovered that once I dressed up the table, no one noticed the room’s shortcomings. People are delighted when they walk into your dining room and see a gorgeously set table, and there is nothing like a bit of silver to add to its drama. The eye travels to things that glitter, so if there’s something not quite right about the room, no one will notice. They’ll just be delighted by the beauty they perceive.

 

Last year, I was planning a relaxed summer luncheon for my friends. I decided to use plain white plates purchased at Target instead of china, because un-patterned places worked better a patterned tablecloth. This was definitely the case with the French block-printed fabric my sister had purchased in Provence as a birthday gift. Then I dressed things up, using silver water goblets and a centerpiece combining silver julep cups and baby cups of different sizes. Wild flowers gathered that morning on a walk with my dog were placed in the julep cups and, with the help of a little oasis, arranged into tiny bouquets in the baby cups. I chose my grandmother’s silver in the Etruscan pattern for the flatware because it’s clean, geometric pattern worked well with the tablecloth. Then I took a picture of it because it was just so pretty.

 

I love the way the silver cups reflect the pattern of the tablecloth. Etched wine glasses I found in an Asheville antique shop added another touch of simple elegance. Most of all, I was excited to find a way to use my silver baby cups. That’s one of the things we inherit that seem destined to languish in boxes, drawers, or the sideboard. I think they were really happy to brought back into the light.

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

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Magic in Macon

I’m taking my new book and hitting the road next week with lectures and book parties in Macon and Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham and Harpersville, Alabama. Please come if you’re in the area and celebrate the joy of living with heirlooms and antiques.

Macon—my first whistle stop—is one of my favorite Southern cities because of its beautiful 19th-century houses and lovely gardens. Discover Macon during the Hay House Spring Stroll of Macon Houses and Gardens from May 6th to 8th and come to one of my keynote lectures on May 6th and 7th at 2:30pm. For details, contact www.HayHousemacon.org or call (478) 742-8155.

Macon is such a trove of fine architecture and antiques employed in highly individual interiors that I included three houses from the city in my book Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques. One is a spectacular Italian baroque style villa designed in the 1920s by revered Southern architects Philip Trammel Shutze and Neel Reid.

Today the villa is owned by Charlestonian Tommy Bennett, who has brought an eclectic and minimalist approach to decorating the house. “The architecture is so strong that it doesn’t need any jewelry,” he says.

An equally fascinating dwelling is composed of a mid 19th-century that was once Macon’s waterworks station. Present-day inhabitants preservationists Chris Howard and Carey Pickard have decorated the interior—where most walls are rugged brick—with gilt sconces, antiques both fine and simple, and a crystal chandelier.

They have also done extensive landscaping, taking advantage of the sloping site and cistern to create a dramatic garden with Italianate structure.

In an 1854 cottage on College Street, one of the richest veins of fine architecture in the city, artist Joe Adams and his wife Evelyn decorate with an eye to color, shape, and composition.

The front parlor gets a dose of bold style with a European tapestry, mounted Kudu head, gilded console with massive lions-paw feet, and collection of Chinese jars. The kitchen sitting room has a much quieter appearance, appropriate for sipping coffee and gradually awakening.

All of these houses are featured in my book and lecture, so if you like what you see, please come. And then you, too, can discover the magic of Macon!

 

Buy the book now at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

 

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Lecture at The Charleston Library Society

 

Please join me for the inaugural event celebrating

Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques

 

 

 

 

Lecture and Booksigning on Thursday, May 5, 6:00 PM

The Charleston Library Society, 164 King Street

Charleston, South Carolina

(843) 723-9912

 

 

 

 

Providing a sneak peak inside my new book, the lecture will offer myriad ideas about how to integrate objects from the past into contemporary lifestyles, whether you live in a historic home, a modern high rise, or a suburban cottage. While the book is designed for readers of all ages, it’s the perfect piece of propaganda for every mother who wants to see the family heirlooms find a home. I love that it’s launching just before Mothers Day.

 

 

 

 

I also love that the inaugural event will take place at The Charleston Library Society. Established in 1748 by nineteen young gentlemen wishing to avail themselves of the latest publications from Great Britain, the library is one of the oldest cultural organizations in America. It is still one of Charleston’s most vibrant institutions, with lectures and exhibits on topics as widely varied as the collection’s books and archives.

 

 

 

 

The Charleston Library Society is definitely a place where the past meets the present in vibrant style. Furthermore, it has one of the few remaining card catalogs in the country. Talk about living with heirlooms and antiques!

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for more information about The Charleston Library Society.

 Please come to the lecture and buy the book there–proceeds from book sales benefit the library.

You can also buy the book at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Indiebound.

 

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