Belle Decor

Off to the Races

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorApril 4, 2013

A day at the horse races is a springtime tradition down South. Which is why my husband and I let the windows down and drove two hours north to Camden, South Carolina this past weekend to attend the annual Carolina Cup.

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Southern Designers Worth Watching—and Wearing

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorMarch 27, 2013

Charleston may be celebrated for its architecture and five-star food, but it is also gaining momentum as an emerging fashion capital thanks to Charleston Fashion Week, which celebrated its seventh year last week. The event draws names from Manhattan’s fashion in-crowd and showcases the work of established designers, but the highlight of the week is by far the introduction of the country's most promising up-and-coming talent.

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Easter Wishlist: Laura Zindel Tableware

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorMarch 25, 2013

Designing an Easter table setting can be a tricky business. Too many pastels and bunny rabbits and the table can feel suffocatingly sweet. Overdo the heirloom crystal, silver, and china, and the room can take a turn toward the stuffy and passé.

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Shop Tampa's New Old-World Marketplace

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelle DecorMarch 15, 2013

The Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida began as a modest idea. Businessman Blake Casper and sister Allison Casper Adams wanted to open a well-curated bookstore and work space where locals could gather. But when the two discovered a 24,000-square-foot historic building on Kennedy Avenue—originally built as a stable for the Plant Hotel in 1891—their plan grew to include a coffee bar, teashop, restaurant, boutique, and office space. “The idea was to create a place people felt really comfortable spending time in and exploring—a meeting place that created conversation,” Adams says.

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The Art of the Obituary

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorMarch 12, 2013

Writing an obituary is a powerful thing. It's an occasion to do right by your loved ones, to tell the world all of the great and respectable things they accomplished in their lifetimes, even when it’s something as small as making a really fantastic bacon and tomato sandwich.

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Heirloom Obsession: Fenton Hobnail Glass

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorMarch 8, 2013

For the last several years, I’ve been telling everyone who has any occasion to give me a gift that I’d like a piece of hobnail glass. Shape, color, and utility are irrelevant. The only requirement is that the glass is wart-ridden, like a toad.

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City Guides with Style

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelle DecorMarch 6, 2013

Charlottesville, Virginia residents Christy Ford, owner of the home store And George, and local blogger Susie Matheson had grown accustomed to playing small-town tour guide to visiting friends and family. Enthusiastic about the charms of their city, the two put their heads together to create a city guide reflective of the creative soul and entrepreneurial spirit of Charlottesville—an angle they felt wasn’t getting the attention it deserved

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Heirloom Obsession: Needlepoint

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorMarch 1, 2013

While traveling last week, I had the good fortune of sitting next to an older woman on a plane who was hard at work on a needlepoint Christmas stocking. The pattern included vibrant pastels, two turtledoves, and fruits-a-plenty. In her words, “It’s an heirloom, but I’m not quite sure who to give it to.” For a girl with a fear of flying, the woman and her needlework came as a comfort to me, the sign of a good heart and a shoulder to cry on in the event we took a nose dive. It made me think back to my grandmother's needlepoint bell pull, a Downtown-esque contraption made by my great-grandmother that hung like art on her living room wall.

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The Academy Awards, Southern-Style

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorFebruary 21, 2013

With Academy Awards predictions kicking into high gear (the Oscars air this Sunday, February 24, at 7 p.m. EST), I have to admit I have a soft spot for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Nominated for Best Picture, the film tells the fantastical tale of six-year-old Hush Puppy, who lives in the backwoods bayous of Louisiana, in a fictional community locals call "the bathtub." (The movie was filmed in the very real Montegut, Louisiana.)

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The Art of Oyster Plate Collecting

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorFebruary 13, 2013

Continuing this week's oyster obsession, I decided to do a little research on the oyster plate. You may have seen them at antique stores and not paid them much attention, but oyster plates, like the shellfish they serve, are quite the delicacy. We’ve grown accustomed to serving oysters on the half shell, but in the Victorian era, between 1810 and 1870 when oysters were newly en vogue, hostesses in the U.S. and Europe went above and beyond to entertain their guests with highly decorative oyster plates. Production of the plates slowed almost to a halt after WWI with the over farming of oyster beds and the formality of Victorian life falling by the wayside.

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