Belle Decor

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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Oysters: A Love Story

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorFebruary 11, 2013

I’m happy to report that this weekend marked a Southern rite of passage—my first Lowcountry oyster roast. It was a bare bones affair at a friend’s family cabin on Bennet's Point, one hour south of Charleston. A few big bags of oysters, saltines, Tabasco, and beer made for one heck of a good time, one where the dogs (including the strays) outnumbered the people three to one

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Guilty Pleasure: Menswear Dog

By M.K. QuinlanBelle DecorFebruary 7, 2013

If—like me—you’re a sucker for cute dog photos and stylish clothing (and, really, what Southerner isn’t?), you’re going to flip over Menswear Dog, a fantastic if not slightly bizarre site where some unnamed dog owner dresses a Shiba Inu in amazing ties, shirts, vests, and even bomber jackets. My personal favorites are "Staying Warm with Layering" (wherein dog strikes a pose in a great looking puffer vest) and "Fly Fox Hunting"—the Stetson cap is really quite dashing on the little guy.

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Charleston's Chic New Retreat

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelle DecorJanuary 25, 2013

Four-poster rice beds and chintz-covered settees have their place, just don’t expect to find any at Zero George, Charleston's new boutique hotel. Owned by Dean and Lynn Andrews, the historic, eighteen-room hotel is set apart by its fresh contemporary design. A veteran in the hospitality business, Dean helped develop and then manage Charleston Place hotel before decamping to New York and then Charlottesville, where he and Lynn run Easton Events and Pippin Hill Vineyards—a winery, restaurant, and events space overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains. But, Dean says, "I was always trying to come up with a reason to return to Charleston." After a tour of Zero George (it’s just a few blocks from our office), we’re glad he finally did.

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