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Charleston Flowers Home Style

3 Little Tricks For Arranging Flowers

January 16, 2018

It’s no secret that I love having fresh flowers in the house.   My love for flowers started in childhood, it was something my mother valued but perhaps my confidence in selecting the ones I love is due to my great friend Anne from Charleston Stems who I have done so many creative projects with and learned from.  Regardless, I am no expert at arranging flowers but, I do make sure to have a healthy rotation of cut flowers in the house.   I love our access to the Charleston Wholesale Florist but also love shopping for flowers at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.   And, for Charleston locals, I love SYG designs for arrangements beyond my ability!

3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers

I remember when I started to buy flowers from the wholesale shop, it was such a mystery.  I didn’t know much about them beyond being able to recognize a standard garden rose, let alone how to make sure that I was keeping them alive for the maximum period of time and tending to them correctly. I was standing in the cooler at the wholesale florist here where I buy all my flowers now, and I bumped into one of my idols, Carolyne Roehm.   She was so certain of herself as she went around selecting things I had never even dreamt of picking up — colors I hadn’t even entertained — and I watched it build like magic in her arms.   It was there and then that I decided it is just all a matter of what you are drawn to, and a bit of bravery.   Because I never place an order myself, I have to go with what is available.  I walk in with an open mind and select the flower that I am most excited about and go from there.   Oftentimes, it is something obvious like a peony or a ranunculus.  I love lilac season and lily of the valley of course.   Sometimes there are days like today where there is less obvious material available and you just have to go with it and give it a try, there is no failure if it’s just for you and I like adding something new to the mix to decide whether I want to work with it again or not.

3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers 3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers

For arranging flowers in this case, I went for clean whites and a bit of pink, and it’s hard to go wrong there…I love how silver Olive leaves are — I always try to select greenery for filler but stick with olive and eucalyptus for the most part (a safe choice I’m sure…) as I don’t love very bright greens.    Stock isn’t something I use very often but it is great filler and can add a nice hue;  I typically trim off the top bit of green to make way for more blooms which I find changes the whole appearance.  I think it’s important to realize how much you can manipulate the flowers, I often shed lots of leaves and try to blow big blooms open.  Some basic rules of practice for flower care are to cut the stems with you get home, to remove all the leaves that might fall below the water line and to put in fresh cool water, unless you want the flower to open more quickly in which case you can use warm.   Of course every flower is different, and I am still learning so much.

3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers 3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers

I didn’t use it in this case, but chicken wire is a great thing to tuck inside your vessel.   I learned this from the pros, but you just cut a piece and ball it up and it becomes the structure for the stems to lean in, allowing you to use less and not crowd or rely on each flower to hold the other up.  I try to start with the greenery to create a base around the edges and then move along to the statement flower (say the peony) before filling in with the other whimsical pieces.

3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers 3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers3 Little Tricks for Arranging Flowers

I hope these tips for arranging flowers were helpful! Thank you so much to Gadsden House for letting us shoot here, it’s our favorite wedding place to shoot in town and to Abby, always 🙂 xx


All Our Best Photography Tips & Tricks!

January 9, 2018

I am so thrilled that you use this blog as a resource for photography tips.   For those of you who are newer to the site, I am a professional photographer by training (with a Masters from SCAD) and have been working in the field ever since.   I love that this blog allows us to shoot what we feel most passionately about and it is such a pleasure to work on it, thanks to you all!  I also love helping teach about photography and would love to hear more about what you’re eager to learn — I am an open book and wish to enable each and every one of you to take your best photographs yet.  I had a lot of questions yesterday after our 2017 round up and so wanted to gather everything that we have produced so far in one place for you so that you can dive in and then let me know what else you might wish to know.   We did do a Q&A last summer which covered some reader questions, let me know if there’s any more photography tips you’d like to learn!

All Our Best Photography Tips & Tricks - Woman photographing flowers with a film camera

Some great starter articles are 5 ways to take more flattering photos and 10 ways to boost creativity.

For the more technical posts, it might be best to start with an exploration of what is in our camera bag.  Don’t be discouraged if you’re just starting out, I absolutely love giving feedback on the best cameras to invest in and I ADORE my iPhone, in fact here is a post on how to shoot with the iPhone AND how to edit (complete with video) in my favorite editing APP, VSCO.   Here is some additional info on other editing tools I use for iPhone pics…

All Our Best Photography Tips & Tricks - Woman photographing historic buildings in France

Here are a few tutorials on how to shoot and figure out what you’re doing in the moment.  It might be best to start with 5 ways to maximize your photoshoot, and then to move on to this post about how to shoot in challenging conditions, understanding light, and how to photograph all day long .  Any photographer will tell you that it’s best to shoot as close to sunrise or sunset as possible for the most flattering, golden light but we know it’s not always possible and that tutorial covers a bit more on shooting all day long.    This post covers some composition basics for eye popping instagram posts!

All Our Best Photography Tips & Tricks - woman in blue dress photographing pastel buildings in France

For our professional images, I use Lightroom for 99% of our editing and I have created a video with how I edit at the bottom of this post on editing photos for social media.   I would follow that with editing photos for brand consistency  as this is a very important topic when you’re building an online presence!

All Our Best Photography Tips & Tricks - Woman photographing historic buildings in France on a cobblestone road

I know that we all love a good flatlay, I broke down a few of the things I think about when creating one here.

I hope these photography tips help, and as always, feel free to leave any questions below !! xx

All Our Best Photography Tips & Tricks - baby wearing red checked pajamas holding a Leica camera in bed

Charleston Entertaining Food France Holiday Home Photography Style Tables Travel

Highlights of 2017!

January 8, 2018

I know I am a bit behind the ball getting this highlights of 2017 post out so late; truth is, I didn’t think to sum up our past year because we have been busy planning for 2018.  I so loved reading everybody else’s round-ups though, and I thought it might be fun to share some of our highlights and unseen footage from this past year, particularly as this year was our first on the blog and it’s great to see a bit of an evolution and review all the types of topics we covered !

We kicked off the year at Palmetto Bluff (just a few hours south of us) with our new friends who had just moved to town!  It was amazingly warm in January and such fun to cruise around on bicycles and explore.

I didn’t launch this blog until April but before then, I released a series of Fine Art Photographs.  We started with a series of flower studies in pinks and peaches and were blown away by the response. 

We enjoyed lots of warm weather earlier in the year, and were lucky to spend much of our winter outside in beautiful balmy air and sunshine.  Charleston in the spring is my absolute favorite, there’s always something in bloom!

We headed to Harbour Island to create our second Fine Art series in March.  We stayed at the Ocean View Club (which we loved and hope to head back to this spring).

We introduced lots of topics on the blog:  gardening, DIY, and photography tutorials to name a few…

In late May, we headed to France via NYC for the entire month, it was divine and most of my favorite photographs from the year were taken in this period…

Back to the States in July (and for my 30th!)  — we headed to Napa twice for wedding season….

Most of July was spent beating the heat at home.   We added this screened in porch last fall and were so grateful for it.  We spend the majority of our time out here, from breakfast to long cozy dinners.

And then we were off to Marth’s Vineyard and St. Barths in August.

Home just in time for a bit of fall weather and of course, lots of holiday decorating!

We headed to Portland, Oregon briefly for a family wedding — what a beautiful city!! We absolutely LOVED it there!

And back home to rev up for the holidays.   We were particularly proud of our trunk show at Hampden — some of our pieces are still up!

xoxo Hope you enjoyed seeing our highlights of 2017! Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!

Charleston Home Style

Dreamy Bedding with Matouk Linens

December 20, 2017

I believe that a bedroom should be a sanctuary.   We try to make ours the most peaceful room in the house, set up for total relaxation.  For us, this means lovely, cozy bedding chock full of pillows, great books on the nightstand, photos of family, as much natural light as we can muster, and the bare minimum of technology.

Dreamy Bedding with Matouk - Woman laying on luxurious bedding

As a child, among the grownups – when the conversation turned to bedding linens (as it surprisingly frequently did), the highest praise was always reserved for Matouk.  I quickly realized that one brand stood alone as the benchmark against which all others are measured.   When the time came for a freshen up of our bedroom there was only one name in my mind.

I remember our first Matouk pieces which were given to us by my Aunt who monogramed towels for Christmas the year we were married.  They were our most treasured linens; we brought them out on special occasions and when guests were coming over to have dinner in our out in our one bedroom one bathroom apartment.   We still have them and use them as often as possible, they are luxurious and long lasting.

Dreamy Bedding with Matouk - Scalloped edged pillows Dreamy Bedding with Matouk - Woman in bed with scalloped monogrammed pillowDreamy Bedding with Matouk - Pastel blue pillows and linens with scalloped edges on a bed

Selecting our bedding was tough because there are so many collections which I love.  Ultimately, the scalloped edge of the Butterfield is my favorite.  They are subtle and remind me of my childhood in England.    I knew a whole bed of lavender was a reach for my husband but the subtle edges against the light blue diamond pique make for a peaceful, soft bed.  I think it’s a highly personal decision but what’s so great about Matouk is that you can ring their showroom and they can help you make a great selection to ensure all goes well together.

We have road tested these sheets for a couple of cycles now, and honestly they are everything that I dreamed they would be. Bedtime is earlier than ever and the snooze cycle runs those extra few loops – each morning feels that little bit more like the weekend.

Dreamy Bedding with Matouk - Woman making the bed with luxurious linens Dreamy Bedding with Matouk - A light blue, monogrammed pillow with scalloped edges Dreamy Bedding with Matouk - White pillows with scalloped edges on a bedDreamy Bedding with Matouk - Woman sitting in bed surrounded by light blue bedding

Charleston Holiday Style Uncategorized


December 8, 2017

I am so excited to release this project that we worked on with Stacy from Hampden Clothing.  I had been thinking about posting about my favorite holiday looks on the blog when I decided to turn to expert stylist Stacy (owner of) Hampden Clothing here in Charleston.  I admire Stacy’s ability to dress women.  She understands female shape, clothing cuts and personalities.  Everything that she put aside for me fit well.  I have watched her do this time and time again for friends here in town.   She is an amazing stylist and can even do it from afar!  I recently was lucky enough to peek into her process and to see that she can send whole boxes of clothes to customers in other states with PDFs of how to wear them — pretty spectacular!!  Enjoy the movie and see the looks broken down below! xx

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing
Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden Clothing

Holiday looks with Hampden ClothingHoliday looks with Hampden Clothing

Entertaining Holiday Home Style Tables

Setting the Holiday Table with Juliska!

November 29, 2017

I have been impatiently waiting for Thanksgiving to pass before decorating the house for Christmas and now we’re finally here!   We had a lovely time with my father’s family over the holiday.   This was our second year hosting Thanksgiving and we have been working on stopping and marking the holidays in full for Baby R.  He’s only sixteen months but he really enjoys it, and our goal is to make his childhood as magical as possible.   I have been waiting to unleash this table from Juliska for ages — they are one of my favorite homeware companies (we used for our wedding) and their holiday collection is superb!!

I grabbed these beautiful gold placemats a few months ago and have used them on every special occasion since (still need to get the silver which would be perfect for New Year!).   They are delicate and tasteful and make any table sparkle.  I love how festive they are paired with the Christmas plates and tartan napkins!!   These champagne glasses are also so beautiful and perfect to collect for many special occasions ahead (would make an excellent Christmas present as well).  A simple garland adorned with pinecones (from Michael’s!)  and lots of votives complete this holiday table look.

I live in Rhode Resort in summer and dark green silk is the perfect attire for a holiday party, I also love this red velvet.  Comfortable, sexy and easy to wear, it is my favorite dress for this season — well picked Hampden Clothing!! And of course the earrings are a must xx

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