COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG WITH BENJAMIN MOORE

When the wonderful team at Benjamin Moore invited us to spend a weekend in Colonial Williamsburg  for a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration for their Williamsburg Color Collection my RSVP was an immediate YES. All the better that the trip happened to fall exactly one week from our wedding because at that point I really needed a distraction!

Neither of us had been to Williamsburg before, and I can honestly say that it surpassed our expectations. I’ve been told it’s even more beautiful when it’s all decked out for the holidays, so if you’re in the area, definitely consider making the trip–the drive was surprisingly painless from DC!

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We kicked off our visit with a tour of the grounds led by Matt Webster, Director of Architectural Resources, at Colonial Williamsburg. The Wythe House was our first stop. Its manicured lawn, perfect symmetry, and classic red brick made this one of my favorites.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The appreciation for color and pattern in historical houses never ceases to inspire me. Of course, there was an element of keeping up with the Jones’ behind these seemingly bold choices, and a home owner’s ability to paint and paper their home indicated a degree of wealth and status.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The Governor’s Palace, with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect for the home of the King’s representative in America, really is breath taking.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Sans the massive gilt framed oils, the Prussian blue walls and patterned carpet could be contemporary, right?

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

With its intricate molding and chinoiserie inspired pediment and door frame, the vivid green Supper Room was my favorite from the visit.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Can you even imagine the level of craftsmanship that went into carving that dentil molding?!

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The arms room cleared up any questions about who was boss…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I loved this grouping of black and white engravings on mustard walls.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I left the trip desperately wanting a canopied bed…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Definitely one with scallops…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

After our tour we headed over to the lab where we learned more about how the colors for the Williamsburg Color Collection were created. The level of historical and scientific research that goes into the process is actually really fascinating. The Colonial Williamsburg team has some pretty high powered tools at their disposal that enable them to analyze the tiniest specimens–looking back through centuries of paint layers to get to the true color.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Once they establish the make-up of the paint they grind the pigment by hand with mortar and pestle to recreate the color. Verdigris (formed by giving copper an acid bath) is one of the key pigments for some of my favorite colors.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

After our science lesson we headed over to the museum to take in their beautiful collections. The import porcelain was one of my favorite exhibits.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

But there was also inspiration to be found in the textiles–I thought this quilt would be beautiful framed.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We had free time on Sunday to explore on our own and given that it was a week before our wedding and our vows weren’t exactly written we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to find a quiet spot and spend some time working on those. The gardens at the Governor’s Palace proved to be the perfect spot.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I mean, look at this…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The sentimental sap in me thinks it will be pretty cute to re-visit the same spots when we’re old and gray.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We stopped by Williamsburg at Home on our way out of town where I picked up a bolt of leopard print fabric for a steal. In typical fashion I have absolutely no projects in mind for it at the moment but I know the perfect thing will come up eventually–maybe a pair of x-benches?

A big thank you to the Benjamin Moore and Colonial Williamsburg teams for hosting us for the weekend. If you’re not already familiar, be sure to check out the Williamsburg Color Collection it really is an exceptionally well curated collection and learning more about the research process gives me even more respect for a brand I (and I’m sure you) already know and love!

GETAWAY: ZERO GEORGE, CHARLESTON

It’s been just over two weeks since we left Charleston and I would be only mildly dramatic in saying I’ve missed it every day. When we initially decided to delay our “real” honeymoon–an African safari–until our first anniversary, I was a little bummed (cue the violins, I know) but our Charleston mini-moon ended up being the perfect getaway.

We called the charming boutique hotel, Zero George, home during our stay, and I can say with confidence that it is the only hotel we will be staying at on subsequent trips to the Holy City.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

Zero George had been on my must-visit list, and after pulling up to the early 1800s restored carriage house and entering through the courtyard, I knew we had made the right decision.

There’s nothing I love more than a thoughtfully designed hotel and the well appointed interiors are sophisticated but still warm and inviting–a delicate balance that I’m convinced Southerners have a natural born gift for creating.
Color this Yankee jealous.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

A European influence–a nod to Charleston’s history as a port city in colonial times–is evident in the design decisions throughout the hotel’s common areas as well as its 18 rooms. I’ve been hunting for a French Louis Philippe mirror similar to the one above for years!

Also note the candles in the fireplace which were lit each evening and created such a romantic ambiance.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

No detail was spared, as evidenced by the sea grass covered guest book and brass key fob.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

These beautiful sculptural brass lamps (similar) were not missed by my roving design eye.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

My wedding gift to Garrett was a Lotuff Leather duffel (purchased via Roztayger). A much needed upgrade from the tattered Patagonia he’d been carrying since boarding school.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

At some point each day we ended up reading on the veranda. I picked up a copy of this and laughed my way through with drink in hand, listening to the whir of the fans. It was pretty much perfection and fulfilled all of my Southern belle fantasies.

Zero George | The Pursuit of StyleBreakfast is included with your stay so each morning we nibbled on (or more accurately gorged ourselves on) Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, quiche, fruit, and prosciutto at a picture perfect bistro table.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

This pair of seafoam crusisers were the latest addition the the Zero George arsenal when we arrived.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

I snapped this photo on our way to dinner at Zero Cafe. Charleston has no shortage of amazing restaurants–a few of which I’ve posted about here–but Chef Vincent Petrillo’s food was so delicious we ended up canceling one of our reservations and dining in for a second night.

The menu changes almost daily and both of our meals were unreal. Garrett thinks the octopus appetizer we had at both dinners was his favorite dish of our entire visit.

I should also add that the staff was unfailingly gracious, friendly, and accomodating. I had booked the room under my name and knowing it was our honeymoon they greeted Garrett as Mr. Souza throughout our entire stay which we found too funny to correct!

If you’re headed to Charleston at any time in the near future we can’t recommend Zero George highly enough, and are looking forward to our next visit.

P.S I hate that I have to qualify gushing reviews, but this post was not sponsored in any way, shape, or form, we just genuinely loved our experience and hope you’ll visit too!

GETAWAY: VILLA AMELIE, ST. BARTS

Marigot Villas | St. Barths

Marigot Villas | St. Barths

Marigot Villas | St. Barths

Marigot Villas | St. Barths

Marigot Villas | St. Barths

It’s been gray and gloomy for most of the week here in DC and honeymoon destinations have been on my mind. You probably won’t find it too surprising that chain hotels aren’t really my cup of tea. I’ll take the charming Airbnb rental or boutique hotel any day!

In the usual way, one Pinterest click led to another and I found myself at Villa Amelie, in St. Barts. From the wicker pendants to the black lacquer Chinese cabinets topped with antique birdcages to the ticking stripe slipcovered dining chairs, I think I could happily spend ten days (or maybe a lifetime) in Villa Amelie.

I still have my heart set on Greece (or maybe Marrakesh, or Istanbul, or Paris…), but at the very least I’ll be filing this one away for future design inspiration.

If you’ve tied the knot, where did you honeymoon? Jetsetters, what’s been your favorite travel destination?

GETAWAY: CAMP WANDAWEGA

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega

Did you go to sleep-away camp growing up?  I never did because–nerd alert–I was busy dreaming about becoming the next Nancy Kerrigan at summer skating school. Those six hour training days were filled with plenty of camaraderie, but sometimes I do feel like I missed out on a great American pastime–especially after listening to this This American Life podcast on the subject on a recent road trip home.

If you’re also experiencing camp FOMO (fear of missing out for the acronym uninitiated), fear not, I’ve found the solution: a visit to Camp Wandawega. Originally founded in 1925, the resort has a storied past which includes stints as a speakeasy, brothel, and Latvian church camp. Today, it’s been lovingly restored to old-school summer camp glory.

Glamping this is not, so be sure to read their Low Brow Manifesto (genius!) before booking your trip. Potential for spiders in the showers aside, I think Camp Wandawega is worth adding to my ‘to-visit’ list. Campfires and color wars, anyone?

GETAWAY: THE MARLTON HOTEL, NYC

The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

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The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

The Marlton Hotel | The Pursuit of Style

Whenever I visit New York, I feel this little twinge of regret that I let fear win out and didn’t seize the opportunity to live in the city when I had the chance. It seems like a rite of passage I skipped along the way, but I suppose there’s always time for adventures and you never know what the future may hold.

Of course, the silver lining to not living in the city is experimenting with charming boutique hotels like The Marlton when I’m in town. We called the Greenwich Village hotel home during our whirlwind wedding dress shopping trip and I’ve been gushing about it to anyone and everyone that will listen ever since. It was only a matter of time before you got an earful.

From the turquoise velvet chesterfields in the lobby that invite you to sit and stay awhile, to the Serge Mouille inspired light fixtures, robin’s egg blue Regency-style headboards, herringbone floors, and insanely gorgeous brass accented bathrooms, this hotel is a designer’s dream.

To top it off, there’s also a fantastic restaurant, Margaux, on-site so you really need not ever leave–which if I didn’t have a wedding to shop for, I would have been tempted not to. We ate under the glow of lantern light in the plant filled back room which was about as close to dining al fresco as you can get mid-February.

Good thing I found a dress so I have an excuse to go back often!

P.S this post was not sponsored in any way, I’m really just that obsessed and think you should be too!

Photos by Lindsay Souza for The Pursuit of Style