Photo courtesy of Domaine Home

Writer, editor, television personality, decorator…. there’s not much that Sara Ruffin Costello doesn’t do. And while her name has been sprinkled across mastheads over the years (Domino, Wall Street Journal, Glamour), she’s also pretty recognizable – you may have seen her in Target’s recent print and commercial campaign doling out entertaining tips. Basically, when Costello talks about design, people listen. It’s not only that she has style oozing from her fingertips, she also manages to put it all together in a way that’s completely new and effortless all at once. Whether it’s a prescient knack for forecasting the next big thing, or making a room feel thrown together in just the right way, this lady just knows. But don’t let her relaxed attitude fool you – the Virginia-bred New Orleans resident also has a few things to say on the subject of proper entertaining. Case in point: her favorite hostess gifts from Taigan. Get ready to take some notes.


Berti Knives: Extraordinary house warming gift for someone with a new weekend place.

Maria Evora Soap: Everyone is appreciative of soap. Especially when it’s good looking enough for the powder room.

Brass Box: I love giving a little decorative box to special friends. Especially filled with something meaningful to the recipient like pictures of the great weekend you just had. Or pot.

Tea Towels: Cant go wrong with dish towels. I am keeping a stack of these on hand this summer.

One Man’s Folly: This picture book (photographed by my husband Paul Costello) makes a great hostess gift for the ladies who love to decorate.

Vase: For when you really need to impress. I’d be thrilled if someone gave this to me.

Beach Blanket: This gift is everything. Well…maybe just three things…a tablecloth, a blanket and a beach towel.

Bowl: Attention guests…This is what I would like to receive .

I Married Adventure: Bookshelves belonging to adventurous pals would do well with this classic by Osa Johnson.

Wool Loafers: These are a fun antidote to the usual hostess gift. Just get the size right.

Neriage Bowl: Gorgeousness. I might just “give” this to myself.

A Visit to the Garden

People June 16th, 2014 — by:

Who doesn’t like flowers?! Margot Shaw, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of flower magazine, has a deep appreciation for beauty and all things floral. The pages of flower inspire a floral lifestyle whether it be in interiors, art, travel, fashion, jewelry or entertaining. There is something for everyone who likes flowers…and even those who don’t.

Since its debut in March of 2007, flower has continued to grow at a steady pace, recently moving from quarterly to bimonthly, and available in all 50 U.S. states and 17 countries. Margot takes a look on Taigan for pieces that are inspired by some of her favorite flowers.

Photo image credit info: Photo by Cary Norton

Nature is such a source of joy and inspiration, and, of course, as Editor-in-Chief of flower I see it everywhere, in everything. I’ve had such fun finding summer picks that evoke—whether in form, color, texture or essence—a visit to the garden.


poppy pod + french wine bottle sign
This marvelously patinated 19th-century wine bottle sign reminded me of a big, fat poppy pod the minute I saw it, and would add a dash of provincial whimsy to a garden gate, ivy-covered wall, or even an exposed-brick sun porch.

Flower image credit info: Photo by Julie Soefer, courtesy of flower magazine

croton + wool loafer

My daddy lived in Key West when I was in college, and his courtyard was ablaze with crotons. When I spotted these one-of-a-kind loafers made from fragments of vintage Turkish rugs, I thought immediately of the stripey, orange-and-green tropical mainstay—and Dad.

Flower image credit info: ©

butterfly bush + raw silk shawl

Though summertime is invariably warmer, if not unbearably hot, where I live, I always take a wrap when going out at night, as air-conditioners rarely adjust to the cool of the evening. Butterfly bushes are blooming right now and so will you in this raw-silk shawl. Maybe even pin a stem on your shoulder.

Flower image credit info: ©

silver brunia + alexander the great cufflinks

It’s all about repetition in shapes and colors. These rare, antique cufflinks emblazoned with Alexander the Great’s profile recapitulate the same timeless tone and form as silver brunia, and in their own way, feel just as organic.

Flower image credit info: Photo by Natasha Mishano, courtesy of flower magazine

trumpet vine + lucky charm necklace

This graphic necklace, with its bold reddish-orange tassel and elephant charm inscribed with the word “brave,” embodies the same plucky attitude as the trumpet vine. Both are small but not to be ignored, and cause for constant comment.

Flower image credit info: ©


stock + dennis stock

Aside from supplying the double entendre with the name of this book’s author, a whiff of stock may be one of the coolest scents around. So, I paired it with Dennis Stock’s primer American Cool, a must-have for all who relish the best of the best of our culture from the ’50s to the ’70s. Stock’s plainspoken self-assessment alone is enough to sell me: “I think there is a thread to be observed throughout my work. It’s that I am relatively affirmative. I am not inclined to make fools of people and I love beauty.” Pick up a bunch of stock, drop it in an empty Tang jar by your Eames chair, and settle in.

Flower image credit info: Photo by Liesa Cole, courtesy of flower magazine


fiddlehead fern + french garden bench

Art almost always imitates life, and in this case, the fanciful curlicues of a fiddlehead fern are repeated in the back of the 19th-century French garden bench by Maison & Co. It makes sittin’ pretty fun.

Flower image credit info: ©


sweet gumball + kosta large sphere

This naturalistic sphere constructed of oyster shells is every bit as rustic looking and mesmerizing as the beautifully architectural sweet gumball, but won’t prick your hands when you pick it up.

Flower image credit info: ©

dogwood + wall sconce

We always think we’ve invented things… The time-honored quatrefoil, so popular in jewelry today and the decorative arts throughout history, has its origins in, among other natural things, the humble dogwood bloom. Niermann Weeks’ sconce is a wonder of nature even before you turn on the lights.

Flower image credit info: ©


bluebells + swing dress

This swirly bluebell of a dress from Busy Bees is as simple and bright as the flowers next door. Both make me want to go outside and play.

Flower image credit info: ©


bleeding hearts + heart leather coin purse

Sting sang, “That’s not the shape of my heart.” Maybe not, but this bleeding heart bloom is almost exactly the shape of Copenhagen de Luxe’s red leather heart purse. With the handy clip, you can wear it on your sleeve, or better yet, your belt loop.

Flower image credit info: ©


chrysanthemum + faux bois table 

Bob Christian, the master of hand-finishes, emulates the spikey pinwheel motif of a chrysanthemum in his faux bois table. Maybe a cluster of mums in a cachepot in the center of the table would be amusing—not to put too fine a point on it…

Flower image credit info: ©


anemone + peanut butter and jelly cookie

When I was little, peanut butter and jelly was my favorite combo. What am I saying? It’s still my favorite combo! But part of what I love about these PB&J Big Awesome cookies by Sucré is the round, dark center that brings to mind one of my favorite flowers, anemones. Both the cookie and the flower have that playful vibe I love. But, please don’t eat the anemones.

Flower image credit info: ©


green pea & vine + green and ivory brimmed hat

It’s not everyone that can rock this hat, but it has a precedence in the vegetable garden, as you see in the curves and swirls echoed from the green pea vine. I wager you’ll spot this sassy chapeau this summer at races, tea parties, and even afternoon weddings.

Flower image credit info: ©


clover + bermuda bag

I’ve never found a four-leaf clover, but the ones on this Bermuda bag by Glamourpuss NYC are bound to bring you good luck, and are as vivid and iconic as the originals.

Flower image credit info: ©

For more of flower magazine and just in time for all your summer entertaining, order your own subscription of the gorgeous publication yourself! flower is offering each Taigan shopper a special price of $16.99 with promo code 1TGN14. Enjoy!

Pecans are in Putt Wetherbee’s blood. His father, a pecan grower since 1959, purchased Schermer Pecans in 1977 and with it became the owner of one of the largest pecan companies in Georgia. Days spent alongside his father atop one of Georgia’s only two mechanized harvestors, a four year-old Putt was fascinated by the pecan business from this tender age.  Shelling gadgets and gizmos were eye-candy and Putt relished the camaraderie that came with harvest time and in the everyday inter-workings of the Schermer Pecan shelling plant. Now at 42 and having taken over the family business, Putt is still inspired by pecans - from watching the buds break in April to harnessing the latest in technology and managing the increased world demand.

Putt resides in Thomasville, GA with his wife and children but can often be found traversing the Georgia orchards with his dogs, calculating the crop set and munching on salted pecans.

Putt put together some of his favorite picks for Father’s Day Gifts.

As a father of three girls, I’m used to getting lots of awesome art projects and colorful ties for Father’s Day.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything but a few suggestions never hurt right?

If they are going to buy me brightly colored knickers – let them represent one of my favorite pastimes

I have a favorite rod but twist my arm.  It wouldn’t hurt to give this one a try.

Father’s day breakfast in bed, if you are serving these bacon biscuits, then yes please.

This is a sharp looking iPhone Case.

The gift that keeps on giving…this boat is fun for me and the whole family.

To heck with father’s day – I want to eat this cheese everyday! Luckily I live in Thomasville so that’s a possibility.

Ahh fatherhood… The love of my daughters and nights at home with them, a good drink and the smell of wild salmon on the grill.

What is not to love about this. Pecans with just about anything is delicious and this bourbon and pecan gelato is a match made in heaven.

The Southerner’s Handbook is guide to living the good life – count me in!

Any dad of girls needs advice…lots of it. Try this book by Tom Limbert for some added wisdom.

Handsome looking briefcase…just like my new truck.

Nothing like a little paddle ball after dinner in the evenings.

Recognized as one of the nation’s leading tastemakers, Tara Guérard has earned a widespread reputation for her ability to create spectacular settings celebrating life’s most anticipated occasions. As the visionary and founder of Tara Guérard Soirée, a full-service event planning and design company headquartered in historic Charleston, South Carolina, she is best known for her distinct style that honors the storied traditions of Southern hospitality paired with a modern aesthetic and flair for the unexpected. 

In addition to her passion for wedding designs and after finding no resources that catered to her level of taste and quality, Tara began working exclusively with the area’s leading designers to create and develop her own line of stunning wedding invitations and stationery. Lettered Olive is available to any bride who wishes for beauty and impeccable style and these pieces surely complete the wedding look and tone. 

See below for some of Tara’s favorite gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen and the couple to be married just in time for this wedding season.

Gifts for the Bridesmaids:

Dress up your bridesmaids favorite bottle of wine and or champagne. These wine bags are even cuter if you embroider their name or monogram on them.
Custom embroidered cocktail napkins – always the perfect, easy gift.
Your bridesmaids will love this no-fuss, elegant entertaining set.
Give your bridesmaids a staple accessory. This clutch is a “summer fabulous” and ready to be worn!
Another great bridesmaid gift find. Amazing cuff bracelet that is for any season. I want one NOW!
Love this soft blue linen scarf and it could even be a great match to go along with the bridesmaid dress.
Same linen scarf as above, only in pink. Linen in the summer is great to wear during the reception and to have for everyday afterwards!
Gifts for the Groomsmen:
Now those are some good looking ice-cubes - a groomsman gift any man can’t refuse. I want these to put in my glass of scotch!
Everyone needs a notepad and this one looks good on your desk too! A great groomsman gift.
Charleston’s magazine treasure, The Southern’s Handbook. It is GOOD!
Monogram these handkerchiefs for a groomsman gift!
A stylish and still masculine hammered glass decanter to polish up your bar.
What man would not adore these cufflinks? And they usually all need a little style added to their wardrobe anyway!
Gifts to give the Bride and Groom:
This marble cutting board is a great gift for the bride and groom. A classic entertaining piece they will have for a lifetime.
A set of these glasses engraved would make me VERY happy to receive!
A couple more tips from Tara…
Invite your bridesmaids and groomsmen to be part of your wedding with a personal note written by you.
A cute handwritten note for your bridesmaids.
An old-fashion hand-written note for your groomsmen.
And, need to dress up the wedding party?!
I love the design of this long dress. It’s young and fun and would make for a very pretty bridesmaids’ dress, not to mention, pretty wedding pictures!
Why not? This bow tie gives your tux a face-lift and is handmade from guinea fowl feathers. The whole crew will look polished and wedding picture perfect!
Happy wedding planning,

Stacey Bewkes, the voice and style expert behind her lifestyle blog, Quintessence, brings you the best from interiors and fashion to art, architecture and more. With fresh original content and photos, Quintessence is a destination for those who want the story behind the style. 

During the January shows in Paris, I had the opportunity to sneak out for a couple special field trips. A private tour with Jacques Garcia of his Normandy château, Champ-de-Bataille, revealed impressive museum quality collections. And then two nights at Tim Corrigan’s gorgeous Loire valley home, Chateau du Grand-Lucé, showed a completely different side of chateau life, where California comfort and grand country house unite. Ever since then, the fantasy of chateau life has been in the back of my mind. I include several picks that could help indulge the fantasy at home.

The round shape and elegant edging of these cocktail napkins and placemats lend a certain elegant formality to a pacesetting befitting a chateau inspired meal. And yet they’re not too dressy for a wine and cheese terrace luncheon.

Chateau life wouldn’t be complete without wine. This 4 bottle sampler from French estates will literally give you a taste.

And of course, where there is wine, there must be cheese. This French cheese collection will lend your dinner starter the perfect je ne sais quoi.

Everything sounds better in French. And it is certainly true for my favorite condiment, moutarde, here available in a choice of five delicious varieties, straight from Beaune to your charcuterie.

A must have for every francophile with a gastronomic bent (is there one without?). While I may take some shortcuts now, I learned the proper way to cook a coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon straight from these volumes of Julia Child cookbooks.

And for Julia’s backstory, you won’t be able to put down this charming memoir of her life in France starting in 1948. You may have seen snippets from this in the movie Julia & Julia, but the book is infinitely more riveting.

To get a handle on French style, this chic read from Assouline will have you up to date on toutes les chose francaises, from Sartre and existentialism, to Bardot and the Nouvelle Vague to Yves Saint Laurent and haute couture. You’ll be pouting just right.

And for a dog’s eye view, Poodlestan offers a humorous yet informative take on French history. The perfect gift for a canine loving madame or monsieur.

Chateau chic encompasses a wide range of styles but nothing epitomizes classic French decor more than the refined lines of a Louis XIVth’s very Chateau de Versailles chair. This 19th century chair set with the original paint would add an authentic French patina to any dining room or kitchen.

For centuries, gilt mirrors have been adding reflective light to dark chateau interiors. This petite but elegant version would be the perfect mirror for powder room or small niche.

While armoires take the place of closets in chateaux, this beautiful antique armoire example could fulfill a variety of needs – from elegant linen storage to living room bar. The painted finish adds another layer of texture and patina.

Now that spring is finally here and we can think about outdoor living, this charming 19th century bench would be the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of rosé on any terrace or patio.

Scent is an essential element to whisk away any remnants of centuries old chateau mustiness. Cire Trudon has been enhancing French homes since the 17th century. Get the authentic aroma of old wood, waxed floors and ancient timbers with their Roi Soleil candle, “meant to conjure Louis X!Vth’s very Chateau de Versailles.”

To evoke a summer walk through the chateau grounds, try Diptyque’s Figuier Vert. The fresh fragrance is perfect for the season.

For a contemporary touch, florist Christian Tortu’s Room Spray is a sophisticated and modern french fragrance.

For two centuries, Roger & Gallet has been perfuming life, in chateaux and out. Using natural essential oils, their lavender soaps will transport you to Provence. And their classic packaging is a beautiful addition to any decorative bathroom vignette.

I would imagine many chateaux jewelry boxes over the years have included pieces from the inimitable Van Cleef & Arpels. For a very special occasion, this exquisite emerald and diamond “Dogwood” brooch would elicit more than a few ooo la las.

Let the man in your life share in chateau style with the elegant understated hand printed silk fleur de lis tie – a french twist on the classic rep tie.

Every member of the family should be allowed to exude their French essence. Let your baby join the fun with this adorable organic cotton Eiffel Tower onesie.

Of course nothing beats the real life experience of a chateau visit. April may be the time to enjoy the romance of Paris, but September is beautiful in Bordeaux. This week long visit includes chateaux visits, spa time, cooking classes and of course wine tastings and dinners. Start planning now!

PLUS: Join Quintessence for a weekend visit to designer Timothy Corrigan’s exquisitely renovated 18th century French chateau in the Loire Valley for her first episode of International House Guest.  Click the link to check out the video.