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In Travel, Uncategorized on
October 25, 2017

Saddle Up: Aiken, South Carolina Travel Guide


Aiken marries the elegance of an equestrian oasis with all the eccentricities of a small Southern town, what’s not to love? I was first charmed by this little slice of horse heaven when my husband and I stayed here during the Masters (Augusta National is about 30 minutes away) a couple of years ago. Oak lined streets with names like Whiskey and exquisite architectural relics of a winter colony’s past had me eager to return. As my due date looms closer, a “babymoon” was imminent. We decided on a trip to Aiken because I enjoy history and a bathing suit was not required, thank you very much. Those who love Charleston, Savannah and Highlands will find Aiken to be a more intimate destination with plenty to do, see and savor.

The Winter Colony


South Boundary Avenue, Aiken’s most famous street. Image via the Aiken Standard.

In the 1890s, Aiken entered its Golden Era thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hitchcock who lured their friends down south to build magnificent estates in town. Everyone from the Whitneys to the Astors wintered in Aiken and enjoyed equine activities such as fox hunting and polo. Aiken also attracted the Hollywood likes of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and Bing Crosby to enjoy its charm. As for small town eccentricities? Evelyn Walsh McLean, last private owner of the Hope Diamond, used to fasten it as a collar around her dog’s neck and let it prance around town. I found similar Aiken anecdotes in this great read by Pulitzer Prize winning authors Gregory White Smith and Steven W. Naifeh. Today, Aiken exists as a place where you can find a fabulous $5 meat and three lunch before tailgating at a casual low-goal polo game or enjoy a late afternoon court tennis match at the Aiken Tennis Club (one of only 9 places to play the sport in the US) followed by a four-course dinner at your members-only supper club. Unfussy at its finest!

The Stalls: Where to Stay


The Green Boundary, who doesn’t love a sizable gravel drive?

On our first trip to Aiken, we were fortunate enough to stay at the Green Boundary Club at the invitation of a relative. This Georgian-style home was turned into a supper club in 1956 when winter colony residents needed somewhere to dine on Thursday nights as all their cooks had off that evening. Today, members enjoy croquet on the lawn, delicious dinners and the option to stay in one of their six guest rooms. If you have the chance to visit or stay at the Green Boundary, you must!


One of the 6 guest bedrooms at the Green Boundary.

Right in the heart of downtown is the Carriage House Inn where we enjoyed our weekend. As far as location, it cannot be beat; you are within walking distance of most of the shops, restaurants and attractions Aiken has to offer. It’s a true B & B with a full breakfast in the mornings and personable service throughout your stay. The accommodations in the historic home were not totally wow-worthy but if you are planning on being out and about most of the time, they are perfectly suitable.


The Carriage House Inn makes a charming statement.

I had originally tried to book a couple of nights at The Willcox, rated #7 on Travel and Leisure’s best hotels in the world list. Their room rates were surprisingly low but they had several weekends that were completely booked due to it being a popular wedding venue. We had a wonderful evening of dinner and drinks (mocktails for moi) at The Willcox and found it to be absolutely wonderful so if they have availability while you’re visiting Aiken, this is my recommendation!


Ta-da! The Willcox is always ready to wow guests.

The Paddocks: What to Do


Joye Cottage on Easy Street, a former Whitney winter residence that was painstakingly restored by an author couple from New York City.

My husband really indulged me on this one; an Aiken trolley tour hosted by local historian, Judith Burgess. We were the youngest people aboard the trolley by a couple of decades that Saturday morning but we both found the tour to be interesting, entertaining and helpful in navigating Aiken the rest of our stay. Judith points out local landmarks including historic homes and notable establishments and the tour includes a walk through the beautiful Hopeland Gardens and a whirl around the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. If you have a group of 15 or more, you can arrange for a private tour.


Hopelands Gardens, 14 acres of beautifully lush pathways. Fountains were built on top of the original home foundation that was once on this farm.

Exploring downtown was easy to do from our B & B on Laurens Street, the main drag. My favorite home stores (a weakness!) were Folly, Nandina Home and Plum Pudding. Lionel Smith, Ltd. had a handsome selection of menswear and we stopped in Bone-I-Fide for some homemade treats for our Westie, Wally. If you are an antiques lover, York Cottage Antiques is an elegant little shop filled with beautiful treasures. On Saturdays, the Farmer’s Market is seriously bustling and has everything from fresh produce to local wares.


One of my favorite homes we stumbled upon, a Bermuda pink beauty.

If 90 degree heat in October wasn’t a factor, I would have loved to have taken a hike in Hitchcock Woods, the largest urban forest in the US that’s located just behind some of the most beautiful historic homes in Aiken. It was highly recommended by several locals!


Horse Crossing! You’ll see these all over town.

Speaking of outdoor activities, you must attend a sporting event while you’re in town. Aiken makes it very easy to do so with a year-round horse-centric calendar. From races to polo games, you’re bound to find something spectacular to spectate at! We decided to catch a Governor’s Cup polo game one afternoon and just tailgated with a few other cars at Powderhouse Field. My dad, an authority on all things polo, gave me the hotline number to call (803-643-3611) that has a recording of all the scheduled games for the day. Easy peasy!


Chukker time at Powderhouse Field.

The Hay: Where to Dine

I saved the best for last! On our first night in town, we had dinner at The Willcox which was such a treat. The atmosphere was very fun with a buzzing crowd at the adjacent bar and lobby. You can have drinks and appetizers while sitting fireside in the lobby or go for a sit-down dinner with a full menu in the restaurant. It’s all seasonal fare and it was delicious!


Mr. Muffy enjoying a nightcap in the Willcox lobby.

Our second dinner at the Stables Restaurant at Rose Hill Estate was also wonderful. Arrive a little early and walk around the estate, which is now an inn, and I recommend going on a Friday evening when they have live music. The restaurant itself is in an old barn converted into a quirky and charming German inspired venue. The menu mixes everything from schnitzel to shrimp and grits; all our plates were quite good.


The Stables Restaurant serving up equestrian charm.

My favorite lunch spot was called New Moon Cafe; quite a bit hippie with a little ladies-who-lunch mixed in. It’s the perfect place for half a salad and wrap type of lunch right on Laurens Street downtown.

I should mention some other recommendations I heard that we didn’t get to dine at: Malia’s for dinner, Magnolia’s for lunch and What’s Cookin’ for true Southern stick-to-your-ribs fare (these are all on Laurens St).

In a nutshell, it was the perfect laid-back getaway for those seeking some charm. If you make it to Aiken sometime soon, you’ll have to let me know how you liked it! If you have already visited or go often, please do share your recommendations. I’m all ears!



In Decor, Travel on
September 19, 2017

Addison Mizner’s Boca Raton: The Sun Porch of America


In the wake of both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the devastation seen in Texas, the Caribbean, Florida and beyond is truly heartbreaking. My thoughts are with everyone affected.

Last week’s catastrophic projections of Irma predicted complete havoc for the East coast of Florida. Having grown up there, I have seen plenty of hurricanes and tropical storms pass through but nothing compared to this latest behemoth. My parents still live in Boca Raton and as the pictures came through of all the damage, it had me pondering how much architectural history in hurricane-prone places still survives the wreckage of Mother Nature’s ultimate storms. Before long, I was down the rabbit hole looking at city plans of Boca Raton, Florida from the 1920’s as dreamed up by celebrated society architect Addison Mizner. Just what is left of his lofty building goals for America’s Sun Porch?


Right after college, I did some volunteering at the Boca Raton Historical Society. Wearing white museum-quality gloves, I sifted through pieces made at Mizner Industries, from wrought iron candelabras to tiles and leather upholstered chairs. My job was to add them to their impressive database of Mizner memorabilia by noting details on the item and cataloging it. Mizner Industries was a workshop set in West Palm Beach that supplied pieces needed to build and decorate Mizner’s projects, like the tony Everglades Club, while keeping costs and lead time down. While most are familiar with Mizner’s Spanish Mediterranean-style architectural contributions in Palm Beach, his most impassioned vision was creating a new winter haven 27 miles south in sunny Boca Raton.


A craftsman at Mizner Industries works hard churning out headboards for the architect’s projects.

In 1925, Mizner owned about sixteen hundred acres of land including ocean-front property. His plans for “the world’s most architecturally beautiful playground” included shopping vias, polo fields, four Donald Ross designed golf courses, a battery of tennis courts, a lake to rival the likes of Italy’s famed Lake Como and elegant residential villas sprinkled throughout. He also wanted some cultural pull so a cabaret ship and theatre were dreamed up as well. In the days before centralized air conditioning, I’m sure it took this and more to get anyone further south than Palm Beach! Mosquitos, heavy humidity and Everglades alligators must be overcompensated with lots and lots of perks. Much to my delight, a few Addison Mizner Boca Raton gems have sustained the harsh South Florida conditions for nearly 100 years and can be appreciated by residents and visitors alike.

Cloister Inn


The Cloister Inn of yesteryear and the Boca Raton Resort and Club today.

In the days of winter colonies, a resort destination had to be anchored by a fabulous hotel. While construction was underway for a never-to-be built Ritz-Carlton beachfront property, Mizner started working on a smaller getaway. The Cloister Inn was to be a Spanish monastery-like beauty right on the water that brought luxurious tranquility to Boca Raton. Mizner decked out each guest room in $10,000 worth of Mizner Industries furnishings and decorated public spaces with antiques from his own collection. Acquired from his travels far and wide, antiquities such as fine lace from cathedrals and stone doorways from palaces adorned the Cloister Inn. The Vanderbilts , Elizabeth Arden and many other social fixtures came for the grand opening gala in February of 1926. All of this hoopla over the Inn attracted the ear of Sea Island, Georgia developer Howard Coffin who was in the midst of building a hotel that was to be the crowning jewel of his new resort destination. He sent a handful of his employees to see what the Inn was offering and they reported back that “the orthodox commercial atmosphere is entirely lacking at The Cloister in Boca Raton. There is an atmosphere of absolute peace, content and calm. It is like living in the most beautiful home in the world with a perfect personal service that has tremendous appeal. Boca Raton is the most beautiful place I have seen in Florida. Add to that the fact Addison Mizner best understands just what to give people and you have the perfect solution.”


The dining room, said to be the most impressive space at The Cloister, was modeled after a 15th century Catalonian hospital.


A fancy fountain greets members at the Boca Raton Club.


Mizner had anticipated grand gondolas ushering guests to the Cloister.

Coffin quickly abandoned plans drawn up by New York architects Schultze & Weaver for an 8-story “Palace by the Sea” and contracted Mizner to design his Sea Island hotel instead. As fate would have it, Mizner was indeed in need of another job as Mizner Development Corporation had just slipped into bankruptcy following the Florida real estate boom collapse of 1927. Meanwhile, the Cloister was saved by an original investor, Clarence Henry Geist, and after a $1 million renovation it reopened as the Boca Raton Club, a 450-room members-only retreat. Geist funded an elegant railroad depot in the city and dredged the Boca Raton Inlet so members could anchor their yachts right outside the club. As you may know, the grand hotel on Sea Island is now called The Cloister Inn; Coffin took the moniker after the Boca original was renamed by Geist! Today, you can book a stay at the Boca Raton Resort and Club and enjoy a historic (and totally renovated) Cloister room.


The Cloister lobby maintains its uniquely Mizner architectural details with modern touches thrown in.

It’s the perfect shade of Florida pink!

Old Floresta

In close proximity to the Boca Resort is the city’s first historic district aptly named “Old Floresta,” Spanish for “a delightful rural place.” Mizner planned on completing 29 homes on this land for his family and company executives before his whole Boca Raton venture went bust. The neighborhood was eventually finished by Hermann V. von Holst, the original land owner, and he supervised the completion of all the planned homes and changed the street names. Three Mizner classics remain in Old Floresta, standing out with their signature rough-stucco walls, wrought iron balconies and barrel tile roofs.


The Lavender House at 875 Alamanda Street, it boasts a National Register of Historic Places plaque and was lived in by Hermann V. von Holst. Homes were given names like “Lavender” so that the gardener could identify each one in the days before street addresses were used.


The Aiken House at 801 Hibiscus Street is named for prominent film maker and former Boca mayor Fred Aiken. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places.


Mizner built 888 Oleander Street for his brother Rev. Henry Mizner and it is known as “Acacia.”


Neighbors gather in a flooded street of Old Floresta after a hurricane in 1948.

Addison Mizner’s Boca Raton house often had four exposures in one room to maximize ventilation. Porches, always facing toward the coveted Southeastern direction, were in abundance as were fountains and gardens. Large windows were added in wherever light was short, no need for symmetry, an architectural trait that Mizner abhorred. Doors, ceilings and exterior wood were all pecky cypress with floors being Florida hard pine. Arched hallways were a signature Mizner move and done with smooth plaster. Nothing he ever did was simple except bathrooms where details were kept to a minimum. Although today we revere his style with which he reinvented Palm Beach, his work was never taken very seriously by the architectural community. His homes were once referred to as “backward-looking pastiches” with “damn the expense” budgets. Enter his penchant for pricey plans that had to be completed by someone else!

Boca Raton City Hall


Old Town Hall.

Known today as Old Town Hall, Mizner dreamed up a beacon of city pride with an elaborate gold dome topping it and plenty of square footage for town goings-on. The city finally had to object to his optimistic vision due to financial restraints and architect William E. Alsmeyer was called in to finish a more modest Town Hall in 1927. The glittering dome still stands today and the building now houses the Boca Raton Historical Society and museum. Inside you will find Mizner Industries pieces that originally furnished Town Hall as well as an exhibit showing more work by the eclectic builder.

Pie in the Sky


Camino Real as dreamed up by Mizner.

Just for fun, let’s take a look at what else Mizner had in store for Boca Raton before a budget got in the way. Like the cabaret ship that never was, Mizner’s grand scheme for “the world’s most beautiful boulevard” never came to fruition either. The Camino Real plan consisted of a bridge arched Venetian canal with roadways on either side flanked by more than 7,000 palm trees. It was to be a “truly royal highway 160 to 220 feet wide inspired by Rio de Janiero’s famous Botafogo.” Today it is just a plain old road.

Mizner also planned for his own estate to be a shining beacon on an island in the middle of Lake Boca Raton. His castle, complete with a mote, would dazzle lookers-on and be the ultimate example of a Spanish Mizner creation. He looked forward to entertaining guests and clients in his forever home while continuing to develop Boca Raton as the ultimate winter retreat.


A Moorish castle fit for Mizner!

While Addison Mizner’s complete blueprint was cut very short, his stamp on Boca Raton is a strong one. If you find yourself visiting once the Irma dust settles, make the time to see some of his lasting facades; you won’t regret it!

Images courtesy of the Boca Raton Historical Society, The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and New York Social Diary.

In Decor, Travel on
August 28, 2017

The Lindens: Washington, D.C.’s Oldest Home


If you have a heart for historic homes that have been saved from the wrecking ball, The Lindens mansion will certainly charm you. It now sits on a large lot in the fashionable D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama but was originally built in Davers, Massachusetts in 1754. Read on to find out how this 263-year-old Georgian became D.C.’s oldest estate, painstakingly moved and restored by a couple dedicated to history and preservation.

Grand Beginnings

Originally built as a summer home for successful merchant Robert “King” Hooper, the home boasted all the bells and whistles of an ornate Georgian. “The Lindens,” as it became known locally, was named for the Linden trees that lined its long drive. Over 200 years later, Mr. Hooper’s mark on the property can still be seen where a musket shot hole (meant for him!) remains emblazoned in the front door. He was a British sympathizer before and during the Revolutionary War and was lucky to make it out alive before the house was given up to creditors.


Incredible original details on the stair railing give a sense of how fancy Mr. Hooper had envisioned his summer house to be. Image via Gibson Builders.

The Lindens mansion passed hands a few times and was even a boarding house at one point before being purchased in 1860 by Francis Peabody Jr. who added a kitchen wing, sun porch and the incredible French wallpaper you’ll read all about in just a bit. After the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Peabody Jr., the home was in a state of deterioration and in 1933 was snatched up by two notable antiques dealers for $10,000 with designs to sell it off room by room. In fact, they sold the downstairs paneled drawing room to the Kansas City Museum; you can see it on display at the renamed Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art today. As if summoned from the historic home heavens, Mrs. Miriam Morris heard of this incredible Georgian being torn apart in piecemeal fashion and saved it in 1934 with $12,500. She and her husband George had much different designs for this relic of early American architecture.


The original French wallpaper Mr. Peabody Jr. had installed leads the way into the dining room.

A Roving Restoration

Miriam, a fertilizer heiress, had a great passion for antiques and architecture, eventually becoming the only woman to serve on the State Department’s Fine Arts Committee. She and Mr. Morris had been on the hunt for a classic Colonial home to showcase their vast collection of early American furniture and treasures. That it was in another state was but a small inconvenience. They enlisted the help of Walter Mayo Macomber, resident architect of Mount Vernon and historic Williamsburg to oversee the tricky task of moving The Lindens. It was dismantled, each piece of lumber and glass numbered, packed in 5 boxcars and sent on its merry way to Washington. The rebuilding of The Lindens would take 30 months to complete.


The regal pilastered living room is anchored with Georgian and Charles X antiques sitting pretty on a Sultanabad carpet.

The home was kept in 18th-century tradition by Mrs. Morris, electrified wax candles illuminated every room and stacks of faux book spines and antique boxes hid modern amenities such as phones and radios. Macomber persuaded the Morrises to have updated bathrooms added in closets once used to powder wigs. The third-floor bedroom suite has one panel of original plaster that was kept with a child’s handprint happily stamped on the wall. This is the floor where their young son lived and football playing was permitted!


12-foot ceilings and an ornate fireplace make this bedroom feel grand. The green and white quilt is my favorite touch!

Mr. and Mrs. Morris relished in entertaining at The Lindens with over 60,000 visitors enjoying an invitation during their ownership. Home tours that took one back 200 years with Colonial fare, tartan hoop skirts and a gaggle of Junior league ladies reciting the provenances of the Americana furniture were commonplace. Gatherings for private guests including diplomats, First Ladies and other Washington heavyweights have historians wishing that the walls could talk.


With its original paneling and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, the library is a neutral confection.

After Miriam’s passing, the home and all of its treasures were offered tout ensemble to the Smithsonian but without an endowment attached, it was turned down. The entire collection of Queen Anne and Chippendale style antiques from the Morris era was sold at auction through Christie’s and fetched $2.3 million in 1982.


A large bedroom mixes period antiques with crisp upholstery. The Pennsylvania quilt at the foot of the bed is circa-1875.

The Decorated Georgian

Gibson Builders was retained by the new owners, the Bernsteins, in 1983 and asked to complete a new renovation on The Lindens in 90 days or less. The labor included hand scrapping and Tung oiling 10,000 square feet of original wide plank flooring. Central air conditioning and modern plumbing were added while the kitchen was rebuilt. Historic detail fencing was replicated in Azek and the home was painted with period-accurate colors inside and out. The Bernsteins would enjoy the home for 22 years before listing it. Enter the current residents who took one look at the 12-foot-wide Palladian center hallway, 12-foot ceilings and ornate fireplaces and knew they were home.


Modern marvels like a Sub-Zero refrigerator and Howard Kaplan Designs light fixtures play nice with Windsor chairs by Woodard & Greenstein.

Wanting to keep the historical integrity of The Lindens while making it a livable space became their top priority. The edited elegance of interior designer Mariette Himes Gomez was called upon and she decked out The Lindens in high historic style. She took her cue from the vivid wallpaper and created a rich yet understated palette throughout. As to not detract from the exquisite architectural details, Mariette anchored spaces with period Georgian furnishings and kept traditional drapery in the living and dining rooms.


Panoramic wallpaper is complimented by a Manuel Canovas fabric covered sofa and English huntboard.

Hand-blocked Dufour et Leroy wallpaper featuring “Les Incas” and “Telemaque dans l’Ile de Calypso” on the walls of the two-story stair hall set the tone for the whole home’s design. The scenic panels were designed in Paris in the 1800s and were steamed off of the walls in Massachusetts and rehung seamlessly in their new D.C. digs.

She explains that the saturated historic hues painted on the walls of The Lindens were meant to be seen by glowing candlelight and can be garish by electric lamp. Gomez remedied this by subtly toning down the colors like the sublime light blue she chose for the dining room. And what a room to dine in! 


A vision in blue! Drapes in a Rose Cumming fabric, a circa-1880 George III-Style chandelier and an antique double-pedestal table make a splash.

Old houses with a story always captivate me; I hope you enjoyed taking a virtual tour of The Lindens as much as I did! If you’ve been one of the lucky 60,000 plus visitors to go inside this exquisite estate, please do share every last detail…

All images via the February 2014 issue of Architectural Digest.

P.S. Aching for more historic grandeur? Tour this Savannah Stunner or this swanky NYC apartment.

In Decor, Travel, Uncategorized on
July 10, 2017

The Beguiled Set: A Tale of Madewood Plantation House


Did Google send you this way after a search of Jennifer Coolidge’s New Orleans home? Welcome to the world of Stuffy Muffy; a cocktail of a la mode entertaining, delicious decor and marvelous musings. Subscribe over on the right for more historic home content, shop my curation of classic decor and lifestyle here, and follow along on Instagram for infinite inspiration. Scroll down to the end of this post for two of the only photos on the internet of Jennifer Coolidge’s Garden District property.

Our story begins with me sitting in a dark movie theater excitedly awaiting directress Sofia Coppola’s latest film to grace the screen. Like most of you, I’ve seen the trailer and believe Marie Antoinette to be a cinematic setting treasure so I was hoping The Beguiled would be an ocular delight of equal proportions. In a more stripped down and war-torn sort of way, it was just as spectacular visually. The plantation home it was filmed in left me wanting more so this weekend I went right down the rabbit hole of exploring this historic delight via the internet. Madewood Plantation House has all the trappings of a gorgeous Antebellum dwelling; a beguiling past, a cemetery that won’t rest in peace and exquisite interiors.

Madewood makes a magnificent backdrop for an all-girls boarding school. Image via Focus Pictures.
Jennifer Coolidge, whose home was used for many scenes, recreates The Beguiled cast photo. Via her Instagram, scroll down to the end of the post for a few more images of her home.

Coppola and her cast used Madewood, a Greek-revival style property built in 1846 as a sugarcane plantation, to tell a Civil War period piece that takes place in Virginia. Madewood’s Ionic columned facade greets you in the opening scenes, Spanish moss floating in the bayou breeze and you’re swept into the South. An hour’s distance from New Orleans, Southern charm reigns supreme at Madewood, one of the first masterpieces built by notable architect Henry Howard. Now a Bed & Breakfast, guests can experience all its splendor with beautifully appointed rooms, traditional Louisiana cuisine, and rich history around every corner.

A Step Back in Time

Taking eight years to build (1840-48), Madewood stood out among its neighboring plantations. Its building was commissioned by Thomas Pugh, a young sugarcane planter with 10,000 acres of working farm land, a wife and 16 children. Pugh himself would only get to enjoy his manor home for four years, passing away in 1852 from yellow fever. It is said that his wife Eliza kept Madewood from being destroyed during the Civil War by alerting a Union general that he and her deceased husband both had Masonic affiliation. The home was spared from looting but its sprawling lawn did serve as a Union field hospital.

Madewood in disrepair in 1936. Photo taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston.

The plantation was kept in the Pugh family until 1896 when it was sold to Leon Godchaux, a sugar magnate, for $30,000. Over the next few decades, ownership would change hands until the Marshall family purchased Madewood in 1964. Keith Marshall, a Rhodes Scholar and art historian, and his journalist wife Millie own and operate the charming bed & breakfast today.

A Step Inside

Madewood is virtually unrecognizable in The Beguiled. Now kept in meticulous shape, production had to plant dying and overgrown vegetation on the property for an accurate war-time portrayal. The parts of the 23-room home that were used for filming were the front lawn, dramatic entrance, kitchen, and dining room.

During the eight years that it took to construct the Greek-revival beauty, most all materials used to build it were created on the plantation. The brick was made there and all interior woodwork was milled on-site, hence the name Madewood. Supporting local before its time! Striking features like cypress mantles painted to resemble marble flank the double parlor and cypress doors painted to look like oak grace the downstairs ballroom.

The elegantly appointed double parlor at Madewood.

You too can experience the historic gentility of Madewood by staying in one of their guest rooms. There is one aptly named the “Brad Pitt Room” as the actor stayed in it while filming Interview with a Vampire years ago. According to owner Keith Marshall, none of the staff knew who he was and were disappointed it wasn’t Tom Cruise. In the main house, there are 5 bedrooms and in the less formal adjoining Charlet House, once a river captain’s abode, there are 3 rooms.

The cast gathered in the dining room for formal dinners. Image via Focus Pictures.
If you visit Madewood during the holiday season you’ll be treated to lovely Christmas decor as seen here in the dining room. Image via TripAdvisor.
Cooking and baking took place in the old attached kitchen during the movie. Here it is as part of the Bed & Breakfast. Image by Jackie Weisberg.

Of Notable Mention

Not all of the interior scenes were shot at Madewood. Actress Jennifer Coolidge’s Lower Garden District New Orleans home made appearances in The Beguiled during takes in the music room, parlor and bedrooms. The high ceilings! The silk drapes! The incredible antiques! I wish her home was published somewhere but, alas, this is all I could dig up.

Jennifer-Coolidge-New Orleans
You can see the gorgeous sunshine-hued walls and sky scraping ceilings. Ms. Coolidge is being fitted for her Mardi Gras ensemble, image via Bravo.
In her Lower Garden District parlor, 2021. Photo by Irina Rozovsky.
From her Instagram, a scene taken at Coolidge’s famed Halloween party.
How hauntingly exquisite! A New Orleans Halloween dinner via her Instagram.
The exterior, witness to All Hallow’s Eve revelry. Via Coolidge’s Instagram.

I watched the original The Beguiled starring Clint Eastwood to see if the houses resembled each other. Turns out, the plantations are but mere miles from each other in Louisiana. Ashland-Belle Helene Plantation is now a corporate holding not open to the public but you can drive by it!

An Antebellum beauty, Ashland-Belle Helene.

And about that cemetery on the Madewood plantation? Local legend has it that a long deceased member of the Pugh family was buried in one of the plots with her small white dog. One day, a guest of the B&B found herself being followed down a hallway by a petite ivory canine that no one ever saw again. There was also an incident in the dining room of a large epergne (a decorative piece made of  glass and crystal) flying across the table all in front of a Metropolitan Opera tenor who was a guest.

Oh, and Beyonce’s Lemonade video? Also filmed at Madewood! I hope you all enjoyed getting to know The Beguiled set a bit better, does anyone else really want to stay there now? Have you all seen The Beguiled? What did you think? Let me know!