From peacocks and bed trays to tea sets that bling, here are a few of her favorite things : Sara Ruffin Costello on decorating and design
Sara Ruffin Costello is beauty, bad-ass and brains. When it comes to the world of shelter magazines, this New York City girl has worn every designer hat on the vintage couture rack. Creative director of domino? Check. Book author? Double check (she’s written two!). Stylist and decorator? Um, duh. But above all of this she’s Mom to Harrison and Carolina and wife to husband Paul. And did I mention she’s $@!*& hysterical? Sara could easily be that best-all-around girl you love to hate but instead she’s inspiring and totally awesome.
I asked the funny girl if she’d be up for giving me the rundown on objects she can’t live without. She said yes! Go figure – the list [and her email itself] was anything but boring from love of peacocks to her 10-speed method of transportation. Here are some of her must-haves shot beautifully by her husband, top shelter magazine photographer, Paul Costello.
Taking it to the Streets
Transportation or decoration? Both! Sara prefers a vintage bike both in and outside the home. Her reasoning – “It cost like $100 and is a kind of fountain of youth, pre-driver’s license feeling. I ride around town on it”. New York’s secret weapon for scoring restored vintage bicycles just like Sara’s is www.landmarkbicycles.com.
Addiction never looked so chic. Most coffee or tea addicts incessantly DRINK their caffeinated culprit; however, Sara is in no need of a twelve-step. The fashionista is simply drawn to the percolated pewter pieces of the tea sets themselves. Why old-school servingware in the modern world? Sara comments “a little old guard, but a civilized way to start the day. Do I use it? Yes……..maybe…”. Looking for a tea set yourself? Check out the silver plated Reed and Barton Gadroon 4 piece set at www.silvergallery.com/sgRB-S2600.html.
Technicolor Dream Coat
From peacock or navy to Yves Klein, Sara finds blue to be the most haute of hues. She describes the piece above “this used to be a heinous white traditional garden bench pilfered from my father’s house…2 coats of outdoor paint…shazam!…the best thing I ever did in my garden”. For the perfect Yves Klein blue, check out C2 Paint “Electric” C275 www.c2paint.com.
She Was Framed
Sara on art in the home : “just like bad presents with pretty wrapping, even BAD art looks decent in a GOOD frame. Not that I endorse camouflaging bad art”. Is your current frame making your art look more like trash than treasure? Larson Juhl’s user-friendly site is a great resource for finding the perfect frame online at www.larsonjuhl.com.
To contain herself and her accessories, Mrs. Costello uses a serving tray. On the must-have item “don’t ask me where I got this, but it’s the most practical beautiful design…i use it for everything. It sits at the foot of my very low bed (on the floor) and I use it for literally anything you can think of. Sketching in bed, computer in bed, drinking in bed, stack of books in bed?”. For a bolder, playful approach, check out Parker by ducduc http://www.ducducnyc.com/productdetail.php?navid=5&categoryid=29&productid=183.