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The Nathaniel Russell House

If you know me, you know I love to Instagram. So, last week I was excited when the opportunity came up to attend an “Instameet” in Charleston at the historic Nathaniel Russell House.  Lauren Northup even captured of myself and Olivia Brock of A Lacquered Life instagramming it up with intensity!

This is a house I have heard a lot about, and coincidentally, my mother-in-law Mary Zahl did the original garden design during the restoration in the mid 1990’s. Sometimes, it is hard to take the time to stop and be a tourist in your own city, even one as beautiful as Charleston. They do not usually allow photos to be taken in the house, so this was a special opportunity. All my photos were taken on an iphone 5s. While I already posted some on @candyshopvintage Instagram, there are more below that I have not yet shared.

The spiral staircase is the standout feature of the early 1800’s, three story home, I could not get enough:

And the grand painting in the stairwell is a portrait of Mary-Rutledge Smith as painted by George Romney. She had something like a dozen kids by my age (33). This might be a picture of her 11th or 12th. Yikes!  I believe she was 35 when this was painted.

The colors in the house are spectacular, from the burnt orange in the stairwell to the peachy pink in the drawing room (which is actually wallpaper and not paint):

Below is the “morning room” which had the best light in the house.  Yes please, I’d like my coffee in here every morning:

Loved all the details like the ceramic knobs, the library in the closet and the incredible molding with hand gold-leafed accents:

The turquoise dining room on the first floor with the exquisite borders around the windows had to be one of my favorite rooms in terms of color:

And this is an actual portrait of Nathaniel Russell, the original owner.  He did not build the home until he was in his 70’s so it was basically his retirement home.  He was originally from Newport, Rhode Island, a city with a lot of similarities to Charleston.

This was a really fun way to take a historic home tour, especially if you are prone to being glued to your iphone like me. The Historic Charleston Foundation is hosting a second “Instameet” in another historic home, the Aiken-Rhett House next Friday June 13th.  You can sign up here.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

One thought on “The Nathaniel Russell House

  1. Love seeing this! I’m an incognito history buff and touring the Nathaniel Russell house was one of the first things we did when we moved. I think one of their daughters is even named Alicia?

    We toured the Aiken-Rhett house as well, but what a good excuse to go back. Thanks for the fun post!

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