If you don’t know who Patricia Altschul is, either get acquainted or we can’t be friends. Sorry. You don’t have to love her like I do but at least appreciate her for God’s sake… She deserves it. Why? Because her Charleston, South Carolina house is fabulous and that is enough for me. I don’t care if she murdered someone (which she didn’t), she will always be, as the annoying French say, “Top.”
I don’t know much about her personally but I do know that she married well… a few times. I first learned about Mrs. Altschul on my favorite reality show, Southern Charm. The show is about a bunch of over-privileged and quasi-privileged brats that live in Charleston. Mrs. Altschul is the Grande Dame of the group. Her son, Whitney, is also on the show whom I would like Grace to marry because he is the only one who has any true class… and he was educated in Paris which you know is a big plus in my book because I am a big fat snob. Whitney also produced a super cool documentary about fashion designer, Halston. But back to Patricia…
I mostly love Mrs. Altschul for her house which I know is shallow… but true. Let’s take a look.
Look at her house in Charleston! That salmon pink façade with those mint green shutters! To die! The house is a landmarked antebellum mansion built in the early 1850s. Mario Buatta designed the interiors.
The Drawing Room. Apple green double drawing room. Stark carpet, Lee Jofa floral upholstery, Colefax and Fowler check fabric for the French bergere chairs.
The Dining Room. Antique Zuber wallpaper, 19th century Waterford chandelier. I love the curtains but I might change the shape. I am not a fan of the swag. Notice the sunburst over the fireplace... available on my website. Product placement!
The Morning Room. Colefax and Fowler stripped wallpaper.
The Entrance Hall. Regency mirror. Black chinoiserie cabinet. Black and ivory hand painted floors.
The Library. Cherry red. Chinoiserie fabric curtains, Brunschwig & Fils tiger stripe velvet chair, gilt 18th century mirror and that sofa fabric is to die for.
The Master Bath. The fact that the toilet is concealed in a tall chinoiserie cabinet says it all. The blue and white garden stool next to the bath is perfect and incidentally available on my shop.
The Master Bedroom. Manuel Canovas cornflower blue fabric. Be still my heart. And look at that 19th century chinoiserie étagère!
Enough about her house, let’s talk about Mrs. Altschul. To start with, every day, she has her butler bring her a gin martini calling it her “medicine.” What’s not to like about that? Mrs. Altschul is also an etiquette expert which in my book is golden. Town & Country magazine did an article about Mrs. Altschul asking her advice on all things etiquette.
Town & Country: “What are your etiquette rules regarding social media?
Patricia Altschul: “The rule used to be "Don't put your elbows on the table," but that is the least of it now. Today, people have two iPhones on the table and maybe an iPad on the seat next to them. It has gotten out of control. I have asked people to put away their cell phones because there is nothing ruder than to sit with someone who is cutting their steak and then poking at their iPhone to look at their tweets.
I think it is unacceptable behavior. Phones should be put away and turned off. I don't know why people's perception of what is appropriate and what isn't has gotten blurred. Social media is like an addiction and lot of people who would ordinarily be very thoughtful can just be disrespectful and thoughtless."
Mrs. Altschul also offers her advice on dating…
“Keep the décolletage to a minimum. I think women should wear something demure on a first date. You don't want a lot of bosom showing, you don't want to wear a miniskirt. Wear something ladylike with high heels. I think you should always wear heels. And you know, I'm telling my age, but I would wear a beautifully cut simple dress with pearls. And I wouldn't try to look like the Whore of Babylon.”
My favorite characteristic of Mrs. Altschul is that she says it like it is. No sugar coating. Here are some of her best lines…
"I have no interest in an inferior martini."
"In my day, if you got knocked up, you went to a home for unwed mothers and your parents changed their name and moved to Missoula."
"I don't have a husband right now, so I fill up the house with butlers. You can't have too many butlers."
"Instead of impregnating 21-year-olds, you might refocus, is all I'm suggesting."
Mrs. Altschul is writing a coffee table book on entertaining and trust me, I am sure it will be an instant hit.
And lastly, if I ever move back to the States I am going to send a formal request to reside at Chez Altschul.
Tune in to Southern Charm, on Bravo, of course.
*Something you don’t know about me? Well, I did not get to attend the Christie’s auction because my husband had to go visit his 82-year-old mother in the French Alps. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you why… Remember when I got sick in Provence and had to come back to Paris? Well, my husband had the grand idea to take my beloved dog, Teddy, to his mother’s house to live. In theory, this was a great idea but in actuality, it was catastrophic. Teddy, the sweetest dog on earth only wants love, kisses, hugs, cheeseburgers, and affection. My husband thought Teddy would be the perfect companion for his mother as she is a widow and lives alone on a big piece of property on the lake. Teddy would love it. However, disaster ensued. Within the first 5 minutes of Teddy being at David’s mother’s house, Teddy got a tad bit “over loving” and accidentally knocked over David’s mother breaking her 82-year-old wrist, knee cap, and hip. She has been in the hospital since March. I think she has had 4 surgeries thus far. Can you fucking believe that? David feels terrible, responsible and guilty. I agree. Just kidding. Anyway, this is why I could not go to the auction, dammit! The good news is that David’s mother gets out of the hospital today and the good news is that I can see what everything sold for at the auction online. I will report back tomorrow with all of that. I would just like to point out that I did not pitch a spoiled brat fit and reluctantly allowed David to go see his mother because I am a fucking amazing wife. Just kidding… I threw a huge fit… as expected.