Party at home with Sara Ruffin Costello
Sara Ruffin Costello has created the perennial party canvas, alongside a chic and creative family home in New Orleans. An inspiring space, full of juxtaposed delights (ping-pong in the dining room, anyone?) that almost begs for a party…
Grand is scale, wit and whimsy abound with hints of the southern belle. It is also a space full of contradiction, of lighthearted and unexpected contemporary details to counteract the tradition, the heirlooms, the gone with the wind chintzy romance.
Sara Ruffin Costello – interior designer, sittings editor for Vogue, founding creative director of Domino magazine, contributor to T magazine, mother of three – an expert in southern hospitality too it would seem.
When Sara and her family moved from the confines of Manhattan to the grand 1868 home in New Orlean’s Garden district, she finally acquired the space she yearned. And with space comes infinite possibilities – throwing the parties of your heart’s desires… designing a family home that is the ultimate reflection of your approach to living. It offers both, and more. Grand is scale, wit and whimsy abound with hints of the southern belle. It is also a space full of contradiction, of lighthearted and unexpected contemporary details to counteract the tradition, the heirlooms, the gone with the wind chintzy romance.
“It’s formal, yet informal,” Sara describes the house to One Kings Lane. “It’s city, yet country. It’s got kind of a formal flow to it with the center hall and voluminous rooms on each side and this grand staircase, but it’s not so formal that you feel like you can’t have a ping-pong table in the dining room.”
Living in New Orleans, the party central, Sara quickly learned some valuable entertaining tips:
One – keep all your party essentials (glasses, platters, votive candles, etc.) in one place.
For her, this is the butler’s pantry, which also has room for a bar.
Two – forget about flowers.
“I’ve decided flowers are just too expensive, so I just cut stuff out of the garden, banana leaves or weeds or otherwise. Literally, I have arranged weeds and they looked great.”
Making entertaining painless is essential in New Orleans, where parties abound (Sara hosted five benefits in her first year there) and where enjoying oneself is practically a requirement for residency.
Go inside Sara’s home as she prepares to throw a party for the New Orleans Ballet Theatre and learn her magic formula for party giving (hint: candles and booze).