Southern Charm's Patricia Altschul Has Launched a Home Essentials Collection at HSN

Emily Selter
·7 min read
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

From Town & Country

We've admired Patricia Atlschul's taste since the very first moment we were introduced to her on Southern Charm (that living room! Those caftans! That dinner table!), and so when we found out she was releasing a collection for HSN we couldn't wait to go shopping. The collection, which launched at the end of October and is priced between $29.95 and $350, contains everything you need to make your home just as chic as Patricia's—and she has promised that there is even more to come.

She spoke with us on her way to SeeWee's (one of her favorite restaurants for classic Southern food) and shared her inspirations behind the collection, as well as what else we can look forward to.

What made you want to create this collection with HSN?

I can tell you exactly what made me want to work with them—they proposed that I would develop a new niche for them focusing on upscale, high-end items. They came to me and asked me to be an ambassador for luxurious and tasteful products. I truly believe that style is based on taste, rather than expense, and I don’t believe that taste necessarily has to cost a lot of money. For example when I decided to do the faux fur throws, I asked HSN to find the best quality faux fur on the market and I never once asked about the price. I was shocked when I found out how reasonably priced my throws were, because the quality is even better than that of the faux fur throws I have seen for sale at boutiques in Italy for thousands of dollars.

Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

I used my many years of experience with decorating and high-end shopping and I translated it into something new using these wonderful materials that HSN has access to. They have a polyester blend material that looks like silk and feels like silk, but it is much more durable. I was amazed when I compared my handmade silk pillows with the pillows I designed for HSN, because the blend looks better and feels better than the real silk. When I did this collection, I didn’t think at all about cost. That’s just the way I am. I don’t think about it. And then when I saw how beautifully this is made and the fabulous fur, the detailing, and found out the price—I was in shock.

Have you ever purchased anything at HSN before?

Yes, I’ve bought all kinds of things at HSN. I buy my favorite mascara there—Too Faced’s Better than Sex mascara—because HSN sells it for half of the price. I’ve ordered kitchen equipment, exercise equipment, and even Christmas decorations from HSN. And I love their Luminara candles, which I give as gifts. Whoever invented them is a genius.

Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

Many viewers of Southern Charm know you for your expensive taste—especially your incredible house and your collection of Birkins. But you also shop at Costco and eat at SeeWee’s. Is there anyplace else viewers would be surprised to find you?

Well, I recently got a new Rolls Royce and my favorite thing to do during quarantine has been to drive to Krispy Kreme with Michael. When we get there, we get donuts from the drive through, Michael parks the car, and I open up a bottle of champagne in the back seat.

Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

Mario Buatta always told me that you have to mix the high and the low, and you always need to include something whimsical. Even Sister Parrish would include something low in the most formal schemes—when she was decorating the White House, she would finish a room with hand loomed rugs and crocheted quilts and things of that nature, because you need that dichotomy. If you don’t have that unique mix of high and low, it will look either like a historical room or a hotel lobby. For example, my pug collection is a mix of 18thcentury porcelain examples I bought in London, some pugs I found on ebay, and even a plastic piggy bank shaped like a pug that Mario gave to me. They are all displayed on an 18th century table.

The collection is filled with fun patterns—how did you pick them?

I began with things that people associate with me—like flamingoes, pineapples, and martinis—and I worked with artists to incorporate them into beautiful designs. The pink flamingo is an iconic American symbol—I am actually going to be in a documentary on it with John Waters that will be coming out soon. I am from Virginia, and the pineapple has been used there as a symbol of hospitality since colonial times. Pineapples also became a symbol of wealth and they were a status symbol; just as tulips were in the Netherlands during the 17thcentury.

Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

How do you use the items from the collection in your own home?

We use the pineapple beverage dispenser to make spa water—we fill it with water, ice, and all kinds of fruits like watermelon, raspberries, and orange and lime slices. I designed the round bar cart so that it could go anywhere. A rectangular bar cart tends to be stationary, but we’ve used the round one all around the house. We use it to serve cocktails, breakfast in bed, and hor d’oeuvres, and even my hairstylist and my makeup artist have used it to lay out all of their lotions and potions. It’s a very handy thing to have because you can move it with one finger—it is made of gilded steel, but it is light and very easy to maneuver.

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Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

What was your favorite item in the collection to design?

The faux-fur trimmed robe. It comes in six colors and two furs trims, and it is so cozy and warm. It looks and feels luxurious but it is still very practical because it is washable, and it is so much better than getting out of bed and putting on an old bathrobe. It was inspired by a cashmere robe with real chinchilla trim that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. I don’t know who would want to spend that much on a robe, and I don’t buy real fur anymore anyway. I am also working on my spring collection, which will have caftans, home goods with a chinoserie theme, and bed linens, so I have been designing sheets, throws, and quilted coverlets similar to the ones that were used during the 1930’s.

Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

Where are your favorite places to buy decorative items?

I mostly buy at auction, but I love William & Wayne and Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Talmaris in Paris.

What books should be required reading for decorators who would like to emulate your style?

Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration by Mario Buatta with Emily Evans Eerdmans; Colefax and Fowler: The Best in English Interior Design by Chester Jones; and The Decoration of Houses by Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr.

Is there a design aesthetic that offends your sensibilities?

Monochromatic rooms…and neutrals.

Photo credit: Patricia Altschul
Photo credit: Patricia Altschul

What can we expect from Southern Charm this season?

A lot of contemporary events are addressed this season, dictated by what has happened during the past five months. There are also two new cast members, and they do their part to stir the pot. There is an unexpected scandal that you will learn about, and a few things you couldn’t even imagine—I don’t think people could even write this script!

Check out some of our favorite styles from the collection below, then visit HSN to see the full collection. To learn more about Patricia, buy a copy of her book, The Art of Southern Charm, and tune into Southern Charm, season 7 on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo

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