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Archive for March, 2011

dining room chairs

It is official! The four dining rooms chairs I purchased well over a year ago are finally finished! They hail from the 1940s and were in need of a COMPLETE overhaul…the original paint color was “avocado green” with matching vinyl upholstery, (not a good look!) but I loved the shape and the idea of giving them a new life…so here they are, a year later, stripped, sanded, painted and upholstered in a mohair fabric I chose to compliment the golden hue of the grasscloth…I couldn’t be happier with the results! Oh, and extremely comfortable! In fact, I’m sitting on one as I write this post…

I hope the next time you see a neglected piece of furniture, you’ll stop and think, I wonder what it could be…

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Yesterday, something quite unexpected and wonderful happened, I received a most uplifting comment from a fellow blogger! Tricia Huntley of Luxe & Lucid, mentioned “a thoughtful eye” as one of her “favorite resources” for providing inspiration! Thank you Tricia! I immediately explored her website & blog and WOW…original, expressive, and absolutely beautiful…I was instantly taken with her artful palette and thoughtful compositions…for me, her interiors are true works of art…in fact, I’m reminded of a lovely quote from John Saladino, “I don’t regard interior design as an applied art but as a fine art and in that respect we look upon the interior as participating in art, it is art that you sit in rather than art that you look at…”

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you these incredible images from Huntley & Co. Thank you Tricia for your kindness and for inspiring me with your thoughtful eye…

“Huntley & Co. Interior Design was founded by Tricia Huntley in 2006 following ten years of work in the field. Tricia’s aesthetic has been described as “American Luxe” and articulates her passion for creating environments that are beautiful, interesting and comfortable to live in. Huntley & Co. is located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington and is currently active with projects in the DC metropolitan area, South Carolina, Arizona and Switzerland.” ~ from Huntley & Co.

Be sure to check out Tricia’s blog Luxe & Lucid! What a wonderful new discovery!

photos from Huntley & Co.

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Today’s post features a magnificent spread from Elle Decor July/August 2010. At first glance, I couldn’t help but notice the porcupine-quill mirrors and thought to myself, could these be the same mirrors that I adore from Sunday’s post, the 1863 Italianate gem? Sure enough, this home is owned and designed by John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross! Like with their Hamptons home, this New Jersey masterpiece has an incredible story…here is an excerpt from the Elle Decor article describing their most remarkable journey (I thought about condensing the story, but it’s narrated so well, I just had to share it with you! To learn more about the interiors and resources, click on the Elle Decor link above)

” A few years ago, John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross found the home they had been searching for—a grand Georgian Revival estate named Cherryfields—a short distance from where they were living in New Jersey’s Somerset County. The only problem was that the house was already occupied. “We were obsessed,” Dransfield says. “We’d drive by in the morning to see if anybody was up, and drive by at night to see if the lights were on.” The owner, a recent widow in her 80s, had lived in the house for nearly half a century and wanted to move to a smaller home. “You must meet her,” a friend told them. “She’s just outrageous.” A 9 A.M. appointment was made. “She walked out in full regalia,” Dransfield recalls, “wearing a fabulous suit, a jeweled bib necklace, a big hat. She extended her hand and said, ‘Hi! I’m Nancy Pyne . . . but you can call me Princess.” They made a deal on the spot, but before they could complete the transaction Princess had to find a new home. She searched for months, leaving Ross and Dransfield on pins and needles. “Finally,” Dransfield says, “she asked us, ‘What kind of house do you have?’” Princess toured their 1806 farmhouse and fell in love. In the end, they simply swapped homes. “She has become our Auntie Mame,” Ross says. “She still has full rein of Cherryfields. She comes over when we’re out and leaves little notes that say things like, ‘Love the new chair in the library.’ Cherryfields is in what Dransfield describes as New Jersey’s horse country. (Princess’s sister introduced John F. Kennedy to Jacqueline Bouvier, who rode on the adjacent property; the late Mrs. Onassis’s quarter horse still lives next door.) The house was formed in 1929 when two sisters commissioned the architect A. Musgrave Hyde, who designed some of the district’s palatial homes, to unite the 1840s caretaker’s and chauffeur’s cottages of a nearby estate.”

How rare it is, to be moved by the story behind the interior…in both cases, (the Hamptons home from Sunday’s post and Cherryfields from today’s post), I was deeply moved by the history and the spirit of each home…of course, both are masterful environments re-imagined by artistic and passionate designers but what I find most memorable, and what I will always cherish, are the personal stories behind these extraordinary homes…

photos and resources from Elle Decor

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a sliver of light

a sliver of light made its way into my morning routine…what a wonderful gift on a monday…a minute earlier or later and I would have missed this unique moment…

photos by danielle boudrot, 3/28/11

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It’s amazing how time flies! Here we are, already at part ten of my Sunday tradition! I have been saving this post for spring as it is one of my all time favorite summer homes…I didn’t think it would be fair to tempt you with this home until we had turned the corner from winter to spring…with longer days and bright sunshine, we can start to dream about summer…long walks, soft breezes, salt air and the smell of freshly cut grass…for me, this home embodies the spirit of summer…many of you might remember this beautiful spread from Elle Decor, if so, I hope it brings back some fond memories…if this is your first time, then please enjoy this remarkable home located between the main street of Amagansett, Long Island, and the dunes…

Partners in life and in Dransfield and Ross, the home goods company the couple created more than a decade ago, John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross fell in love with the original Italianate details of the exterior and the “architecturally pure” interiors of this 1863 gem. Drenched in history, the couple also fell in love with the stories from previous owner Constance C. Willis. According to Ross, “In the 1950s, her dear friends Jackson Pollack and William de Kooning would spend boozy evenings across the street at the Elm Tree Inn, and when the barstools were put up for the night, the painters would saunter over to her kitchen to play poker into the morning.” I  have always loved that story! How wonderful to have this little gem to tell their guests and who knows, maybe they are carrying on the tradition of late night poker in the kitchen!

The first two photos (above) are of the library…I love everything about this room…the porcupine-quill mirrors, the 1920s biscuit-tufted chairs, the soft soothing wall and trim colors, the 1960s wood sculptures…it all speaks to me…this room has been a “go to” favorite for years and years and I’m certain it will continue to inspire me…

photos and resources from Elle Decor

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silver salt and pepper

photo by me, 3/26/11

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Simply titled “Molyneux”, this book explores more than a dozen projects ranging from a Beaux Arts mansion in the heart of Buenos Aires to a Park Ave penthouse. Complete with Molyneux’s personal insights and strategies, this book is definitely going on my list of must haves. My favorite, the cover! It is a photograph of the Palladian Dog House Molyneux designed for a Kips Bay Showhouse. His client? Max, his beloved Scottie dog! At just 3 feet square, it is complete with real marble floors, artful tromp l’oeil painting (notice the scottie dogs!), a portico in front with Corinthian columns and a pediment. I better not show this to Mimi and Bella! They will want their own Italian Greyhound palace! (come to think of it, they are quite happy with a simple gaze out the back window!)

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

photo of mimi and bella by me

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