Monday, March 31, 2008

Deja Vu

As I was perusing the real estate listings in Atlanta, I came across this home, which is newly listed.

The picture is a little dark, but I like the style. An interesting mix of chairs, great coffee table, nice dark chest with a painting and a starburst mirror above it. Nice check fabric on the drapes. Very sophisticated and comfortable at the same time.

Another view of the living room, from a different perspective. This one is much better lit. The room looks even more charming; there is a lucite end table, a great series of framed intaglios, and look at the console table and tapestry on the far side of the room. I was immediately struck by how familiar it looked.

Here is a picture, from the Asheworth court section of Suzanne Kasler's website. It is the same console that is seen in the real estate picture. It is paired with the very same tapestry. Very interesting!

Aren't these the same intaglios that are on the real estate listing? The ones on the real estate listing are hanging above the sofa. And, the chair...it is the same one that is to the left of the console on the real estate listing. (This picture is from the 'Asheworth Court' pictures on Kasler's website).

Here is a picture of the dining room from the real estate listing. The chairs are beautiful, as is the chandelier.

Interesting...the same chairs and chandelier. This one is from the Asheworth Court section of Kasler's website.

Here are those chairs again, from the Southern Accents Watersound Showhouse, 2004. Yes, Suzanne Kasler did the interior design for this showhouse.

But, the piece de resistance, the thing that made it all come together for me was this picture.

This is the bedroom from the real estate listing. The bed is the Prince Charles bed by Rose Tarlow. The nightstands are the cream laquer serpentine chests by Nancy Corzine. How do I know this? This bedroom furniture, in a different house on Asheworth Court, was featured in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, June 2006. It was the bedroom of Suzanne Kasler herself, in her home that was sold last year. Putting two and two together, I think it is one and the same as the home on Asheworth Court.

Kasler on the cover of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, in her bedroom.

Picture of the bedroom from Kasler's website, Asheworth Court pictures.

Word on the street is that Kasler has just finished renovating a lovely 1930s home in Buckhead, so perhaps the real estate listing was her rental while her new home was being renovated. Or, maybe someone was the lucky recipient of a great estate sale! Either way, the real estate listing proves to me that great design can really help sell a home. And, it also proves that a foundation of strong design can make the transition from one house to another. The furniture in the Asheworth Court home look good in the home in the real estate listing; the pieces are rearranged and often grouped separately, but it all works well!

(Side Note: when the Asheworth Court home went on the market last year, I posted about it without even knowing that Suzanne Kasler was affiliated with the home; I simply liked how it looked on the real estate pictures. See the post here: light filled and lovely)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Normandy Style

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House Beautiful, April 2008. Interior design by Suzanne Kasler. Photography by Frances Janisch.

In this month's issue of House Beautiful, the cover story features a beautiful home (pictured above) described as French Normandy style. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the exterior of the house. However, the description piqued my interest, so I decided to do some research into what an American Normandy style home would look like.

About.com shows this home as representative of French Normandy architecture. Half-timbering (also seen in Tudor architecture) and stonework is seen on this home, as is the small tower with a cone shaped roof.

Here is a definition of French Normandy architectural style, from Realtor.org:
"In Normandy and the Loire Valley of France, farm silos were often attached to the main living quarters instead of a separate barn. After World War I, Americans romanticized the traditional French farmhouse, creating a charming style known as French Normandy. Sided with stone, stucco, or brick, these homes may suggest the Tudor style with decorative half timbering (vertical, horizontal, and diagonal strips of wood set in masonry). The French Normandy style is distinguished by a round stone tower topped by a cone-shaped roof. The tower is usually placed near the center, serving as the entrance to the home. French Normandy and French Provincial details are often combined to create a style simply called French Country or French Rural. "

Four authentic homes that are in the Normandy region of France. From Michele_mcl's flickr. Notice the round stone tower in the first and second pictures, and the decorative half timbering in the third picture. The house in the last picture has a grander style.

This is a Normandy style home designed by Pak Heydt & Associates, an architectural firm based in Atlanta. This home was inspired by 18th century French Norman farmhouses, with some of the English influences seen in Normandy because of its proximity to England. This home has gray stone walls and a steep slate roof, and to the right is the round stone tower (to look like the farm silo) capped with a conical roof.

The Southern Accents 2003 Showhouse in Dallas had a home that was described as 'Normandy Style'. This house is definitely inspired more by the chateaus of France than the more rustic farmhouses. It is hard to see in this picture, but the facade of the houses was built with light colored stone. The chalky French blue of the shutters and trim is characteristic of Normandy, according to the builder.

Two modern Normandy style homes, in Dallas. Architecture by Richard Drummond Davis.

There is a school in Atlanta whose design is based on Normandy style, as seen in the stone tower, stonework on the building, and the dormers.

I would love to see the exterior of the Atlanta home featured in House Beautiful. I suspect it is a recently built house that I drive by at least three times a week, and next time I drive by I will check to see how it measures up to the French Normandy research that I have done for this post!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

My Obsessions

I am in the need of a little design therapy! I feel much better when I make lists, so I am going to make a little list of my current furniture obsessions.

Lucien side table, by Niermann Weeks. I love this table, either in the dark mahogany finish with bronze accents, or in the pickled mahogany (pictured above, with a honed marble top). Interior design by Caldwell-Beebe. I love that Dessin Fournir mirror too, but it is not on my obsession list. This mirror is:

The Araby Mirror by Ironies. I love everything about this mirror. I have no spot for it now, but maybe some day I will move and make a place just for this little gem.

Niermann Weeks Montaigne Floor Lamp. I love the lines of this one...it is like jewelry, or like a sculpture. This would look perfect in my living room. Or, perhaps a pair instead of table lamps.

Amy Howard Serpentine Chest, in Tiffany Blue. I recently saw this in person and loved it. Good thing, as you never know whether you will like something until you see it in person! This would be great in my bedroom as a bedside table or a chest of drawers.

This is one of my favorite rugs, by Stark. I am not sure where this would go, but I need to find a place for it!

I am not normally much of an upholstery person, but this chair by Stanford Furniture is one of my favorites. I love the lines of the chair, but I am particularly enchanted with the trim along the bottom of the chair, and the piping that picks up the same hue. These would look great in my living room, or perhaps in my family room if I decide to re-do things.

Saturne Coffee Table, available through Niermann Weeks showrooms. I saw this table in a Celerie Kemble spread, and it was love at first sight. I have no need for a coffee table right now, but I still admire this one from afar.

The Swedish Chandelier, Niermann Weeks. If I re-do my dining room, this chandelier is at the top of my list!

These pieces, mixed in with a few antiques (I have my eye on some antiques, too), would fit into my ideal decor scheme. That's the great thing about furniture obsessions: unlike clothes, shoes, or bags, it is usually not possible to splurge on too many things at once. And, part of the fun for me is making the list and seeing how it evolves over time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wall Series

When I first started blogging, and had about two readers, I did a post on framed wall series. Perhaps the framed wall series is trendy, perhaps not. To me, it is a beautiful and interesting way to present a collection of related items, whether they be paintings, antique prints, intaglios, or whatever inspires the collector. This post is an expansion of my original post, as I have found so many more lovely and inspiring pictures of framed wall series. I have also included some of my old favorites.

This is one of the loveliest framed series pictures I have found in the past year. They look like framed intaglios, which can be found in just about every antique store in Atlanta these days. Interior design by Suzanne Kasler.

The framed series is a design element used to great effect in many a home. Here is a picture from the home of Amy Howard, the furniture designer. Often a framed series needs something substantial placed under it in order to provide an anchor, so large scale framed series are frequently seen over sofas or buffets. The room needs to have the right architecture and size to make this work.

This is a beautiful way to display a frames series of botanical prints, above a velvet covered settee. I love everything about this scene. I wonder what room it is in? I imagine it is in a bedroom, but it would be wonderful in a front hall. Interior design by Liz Williams.

Here is a framed series that is asymmetrical, and expertly executed. I love the contrast with the dark wall.

Another asymmetrical grouping, by Suzanne Kasler. It takes great skill to be able to assemble and frame such a collection. The effect is striking and memorable.

What do you think of this one? It is certainly dramatic, but I can't help but wish that the large drawing wasn't in there. Perhaps that is the point...the arrangement is striking, but keeps the viewer a little on edge. Interior design by S. R. Gambrel.

Jan Showers, featured in March 2002 Traditional Home. It is interesting how closely together she places the frames; it unifies them beautifully.

Generally I do not like it when two walls in the same room have small groupings of paintings, but I think this one works very well.

This is another example of two adjacent rooms with groupings of art on the wall, but the impact is dramatic because of the bold use of color: the far wall has an unusual vermilion mat (which is the same color as the chair), and the near wall picks up the color scheme in the frame.

A wall series done in mirrors, from an old real estate listing. It is very important that a framed wall series be perfectly spaced and the individual frames be even. It takes a lot of time and patience to do it right.

The exquisite symmetry of this scene really speaks to me. The engravings of ancient Rome, flanked by double armed sconces, with an antique commode and two leather upholstered Italian antique chairs...perfection. Interior design by Caldwell-Beebe. (I wish I had seen this picture before doing my light floor posting!)

A beautiful living space by EKB Interiors. The frames series is a dramatic focal point to the room. I am quite partial to a large mat around a small subject.

Harmony in green, from Traditional Home. I generally prefer 12 or less in a series, but this is very dramatic.

An effective and chic wall series balances a dining room, Traditional Home via Cote de Texas . Often a designer will put identical mirrors on either side of a doorway, which makes this unexpected and effective.

From Elle Decor. This is very unusual and quite striking. Can you imagine how long it must have taken to hang this?

A lovely arrangement in a dining room, from an old Atlanta real estate listing. This was the inspiration for my own framed wall series, seen below.

This is one of my favorite things in my house (although I should have straightened them out before taking this picture); I spent over a year collecting antique egg prints, and had 12 of them framed for this series. I thought about doing 9, but the effect would not have been the same (in this space) with just 9.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Light floors

Thank you to the Washington Post for including this post in your Blog Watch, March 13, 2008!

I have a fascination with light wood floors. In fact, my own home has pickled oak floors, a throwback to late 80's design, but one of the main reasons I loved the house when I first saw it. The light floors make my house so light and airy, despite the fact that the majority of the rooms face north (which has weaker light). I have lived in my home for more than 10 years, and although I toyed with the idea of restaining my floors a few years ago, I am happy that I retained the original color. Not only do I love how it looks, but it has been so practical now that I have children and a dog: the floors show no dirt or scratches.

It seems that I am not alone in my admiration for light colored wood floors. This picture in Washington Spaces Magazine (photos by Morgan Howarth, design by Frank Babb Randolph) was the sole reason I purchased the magazine. The designer bleached the floors to get the light color, and the result is spectacular. The pop of color in the beautiful window treatments and art are icing on the cake.

From At Home Magazine, interior design by Natalie and Charlene Dunagan. According to the owner and designer, the home reflects a Belgian aesthetic, as epitomized by the work of Axel Vervoordt. The light floors certainly provide a big part of the light feel of the design.

The sisal rug continues with the neutral feel of the light floor, and the dark colors on the dining room chairs and the console provide a great contrast.

Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic (via Cote de Texas); the light floors works beautifully with her casual slipcovered style.

A scene from Wisteria catalog, with lovely light colored wood floors. The owners of the Wisteria catalog and their beautiful Dallas home were featured in a recent Veranda (see picture below). The console above is a reproduction of an original antique, perhaps the one in the picture below.

Veranda Magazine, via Cote de Texas. This is from the home of the owners of the Wisteria catalog. The whole house is decorated with original European antiques, many of which are painted. The light wood floors look beautiful with this layered European look. Do you think the Italian console in this room is the inspiration for the console in the Wisteria catalog?

Another picture from Veranda Magazine, via Cote de Texas. This is a Houston home that was entirely redesigned with a Swedish aesthetic, including bleached floors.

A more contemporary Swedish space. Skona Hem, via Desire to Inspire. I have read that the light colors of the floors and furniture in Sweden are to counterbalance the many hours of darkness that occur in Sweden in the winter.

Skona Hem, via Desire to Inspire. Look at the beautiful chevron pattern of the wood in these floors.

A beautiful painted wood floor in a bedroom designed by Suzanne Rheinstein.

I always love the look of blue and white, and this is an unusual combination: white painted floors with a blue wall, and a blue runner. Via All Things Bright and Beautiful.

An apartment listing from London, via All Things Bright and Beautiful. I love the look of the light floors in a large airy space like this.

I originally liked this picture for the Jean Royere sconce to the right of the fireplace, but I love the feel that the light floors give to the room.

A fresh airy space, via Wind Lost. This space would look entirely different if the floors were medium or dark. It is the light floors that gives it a fresh look.

Another beautiful space with light floors, via All Things Bright and Beautiful. I love the contrast of the black chest with the light floors. If I were to redo my floors, I would pick a tone like this that is light, but still warm.

Although I see light wood floors in quite a few magazine articles, I rarely see them in private homes unless they are beach houses. People always remark on how unusual my floors are when they see them. I know that they are not everyone's taste. Do you like the look of light floors, and do you ever see them in private homes?

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