Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New on the market in Maryland

Thank you to the Washington Post for including this post in your Blog Watch, December 18th, 2008!

House aficionados, here is a special treat for you. Last year, I did a post on Donald Kaufman paint, and it featured a room from the home of my sister. It is on Gibson Island, a private island situated off the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The home is amazing; it has a great floor plan, and is quite spacious, but not over-the-top big. Because of the great floor plan, every room in this house is truly used. However, what took this house from good to great was the amazing interior design done by James Beebe Hawes of Caldwell-Beebe. I can honestly say that seeing this house, and seeing how Hawes transformed it, completely changed the way I look at interior design. Of course, my sister had the advantage of being able to furnish this house from scratch, so there were no old awkward pieces of furniture to fit into the scheme.

The entry. The house was built in the 1920s, and the fireplace is in the middle of the living room (on the other side of this entry wall). Because it was not possible to change the configuration structurally, Hawes made the entry feel like a room with a window. The window is antique Swedish.

Here is the living room, and there is the fireplace on the other side of the entry. The room is carpeted in Pueblo sisal. The Victoria Hagan wing chair (upholstered in Rogers and Goffigon fabric) is a beautiful focal point, and quite comfortable too. The John Saladino 3 leg table is a favorite of mine. The pine bookcase along the wall is antique Swedish. According to my sister, the walls are painted in Donald Kaufman No. 55

The living room serves a dual purpose, as it has the dining table in it as well. The dining table is made by New Classics, and has a custom nautical design on the top. The chairs, also by New Classics, are slipcovered in duck cloth to bring down the formality of the space. The chandelier is by Mike Reid Weeks, and is no longer made, unfortunately!

The sunporch is one of my favorite rooms. It is fully enclosed, and the light streams in, making the space sunny and bright. The floors are bluestone, and have radiant heat. None of the pictures on the listing show the lovely bay view, unfortunately.

The other side of the sunroom. The French doors leading out to the lawn are on the left, and they lead directly to the bay. The walls are painted in Donald Kaufman No. 29.

The family room is casual and slightly nautical in theme, but not over the top. I love how the pillows and the art work so well together.

The master bedroom has a custom Dessin Fournir bed. The walls are painted in Donald Kaufman No. 6.

The guest bedroom has the Donald Kaufman paint that I raved about. According to my sister's records, the color is DK No. 29 (if you like this color, sample pots are available for purchase at The Color Factory in New Jersey). It truly changes colors throughout the day, based on the sunlight. I think this is as close to the color of seaglass as you can get!

Another view of the guest room. Much of the furniture in this room was purchased at Tone on Tone, a Swedish antique store in Bethesda, Maryland. The view out the window is of the Chesapeake Bay. No doubt, this is the prettiest guest room I have ever seen.

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Beautiful framed intaglios, available here:

Unique architectural renderings, available here:

Whimsical original crab and lobster paintings, as seen in House Beautiful, available here:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Art of the showhouse

This past week, I had the pleasure of going to the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Christmas House. Some of Atlanta's top interior designers decorated rooms in the showhouse, and the house did not disappoint. Many of the designers involved in the showhouse are nationally recognized: Suzanne Kasler, Phoebe Howard, Stan Topol, Beth Webb, and Bob Brown are just a few of the designers from this year's house.

Each room was done by a different designer, but the house had a cohesive feel. This is quite an achievement; I have been in other showhouses where the styles were jarringly different from room to room. One common theme among the rooms was the amazing art. Much of the art was contemporary in style, although there were a few traditional paintings too.

Alas, pictures were not allowed in the showhouse, so I will have to wait until Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles publishes the showhouse spread in a future issue. However, since many of the designers patronize the top local art galleries, much of the art in the house can be seen on the gallery websites.

Suzanne Kasler often uses striking contemporary art in her designs, as seen in this room (pictured above) from a recent House Beautiful feature. The painting above the mantel was done by Dusty Griffith (represented by the Lowe Gallery), whose work has been featured in many of Kasler's designs. Kasler did the design for the living room in the Christmas showhouse, and the space was beautiful. A wall to the left of the fireplace had the biggest series of framed intaglios that I have ever seen - there must have been 20 of them. Framed series were seen in many of the rooms of the showhouse.

Over the sofa on the opposite wall of the living room were two large paintings, both by the same artist. Knowing that Kasler often shops at Atlanta's Lowe Gallery, I suspect they are the works of Ingrid Magidson. In fact, the painting above might be one of the actual paintings that is in the showhouse. It is available at the Lowe Gallery. I seem to recall that the cost was over $20,000.

Carole Weaks is another prominent Atlanta designer known for her use of contemporary art with traditional rooms. She designed the dining room of the showhouse (seen above, courtesy the AJC). Although not visible in this picture (blocked by the chandelier and the wreaths on the mirrors), Weaks used several paintings by Haidee Becker. Haidee Becker is an American artist who lives and paints in London, and is represented in Atlanta by Timothy Tew. Haidee's large paintings tend to retail from $20,000 and up.

Haidee Becker, Roman Vase 2007, oil on canvas, 58 x 47
(not in the showhouse, but very representative of Becker's style)

My favorite painting from the showhouse was in a bedroom room designed by Scott Laslie. The room was beautiful and subtle, and the art he selected was perfect for the room. After a bit of investigation, I found a picture of the painting online. The artist is Kenn Kotara, and he is represented at the Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta. This painting is called Veil, and it is luminscent in real life. It retails for $7500.  The picture from the gallery website does not show its silverleaf frame, and the frame is the perfect finishing touch for this painting. (If you have never seen Scott Laslie's work, check out his website. It is amazing.)

For those of you in Atlanta or the Southeast, I highly recommend a visit to the Christmas showhouse; you have until 12/7/08. Proceeds benefit the Alliance Childrens' Theatre, and the admission price of $20 is a bargain for the amazing interior inspiration that the house provides. For those of you who are not in Atlanta, the AJC had a small selection of photos of the home. The pictures do not do the rooms justice; they are so much more spectacular in person! However, it gives you a small view into the lovely home.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Love at first light

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love chandeliers, all types, from the traditional to the transitional to the contemporary. Perhaps this is why I have not replaced the builder grade, late 80s brass chandelier that came with my home. I simply can't decide what style to get.

Things are becoming a little more clear, though. Last week I saw a chandelier that might just be 'the one' (pictured above). It was startling to see it in person, as I have several pictures of it in my inspiration files (or, at least, chandeliers that are of a similar style). This picture does not do it justice; it was a quick picture taken in the harsh lighting of a showroom. This chandelier is made by Paul Ferrante, and I am not quite sure how to describe the style. The gold is actually quite subtle. The chandelier is giltwood with crystals; others similar to this one have been described as French, Italian, or Genovese. Does anyone know more about this style? I don't see it too often in magazines, but when I do, I always take notice.

I first saw this chandelier in Southern Accents, March/April 2005. Suzanne Kasler did the interiors of this beautiful new home in Atlanta, and it is one of my favorite projects of hers (in fact, I think this was when first heard about SK). The chandelier in the living room is the same as the one I saw in the showroom last week - the 'Daphne' by Paul Ferrante. As you can see from the picture above, the chandelier is actually quite delicate in appearance when viewed in the context of a room. The overall impression is of lightness and grace.

Here is the same room on Kasler's website, a bit crisper as it is not scanned from a dog-eared copy of a magazine.

I love the antique chandelier in a room from a recent Veranda spread, as it is the style that I have been noticing. The architectural design of the home is by Steve Giannetti (husband to Brooke of Velvet and Linen), and the interior design is by Madeline Stuart.

A room designed by Jeffrey Bilhuber has two chandeliers of this style.

The chandelier caught my eye in this room designed by Madeline Stuart. She obviously likes the style as much as I do! I think this is the Daphne chandelier by Paul Ferrante. The delicacy of the chandelier and the clubby chairs make for an interesting contrast.

Some time ago, Cote de Texas did a post on chandeliers, and this was one was my absolute favorite. I love the simplicity of the crystals.

I saved this picture a while ago, and recently learned that the interior design was done by Gerrie Bremmerman of New Orleans. I love the color scheme, but my favorite thing in the picture is definitely the antique chandelier. It is reminiscent of the Ferrante chandelier.

I am not rushing into any big purchases right now, so I will think about this chandelier for a while before making any decisions. In the meantime, if anyone has more information on this beautiful style of chandelier, please let me know.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wall of windows

I recently had the opportunity to tour a house that was just built in Brookhaven, one of the most beautiful parts of Atlanta. The house is custom in every way, and is incredibly beautiful. One of my favorite parts of the house is the kitchen. The lot was very carefully chosen, and the architect placed the kitchen on the east side of the house so that the morning light will stream in through the windows. There were only a few upper cabinets in the kitchen (as seems to be the style these days), and perhaps most charming of all, the entire east side of the kitchen was a bank of windows.

I looked through a few of my design magazines, and realized that my magazines from the early 2000s have a few kitchens with the wall of windows. According to something I read, this is the time when there was a change in kitchen design towards making the kitchen more like a furnished room. This charming kitchen is from Southern Accents Nov/Dec 2002; interior design by Suzanne Rheinstein, photography by Tria Giovan. I had this page turned down at the corner; even six years ago, this style of kitchen captured my imagination.

Look at all of the windows in this beautiful kitchen. It does not even look like a kitchen! The house has low ceilings (7'10"), but the architect and designer used a lot of floor to ceiling windows and an open floor plan to make the space feel expansive. Traditional Home, October 2008. Interior design by Susan Marinello, photography by John Granen.

The kitchen of designer Dan Carithers, which he 'redid' 30 years ago. Carithers has long favored using furniture pieces in his kitchen, rather than wall to wall cabinets everywhere. The kitchen overlooks Carithers' beautiful sculpted English garden. From Traditional Home.

This looks like a remodelled kitchen from an older home, based on the ceiling height. The windows really open up the kitchen and give it a modern feel.

I love this gray and white kitchen, and although I am not certain whether the windows extend along the entire wall on the left, I like to imagine that they do.

It helps if the wall of windows has a beautiful view, and if the view is nice, I prefer no window treatments at all. If I ever build or remodel a home, I will pick the lot carefully so that my kitchen has a nice view. My current kitchen overlooks the brick wall of my neighbor, so I have no plans to take down the cabinets and expand the windows! (This kitchen is from Lindy Weaver Kitchen Design.)

These windows are quite contemporary, but I like the overall effect of lightness that they give the kitchen. From Southern Accents, Nov/Dec 2008, interior design by Sara Steinfeld.

Finally, a lovely kitchen that I found in one of my new favorite blogs, Velvet and Linen. The author of the blog, Brooke Gianetti, is an interior designer and has just launched a store in Los Angeles. I love the colors of the kitchen, but most of all I love the wall of windows and the lanterns about the sink. Image from British Homes and Gardens.


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