Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Kitchen Sink

I am thinking about kitchens this week, as I spent 2 1/2 hours at the kitchen appliance store yesterday. Although there are some big decisions that need to be made, I feel well prepared thanks to Cynthia Ziegler, my wonderful kitchen designer, as well as the kitchen forum on Gardenweb. I am the type of person who likes to research and ask a lot of questions – then once I make the decisi0n, I rarely second guess.
When reading the kitchen forum of Gardenweb, I realized that the sink decision is one of the first decisions that must be made. Are you a single bowl person, or a double bowl person? Stainless, fireclay, cast iron, silegranit or stone sink? Do you want a prep sink? Where is the sink going to be located? What style of faucet (bridge, pull down or pull out sprayer). I have never picked out a sink before, and I have always adapted to what I have had. But now that I am aware of all the options, I realize that I really dislike my current sink, which has a divided bowl – a little section with the disposal (which is the section we use 90% of the time), and a large section that is good for washing pots, but has no disposal. (I would take a picture of it, but I was up very late making a marinade, and the sink is not very pretty right now.) However, I do like the material - cast iron, with a white enamel finish. My sink has been a work horse for over 20 years and still looks great.
I am finding that the hundreds of pictures of kitchens in my inspiration files, originally saved for decor and architecture, are now very helpful for analyzing layout and details of kitchens!
Type of Sink

I have long admired farmhouse sinks, and this is the sink I assumed would be in my new kitchen. Yes, there have been murmurings of this being ‘trendy’ and a look that will be replaced by ‘the next big thing’ in a few years (I even had it as one of my possible trends that scream the 2000s), but most agree that this particular trend is based on a classic design style. As one person commented, everything comes and goes in cycles – it seems like everything is trendy at some point in time. Image via Cote de Texas.

Joni of Cote de Texas has this lovely sink in her own kitchen. Look at how thick her countertops are – I never noticed that before! What a beautiful kitchen. Joni unveiled her remodeled kitchen last year in this post.

Another look that I have been seeing in magazines is the side by side sink look. The first time I saw this in person, I was a bit taken aback. I seems like overkill. Coming from a 1980s kitchen, I am very minimalistic about how much I want in my kitchen. I think that I am leaning towards the ‘single bowl team’ (if you read the Gardenweb kitchen forum, you will see that there are definitely two camps – single bowl and double bowl). I have heard that single bowls work best if you have a small prep sink too. I have also heard that double bowls are really not that necessary if you have a dishwasher; the second bowl used to be for washing dishes. I still wash a lot of cookware by hand, so I don’t think this is a good argument.

My sister’s new house has a Shaws double bowl sink – she commented that this model seems rather shallow, as her previous house had a deeper stainless double bowl sink. This does look quite shallow compared to the models above. I will have to check in with my sister after she has cooked a few meals in this kitchen and see what she thinks.

A big stainless sink is an option too – as long as I have an undermounted sink in my new kitchen, I will be happy (I don’t have that now). Kitchen design by Matthew Quinn, Design Galleria.

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Cynthia, my kitchen designer, has also opened up my eyes to some interesting new options – perhaps not as classic, but they truly represent an advance in kitchen sink design and seem to make so much sense functionally. The Kohler Stages kitchen sink is one that Cynthia wanted me to look at. The sink has a beveled edge, so it holds all sorts of accessories, making it both a sink and a work surface in one. It is quite large – 45” wide (there is also a smaller version). The video of the sink in action is pretty amazing, especially for someone like me who cooks a lot – take a look - http://www.kohler.com/video/index.jsp?bcpid=823619074&bclid=203863667&bctid=21311779001. This sink is not classically beautiful like the Shaw farmhouse sink (and I would certainly get different faucets), but it looks so functional and well designed. I wish the Kohler site would show this model in a more traditional setting – all of the images are very contemporary and industrial!

Location of Sink
Most of the sinks I admire in my kitchen files have an enormous window over the sink, and this kitchen epitomizes the look! In January of last year, Cote de Texas created her famous kitchen post, and the image that inspired the post was an email I had sent to her with this picture, proclaiming it to be my ‘dream kitchen’. Joni noted that it was the window, the shape of the island, and the shape of the room that probable were at the base of the kitchen’s appeal for me.

More than likely, based on the room shape and layout, I think my sink will end up on the island. Given that the island will look out past the kitchen table to a wall of windows (and a door) looking out over the garden, there will be a good view and plenty of natural light. In the end, I think it is perhaps the natural light that has the greatest appeal for me in a kitchen. With the sink in the island, this allows the range and the range hood to be the focal point – that can be a topic for a future post! Image via House Beautiful (it is the December 09 kitchen of the month), design by Mick De Giulio, photo credit Julian Wass.

Traditional Home 2
Another picture I recently came across (posted on the Circa Interiors blog) ….this is the general layout of what we are thinking about doing in our kitchen. The range will be in the middle of the wall, flanked by windows, and the sink will be on the island. Image via Traditional Home, interior design by Mark J. Williams, photo credit Michael Garland.

Sinks in the island are actually more common that I originally thought. If a kitchen is an interior kitchen, this seems to be the preferred position for the sink so the cook can look out into the room if they don’t have a window. Kitchen design by architect Louise Brooks. Image via Elements of Style.

I have long admired this kitchen, designed by architect Steve Giannetti. He is truly masterful at kitchens.

This William Hefner designed kitchen (also an architect) has always intrigued me, and I went back to it in order to analyze where the sink was located. He put a little prep sink in the corner of the island, I wonder why? Perhaps it is for efficiency, proximity to the refrigerator, and to keep the workspace on the island open. I think someone told me that this island is made of zinc – it’s quite striking.

Sometimes it is good to see the rest of the kitchen to understand the full story. Here is a large sink, probably used mainly for cleanup. It is not common to see a sink that is not under a window, but this kitchen is not lacking for light. The dishwasher(s) are placed over there, as is the dish storage – it is easy to bring dirty dishes from the table, and it is still easy to transport messy pots and pans over to the clean up sink. I love the small door to the outside that is within the kitchen – it reminds me of the home where I grew up in Connecticut.

Style of Faucet
Related to the sink is the style of the faucet that will go with the sink. This is where my brain starts to ache – so many options out there! Last year, I replaced my pull out sink faucet with a pull down faucet, with one central lever that controls hot and cold (go to the left for hot, the right for cold, middle for warm). I must admit, I find it to be quite easy to use (it is the Delta Leland Diamond).

And yet, the darling of the design blogs seems to be the bridge faucet. This is one of my favorites – by Perrin & Rowe.

This kitchen has two bridge faucets – I would love to see this kitchen in its entirety! Edit: one of my readers let me know that this is from Martha Stewart's home, Turkey Hill (which I think she sold?). Here is another picture of the kitchen- http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/marthas-memories-of-turkey-hill#slide_13 - what a testament to classic design, given that this kitchen was renovated in the 90s - a time when not much was done with restraint!

I assume that bridge faucets get their name from the elevated cross bar between the hot and cold handles. The style of the spout can be quite varied – this one has a lovely sculptural arc.

Back to Joni’s kitchen – she has a Perrin and Rowe polished nickel bridge faucet. She calls it the jewelry of her kitchen, and it looks beautiful with the new sink and counters.

This kitchen (which I noted is from House Beautiful, design by Michael Smith) has all sorts of faucets and contraptions going on at the sink. What is that large thing that looks like a pencil sharpener? Maybe a water purifier?

I also like the look of an industrial style sprayer, although I think the profile is a little high if it is going to be on an island.

I actually rather like this Kohler faucet - it looks so simple to use. It has a pull down sprayer, which I have grown to love. I found this image via Simplified Bee – she has been writing a great series of kitchen posts which have been inspirational to me. Design by Berkley Vallone (one of Traditional Home’s 20 young designers to watch) and Caroline DeCesare; image via Vallone Design.

And yet, none of these options have the beauty of the bridge faucet. My concern about the bridge faucet is that it would be a pain to have a separate handle for cold and hot. I remember when I used to visit my grandmother in England, and her kitchen sink had a separate spout for cold and a separate spout for hot – you had to mix the two in the sink to make warm! So, it’s not as challenging as that set up! And yet, I am used to one lever to control hot and cold.

Readers, please weigh in on any or all of the sink decisions. What kind of sink do you have, or what kind of sink to you recommend to your clients? Are you on the single bowl or double bowl team? What about faucets – if you have a bridge faucet, do you like it?

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inspirational New Blogs

There are so many great architecture and design blogs out there, and sometimes it is sometimes hard for them to get ‘found’ by readers. I usually find my ‘new’ blogs through posts by some of my favorite bloggers (as well as blog rolls and comments on my own blog). Occasionally I will read a new blog that really speaks to me, and I have recently come across several blogs that I think my readers will like.

DC by Design

I find that the aesthetic of many of the designers in DC really appeals to me. Two of my favorites – Jim Hawes of Caldwell-Beebe and Sally Steponkus of Sally Steponkus Interiors - hail from the DC area, as does Darryl Carter (he has such a cleverly designed web site – click here to see it) and Kelly Proxmire.


So, when I discovered that Jennifer Sergent, the former editor of the now defunct Washington Spaces Magazine started a blog, I knew it was going to be great. Jennifer told me that after the magazine closed, she “really felt a responsibility to keep the magazine’s blog going under my own name, because this is such an incredible, creative town and there NEEDS to be more than one or two voices to spread the word”. Her most recent post totally captured by heart – a beautiful condo with interior design by Sally Steponkus (pictured above, photo credit Angie Seckinger). Click here to see more pictures from this magnificent home! I look forward to seeing how DC by Design develops – Jennifer is definitely connected to the pulse of the DC design scene.

Acanthus & Acorn


Another new blog has emerged on the scene: Acanthus & Acorn, written by a Northern Virginia based designer (the vignette above it from her recent post). The author is a blog reader of mine, and we have chatted on the phone about the framed intaglios that I sell in my online store (click here for a peek). When we first chatted, she told me that she had been thinking about starting a blog, and I am happy to report that she went ahead and did it! Her posts are beautiful, insightful, and interesting. It is also interesting to read some of the behind the scenes decisions that went into the projects that she has featured – I always find this to be fascinating.

Nest Egg


Finally, although this blog is not new, it is new to me! Brooke of Velvet & Linen met this Nashville based blogger in Atlanta, and I was amazed when I went over to check out her blog, Nest Egg. The author, Rachel Halvorson, is a designer and has such a happy and joyful approach to design and to her blog, it makes me smile when I read it! She also is a dead ringer for Cameron Diaz, as you can see in the thumbnail picture from her blog (I am sure she has heard this a million times!).


Rachel’s recent post on beams is definitely on my favorites of 2010 posts (I have already started my list!). Click here to read it. Image via House Beautiful, design by Tom Scheerer.

Please take a moment to visit these wonderful blogs! I think you will like them as much as I do.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Five Beautiful Houses

This fall, I was invited to write up the profiles for the 2010 Cathedral Tour of Homes. Featured on the tour this year are five exquisite homes, each of which has been transformed in some way or another. For architecture and design fans within driving distance of Atlanta, this is an event you can’t miss! The Cathedral Antiques Show and Tour of Homes is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Cathedral of St. Philip; this year’s beneficiary is Cool Girls, a program designed as an early intervention program dedicated to the empowerment of low income girls.
Over the course of a month, I interviewed the designers, architects, and homeowners involved with each home on the tour. When seeing the beautiful homes, and meeting the homeowners, it became clear that each house had its own story. It was fascinating to uncover the story and relay it in the descriptions that I wrote – I enjoyed every minute of my assignment!
My favorite interior and garden photographer, Emily Followill, documented the homes with her camera; Emily’s work has appeared in numerous publications (including Veranda, Southern Living, and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles). I have always wanted to see a photo shoot in action, and I had the opportunity to do this when Emily and I overlapped at several of the houses. Emily donated her time and talents to this wonderful fundraising event, and the pictures are breathtaking. She graciously allowed me to use some of her pictures for this post; please visit her website (click here) for wonderful examples in her interior, garden, and lifestyle photography portfolio.
And so, without further ado, a sneak peek into the homes that will be on the Cathedral Tour of Homes this weekend! This is the order in which I saw the houses, and it makes sense from a location perspective; I recommend either using this order, or reversing.
The Bishop House
Many of you will recognize this beautiful home, as it was featured in Southern Living this fall and was widely covered in the blogs. Photo credit: Emily Followill
‘The Bishop House’ was built in 1940, and was home to the Right Reverend C. Judson Child, Jr., the 7th bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, for almost 50 years. When the Bishop moved, his neighbor (Michael Ladisic, a prominent builder in Atlanta) saw the potential in the home; noted Atlanta architect Linda MacArthur was hired to shape the vision for the renovation. It was Linda’s idea to honor the Bishop’s legacy by paying homage to both the Bishop and his church with subtle ecclesiastical details in the home. The double doors with beveled glass and fleur-de-lis strap hinges were designed to echo the doors to the Cathedral of St. Philip; other elements include a spectacular groined ceiling in the entry, quatrefoil elements found in architectural details and furnishings; pointed arches in doors and windows; and a beautiful stained glass window in the family room. The result of the renovation is a family home that is truly one of a kind, cozy, charming, and welcoming.
Seeing this house is like taking a great journey, with fascinating details in every room. The picture above is the family room, which is open to the kitchen; the kitchen is one of the warmest and most charming kitchens I have ever seen! Photo credit: Emily Followill
Be sure to notice these ‘inspired details’ from the home:
  • The unique ceiling treatments in virtually every room all but demand that visitors look towards the heavens to appreciate the inspired design; especially interesting is the ceiling in the front hall, which was created out of salvaged wood found on a trip to the Highlands
  • Pointed arches throughout the home, culminating in a charming stained glass window in the family room
  • The richly colored kitchen that serves as the warm heart of the house (kitchen design by Jane Hollman with Studio Entourage)
  • The finials on the back staircase, carved to resemble chess pieces
  • The subtle repeated element of the quatrefoil, which is also found in the soaring towers of St. Philip
  • The pool house that Linda MacArthur based on the entry harbor to Christ Church on St. Simons Island

A Fresh Perspective
This house sits on a gentle crest rising above one of the most charming streets in Buckhead, and it has been home to the owners for almost 40 years. It is a home full of memories, where the owners raised their children, where they have celebrated all of the milestones in life. When the owners purchased the home in the 1960s, they enlisted legendary Atlanta antique dealer and designer Jane Marsden to help them decorate and find many of the wonderful antiques in their impressive collection. In recent years, the owners’ daughter Jessica Walmsley, owner of JJ Interiors, has brought fresh perspective to the rooms by reconfiguring the arrangement of her parents’ favorite furniture and accessories throughout the home, and adding new ‘traditional with a twist’ treasures that seamlessly marry the old with the new. Photo credit: Emily Followill
The mother and daughter story of this home was quite endearing. Both the homeowner and her daughter (the designer) Jessica gave me a tour, and it is clear that they love to collaborate with one other. Jessica loves to use texture, fabric and cherished furnishings to give her clients a sense of comfort and ease, and succeeded admirably on this project. The owners could not be happier with the results of their home’s decorative update, and marvel at the transformation of the interiors in the home where Jessica grew up. The home is now the perfect environment for the Jordans’ lives, a colorful and fresh sanctuary that is truly a place of comfort. Photo credit: Emily Followill
Inspired details:
  • A beautiful collection of antiques, including an exquisite English sideboard in the front hall; a richly colored antique rug in the den; an antique secretary in the living room.
  • The charming and cheerful sunroom, which is the wife’s favorite spot from April through October; the beautiful painted ceiling is the perfect touch.
  • The dining room, which has the greatest concentration of antiques in the home, and is so timeless that it has been relatively unchanged over the past 40 years
  • Antique cache pots in the living room transformed into lamps by Jessica
  • The powder room tucked under the stairs, a chic little jewel box of a space decorated in a Chippendale inspired lattice pattern (a repeated element that can be seen around the home)
  • The fine contemporary piece in the den, painted by Dennis Campay before he rose to fame – juxtaposed with an ancient Peshwa painting that hangs on the wall between the French doors (this is one of the owners’ favorite antiques).
  • Blue porcelain pieces that were purchased for the den, and beautifully bring out the blue in the rug
  • The backsplash to the kitchen sink – lovingly designed and created by a local artist to reflect the persona of of the homeowners
A Charleston Inspired Beauty
The architect for this gracious home was Francis Palmer Smith (1886-1971); he is regarded as one of the most prominent architects of his generation in Atlanta, and was the architect of the Cathedral of St. Philip. After the home was purchased, architect Bill Litchfield purified the architectural details of the newly purchased home and moved it into the direction of Charleston’s historical architecture. Building on the wonderful architectural foundation established by Bill, designer Carolyn Malone succeeded in creating much more than a beautiful interior; she created a place where every room elicits an emotional response. Carolyn perfectly balanced the owners extensive collection of serious antiques with current day fabrics and accessories; it is the balance that makes the home feel like a family home rather than a museum of antiques. Photo credit: Emily Followill
This home is being submitted for a magazine spread, so I am only showing a tiny vignette of the breakfast room, which was modeled after the breakfast room of the Charleston home where the owner grew up. It is a room that is filled with light (with windows on three sides), and contains the original Audubons that belonged to the homeowner’s Great-Great Grandfather. Take my word, this house is amazing! It is so elegant, yet it is also a family home. For those in the know, Carolyn Malone is one of the greatest interior design talents in Atlanta– this is a name to remember. Her work is breathtaking! (Image cropped from an original picture by Emily Followill).
Inspired details:
  • The wide and gracious front hall with mirror image doors
  • The beautiful and elegant moldings found throughout the home, inspired by historical Charleston architecture
  • The ‘best view in the house’ – a window in the pantry, which overlooks the Shutze masterpiece across the street
  • The charming painted floors in the kitchen, designed by Ray Goins
  • The transom window in the powder room off the kitchen that lets light into this interior room
  • The chandelier in the dining room, which is an antique from an old home in Charleston
  • The fretwork on the library fireplace designed by architect Bill Litchfield
  • The secret storage closets between the library and the hall
  • The Gothic style swing on the sun porch, hand crafted for the space by Ray Goins
A Dramatic Transformation
When this home was purchased 2002, the owners knew that they were taking on a major renovation project; the exterior of the house had exaggerated proportions that were a reference to Georgian architecture, but not in pure form, and both the interior of the house and property needed a tremendous amount of work. With a leap of faith and the talent of Greg Palmer of Harrison Design Associates, the house underwent a dramatic transformation and is now a classically proportioned brick Georgian home that fits in beautifully on one of Buckhead’s most prestigious streets. Some of the most dramatic transformations occurred on the front exterior of the home; on the interior, most of the rooms and key architectural elements in the home were modified or enhanced to create better proportion and more refined details. The owner has had a lifelong love for beautiful interiors, and decorated the home herself with a combination of cherished furniture (much of which was found while traveling) as well as special antiques and new furniture finds that were purchased just for this home. Photo credit: Emily Followill
The homeowner’s passion for flowers and art can be seen throughout this lovely home. Despite its elegance, no room is off limits for the homeowner’s grandchildren and dogs – it is truly a comfortable family home. Photo credit: Emily Followill
Inspired details:
  • The stunning palladian window on the front elevation of the house, created with perfect Georgian proportions, inspired by the window of the John Brown House of Providence, Rhode Island (1786)
  • The intricate ceiling details in the living room, which is the owner’s favorite room in the house, and a place where the family gathers most frequently
  • The owner’s passion for flowers that is clearly seen in the colors, furniture, and art in the home
  • The antique secretary in the living room, picked out by the owners when they were newly married
  • The tranquil and airy master bedroom, which feels like being in a cloud
  • The hummingbird sink and mirror in the master bathroom
  • The ‘secret’ door in the dining room that connects to the butler’s pantry
  • The paneled family room that was based on a beautiful room created by interior designer Charles Faudree, and is filled with beautiful Swedish antiques
Greek Revival Masterpiece
This majestic Greek Revival style house is believed to have been designed by Clem Ford, and has a gracious Southern charm that immediately appealed to homeowners. Architects Norman Askins and Michelle Moody orchestrated the extensive renovation, and virtually every room in the house was changed in some way; in addition, the home was expanded with a new back hall and wing. The architects incorporated many authentic Greek Revival details into the renovation. However, the owners also feel a strong connection to France, Louisiana, and the Lowcountry of South Carolina, all places where they have lived, and elements from these special places are reflected in the home. Although the owners already had an impressive collection of art and antiques acquired over the course of a lifetime, interior designer Karen Menge, of Pulliam Morris Interiors, was able to blend the old treasures with newly purchased fabrics, antique furniture, and accessories that were found all over the world. Photo credit: Emily Followill
The homeowner and designer told me that the beautiful aquamarine Zuber wallpaper in the dining room was the inspiration for the color scheme of the entire first floor. Visitors to the house this weekend are in for quite a treat!
Given that this lovely home might be in a magazine, I am only including a picture that features the stunning architectural detail in the home. Notice the incredible detail in the moldings and trim on the stairs, the baseboards, and the door surrounds. Truly no detail was overlooked when renovating this spectacular home. The door opens to a paneled library inspired by a Louisiana library designed by A. Hays Town. Photo credit: Emily Followill
Inspired details:
  • The stunning beauty of the home reveals itself in the details; a recent guest commented that there seems to be a hidden surprise in every room.
  • The Greek key pattern found in the architectural details throughout the house
  • The custom, fully functioning shutters on the exterior – created just like shutters in the 1800s
  • The aqua blue Zuber wallpaper, hand crafted in France by one of the oldest wallpaper makers in the world; it inspired the color scheme for the entire first floor
  • The Fortuny fabric upholstered walls in the entry
  • The moldings and trim in the living room, which was custom designed by the architects for this room
  • The bench and arched bridge from the wallpaper were charmingly recreated in the garden by landscape architect Richard Anderson.
  • The baby grand piano in the living room, which belonged to the owner’s mother
  • A classic Greek Revival element, the anthemion (honeysuckle) motif, was used in the corners of the living room ceiling.
  • The lovely curved stairs and the stained glass skylight at the top of the stairs
  • The owner’s most cherished possessions, the portraits of her children which hand on the stairwell
  • The lovely porch, with ceiling painted blue in typical Charleston fashion
  • The private sunroom off the master bedroom in the new back wing of the house
  • The plaster walls and ceilings in the basement – reminiscent of the amorphous plaster walls in ancient French homes
I highly encourage anyone in the Atlanta area to go on this tour of homes either Sunday, January 24 from 12:30 – 5:00 pm, or Monday, January 25 from 10 am – 3 pm. If you do see the homes, print out this blog post as a handy guide for the details to look for. The write ups that I worked on last fall are included in the Cathedral Antiques Show magazine, which is included with your ticket.
Tickets can be purchased in one of four ways:
1) Online - http://www.cathedralantiques.org/onlineTickets.html (note: tickets purchased online must be picked up at the Cathedral of St. Philip)
2) At the Cathedral Bookstore or Information Desk – 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, Georgia
3) By phone: Call Sherri Musgrove at (404) 641-9657

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Monday, January 18, 2010

The Kennedy estates: on the market and recently sold

The Washington, DC area has been home to the Kennedy clan through the years, but perhaps signifying the end of an era, the last three grand DC area estates from JFK’s generation have recently been on the real estate block – two have sold, and one was recently listed.
First up – Hickory Hill, the McLean, Virginia home of Robert Kennedy; it was originally owned by JFK, who sold it to his brother in 1956. The real estate listing notes that this home was built in the late 1800s, and sits on almost 6 acres. It has 12 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms, and is only 12 minutes from Georgetown. The home was on the market for over 5 years; it originally listed for $25 million; it was later reduced to $16 million, then again to $12.5 million. The Washington Fine Homes website notes that it sold in January 2010 for $8.25 million; inside sources say that a technology mogul is the new owner. (I snapped the picture above, when on a trip to DC last year)
Cote de Texas did an extensive post on this home and the Robert Kennedy family. Zillow notes the home as 7,332 square feet, which of course is quite large; somehow, based on the exterior, I thought it would be even larger than that!
The family dining room, which has probably hosted its fair share of family dinners and other noteworthy events. If only the walls could talk!
The blue room, which serves as the home’s library; Joni of Cote de Texas notes that this is to the right of the front door.
The pink sitting room, which Joni notes is to the left of the entry. (All images via Washington Fine Homes)
Next, the home of Eunice and Sargent Shriver (Eunice, who died in August on ‘09, was John Kennedy’s sister and founder of the Special Olympics). Built in 1986, the 16,000 square foot home in Potomac, Maryland sits on 7 acres, and has 10 bedrooms, 11 1/2 bathrooms. It was originally listed for $11.8 million, and sold recently for $7.81 million; an international humanitarian organization purchased the property. All images via Washington Fine Homes and the WSJ.
This hall reportedly spans the entire width of the house! This truly looks like a family home that has been decorated for living; the home is filled with the pictures and furniture that the family loves, and does not seem to be designed solely to be impressive or magazine worthy.
As this home was built in the 1980s, it does not have the aged feel of Hickory Hill, but the decor does feels a bit fresher. Clearly the Shrivers were big fans of art and framed items, no doubt all meaningful in some way or another. I am intrigued by the large painting on the wall to the left of the door – perhaps it is a modern portrait of Maria Shriver.
A large formal dining room – something that all of the Kennedy homes seem to have in common. Based on the size of the rug, and the extra chairs in the room, this table was probably expanded on a regular basis to accommodate larger groups.
A music room that is decorated a bit more casually, again filled with portraits and meaningful framed items. Note the presidential seal on the wall to the left of the door, and the framed items that are hung on the inside of the door.
The back view of the Shrivers’ home – truly bucolic. Interesting that there is very little hardscape other than a small flagstone patio; it reminds me of something from a movie based on a Jane Austen book. I can only imagine what it must cost to keep this lawn mowed!
Finally, the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s house was recently listed for sale. The price is upon request, although I have heard speculation that the home is in the $8 million range. Senator Kennedy purchased this property in 1998 for $2.8 million; there are 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, an indoor lap pool, and a total of 8900 square feet. All of this in one of the most prime urban areas of Washington DC, Kalorama. Kennedy_1
Given that this is right in Washington DC, the home is not on a large piece of land like the other two. It bears a striking resemblance to another famous Washington DC home, doesn’t it? The real estate listing notes that the location is the best block of one of the best neighborhoods in DC.
The front door has a beautiful fanlight above.
The foyer is unusual, but probably very well suited for greeting the many guests that graced these halls during diplomatic dinners, fundraisers, and family gatherings. It looks like the floor is made out of stone. Image via listing.
Ted Kennedy’s home was featured in the November 1999 issue of Architectural Digest, one year after he moved in. The picture on the top is the real estate listing picture; on the bottom is the Architectural Digest picture (photo credit Bruce Katz). The room has remained remarkably unchanged in the 11 years since the photo shoot. The painting above the fireplace has changed, and the piano has been rotated (although, these things could have been changed just for the AD photo shoot). The AD article noted that this room functions beautifully when accommodating both large crowds and small groups. Interior design by Josepha Faley, ASID, of Chatsworth Design.
The room from a different angle.
A peek at the room beyond the living room, from the AD article – I love those jardinieres.
Here is a longer view of the same room, in the real estate listing. The painted floors are beautiful; it looks like there is a subtle nautical theme, with the compass and boat wheel.
The dining room as seen in the AD article.
The dining room on the real estate listing. The perspective of the real estate picture gives a sense for the size of this room. It is truly a dining room made for entertaining!
The library as seen in the AD article – a cozy little nook in the large home.
The library, as seen in the real estate listing. I preferred the chairs around the fire – seemed cozier!
Another view of the library, as seen in the real estate listing. Based on the view in the hall, this is at the top of the stairs of the entry hall.
A view of the master bedroom from the real estate listing looks as if time has stood still at this house! The AD article noted that the bed is by Julia Gray. I love the sculptural quality of the chandelier. Image via real estate listing.
Another perspective of the master bedroom shows that this is a room filled with natural light. Image via real estate listing.
The real estate listing has given us a peek into the kitchen of the home. Interesting cut out above the sink. I always love a bank of windows in a kitchen!
The house has an indoor lap pool – based on the tree line, I wonder if this is on the second floor?
As well as a lovely terrace off the back of the house.
Ted Kennedy’s home is listed by TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information on this listing, please see the website for the listing - http://www.ttrsir.com/detail/Washington/KALORAMA/4212133. The contact information for the house and the realtors can be found on this page.
So, the end of an era in Washington DC – but based on insider information about who has purchased these homes, the beginning of a new era. I hope you enjoyed the tour - what a rare thing to get to see inside three Kennedy homes! Which home is your favorite? I would have to say that Ted Kennedy’s home appeals to me from a location perspective.

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