Last year, I posted a picture of one of my favorite inspiration houses – a beautiful Baton Rouge, Louisiana gem designed by legendary architect A. Hays Town (seen above). There is something about this house that really appeals to me; the combination of the style, the lines, the proportions,and the materials is perfect. In my post, I asked if there were any readers who knew more about the house. Within a few days I had a lovely email from architect Jeremy Corkern; A. Hays Town was Jeremy’s dear friend and mentor.
It was fascinating to learn more about this charming house from Jeremy. He told me that the slate roof was reclaimed from an old building in the French Quarter, and that the house is brick but with a ‘mortar wash’ – the bricks were laid loose and the mortar was allowed to ooze out, then it was rubbed into the brick surface with a burlap bag. It is labor intensive, but as you can see the effect is quite beautiful.
Jeremy and I have developed an easy email dialogue over the past year, yet despite this I had no idea of Jeremy’s stature in the architectural community until I read not one but several articles on the work of his firm – homes that he and his business partner, Thomas Paul Bates, designed have been prominently featured in Southern Accents, Cottage Living, House Beautiful, and Veranda (click on any of the magazine names to see the associated article). In fact, one of the feature homes in the June/July 2010 Veranda was a house designed by the Bates Corkern Studio.
Jeremy recently let me know that website for his Birmingham based firm, Bates Corkern Studio, was recently launched. It is quite an important task to create a web site for an architectural or design firm; the site must represent the core of the aesthetic and philosophy of the firm. The site for Bates Corkern Studio is one of my favorites, because it gives a lovely hint of the houses in the portfolio – the ‘soul’ of the houses – without fully revealing every detail of the houses. Each featured house has a title (the one above is called ‘Shade of Pale’), which to me is like establishing the narrative of the house, and letting the reader make their own impressions based on the striking images. The web site is also very easy to navigate, and is tailored and elegant.
This beautiful 1920s home (seen above), renovated by Jeremy Corkern and Thomas Paul Bates, was featured in House Beautiful last year (click here to see the article). The house really resonated with me, and captures the essence of what I love in architecture and design: formal without being imposing, elegant without being ostentatious.
A picture from the interior of the house. I am going to show this picture to my designer – the floors are exactly the color I hope to achieve in my new house. The interiors of this house were by Betsy Brown.
A stunning exterior picture from the Bates Corkern Studio porfolio. When looking through their portfolio, I immediately noticed the number of cedar shingle roofs in their designs. When I inquired, Jeremy noted that cedar immediately sets a house at ease, and gives it that relaxed elegant look that seems to be a signature of his firm’s style.
I could look at this picture for hours, just to take in all of the exquisite details. The architectural details of the room are so pure – with the ample light from the windows, the stone floors, the uniquely designed window, and the huge hearth. Working in concert with the architecture is the beautiful interior design. Note the floor lamps on either side of the sofa…love the translucent shades.
Same room, different angle. I love the simple beams over the doors, and that painting in between the doors is exquisite. The title of this home is ‘suspended in light’ – what could be more appealing than a home designed around the light?
In the introductory page of the firm’s web site, they say
‘We dwell in our homes and our homes dwell in us. It lingers with us when we leave. Beckons when we are weary. It is the place that gives us comfort and ease. Home is the one place where we can simply be. Where we can find our way in the dark. Where we can identify the sounds of our children’s feet on the floorboards, trace the same patch of sunlight across the dining room wall – from spring through the coming winter”.
I remembered this quote when I saw the picture above (from the ‘Shade of Pale’ house). I had never quite thought of it that way, but don’t we all have that patch of sunlight in our homes that becomes like a familiar friend through the seasons?
When you have a moment, take some time to look through the portfolio of Bates Corkern Studio. It is a feast for the eyes, and full of inspirational images, and lyrical architecture and design.
I love this view through the rooms to the vantage point out to the garden. It is particularly gratifying when the view has a lantern at the end! Architecture by Bates Corkern Studio, interiors by Liz Hand Woods.
Any house that designs a space specifically for a piano really speaks to me. And to think this is a vacation home (this is the home that was featured in the recent Veranda; image via Veranda). Architecture by Bates Corkern Studio, interiors by Liz Hand Woods.
This is a beautiful, beautiful kitchen. I really like how the countertop material wraps around to the side of the island. I wonder what material this is? Image via Veranda, architecture by Bates Corkern Studio, interiors by Liz Hand Woods.
A freestanding tub in an alcove surrounded by light on three sides, from the Bates Corkern Studio portfolio. Image via Southern Accents.
My favorite lantern, the Nierman Weeks Mitzner lantern, in another space that perfectly captures the light. Architecture by Bates Corkern Studio. Image via Southern Accents.
Brick on the interior walls reminds me so much of A. Hays Town’s work. An interior window and a floating staircase complete the feeling of lightness and sculptural beauty in this space.
A detail example of architectural design in a house designed by Bates Corkern Studio. I love the sculptural take on paneling in this space.
To learn more about Bates Corkern Studio’s architectural services and portfolio, please visit their website at http://www.batescorkern.com/. I am sure that my readers will find it as inspiring as me – the perfect combination of architecture, environment, and interiors. Enjoy!
All images, except where noted, are from the Bates Corkern website.
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