Saturday, June 26, 2010

The quest for a gallery wall, and introducing the architectural renderings

I have always loved gallery style walls.


This striking example is from the portfolio of the architectural firm of Bates Corkern, as seen in Cottage Living.


The Louis Phillipe mirror, combined with sketches, giclees, and lithographs in random sizes and shapes, is incredibly beautiful.


A very French and very unique gallery wall, as seen on Trouvais. The beautifully displayed items add a layer of interest to the room.


A more geometrically arranged gallery wall, using framed of different finishes, makes a visually pleasing vignette.


A favorite from a recent project by Beth Webb, one of Atlanta’s most talented designers. She combines framed elements with a mirror to great effect.


One of my challenges has been sourcing sketches and renderings that are worthy of a gallery wall, of interesting size and shape, and within the budget too. Ever resourceful, I decided to start creating my own gallery wall based on architectural elements that I love. Image via Quatrefoil Design (taken in low light – see close up pictures for natural light colors).

I approached one of the most talented architects in Atlanta, Jonathan Lacrosse, to collaborate on a limited series of architectural renderings for the Quatrefoil Design store. Jonathan has won awards for his superb skill at architecture and architectural drawings – among his achievements are the Measured Architectural Drawing Prize awarded by HRH the Prince of Wales in 2008, the Neel Reid Fellowship Prize, and the 2010 Georgia Award for Excellence in Restoration. Jonathan was also selected as one the ‘top 10 under 40’ designers in Atlanta by AH&L in recent years, and had a significant role on a Shutze award winning project in 2006. The picture above is a glimpse of the amazing renderings that Jonathan created for the Quatrefoil Design store; they can also been seen in the Architectural section of the Quatrefoil Design store - http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/category/architectural.

Jonathan created an initial set of five graphite renderings based on historical architectural elements; the renderings are reminiscent of 18th and 19th century engravings, and recapture an art that is all but lost in the modern day world. Each original rendering is a one of a kind; art quality giclees were created from the original rendering in an exclusive and limited production of 100. Each giclee was individually produced through a high-resolution, high-fidelity process using a special large format art printer on thick archival art paper, and is signed and numbered by the artist. The giclees are exquisitely and finely crafted, and as detailed as the original. The renderings were designed to be hung alone or as part of a series.


The first in our exclusive series is a charming rosette. This rosette is surrounded by a moulding motif referred to as “bead and reel”, and is drawn from the Augustan Cornice from the Temple of Concord. This cornice is currently displayed in the Tabularium at the Musei Capitolini in Rome, Italy. http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/architectural-rendering-rosette-limited-edition (Please note: the watermark image is for internet display only, and does not appear on the renderings).

A series of four rosettes are planned, this is the first.


The renderings are custom framed and matted, with a French line to subtly emphasize and outline the rendering. The standard frame has slim lines and can be finished in gilver (silver with a very light wash of translucent gold) or matte black. http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/architectural-rendering-rosette-limited-edition


The second in our exclusive architectural series is a detailed bracket. This bracket that modeled for this piece is from the famed Owens-Thomas House in Savannah, Georgia, designed by English Architect William Jay in 1816. The bracket is one of four which help support the unique porch above; it was on this porch that the Marquis de Lafayette addressed the citizens of Savannah during his tour of the United States in 1825. The porch and brackets are made of cast iron and were manufactured in Birmingham, England, and are possibly the first example of the use of structural iron construction in the United States. http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/architectural-rendering-bracket-limited-edition


We also can also frame in matte black. http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/architectural-rendering-bracket-limited-edition


The third in our exclusive architectural series is an egg and dart fragment. The model for this rendering was a fragment salvaged from a historic Tennessee Theatre (which has recently been restored). The fragment shows examples of two types classical architectural elements: Egg and Dart and Dentils (the Latin word for teeth). Examples can be found all through antiquity, from the Acropoplis to the ancient Roman Forum. During the Renaissance these motifs were reintroduced into Western Architecture and continue to be used to this day. http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/architectural-rendering-egg-and-dart-moulding


Here is the egg and dart fragment framed with the hand rubbed gilver finish. http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/architectural-rendering-egg-and-dart-moulding


The renderings are custom framed and matted, with a French line to subtly emphasize and outline the rendering (also available without the French line). The standard frame has slim lines and can be finished in gilver (silver with a very light wash of translucent gold) or matte black. A detail shot of the French lines and the beautiful gilver finish on the frame. This is custom framing at its best.

All of the architectural renderings are available unframed, and an upgrade frame is also available; please see online store for more details.


The first three of the series, framed in a matte black (this photo was taken in low light; please use other photos as color reference). As we add to the architectural rendering collection, I will expand the view of this gallery wall!


For scale and proportion, I photographed the bracket, egg and dart, and rosette on the same wall (different times of day…the Farrow & Ball clunch on the walls changes color throughout the day based on the light).


Also, newly created but not yet framed is the Palmette, or Anthemion Frize. Drawn from an existing example in Oakland Cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia (Atlanta ‘s oldest continuously used historic site), this rendering represents a Palmette Frieze, a series of artistic motifs which resemble the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree. The palmette is also a symbol of rebirth and resurrection. Incidentally it is believed that the fleur-de-lis is a variant of this ancient motif.



And, finally, the last in the initial series of renderings – a Greek key (or meander). It can be hung either horizontally or vertically (as seen above).

The term Meander recalls the twisting and turning path of the Meander river located in present day Turkey. It is a motif that has been used throughout antiquity to our current day, in Western and non-Western cultures. This particular example was modeled after a design used by Architect Philip T. Shutze on a door for the Regency styled offices of the Insurance division for the Historic Citizens & Southern Bank in Atlanta, Georgia.



Here it is seen horizontally. I am going to have my Greek key framed horizontally, as I think a horizontal element would make a great addition to the gallery wall I am starting. http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/architectural-rendering-greek-key-limited-edition

All of these beautiful architectural renderings are now available on the Quatrefoil Design store. Each design was created in a limited series of 100, and will not longer be available after the initial 100 are sold. Once I get the Greek key and the palmette framed, I will post the architectural rendering gallery wall as it evolves!

Please visit the Architectural section of the Quatrefoil Design store for more information, and email if you have any questions. Each order is custom framed the client’s specifications, so the matting can be made larger or smaller as desired. We framed these first renderings with a 4” mat. We also offer a thicker, deeper frame for an upgrade per frame (see store for more details). Also available unframed.


Email: quatrefoildesign@gmail.com

Do you have a favorite? I love them all, but have a particular fondness for the rosette.

Please note: the watermark on the images is solely for the purpose of internet display, and is not on the actual architectural renderings. Copyright 2010, Jonathan Lacrosse; copyright remains with the artist. Please do not use images without express permission.


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New on the market: a Southern Accents cover house?

Even though I am not in the market anymore for a house, I still love to peruse the Atlanta real estate listings. There are so many beautiful houses in Atlanta, and every so often a house comes on the market that I have admired from afar, or has interiors that I recognize from some of my favorite magazines.


When I first saw this picture on the real estate listings, it looked quite familiar.


It reminded me of this picture that was a cover of Southern Accents a few years ago. Alas, this issue was the victim of my aggressive magazine reduction effort a few years ago, when I went through my old Southern Accents and tore out the articles I wanted to keep, but did not keep the entire magazine. This is not the first time I have regretted doing this!

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Let’s look at them side by side. There are a lot of similarities, but enough differences to make me wonder if they are the same room. It could be the camera angle or exposure, but the wall color looks different. The built in around the plates looks to be the same – with five shelves on either side, plus two shelves on top. Both spaces have brick floors, and the brown and cream check fabric. The wood chair on the left has a cushion in the SA picture, and a slipcover in the real estate picture. The coffee tables are different. But, these are all changes that could come after many years of living in a space, and tweaking it along the way.


Also, there is the matter of the plate display. The magazine cover (found on the internet) has fewer brown transferware plates, but that could be due to a growing collection over the years. The issue is September-October 2002 – does anyone have this issue – could they check to see if the house was renovated by architect Norman Askins and designer Jackye Lanham, for these are the talents that are behind the home on the real estate listing. Even if it is not the same as the house featured in Southern Accents, it is definitely worth checking out.


The house is located in Brookhaven, one of the most charming neighborhoods in Atlanta.


The brick entry sets the tone for the house, and reminds me of houses in Louisiana that I have seen. I love the chevron pattern in the front door. and the gallery like approach to the walls in the space.


An elegant living room speaks to years of collecting. The neutral natural fiber rug is a great balance to the formality of the furnishings, fabrics, and accessories.


This room might be upstairs, based on the sleigh bed and the ceiling line. The room seems to have a dual function as a cozy study and an extra bedroom. I am struck by the beautiful arrangement of etchings and sketches that hang on the wall; most of the rooms in the house have interesting objects on the wall.


The formal dining room is no exception, with its interesting collection of portraits and mirrors on the walls.


And the breakfast room has one of the most interesting wall displays of all – a collection of cake and muffin tins.


The kitchen is a warmly decorated, with furniture in the kitchen – a look I love. I wonder what the large green bottle is all about? There must be a story there!


I am not sure where this is located in the house, but the floor gives the indication that it must be near the entry. Again, with the signature of the house decor - interesting objects hung on the wall.


More brown transferware, and some charming silhouettes on the wall.


The bedrooms in the house are all very special. Imagine sleeping in this charming canopy bed.


A spectacular master bedroom in a case study about how to do neutrals well. Note the beautiful trim detail on the canopy bed.


Two twin beds, placed close together, is actually a novel way to have the function of twin beds, with the feel of a larger bed. Note the cleverly arranged prints framed above the bed – they pull the area together and make the beds feel even more linked.


A casually elegant porch completes this lovely home, with its formal and casual elements working beautifully together.


The house tour ends with a charming sculpted garden; the garden bench provides a great focal point in the distance. Note how lush, green, and private this yard is.

For more information, please see the listing by Wes Vawter of Atlanta Fine Homes, Sotheby’s International Realty. And, if you happen to have a copy of the September-October 2002 Southern Accents, please let me know if this is the same house!


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Monday, June 21, 2010

Mosaics in the bathroom

The recent issue of House Beautiful featured a lovely home with interiors designed by Jim Howard. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jim over the past year, and reading the article was fascinating as it sounded so much like Jim…I could imagine him saying every word I read.
I particularly liked the bathroom in the house that was featured. Jim is always generous with sharing his own philosophy towards interiors, and it was interesting to read his thoughts on bathroom design. Jim clearly has a penchant for mosaic tiles in a bathroom, and I share his love for this design. Jim noted that “most people use matte tile these days, but the lustrous spa-like finish of polished tile – it feels expensive”. Note the polished basket weave tile on the floor of this beautiful bathroom featured in the recent House Beautiful, with interiors by Jim Howard. I have to agree with Jim – this floor looks very elegant.
The timing of this article is wonderful, as Suzanne (my designer), Keith Arnold (principal with Suzanne Kasler Interiors), and I have started to tackle the tile selections for the bathroom. Although I have a fair number of pictures of bathrooms in my inspiration files, and the master bathroom is one of my favorite rooms in my own house, I didn’t really have any preconceived notion of what any of the bathrooms in my new house would look like.
So, I thought it would be helpful to look at some of the pictures that inspire me to see if there are any themes or patterns that consistently appear – and the one that clearly emerged was mosaics in the bathroom.
Last year, I featured the Atlanta city apartment of Phoebe and Jim Howard, and had a personal tour of the space. It is clear that both Phoebe and Jim love the look of mosaics on the floor too; both bathrooms in the apartment had the most beautiful mosaic floors. This is the floor of the guest room. The tile border makes the space, in my opinion.

The master bedroom floor in the Howards’ apartment seems more subtle, as there is no border, but it appears to be the same tile.

I recently saw a house that was being renovated, and I gasped when entering this bathroom. It is so beautiful with it creamy colored polished marble hexagon tile floor. It was great to see this bathtub in person, because just the day before (in a total coincidence) Suzanne had selected this freestanding tub for my master bathroom.

The master bathroom of designer Lori Tippins’ house, featured in a post I wrote last year, has a larger scale in the polished marble hexagon tiles, which is perfect for this airy and spacious master bathroom. I still consider this to be one of the prettiest master bathrooms I have ever seen…and it proves Jim Howard’s theory that polished tile has that certain luxe look that is hard to achieve with a matte finish.

I would love to create a bathroom with beautiful green and white mosaic tile on the floor, but I also know that for me, it is best to keep the colors neutral given that it is easier to bring in color in the bathroom through towels or paint rather than through tile – color in the tile is such a big commitment.

Something like this is more like it – a beautiful basket weave tile on the floor, with the color coming in through the wall color and the lighting. Image via Brooks Falotico.

Basketweave tile showed up quite a bit in my inspiration files. This bathroom is sublime, with its fresh natural light, basketweave on the floor, and a border of solid marble tiles, making the basketweave almost like a rug. (Can anyone tell me the source?)

I also like the look of solid stone on the floor of the master bathroom, and a nice bit of mosaic tile on the shower floor. This is a good way to have the look, but not as much of the cost – mosaic tile can cost 2 or 3 times what a large tiles of solid stone costs.
Elle Decor recently featured an article on using mosaic tile in the interiors of a house, and there were some great pictures to illustrate its use in the bathroom. This room, with interiors by Kerry Joyce, has a great floor – and the tiles make quite a statement by spelling out ‘BOYS’ on the floor!

This bathroom is described as ‘spa-like’, and I love the feel of it. Interiors by David Jiminez, from House Beautiful August 2007.
As I was writing this post, I remembered that a reader commented on a post I did in the fall, and noted that the tile in one of my pictures was from New Ravenna mosaics. The reader was none other than Sara Baldwin, the owner of New Ravenna. I went over and checked out the New Ravenna website, and spent at least an hour looking around. The New Ravenna website is awe inspiring!

A subtle and beautiful basketweave floor from the New Ravenna website.

Found in the New Ravenna product section - would this be amazing in a bathroom?
Or maybe this one…it is like a piece of art. It reminds me of a set of beautiful sheers I saw in the window of a townhouse in London 10 years ago – I am slightly obsessed with this pattern!
Although I am usually a tone on tone or light and soothing color person, there is a great appeal to this black and white design.
The chevron pattern also caught my eye. I love this warm toned color.
When Keith and I were looking at tile last week, we selected all of the tile for the kids’ bathrooms and the guest bathroom (more on that later), but I totally burned out before we got to the master bathroom. Looking at tile is mentally exhausting! When we meet with Suzanne this week, we will complete the tile selection for the master (can you tell that I can make fast decisions when an expert is presenting the options?). Keith said that he envisioned the master bathroom being ‘an envelope of serenity’ – which seems exactly right to me. There were early discussions about onyx, but I have a feeling this might be over my budget. I react more to warm colors in stone rather than cold grays…so we will see what happens when Suzanne sets the direction!

As far as mosaic tiles are concerned, what do you think? They seem pretty classic to me, perhaps because they remind me of vintage bathrooms. If you have any good pictures of mosaic tiles on the floor, please feel free to send them to me!

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