Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summertime: "Southampton Summers"

The magical design partnership of architect Alan Wanzenberg and interior designer Jed Johnson abruptly ended when Johnson was killed in the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.  This Shingle style turn of the century house in Southampton, New York, was photographed by Scott Frances and published posthumously by Architectural Digest, and 15+ years later these images are still fresh and serenely beautiful.

Overlooking Lake Agawam, with views of the Atlantic Ocean, this majestic retreat was landscaped by Edwina vonGal who noted "'The feeling is all about lawn and trees.'"

The mood is unpretentious with sisal carpeting and comfortable slip-covered upholstery.  To enhance the light-washed quality of the rooms, Johnson chose many Swedish painted pieces such as this cabinet in the living room.  The rope covered tables are by Christian Astuguevielle.

A pair of slip-covered chaises in the living room are inviting for an afternoon nap.  The demi-lune tables are Swedish. 

The design of the new dining room chairs was taken from an antique Swedish chair.   

On another wall in the dining room is this graceful console, which appears to have a slate or bluestone top.  The house, and this room in particular, radiates a simple, elegant informality.  

The master bedroom looks cozy but cooly serene at the same time.  The faux bamboo pieces, some of them 19th century,  contribute to this.  

In another area of the light-filled master bedroom, a pair of slip-covered club chairs and ottoman are perfect with the faux bamboo. 

One of the guest bedrooms features an antique metal bed and lots of jaunty stripes.

Wicker rules on this heavenly porch!

There's a lot to take away from these rooms: great architectural details and comfortable, well-edited furnishings.  There's an ease and confidence here that comes from a successful designer/client collaboration. This is country living at its best.  

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summertime: "Atlantic Crossing"

While this series is called "Summertime," it's really more about leisure-time residences.  Weekend houses, vacation houses, country houses, lake houses, beach houses,  mountain houses...whatever you want to call them.  They have a special vibe all their own.  More relaxed, less formal, perhaps more experimental.  It's a chance for the designer/client collaboration to try a new style and move to a different level.  It can be fun and funky or adhere to a vernacular that suits its surroundings, like this Shingle-style house designed by architect Francis Fleetwood in East Hampton, New York, with interior design by Glenn Gissler.

This 9,000 square foot house was featured in House & Garden in 1997 and photographed by Fernando Bengoechea.  It was adapted from late 19th/early 20th century American Shingle Style houses, so popular in coastal settings.  In this modern version, Fleetwood enlarged and added windows to take advantage of the legendary and ethereal light of Eastern Long Island.

In the spacious entrance hall, a 1920s iron chandelier makes a powerful statement.

In a corner of the foyer, Fleetwood added a built-in seating nook, so typical of early Arts and Crafts architecture.

The living room (shown in the two photos above) is inspired by the style of the late 19th/early 20th century, minus the clutter of that period.  The comfort and ease of the room is 100% modern.

The high backed sofa in another corner of the living room also reflects the same rigorous attention to detail and spirit of the period.

In the dining room, newly reproduced lights and dining table, designed by Gissler, blend seamlessly with antique Arts and Crafts dining chairs.

The sideboard in the dining room is Scottish Arts and Crafts, a nod to the master, Charles Rennie MackIntosh.

A collection of antique mercury glass, made in the late 19th century and called "poor man's silver," sits on a console in the hall.

In the eating area of the kitchen, an antique oil lamp was electrified to illuminate an English Arts and Crafts trestle table and chairs.

The library features Dutch Colonial Indonesian chairs from the 1920s alongside a 1910 Austrian walnut table.

The impressive master bedroom's bed was designed by Gissler.

The unique pedestal sink in the beaded board powder room is from Urban Archeology.

Next week's post will continue our look at the diversity of summer getaways.  Thanks for reading, everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summertime: "The Anti-McMansion"

In 2005 House & Garden published an article that featured this wonderfully unpretentious house on the ocean in Eastern Long Island (otherwise known as "The Hamptons.")

The barn-like house has an interesting history.  It was originally a recreational hall built in Delaware by the U.S. Navy during World War I.  In 1919, it was moved to its present location by an old Quogue family to be used as an artist's studio.  It is truly an anachronism in a sea of super-sized erstatz shingle McMansions, and as H&G put it, it "radiates a soulful charm."

The proud owners, Rick Livingston and Jim Brawders, pose with their 1973 Mustang in front of their iconic summer home.

This "relic" from a bygone era of the Hamptons is a wide, sprawling one-level structure.

To quote H&G again, "The rustic character of the barn is reinforced by the layering of rough, natural textures:  sisal carpeting, wood-grained paneling, wicker furniture, and a hemp chandelier."

The front porch, replete with 50s metal glider and chairs.

In a corner of the main room, a group of antique apple-picking ladders feels sculptural.

In another area of the main room, this old camp sofa sports its original striped fabric.  The coffee table is by Period, Rick Livingston's design firm.  The wood paneling on the wall resembles pecky cyprus, much coveted today.

The kitchen boasts a 1953 Chambers stove.  In today's world of high end kitchens, enameled exteriors like the fire engine red of this stove are again in style.

The master bedroom has a broad spectrum of furnishings that range from a Pottery Barn bed to a American hooked rug from the 1920s. 

One of my favorites:  this whimsiscal mural was painted by one of the artists from the 1930s that originally used the house as a studio.  This is but one element that just can't be replicated.

This article appeared in House & Garden about six years ago, beautifully photographed by Martyn Thompson, and this venerable house is still nestled in the dunes, defying the elements and the odds.  Let's hope it continues!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bed Time, Part VIII: Fantasy

You'll enjoy this vicarious peek into how over the top this most personal sanctuary can become (not all of them are that exotic, but they are all original.)   So in your fantasy life,  which of these boudoirs would you choose?  Leave a comment and vote (you can do it anonymously) will be fun to see the outcome.

Jonathan Adler is the prince of modern baroque.  But my sense is that it's somewhat tongue in cheek -- he's having a grand time!  Witness this lush bedroom with its...where do I start?  It's fabulous.  Would I like to sleep here?  Yeah, baby.  (House & Garden; photographer unknown)

As long as we're on the subject of fabulous, how about this circular bed by Ron Arad for Cappellini that architect David Mann used in a Manhattan apartment.  And to literally top it off, it sports a rabbit bedspread (that seems like an oxymoron.)  And dig that crazy carpet.  Whew...but I can see myself dozing off in this space.  (photographed by Fran├žois Hallard for House & Garden)

One guess as to the designers of this exuberant bedroom.  If you guessed Diamond and Baratta, you're right.  Love the shape of the headboard, and the mirror is a nice touch, but the intense turquoise might scorch my eyeballs.  (photographed by Jason Schmidt for House & Garden)

Groovy?  Absolutely.  This headboard by Mattia Bonetti is actually upholstered in white cotton with metallic leather spots.  To quote House & Garden, it "is as grand, in its way, as a Louis XV canopy bed."  I love it, but I think I'd put it in the guest bedroom. (photographed by Simon Watson)

"Go for glam" proclaims Elle Decor, and this featured Voyage bed by Kenneth Cobonpue sure has it.  A good night's sleep?  Not sure.  An afternoon siesta?  Most assuredly.  (photographed by Sang An)

Persian-born and London-based designer Alidad created this stunning baroque headboard for an apartment in the Place des Voges.   Could this confection induce sweet dreams?  I think so.  (photographed by Simon Upton for House & Garden)

Why are you including this, you may ask.  Is it the bed's severe beauty juxtaposed with the winged and gilded Directoire-style chairs that puts it over the top?  Is it perhaps because it's the bedroom the great David Hicks designed for himself at the Albany?  Whatever, I think its monkish demeanor may not  induce restful slumber, but it sure looks good.  (source unknown)

 Designer Bunny Williams gets to sleep in this gorgeous mirrored bed that belonged to "well-wed" society doyenne, Dorothy Hart Hearst Paley Hirshon (gee, wonder how she handled monogramed towels and bed linens...all the "H's" helped).  It is believed to have been made in the 1930s by Serge Roche.  Regardless of provenance, it is exquisite.  And it has my vote.  I'd take this one home to climb into each and every dream-filled night.

Here's a close-up of Williams's bed.  The hanging behind the head is an embroidered Indian silk.  (Elle Decor; photographer unknown)

And what is your favorite?  I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, everyone!