Thursday, December 27, 2012

White House With A Red Roof

The white house with a red roof
is well-known in Memphis.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
An attractive house is even more lovely when the owners are delightful;  that is certainly the case here.  Located near an intersection of prominent residential streets in an established neighborhood, the house was built in 1994 in the far reaches of the deep garden of a stately home on the corner.  To those who do not know the homeowners, it is known as the white house with a red roof.

An exterior view of the entrance.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
A few years ago, The Devoted Classicist was fortunate to meet the homeowners, Dr. Randy and Linda Kay McCloy.  The McCloys bought the house mid-construction, being built on speculation by Hank Hill using a set of plans by Looney Ricks Kiss, a firm known for its successful series of house plans sold through Southern Living magazine.  They were able to personalize the house by making a few changes and specifying some custom detailing with the help of J. Carson Looney.  The original landscaping was designed by long-time friend Ben Page of the Nashville firm now called Page Duke. 

The Entrance Hall
looking back towards the front door.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
Linda Kay McCloy has owned a retail antiques and home furnishings store (as well as an interior design practice that is still active), and has travelled to England for the past twenty-five years on buying trips.  She had become enthralled with the decorating style of John Fowler, the designer whose work was the hallmark of the English country house style, but also Sister Parish, whose work epitomized the comfortable American version of the style.

The Living Room.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.

The colors of the decorating schemes were inspired by the gardens, both front and back.  Balancing strongly colored rooms against others pastel colored, patterns and textures of the fabrics are mixed with furnishings of various styles and pedigrees to create a casual elegance.  It is the mix that makes it all such a success.
The Dining Room.
Swedish Rococo chairs are now used for seating.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
 
The decorative painting was done by Richard Martin, an artist whose work is often featured in Mrs. McCloy's decorating jobs.  Martin paints furniture as well as walls and trim.  The chimneypiece in the Living Room features a portrait he painted of the house.  The painted wood valances in the Dining Room were presented as a house-warming gift.

Across from the entrance to the Dining Room,
a small painted folding screen is placed above the sideboard.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
Following Sister Parish's fondness for the hand-crafted, quilts and afghans are liberally dispersed among both slip-covered and serious furniture. 

A colorful and cozy Study is located
just off the Entrance Hall.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
 
And reflecting John Fowler's taste for mixing "high" and "low", such as lavish curtains contrasting with simple furnishings, eccentric colors contribute to the "humble elegance" like Fowler created for himself.

Another view of the Study.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
Here, the designer has interpreted the style with an excellent curator's eye, displaying unique objects of porcelain, needlework, and tole.

The Keeping Room is the sitting area
at one end of the space that also contains the Kitchen.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
These photos are from an article written by Agnes Sarah Clark in the Fall, 1998, issue of Veranda magazine.

The Powder Room.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
Since this time, there have been some refinements to make the interior even more charming.

The Master Bedroom.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
A bay window in the Master Bedroom
looks out to the very private rear garden.
Photo by David Schilling for Veranda.
Additional improvements by Hector Alexander Samada and John Tackett have been designed but not yet realized;  hopefully these will be eventually be shown in a future Part II post of The Devoted Classicist.


11 comments:

  1. oopsadaisy! I don't know if, particularly, it's because I'm English that I'm
    honest.. but I am going to have to tell the owners in the nicest possible way that "Less is more". Just a few too many gorgeous things?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosie, I'm always reluctant to even mention an influence of Sister Parish or John Fowler, but both have really been influential in U.S. interior design, along with their partners Albert Hadley and Nancy Lancaster. In this example, the eveness of light for magazine photography has erased the natural nuances of the rooms; they look much better in person. Much better. But this blog always welcomes opinions and conversations and I am very glad you commented.

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  2. Love this house John, and I can see how it reads better in person than photographed. Many eclectic and layered rooms are better in person. Also, the house as decorated in the photos above is not the current fashion - lovers of the minimalist, one color style that has been all the rage for several years now, often do not understand the classic style pictured above.

    When we were designing our house (it was a multi-year project with a couple of architects) the first iteration was a Charleston style house with a red metal roof. It was ultimately not what we wanted, but I love the red roof on this house. Makes me wonder what that would look like on my current house.

    Happy New Year!
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen, I knew you would like this house. Although Memphis was built in a hardwood forest, the soil is heavy clay, perfect for making bricks, the common building material here. So a wood house in the 1990s was very unusual, but attractive to the owners. The red painted standing seam metal roof is very handsome roof. (A white clapboard house with a very heavy, textured, salvaged slate roof was built next door to clients in Belle Meade, Nashville, and I have never been able to accept it).

      There have been many refinements in the decor since it was photographed 15 years ago, but your observations were insightful. Green glazed tile was a popular choice for substantial Memphis houses in the 19-teens and twenties, perhaps inspiring the green metal roofs that have appeared here in the last 10 years. My last projects with standing seam metal roofs have been copper, both natural and lead-coated -- a great choice if the budget allows.

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  3. Lovely home, thanks for sharing it here. I had planned to ask why no mention of Nancy Lancaster, as, not being an expert in this regard, I really see her as the popularizer of the "English Country House" design style I love. As a daughter of old-school Virginia (Middleburg), I'm a serious devotee of her life and career...as well as that of another Virginian, Bunny Williams.

    In any event you did mention her in one of your responses:)

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, while I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you that these images seem to show more of an homage to Nancy Lancaster, it is John Fowler that was stated as an influence as reported, along with Sister Parish. I am a fan of both Lancaster and Fowler, but having worked with Bunny Williams at Parish-Hadley, it would be safe to say that Mrs. Parish was an influence on both of us -- but so was Albert Hadley.

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  4. Oh!! I love this house and everything in it!! You are so right about magazine photography! Do you think it has improved?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penelope, I do think digital technology has improved color interior photography. The complications of artificial lighting and filters to achieve true colors are a thing of the past, no longer requiring the enormous time it formerly took for a magazine-quality photo. The downside is the deluge of point-and-shoot photography that is all too common, resulting in compositions that fall short in telling the "story" of the room. So technology has improved but artistry needs to catch up.

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  5. Loved those painted wood cornices in the yellow dining room!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're good looking aren't they, Toby? Rather Fowler-ish.

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  6. What a beautiful house! I have seen metal roofs in upstate New York mostly in rural settings on barns and farm houses. I'm surprised that I like this one as much as I do. I especially love the railing above the entry and sent the picture to my sister in Pennsylvania as an inspiration for her house. Thanks for an enjoyable post! I am looking forward to seeing part II.

    ReplyDelete

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