Monday, December 31, 2012

He Is Mad About Interiors

The Boudoir of Hortense Beauharnais.
Image:  Mad About Interiors.
Devoted Reader David Mees has started a new blog that will surely be of interest, Mad About Interiors.  David is also an Attingham School alumnus (although we did not attend at the same time), and he served as an apprentice to Gervase Jackson-Stops as well as a stint with Alec Cobbe before opening his own interiors business in Northamptonshire, England.  There is always room for another Blogger with a sense of educational responsibility, so please take a look at his blog and leave a word of appreciation and encouragement.

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.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from The Devoted Classicist.
It is hard to believe that another year is almost over.  The 2012 holiday drawing is an interior sketch of a John Tackett Design project, a new house that was constructed in 1995 in the Neo-Regency style.  Located on a Mississippi horse farm, it featured a barrier-free design to allow the owners occupancy through their Golden Years.

Best wishes, Devoted Readers, for the absolute merriest Christmas.  Despite everything, we have a lot to be thankful for, don't we?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Telluride: Mining The Vernacular

A new house in Telluride, Colorado,
built in the 1990s.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
There are many projects not included in the John Tackett Design Portfolio, not because of lack of enthusiasm or that the contributions were not significant, but because the house is not particularly representative of the work of the design studio.  Such is the case with the new Telluride, Colorado, house shown here that was published in the November/December, 1999, issue of Veranda magazine.  The article was produced (meaning "styled") by Mary Jane Ryburn, written by Lisa Germany, and photographed by Roger Wade.

A Telluride view.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The John Tackett Design studio was based in New York City when I met this Dallas couple who hired me to help with the renovation of a wonderful house they had bought in Highland Park.  They had already hired Michael Fuller of Fuller Architects in Aspen to design this vacation house and the construction drawings were essentially complete.  Although the owners loved the direction of design of the house, I was brought on board to make a few adjustments to even better achieve their vision.  In addition to some refinements to the floor plan, I contributed some details to work out the staircase, an important feature of the interior that was sadly neglected in the article.  The interior designer was top Dallas decorator Josie McCarthy and the landscaping was designed by another Dallas favorite, Warren Johnson, both who had worked on previous projects with the owners.

A mix of materials, textures, and colors
is a decorative scheme thoughout the house.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
Located on a knoll that allows 360-degree views of the mountains, the house reflects the history of mining-related structures of the area.  Local gold sandstone, recycled timber and a rusting corrogated steel roof enhance the massing to create the desired effect.  Bedrooms are located on the first level, allowing the Living Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen to be higher up in the trees, and a third floor "crow's nest" allows views in all directions.

Nuts!  Do Devoted Readers
ever wonder why some features
get a full page image
while others are left out entirely?
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The tall stone chimneybreast is meant as a subtle reference to a mine shaft while the longhorn steer is symbolic of the owners' Texas roots.  Color and pattern in the Living Room are provided by kilims and Moroccan rugs.  The low table is made from a wood grille from India.

The Living Room.
The low table is seen in detail
in the previous image.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The dining table was made in France of recycled wood.  Pewter chargers and goblets mix with colorful pottery dinnerware and an assortment of turned wood candlesticks.  A rustic but elegant chandelier is just out of the photo.

The Dining Room.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The Master Bedroom contains Guatemalan embroidered bed linens, a Turkish kilim, and an American hooked rug folded on top of a Moroccan chest.

The Master Bedroom.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The Guest Room's headboard has a White Picket Fence inspiration.  Color is provided by a Susani bed cover and a Soumak rug.  The hand-painted lampshade is from the exclusive-to-the-trade source, Adele Kerr.

The Guest Bedroom.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The children's Bunk Room features beds of unmilled timbers and colorful quilts.

The Bunk Room.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
John Tackett Design worked with the same owners on a handful of other projects which may be featured here on The Devoted Classicist in the future, along with the handsome new house they lived in when we first met.

A quilt makes the hammock at the Telluride house
even more comfortable.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Roger Prigent's Paris Pied A Terre

The Dining Room in the Paris apartment
of antiquarian Roger Prigent.
Photo by Marianne Haas for Elle Decor.
The antiques and fashion photography communities have recently lost one of their great talents, Roger Prigent, at age 89.  Pronounced "Ro-Jay Pre-Jhawn," he was born in Hanoi, Vietnam, and grew up in numerous French outposts around the world as his father was an officer in the French military.  After learning photography in the French Air Force in World War II, he worked in Paris and then New York where he became a sought-after fashion photographer.  But he was also noted for TV Guide covers and record album covers as well.

The late Roger Prigent.
Photo by Marianne Haas for Elle Decor.
Collecting antiques for use as props in his photography, he opened Malmaison Antiques on East 10th Street in Manhattan in 1978 after a diagnosis of macular degeneration signaled an end to his career in photography.  With the shop managed by Doug Reymer, it soon became a destination for interior designers and collectors seeking neo-classical furnishings from the early 19 century to the mid 20th century.  After a decade in Greenwich Village, the business relocated to his East 74th Street townhouse.  A Christie's auction in 2002 dispersed the inventory, and Mr. Prigent, by then blind, downsized to a penthouse apartment featured in an on-line article for 1st Dibs by Wendy Goodman, the design director of New York magazine.

The Living Room in the
Paris apartment.
Photo by Marianne Haas for Elle Decor.
Roger Prigent's 7th arrondissement apartment on the rue du Bac was featured in the December/January, 1999, issue of Elle Decor in an article by Jeanne Dutton with photographs by Marianne Haas.  As a surprise to many, all the furnishings in this Paris apartment were American made.  Of particular note in the Living Room are the gold-painted stools made of spools during the Great Depression.

A view into the Dining Room.
Photo by Marianne Haas for Elle Decor
In the Dining Room, Zuber scenic wallpaper features scenes of the American Revolution.  The chairs at the dining table were made by Michel Bouvier for Joseph Bonaparte's house in New Jersey.  (Read more about Napoleon's brother's estate Point Breeze in a previous post of The Devoted Classicist).

The Bedroom of Prigent's Paris apartment.
Photo by Marianne Haas for Elle Decor.
In the Bedroom, an American Empire bed is teamed with an American rug and an Eastlake stool incised with Neo-Grec motifs.

In addition to classic Neo-classical and Empire furnishings, Prigent also promoted Twentieth Century furniture by designers influenced by the classics such as Maison Jansen, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings and Karl Springer.  The Devoted Classicist could never pass Malmaison Antiques with its whole front of glass without at least stopping to press his nose against the glass and mourns the loss of yet another great tastemaker.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Baron Falkenberg at Varmlands Saby

The Chinese room at Varmlands Saby.
The Devoted Classicist admires few things more than an eighteenth century Swedish house filled with period furnishings, so the country manor of Baron Henric Falkenberg, Varmlands Saby, is a true delight.  Located in western Sweden on the shore of Lake Vanern in Varmland province, the house was completed in 1774 by master carpenter Johan Georg Reincke, probably inspired by an architectural pattern book.

The entrance to Varmlands Saby.
The house, in the baron's family since the late 19th century, is situated at the end of a long allee of trees that begins in the adjacent village.  Now comprising over 1,000 acres, the recorded history of the property dates back to a mention in a 1216 papal confirmation letter.

Baron Falkenberg in the Victorian study.
Note the sprig of mistletoe
hanging from the chandelier.
Formal reception rooms are located on the ground floor along with the baron's suite, and informal entertaining rooms and additional bedrooms are found upstairs.

The baron's goddaughter Tia Tukkonen
and friend Are John in the Victorian study.
The Victorian study at the western end of the house is a favorite of the baron.

The dining room at Varmlands Saby.

Portraits of the original owners
of Varmlands Saby hang above the
Dutch saddle armoire in the dining room.

Von Lingon porcelain is displayed
in another armoire in the dining room.
The next room is the dining room with original gray-blue and white panels accentuated within a framework of mustard colored panelling.  Dutch cupboards hold the family silver and china.

The Chinese room at
Varmlands Saby.
The Chinese room, next in line, has painted decoration inspired by Boucher's late 18th century engraving "Chinois et Chinoise pechant aubord d'un vivier."  The tradition is that visitors who want to return must say good-bye to each of the Chinese figures.

The fireplace in the formal study
at Varmlands Saby.

Another view of the formal study.
The formal study is the only room with a fireplace rather than a traditional heating stove.  The original canvas tapestry panels were found in the attic and reinstalled.

The billiards room upstairs.
The largest room in the house, the billiard room, is on the second floor.  It also serves as a portrait gallery of the baron's ancestors.

A bedroom at Varmlands Saby.
An upstairs bedroom holds a pair of caned beds separated by a typical, simple Gustavian chair.  The 1880s wallpaper, a subtle stripe-on-stripe with a floral overlay, is Swedish Jugenstil.

A giltwood frame holds a print of
Queen Desideria of Sweden.
One of the most notable features in the garden is the egg-shaped labyrinth.  Rich in symbolism, especially with references to an eagle and a serpent, this writer apologizes in advance for lack of substantial notations, but only information was found in Swedish.  As an update to the original post, I am happy to add that a message from Miguel Flores-Vianna offers additional information.  Mr. Flores-Vianna says that the maze "is called Creation, thus its egg-like shape.  It was designed by Randoll Coate, an English diplomat who, in the 1950s when posted in Buenos Aires, befriended the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges who introduced him to his love of mazes and labyrinths.  Following their meeting and subsequent friendship, Coate left the Foreign Service and became a maze designer.  Creation, planted in the 60's, was his first project.  Fernando and I did a story on Mr. Coate's work for Town and Country [magazine] around that time as well."
The labyrinth at Varmlands Saby,
planted in the 1960s to a design by Randoll Coate.
Photo: Varmlands Saby blog.
For those who read Swedish, or would be interested in seeing some historic images, there is a Varmlands Saby blog.  Unless otherwise noted, all the photos come from an article by Miguel Flores-Vianna with photos by Fernando Bengoechea in the April, 2000, issue of Elle Decor magazine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Albert Hadley in Naples, Florida

A collage by the great, late
interior designer Albert Hadley,
in his Naples, Florida, home.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House & Garden magazine.
In the 1990s, the late Albert Hadley was along with a house-hunting friend in Naples, Florida, when he noticed the 1929 postmistress's cottage almost completely concealed behind a ficus hedge on 11th Avenue South.  According to an article by Carol Prisant in the June, 2000, issue of House Beautiful magazine, he said, "I'll take it," and he did.

Albert Hadley standing in the opening
of the hedge infront of his home in Naples, Florida.
Photo by Fernando Benoecha
 for House Beautiful.
The former front porch was enclosed with windows to become an entrance Garden Sitting Room with light gray painted wood floors white walls & trim continuing throughout.  A wool hooked rug "zebra skin," one of the designer's favorite furnishings that has travelled to a number of residences, welcomed the visitor near the door with mirrored panels.

The front porch was enclosed to
become a Garden Room.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
One end of the room holds a sitting area with a rattan sofa, a linen slipcovered slipper chair and a pair of saddle seat stools with hand-printed fabric by D.D. Tillett.

A rattan sofa in the Garden Room.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
The other end of the room exhibits simple but interesting objects in a very Albert Hadley manner, giving a hint of what is to follow.

Another view of the Garden Room.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
The designated Dining Room held a folding table, a small, tufted sofa, and a pair of "loop" sidechairs.  (Sometimes associated with the interior designer sister of architect David Adler, Frances Elkins, the design is now known to pre-date her use in the 1930s.  See articles in The Magazine Antiques here and here.)
The Dining Room.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
The Living Room, too small for a sofa, contained assorted upholstered chairs instead.  A 1950s-60s gilt metal low table displays a cherished gilt-ceramic gourd container, another object that had travelled to various residences.  A gray marble Louis XV style chimneypiece was painted white and topped by a mirror in a stepped frame of Mr. Hadley's design.

The Living Room.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
The Master Bedroom is shown with a pair of black Regency chairs that once belonged to his business partner Sister Parish and the hooked rug again.

The Master Bedroom.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.

The Master Bedroom.
Photos by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
In the Master Bedroom, an oddly-placed air-conditioning vent is given a frame.  The neo-classical style chest of drawers was stripped.  The abstract painting over the headboard is by Zang Wei, an artist Mr. Hadley discovered selling his work on the sidewalk in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A Guest Bedroom.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.

A Guest Bedroom.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
A Guest Bedroom contains a chair, a chest, a mirror, and a spartan four poster bed.
A second Guest Bedroom.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
Color in a second Guest Bedroom is supplied by a cobalt blue covered glass jar.  The antique spool bed is painted the same light gray as the floor.

The garden.
Photo by Fernando Benoechea
for House Beautiful.
A boardwalk in the garden replaced a cement walk to heighten the tropical experience.  Albert Hadley died in March of this year and some of his belonging were sold in auctions and an on-line sale featured in an earlier post of The Devoted Classicist.  A low Parson's table from the house was given to Devoted Reader Dean Farris;  read about it with a search on his blog Dean Farris Style.

Albert Hadley in the late 1990s.
Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
for House Beautiful.