Monday, July 30, 2012

Nantucket Seen Two Ways

If you have been following my blog, you know I am conflicted design-wise - warm and antique as my earliest posts demonstrate or serene and spare as Jacobsen and my latest posts demonstrate.  It's  taken me a while to resolve my conflict (actually it's still evolving), but maybe today's post will help to explain why I need at least five houses.  I fear that may be my only resolution.

Going back to a House Beautiful  from 1981, I found this antique-filled home on Nantucket.  I loved it then because the house itself was old and filled with beautiful antiques.  Today, antiques are passe; it is Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn where the design conscious find inspiration to fill their new homes.  But, in 1981, it was frequently the antique shows which helped fill both old and new homes.
Below is a fine example of a Nantucket house owned by two antique dealers.

The Maddens' Nantucket home built in 1803.

Being quintessential antique dealers, their foyer is filled with antiques both indigenous to Nantucket and treasures found in "all corners of the globe."

Their parlor; today great rooms are de rigueur, but there is something special about a sort of off-limits-to-the-children-room.   A room where adults can entertain, read, or just think.  Must every room be open to the kitchen with a large screen TV?

Half of the Maddens' dining room chuck full of beautiful, antique objects and a great corner cupboard.  Love corner cupboards.  Love this one particularly.

Other half.  I know this room looks a bit formal, but the Maddens entertained in it frequently.  (I had a great article which showed a very fun group dining in this very room, and of course I cannot find it.  I probably will 30 posts from now.)  The candlelit chandelier inspired the one in our dining room.

Below, more detailed images of their Nantucket dining room.  Keep that corner cupboard in the back of your mind.

Later, the Maddens decided to move inland to Cape Cod.  Their historic saltbox house is featured in Mary Emmerling's American Country Houses, and even though their name is never given in the book, their beautiful antiques are featured and are tellingly distinctive.

Hearth in the new-old house.

The great room in the salt box with original pine beams now oxidized - this room was once the once the original kitchen.  Note please the red wing chair and the dining chair in the foreground - both from the Nantucket house.  (I feel like one of PBS's History Detectives.)

Larger dining room with different table and chairs.

But that corner cupboard is the same one - I'd recognize it anywhere - perhaps even some of the same china pieces and crystal.

Here the same Nantucket fire bucket from their Nantucket foyer.

Collection of Canton china in a kitchen cupboard.

More Canton, more cupboard.

What a kitchen!  Please note the lovely Nantucket baskets hanging above the island and the bargello needlepoint curtain over the window.  And that refrigerator and freezer!  Can you tell they love to entertain?

The other side of the kitchen with matching window treatment.  Firkin collection next to the arm chair are from the Nantucket house.

Oh, how I loved all this antique-iness and part of me still does.  But then in House & Garden, July, 1985, this article appeared.
And stole my heart.

How clean!  How uncluttered!

How simple and serene!  An even simpler home than the Jacobsen designed renovation for Eugenie Vorhees.  I can just hear my sons, "Well, Mom, there's a compromise between antique-filled houses and sterile ones."  But is there?

This is the Nantucket home of Abbie Zabar "who can't even put out a plate of cookies without arranging them."  Note the kitchen island stylized with strawberry branches, bread and cheese.

Table scape with a berry basket and a Zabar collage.

Window seat tucked into a dormer window.  I always admired the built-in drawers here and wanted to add them to our dormers.  When my husband explained the amount of dry wall dust that would arise, I sort of lost the spirit.  Seeing it again makes me think I could stand a little dust.

The main bedroom still has the old pine floor and original fireplace.  Abbie Zabar crocheted her initials and pine trees on the pillow cases of the plain white bedding.

Fireplace and linen cupboard freshened with sprigs of lavender.  I'll bet the fireplace shovel is antique - there has to be one antique in this home somewhere.  It's Nantucket after all.

A simple honeysuckle wreath in the kitchen window.

I aways found this perspective of the kitchen a charming one.  That simple door opening onto the simple kitchen, that great cupboard with white dishes and baskets - they all spoke to me and said, "Billie, it's time to clean up your act.  Declutter, add white and be spare."  But, I still love my antiques.  And white houses seem never to have cats who throw up or children who eat on the sofa.  What to do?  What to do?

Scenes from outside the house follow.  Also serene and simple.  Very Nantucket.

Even the Nantucket landscapes near Zabar's house whisper, "Simplify, simplify, simplify."
"I'll try," I murmur back.

The Potted Herb by Abbie Zabar is a delightful book full of information on herbs and topiaries with illustrations by the author.  It is as charming as it is informative.

The following images of her terrace point out that Abbie Zabar knows whereof she speaks (or writes.)  Both are from the New York Times.

I leave you today with images of summer food from another July Gourmet pulled down from its shelf.  Food, table scapes and Gourmet are three things that never bring me conflict.

Ah, summer berries and salads on beautiful table arrangements bring only peace and contentment, never conflict.

Please stop by next post, dear readers and friends, when I promise to bring you more peace and contentment with only a splash of conflict.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Three Designers in Nantucket

Because it is summer, because an island is where everyone longs to be, because I have much more design information about it, and because I have finally torn myself away from Pinterest and Tumblr, Nantucket is where I will be today.  From Victoria Hagan's design, we'll move onto Constanze von Unruh's; we will revisit Eugenie Voorhees's, and end with a Gourmet week-end.

Let's start with Victoria whose family barn we viewed last posting.  The following home appears in her lovely book, Victoria Hagan: Interior Portraits, written by her sister (if you do not own this book, you really should.)  Images are also available on her website, which is where these images are from.  (So, you don't really need me at all, but perhaps you'd miss my pithy commentaries.)  In the entranceway, hydrangeas, a portrait of a sea vessel, and a knotted rope all so subtlely indicate we are on Nantucket.

See if this house reminds you of Diane Keaton's in Something's Gotta Give - the rug, the windows, the arrangement of sofas.
Not the artwork so much, but the furniture and colors.  Do you see what I mean?
The white paneling and soft blues are so nice in the dining room.
The kitchen is only slightly reminiscent of the film but still the similarity is there.  

In the film, Keaton's and Jack Nicholson's bedrooms were much more interesting than either of these, but these are guest rooms.
Now to the really soft blues of the beautiful master bedroom.
Soo pretty (even though I am not into pretty.)
I could have a party in this master bath.  Love the light from the windows, but don't remember the film's master bath.  I am not inferring in any way that the film influenced Hagan's design.  I am suggesting that wonderful beach houses have similarities.
Onto, a more contemporary interior in Constanze von Unruh's Nantucket home.  (The following images were taken from Living in New England, by Elaine Louie, photographed by Solvi Dos Santos.)  Her design is a bit similar to  Jacobsen's design with all the white, but not as spare.

Again white interiors, but the stripes and seagrass are a real design change.

Aga ranges are popular in England, but unique here in Nantucket.  Von Unruh believes the heat it consistently emits dries out the humid New England weather.

Below, Tom Dixon's cantilevered rush chair is paired with a French wood table "of unknown provenance."

I wish I had more images of this home.  Alas, that was all that appeared in the book, however if you go to Andreas von Einseidel's website, more of his photographs of the house can be seen with watermarks, like the ones below.

A little annoying, but still we get to see more images.  His website has many beautiful homes that you should check out, if you do not mind being a little annoyed.

Now, onto another Voorhees home on Nantucket also seen in Living in New England .  This section of the book confused me a bit.  In it, Voorhees expresses her dismay over the "sprawl" of overbuilding on Nantucket, of taking an old house and by "tearing out the guts and rebuilding it, 'destroying' the original.  What's left is a replica."  I really applaud her sentiments, but I thought she and Jacobsen had done that very thing to the two previous homes we saw she and Jacobsen so beautifully "rearrange."   Whatever!  Here is her most "untouched" home on Nantucket.
It has the feel of the barn she "redid" two years later, but this home is definitely more "untouched."  I like them both.  See what you think.

"All the amenities of home, but few extras."

Voorhees "finds white the most comforting color" and uses it all her Nantucket homes.  Such a simple room compared to the others we've seen of hers.

Her outside shower.

Ladder leading to the sleeping loft.

Below, the sleeping loft.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am no helpless princess, but I could stand about one week in this, her untouched home, whereas I could spend forever in her other two Nantucket homes.  One night ascending and descending that ladder would be enough.  What do you think, dear reader, am  I being a wilting violet?

Ok, enough primitive, let's gaze for a minute upon what Gourmet believes is a relaxing country week-end.

First, Saturday lunch with friends, family and the beach.

Simple luncheon fare of which even Ina Garten, my favorite cook, would approve.

Saturday night's "dinner out."  Rustic, but not primitive.

With a beautiful and oh-so civilized tablescape.

And delicious food that says summer.

A perfect spot for Sunday breakfast before heading home.

With a healthy breakfast tucked away.

So, another post on Nantucket ends.  I fear I may have appeared judgemental in this one but that was never my intention.  I just loved several of these homes more than others.  Was I wrong?
Till next time,