Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Southern Series

This series sort of begins at the end.  In March I visited a friend in South Carolina, and we toured houses and gardens in Savannah.  We had lots of fun for several days - not only touring houses - and I was charmed by the city and its architecture.  My pictures of the trip will follow a brief tour of Williamsburg.

I know, I know - where did Williamsburg come from?  It was my first most southern visit 30 years ago, and it inspired much of my design ethic.  Between my yesteryear Williamsburg visit and today's Savannah visit lie many southern homes and designers I have loved and will write about later, but my friends in South Carolina must wonder when am I getting around to this year's visit.  I will get around to it today.  In just a minute.

The sweet little book below, produced by Tricia Foley, demonstrates why so many people fall in love with Williamsburg.  Just looking at it today brings back my infatuation with its style.  If you don't own the book, I'd add it to your library.

See the paneling in the image below.  I have the exact same paneling in my living room only now mine is white after my "white epiphany" with Hugh Newell Jacobsen.

How charming and pretty is this!

And see the candle snuffer - it reminds me of one Darryl Carter has on his dining room table.  So Williamsburg style can be today too, not just yesteryear.

I still love toile.  Today it only occurs in two placemats - no where else in my house.

And stripes.  Again, I only have them in placemats.  Maybe, I live vicariously in Williamsburg through my table settings.

Again pretty paneling though I've never been a blue fan.

This color was more me (till the great white epiphany), and I still love checked fabric.

Susan Sully, whom I will talk more about in a future southern post, explains that the south was heavily influenced by its English forbears.  Very evident here.

Now from my yesteryear Williamsburg influence to my fun trip and influence of a few months ago.  Below a tiny Savannah home on the tour reminiscent of Williamsburg right down to the picket fence.  Sadly, we were not allowed to take any interior photos.

Note how long and narrow the house below is.  At the end of this post, we'll see a home similar in size and shape from House Beautiful.

Below is the one interior photo I did take before I found out we couldn't.  Loved those scrimshawed whale teeth.

One of the many Savannah squares.

Azaleas in full bloom and spanish moss hanging on the oaks and a confused tour-person.

The following image may seem a bit out of place, but one night we had the firemen at the home of my host and hostess.  In preparing a dinner that evening, a jam tart overflowed in the oven and caused a bit of smoke.  Their smoke detectors are wired directly to the firehouse, and there was a considerable amount of loud beeping and some shouting.  Alas, no one could contact the firehouse before the fire fighters, who were very understanding, arrived.  I thought the whole thing very funny, unlike my host and hostess, but then it wasn't my house or my neighborhood.  (Note the Spanish moss on their oaks.)

My friend and her fire fighter who so good-naturedly posed for me.

Our very delicious first course.  The whole meal was delish even the offending jam tart.

Next day we visited historic Beaufort.  Wish I could remember what our tour guide said about this church.

Great stone wall surrounded it.

Really great-looking antique store but closed on Sundays.

Enough of my sad photos.  I have many, many more but am sparing you the pain.  Someone advised me to take at least seven to ten shots of the same subject in order to find one good one.  I seem only to have taken seven to ten lousy pictures.  I apologize.  Let's go now to House Beautiful's coverage of a Savannah home taken from their web site.  Bet they only had to take one shot.

After having been to Savannah, this home seems very typical and beautiful.

Does it seem at all reminiscent of Williamsburg to you?

It is a long and narrow house like many of those in the Savannah squares.

And this home has a great kitchen.  (We saw one kitchen on our tour owned by a caterer, and remodeled beautifully to blend with the period of the house.  Had a refrigerator freezer combination I could live in,  a pantry to die for and beautiful still-life paintings.  Wish I could have photographed it for you and me.)  This kitchen is great also and reminds me a lot of "the one that got away".

A tiny courtyard for dining alfresco. 

House Beautiful's images are a vast improvement from mine.  So glad I could end with a kitchen I have loved.  Even though my pics were not professional quality my visit was.  Thanks again to my friends who made it all possible, even the friendly fire fighter.

Next time more Savannah.  We'll be lingering in the south for a while with houses and designers between Williamsburg and Charleston.  And I promise not to use my photos.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Still Saladino

But sadly, this may be my last post (at least for a while) on this designer whose work I love.  Saladino's colors, his Renaissance sensibilities, his blending of the old with the new - all speak to me.  Alas, "there are miles to go" in my design journey, so move along I must after this posting. Please enjoy this rather lengthy view of a master.

From my library of magazines, let's look at this issue from October of 1994.  I saved it...

because of the following images.  The exterior is not typical of Saladino, but see what he does with its redesign.

In many home redos today, this design would still  work.

Cool kitchen for the 90's.  You know, I went to an estate sale last week, and there were many crocks for sale similar to those above this refrigerator and none of them were selling.  Even antiques have a shelf life, I guess.  Give it another 20 years and they'll be "in" again.  I like this kitchen with or without the crocks.

He uses this chair design a lot- I really like it, sort of an upscale director's chair.  And the table cloth arrangement reminds me of the the one used in the dining room of his latest book, Villa.  

Isn't the desk niche above a bit reminiscent of his Villa Dilemma office below?  Maybe it's the thick walls that seem so similar.

More of the now passe crocks in such a lovely room.

Onto 1995, and a real favorite of mine.

Everything about this room needed to be incorporated into my home - the antiques, the plants, the wall treatments, the colors, the tablescapes.  But, how could this work in my cape cod house in upstate New York?   It could not.  It's when I realized I really do need about seven houses to meet all the design I love, and this house would definitely be one of the seven.  There are no imperfections here at all.

Again, doesn't this remind you of his Villa Dilemma?  Almost like he was practicing here for his masterpiece later.

Love the windows and doors in this dining room.

Corner of living room also with great windows. 

If like me, you have his book Villa, I'll bet you see many similarities between this house andVilla Dilemma seen in his book.  Sometimes it seems they are the same house.

Isn't this a spectacular home?  It was a great issue of House Beautiful, and I will be using it again later for other design and designers.

Onto 2001 and a very different architectural design in West Virginia.

Salaidino's interior design still evident within a very contemporary architecture.

Very interesting exterior.  Very different for Saladino.

Now to 2011, and a home many of you may be familiar with and one I love.

How pure and traditional is his dining room!  And, he's right, who needs "swags and ruffles."  In this home, he again uses his scratch coat plaster.  Always makes his rooms look so old-European.  Here his scratch coat is hung with a Rothko painting - love it.

Peeks of warm, beautiful views seen below through living room windows.

His designs always suit the environment of the home.  This house feels cool and lovely with no Florida kitsch.  And his bathrooms are always more than bathrooms; they are events!

And now to the home that appears in Paula Rice Jackson's Monochrome.  If you do not own this book, buy it.  It includes the work of some marvelous designers, a Prologue by Saladino and coverage of one of his houses in which he executed both the architecture and the interior design.

The home was built not in California, not in Florida, but in the less clement weather of the Pacific Northwest.   The monochrome color of this home is "griege" and I think I love this house even more than Villa Dilemma.  "Everything in this house takes its cue from wood, stone, and undyed textiles."
Now I think this home  or one very like it must be one of my seven houses.
A small little caveat here.  I am uncomfortable with nudes.  Call me naive, prudish, a philistine even,  whatever. But, be they gods or goddesses, be they men or women, be they nymphs or satyrs, be they angels or devils, if they are nude, I am uncomfortable.  I just don't know where to look.  Despite all that discomfort, I love this room - the stone, the metal, the monochrome colors, the fabric, and at least the nude in triptych is muted.

Different view of same room.  Even love the paperwhites.

The views are spectacular out every window and the windows themselves are all spectacular.

Fireplace niche.

Really love this kitchen.  Just hope it has some of those great windows and views we cannot see in this image.

What a great house!!  Don't you just love all the wood and metal and views??  And how fitting I should end with one of his great kitchens I have loved.

So ends my concentration on John Saladino.  He remains today one of my favorite designers just as he was in the 90's and earlier.  By the by, Joni Webb did a recent posting on Cote de Texas revealing that Saladino's Villa Dilemma, his home and subject of Villa upon which he worked two entire years, has been sold to Ellen Degeneres.  Hope she keeps it very Saladino-esque.  By another by, if you google Designer Visions 2009, you will see a video of a great apartment he designed based on "Girl with a Pearl Earring" with lots of his own comments.  I tried to download it for you here, but failed miserably.

With John Saladino so ends my warm and cozy series.  Who needs warm and cozy in the summer?  Next time it's on to southern homes.  My tour of Charleston homes last year and Savannah homes this year awakened a real appreciation for southern design.  Stay tuned.
Your personal philistine,