Showing posts from November, 2014

Oheka Castle and Taylor Swift?

Today I bring you Oheka Castle through a music video by Taylor Swift.  Oheka Castle on Long Island was designed by Delano and Aldrich in 1914 for Otto Kahn. The structure happens to be the 2nd largest private house in the United States after the Biltmore estate. The house is gorgeous and the song is really fun; I'll admit to being a big Taylor Swift fan!  If you're not into the music I still encourage you to watch the video on mute for the images of Oheka Castle alone. Enjoy!

Shopping in DC: GoodWood

In anticipation of 'Black Friday' later this week I thought I would share with you some of my shopping from this past weekend. I stopped in one of my usual haunts on DC's U Street NW, Goodwood.
GoodWood used to be more of a vintage furniture store but has turned itself into an authentic version of what Anthropology tries to be. The styling in the store is always artful and really fun to walk around. As with most vintage shops there is something for everyone hidden around the next corner, no matter your taste.
I love this antique cabinet which holds antique china, tea, and teapots. I wish I had a cabinet like this in my apartment for my collection!
 These antique Minton cups and saucers were selling for only $8 a set and there were dozens of them.
One of the most interesting item(s) was this pair of faux "faux bois" French armchairs which are very Michael Taylor'esque.
Some details of the chair -really charming- I wish I had a place for these! Also notice the vinta…

Quality is in the details: Bunny Mellon

Now that the sale of the century (thus far) has ended, Mrs. Paul Mellon at Sothebys, we can all sit back from the hysteria and try to learn from this extraordinary taste-maker.  I read from both camps, that the items were just 'ordinary' and/or worn and then also that they were of the highest quality and perfection.  For what it's worth, I heartily agree with those who found the sale overwhelmingly good.
While I never got further than my auction catalogs, friends of mine attended the sale (and texted me these pictures) and attested that though the furniture was indeed not top notch condition (of course not, it is essentially used/2nd hand furniture!) there was no question to the quality of the items; in particular the details which is where this kind of simple perfection excels.
Even the simplest upholstered pieces featured astounding couture details; from ruffled trims to coordinated buttons.  Even the boxed upholstery of the (blurry) French chairs below had squared cushion…

Magazine covers

Do you think a magazine cover such as these would sell well today? No 'celebrity' Kardashians or overly air-brushed photographs of interiors; rather a well rendered image by an artist on a topic covered in the issue.
Imagine a special issue of Architectural Digest or Elle Decor on which Jeremiah Goodman produced the cover. Am I crazy or would this be a wonderful thing and have the design world abuzz? I'm not talking inside the magazine, just the cover; don't take away my pretty photographs!  If magazines are always looking for something new, isn't doing something this 'old' the latest thing?
Another 'old' thing I would love to see in a design magazine spread; Detailed floorplans (oh how a boy can dream.......). Everyone loves a floorplan! Yes or no, am I crazy (I realize thats a whole other question!)?

decorative lamp shades

Lampshades don't always have to be white (or my much preferred black with gold foil interior).  These sconce shades in a house decorated by talented Katie Ridder are a reminder of that fact and add such a nice detail, or layer, to the room in question.  Ridder is wife to architect Peter Pennoyer; talk about the designing duo of talent!

Neues Palais, Potsdam

Under heavy renovation and possibly finished by 2016, The Neues Palais (or new palace) in Potsdam is one of the more impressive structures in the area. Parts of Potsdam are basically a suburb of immense palaces, now nearly all museums.  There are many excellent books available on the many palaces and the area itself.
The Neues Palais wasn't meant as a home for the King when it was completed in 1769 but rather as official state apartments for entertaining other royals and ambassadors. Therefore it was built to impress and not necessarily be very homey for the monarch who retained a small apartment in the palace.
Opposite the palace (above) are the Communs (seen below), creating an entry courtyard. The Communs held the kitchens, service spaces, and offices for the palace - a sort of 'downstairs' if you will. The king had underground passages built connect the Palais to the Communs so servants could get between the buildings unseen but also undeterred by weather.
The ornate inte…

Visiting Dumbarton Oaks, Georgetown

This past weekend offered beautiful fall weather, perfect for our Mid-Atlantic ICAA tour of Dumbarton Oaks arranged by landscape architect and boardmember Jennifer Horn.
Dumbarton Oaks has been owned by Harvard University since the early 1940s and hosts a number of their graduate programs on campus.  Sections of the famous gardens are open to the public and their renowned museum has a separate entrance on 32nd street NW.
Although much changed and constantly evolving, the gardens are the the work of famous landscape designer Beatrix Farrand, seen in the portrait above.
Unfortunately the house is undergoing some renovation work (roof and some structure being replaced) so scaffolding covered the neo-Georgian facade. You can see photos of the house at my earlier post from 2009 HERE.
The library is housed in the wing seen above designed by Thomas Waterman -a really spectacular period room in which one can study the antique landscape books in an elegant setting.
This grotto is only one of the ma…