Nov 30, 2011

Historic Kykuit

In the early 1900s, the John D. Rockefeller family commissioned society architects Delano & Aldrich to complete a country retreat in New York's Hudson Valley.  The result is Kykuit in Pocantico Hills, a traditionally designed Beaux-Arts manse in Classical Revival Georgian style.  I love this house; you might be able to imagine why...

The impressive Eastern-facing facade is covered in Wisteria vines.  image via Flickr
Entry gate is both stately and imposing.  Note the 1913 demarcation.  image via Hortus2 blog

The back of the house, facing west, with a view of the majestic Hudson River.  image via Flickr

The gardens features some stunning bronze sculptures. image via Westchester Magazine
A study in symmetry, the 6 storey structure draws inspiration from Italian Renaissance and French Norman houses.  Kykuit, pronounced ky-cut and meaning ‘lookout’ in Dutch, was a shining example of Delano & Aldrich's dedication to grandiose scale & form.  The structure took six years to complete, then almost immediately underwent a series of renovations for the family to move in during the spring of 1913 The intricate and immaculate gardens were designed by the landscape architect William Welles Bosworth with input from designer Ogden Codman (who also decorated the interiors).

One of John D. Rockefeller's personal mantras was "Order and Balance."  He was an incredibly gifted businessman who thrived in organized and disciplined environments.  Perhaps this country home served as a balance between the order he so craved and the natural beauty of riverfront nature.

The last family occupant, Nelson Rockefeller,* bequeathed his one-third interest in the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation upon his death in 1979.  Tours are available through the Hudson Valley Historic group. 
image via

image via

image via Erbology

Aerial view of the western edge of the property abutting the Hudson. 
You can spot the Tappan Zee bridge crossing over to Rockland County. image via
image via Victoria Gardens blog
If you have a chance to visit this gem, do so while the Westchester foliage is still hanging in there! 

* Interesting side note via Wiki: "In late 1946, a portion of the estate was proposed as the site of the UN Headquarters, when New York City was trying to beat off strong opposition from Philadelphia and San Francisco and secure the organization. Two of Junior's sons, John D. 3rd and Laurance both offered their estate residences, Rockwood Hall and Fieldwood Farm, respectively, for the site of the building. Junior -- who was living in Kykuit at the time -- although appreciating the generous gesture, vetoed it on the grounds that the estate was simply too isolated from Manhattan. He subsequently sent his second eldest son, Nelson, to buy a proposed 6.9-hectare (17-acre) development site along the East River which he then donated for the headquarters."  Huh.

Nov 29, 2011

Brass and Glass

Just placed an order for a client for a lovely brass and glass coffee table.  I'm so excited about it.  She initially balked, thinking glass (or even mirror) would be too modern for her highly traditional living room.  No way!  I showed her choice photos of brass & glass in comparable settings, and she became a believer.

image via Decorpad

Brass Mastercraft Doe Foot Cocktail Table via Nines

image via Elle Decor

Antique Maison Bagues Brass Two-Tier coffee Table via Jean-Marc Fray

image via Decorpad
Ginko Table by vanCollier Designs via Inspire.Me. blog 
Whitney Interior Design
Worlds Away Robert G table via ElleDecor Marketplace

Using a glass table can be tricky for many reasons, foremost being safety.  All-glass tables make homeowners nervous about breakage or injuries.  Small children can be rough on furniture, and older adults can sometimes bang their legs on a hard-to-see glass table.  But, glass encased in a strong, visually-obvious metal frame eases the mind a bit.  The strong metal of brass is my favorite for furniture.  It can go warm or cool, mod or trad.  Obviously, glass allows for more visual circulation around the room, including a better sight line to stunning carpets or floors underneath. 
Grant K. Gibson

Rounded Corner Brass and Glass 1970s low table via 1stdibs

image via Decorpad

Dominique Coffee Table by Matthews & Parker for Brunschwig & Fils

image via Elle Decor

Brass Ram Heads Coffee Table. 
You might as well punch yourself in the face because this beaut is no longer available from 1stdibs.  Argh!

Bob Coscarelli

Side Bracket Brass Cocktail Table via Horchow

image via Decorpad

Greek Key Brass Low Table via 1stdibs

image via FigStreet blog

Sabine coffee table by Jan Showers
And another plus side of a glass coffee table top?  No coasters!

Nov 28, 2011

The Furnishings of a Diva

The New York auction house Doyle is hosting an estate auction of one of Old Hollywood's most notorious divas, Ms. Jaon Crawford.  On December 7th, her many furs, jewelry and film memorabilia will be up for auction along with a few of her furnishings. 

Beautiful Silver Fox Stole monogrammed JCS for Joan Crawford Steele, as she was married to Pepsi-Cola Chairman Alfred Steele. 

Set of 12 silver escargot plates.  Of course!

French Chinoiserie Decorated Porcelain Ecuelle

Vintage photograph of a young Crawford with her mother Anna Le Sueur, circa 1928

Georgian Style Mahogany Games Table
Cream Ostrich and Coq Feather Boa, Nine and a half feet long

Group of eight scrapbooks for films Rain, 1932; Today we Live, 1933; The Gorgeous Hussy, 1936; an various personal scapbooks including one devoted to Crawford's trip to Spain in 1962

The Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award presented to Miss Joan Crawford for Outstanding Contributions to the Entertainment Industry 1969 

Check out the full Doyle catalog HERE.  All items are on preview at Doyle December 3rd - 6th.  See you there!

Nov 26, 2011

I Shop Small! Do you?

It's is Small Business Saturday!!!  What are you going to do with it?  Go pick up bagels for your houseguests at your local bakery?  Grab coffee at the town coffehouse?  Fetch your dry cleaning from the village launderer?  Maybe you'll consider your local businesses as you run errands and begin your Christmas shopping today. Whether it's your local wineshop, bookstore, florist or toystore, your precious dollars have much more oomph spent in small businesses  

Today is the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses
on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.  The day's founder, American Express®, is asking millions of people to Shop Small at their favorite local stores today to help fuel the economy.

When we all shop small, it will be huge. 

Nov 25, 2011

Black [Room] Friday

It's Black Friday, and instead if acknowledging this rather bizarre celebration of competitive capitalism, I'm reviewing some haute blackness in lovely interiors.

image via Elle Decor

unless otherwise noted, all images via Pinterest

Don't forget that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, your day to support small business owners, help fuel local economies, and invigorate communities across the country!

Enjoy the remainder of your holiday weekend.  Please drive safely and try to shop friendly!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...