Sunday, October 18, 2015

Martha's Vineyard Staircase Details and Hallway

Continuing my story on the design of Wynn and Catherine Newhouse's Vineyard home.....

Opposite the entry window seat were the stairs to the second floor.
Less (the architect I worked with for several thousand years) wanted a half wall to separate the dining room from the entry rather than a full wall with a doorway which was what the house originally had.  This allowed more light to flow into both spaces.
 We needed the added posts to do something boring like hold up the upper floor.
He wanted just a couple of posts set between the two rooms, but it there is a way to gussy something up, I will whip out my trusty drafting board and pencil and go to town working on an architectural detail to make the home builder's life more difficult.
If you've been following along with the story about this house, you may remember that I used a circle motif throughout the whole design.
For the staircase railing I incorporated circles into the balustrade detail. 
It's impossible to see in these pictures from the scanned images I used from Traditional Home Magazine
 (see how I cleverly inserted the credit for the pictures???????)
but the vertical and cross pieces, as well as the circles had two small lines routed into them for a more Victorian look to go with the architecture of the house.
I spent some time drawing the newel post, as I wanted to have the feel of a captain's home.
I also use routed grooves in the ball at the top as well as on the lower part of the post.
 For the half wall, I boxed out the supporting posts with wood boards, adding a simple detail around 9 inches down from the crown molding I added at the top.
These two applied moldings created the look of a capitol for the column.
For the bottom, I added another simple crown molding flipped upside down.
I had the columns rest on the half wall that I paneled to work with the same paneling detail I designed in the dining room.
In the upper hall, we decided..... 
(I can't remember if it was Les or me that came up with the sky detail for the ceiling.....)
to paint a sky.
The builder had some artists he suggested, and we checked out their portfolios.
If I remember correctly.....(it's been a billion years since I designed this house), I ended up bringing my own painter over from the mainland because I wanted a realistic looking sky, not some cartoon rendition.
 Catherine and Wynn Newhouse, the owners of this home, were avid art collectors.
They loved combing the local galleries looking for paintings for their new residence.
They chose this piece that looks like an actual window painted in a tromp l'oeil effect, it even has an actual wooden piece at the bottom to give the impression of a window sill.
We hung it in the upper hall that was windowless to create the feeling of a window to the outside.
(I don't think it fooled no one)
 Less was able to add a small dormer into the roof line that shed natural light down the stairwell.
In one of the most genius filled moments of out trillions of years together, he worked magic on the inside and made it have the effect of a cupola by framing the interior space to look different from the actual roof line, creating a four sided extension above the natural ceiling line of the upper hall. So, instead of the dormer having a slanted ceiling, he flattened it out to fake the look of a flat roof. 
It was still slanted on the outside, it had just been frame to have the false ceiling on the inside.
I'm not explaining this well.....ARRRRGGHH.
He faked the eye out even more by setting fake windows on the three other walls that didn't look outside, just adding mirrors to them instead of glass.
This was why it was so important to have the ceiling painted like sky, the mirrors reflected the ceiling, really creating the effect of a four sided cupola.
 Here's a blow up of the detail.
I still have a couple or so more rooms to review in this house, but that's for next week.....
that's it for today.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
On that note,

Latah, Gatah

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Martha's Vineyard Cottage Dining Room

Let's continue the tour of the Martha's Vineyard home that I decorated 2000 years ago for the Newhouses.
We've looked at the living room and the entry hall, so today is time for the
dining room!!!!!
To be different and cutting edge,
I used a dining table, chairs, chandelier and server.
I am so awesome in my pioneering spirit.
back to reality.
Please don't ask me where I got anything in this room, much less the whole house, if I don't give the resource, it's because I DON'T REMEMBER.
BUT, I think the table and chairs came from Milling Road, a line under Baker Furniture.
The rug may have been from Stark Carpet.....maybe.....
The chandelier and sconces were from a wonderful company that completely has
escaped my mind.
The server was an antique English oak that just screamed for a coat of paint.
It was probably quarter sawn, but I needed something that would work with the room and a big old piece of oak wasn't doing it for me.
This was in the days that folks didn't paint anything that stood still for 5 minutes, 
so I had to do some convincing of my clients.
The guy that painted it thought I was nuts.
I had it painted the color of the room's wooden molding so that it would relate to the space.
The back of the piece had a mirror, which I had't seen before on an antique like this.
It helped make the room feel more open.
If you've been following this story, I hope you can remember that I was using a circle motif throughout the house.
I fell in love with these chairs, they seemed to have a nautical vibe and I loved the circle back.
For the table centerpiece, we used a wire lighthouse that Catherine Newhouse had found on one of her poking around trips on the island.
Since these images are from Tradition Home Magazine and not my trusty camera, I had to blow up the pictures when I had to show you guys some details.
So bare with me.....
Since the living room, entry and dining room all flowed together, I used fabrics that all worked in the blue color scheme.
The dining room draperies were whimsical with a print of plates and blossoms on a blue background.
We repeated this theme by placing plates all around the room leaning on the top of the wainscoting. 
The fabric picked up all the colors of the living room floral.
I like to mix geometrics with other prints, and for this house chose checks and plaids.
The dining room chairs got a little plaid.
The living room got a bigger one.
The window seat cushion got a plaid that seemed to be the reverse of the living room one.
I mixed the different patterns together in the pillows.
Below is one of my brilliant collages that I assembled by using PicMonkey!!!!!
It shows all the fabrics together.
For the rug, I had one custom colored with a blue background that matched the fabrics.
The design looked like a compass star which furthered the nautical motif I was trying to achieve.
If you've followed my work over the years,
you know I can find one idea and then use it until someone waves a weapon or two in front of my face and tells me to
 drop the decorating theme.
 The wainscoting detail that I drew up had a cap board on it's top that was routed with a groove for plate display.
We collected antique blue and white transfer iron ware to be displayed on the wainscoting.

I wish I could remember the name of the company that made the lighting.
I had them create the chandelier.....
double sconces between the windows in the dining room. I had to have them make them narrow enough to fit in that space.....
Single sconces over the fireplace in the living room.....
and single sconces in the entry area over the window seat.
OK Kampers,
that's it for now,
I have to get back to designing my fabrics.
I thought I would launch my line this fall, but now it looks like this will happen in the spring.
Who knew it took so long????
Maybe if I knew what I was doing, it would go a little faster.......

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Sunday, October 4, 2015

An Entry Hall on Martha's Vineyard

OK Klass,
let's continue with the tour of Wynn and Catherine Newhouse's Vineyard vacation retreat.
If one was to actually enter the house by the front door, this would be the entry hall that you would see.
Houses facing the water very often had the front entry facing the water too.
I guess that would work if you were to visit by boat.
since most folks travel by car, the kitchen is really the point of entry.
(or should I say, "port of entry"?????)
The "tower" sits at the front of the house. 
It's on the right side.
It's kinda squatty, but it creates nice areas inside.
The window seat by the front door is tucked into this space.
It's a wonderful place to sit, pull your feet up and watch the boats in the harbor.
I designed the details of the window seat to repeat the circle motif I used throughout the home.
Remember the living room fireplace mantel?

Since heat was needed, this being New England, we set the toe kick heater under the built-in, and a fan blew the warm air out into the space.
Since I love mixing patterns, we piled tons of different pillows on top of the window cushion, and I threw an antique blue and white quilt across the back.
I was able to crop the window detail so I could show you what I did in the living room as well as the window seat area.
I found cabinet ring pulls that were meant to screw into a door or drawer, and used them by screwing them into the ceiling and tying tab curtains to the rings 
Boy, I wish this was in the days of digital cameras so that I could have taken a close up of the window and door header detail.
Instead I cropped this as best I could.
I found a wonderful molding that was a series of half circles. I had it applied under the scotia detail at the top of the header.
This repeated the circle motif I was using.
For light in this area, we mounted simple tole blue and white sconces that were custom colored to work in this house.
One day when Wynn, Catherine and I were shopping on the island, we came across this nautical figurehead in an art gallery.
Wynn and Catherine just had to have him.....
(I think he's kinda tacky.....) 
We mounted him in the entry so that he could watch over the home.
That's it for today, 
the sun has finally come out so I can go outside and

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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