Monday, May 23, 2016
London-based designer Veere Grenney recently visited Atlanta to introduce his second collection for Schumacher. While I knew that he was immensely talented (I've long been an admirer of his work), I was delighted to discover that he is immensely charming as well.
Grenney's latest collection of linen fabrics and wallcoverings comes in such a pleasing color palette: soft shades of sage, straw, and lilac, for example, joined by more robust hues of burnt orange, berber brown, and peacock blue. But, hands down, my favorite color in the collection is Temple Pink, which has to be the most perfect shade of pink. Not too sweet nor feminine, this mature version of pink also graces the drawing room walls of Grenney's eighteenth-century, Palladian-style temple folly, which has garnered accolades far and wide because of its architecture, its decor, and those splendid Temple Pink drawing room walls.
Equally as enticing are the collection's sophisticated prints. In a world where screaming for attention has become the norm, it's refreshing to see a collection of small-scaled prints that are subtle yet striking. But, should you wish to make a bold statement, you can do so thanks to the fact that some of the prints, such as Belvedere and Kiosk, are available in coordinating fabrics and wallcoverings.
To see the entire range of this collection, please visit the Schumacher website. And the next time you're in a Schumacher showroom, make sure to peruse the collection in person. I think you'll be as impressed with it as I am.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
If you live in Atlanta or have spent any time here, then you're likely familiar with the Goodrum House. Fondly known as the "Peacock House" (or, at least, it was when I was a child), the 1929 house, located at the corner of West Paces Ferry and Habersham Road, was designed by architect Philip Shutze. You might remember that I wrote about the house in 2008, when the house was on the market and uncertainty about the house's future ensued. But, thankfully, the house was purchased by the Watson-Brown Foundation, which has embarked on a major restoration of the house and its gardens.
A few weeks ago, I found these black-and-white photos of the house and its gardens in some 1932 and 1933 issues of House & Garden. The house was originally decorated by Porter and Porter, which was Atlanta's prominent decorating firm of the day. Although the house looked more pulled together in 1932 than it did in the 2008 photos, below (taken when the house was on the market after having served as headquarters for the Southern Center for International Studies), you can see that what made the home's interiors so enchanting- the Chinese red Chippendale banister, the dining room's Chinoiserie mural that was painted by Allyn Cox, and the exquisite breakfast room that was painted by Athos Menaboni to resemble a bird cage- have remained intact.
I don't know how the gardens fared over the years, although, like the house, the gardens are currently being restored. However, I'm really taken with the serpentine walls that appear in the 1933 photos, above. But really strikes me (and will likely strike those of you who grew up or currently live in the area) is how uninhabited the neighborhood looked back in 1933. Just look at the road beyond the garden walls; there are no other houses lining this section of the street. Needless to say, the neighborhood has been heavily developed since that time.
As it appeared in 2008 photos:
Ask most Southerners to name their favorite chair, and they'll likely respond, "A Brumby Rocker, of course." As Southern as sweet tea and monograms, the Brumby Rocker is hands-down the rocker of choice in the South and beyond. And it has been that way for ages, too, because the chair's maker, The Brumby Chair Company, has been making these gracious chairs since 1878, three years after the company was founded. Located in Marietta, Georgia, the company is still being led by the Brumby family, with sisters Anna Brumby and Spain Brumby Gregory at the helm.
What makes these rocking chairs so special is that, first and foremost, they are extremely comfortable. I should know, because I grew up with white Brumby Rockers on my front porch. Believe me, few things in life are as relaxing as rocking back and forth in a Brumby Rocker. The chairs are extremely sturdy, too, thanks to their oak frames and their cane backs and seats, which are tightly woven in a herringbone-pattern. And finally, they are so durable that they seem to last forever. But should your Brumby Rockers need it, the company offers a restoration service, which does wonders on, say, eighty or ninety-year-old Brumby Rockers, ensuring their use for the next hundred years.
There are a number of styles of rockers, including a Baby Rocker for children and a Courting Rocker that is wide enough for a couple or a few small children, but the classic style for which the company is so well-known is the Jumbo Rocker. Although the rockers come in a variety of stains and enamels, I am partial to both the white and the black painted finishes. Both colors give the rockers a polished look that is suited to traditional settings and modern-minded houses alike. And I would be remiss not to mention that the Rockers are well-suited to The White House, too, where President Jimmy Carter assembled a number of Brumby Rockers, which, I assume, reminded him of his home state.
Honestly, I can't think of a better chair in which to set a spell, especially at this time of year and, preferably, with family or friends. For more information, or to buy your own Brumby Rocker (lucky you), please visit The Brumby Chair Company website.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Some people consider the color blue as too cold to be welcomed into a comfortable house. Not so, said Dorothy Draper, who believed that, "Blue can be delicate and yet warm at the same time." It's a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. Blue, in all of its various guises, is not only my favorite color, it's the essence of my home, making appearances in every room of my apartment, which, I've been told, is warm and inviting. (Draper also said, "Just as the main theme appears and reappears throughout a symphony, so you can carry one note of color through your whole house to beautiful effect.") Back in 1932 and 1933, the editors of House & Garden were likewise advocates of decorating with blue. Look at the magazine's color photographs from this time period, and you'll see that blue is notably featured in most of them. In some interior photos, the color permeated a room, such as in the Manhattan living room, seen above and below, of Mrs. Robert A. Lovett. Mrs. Lovett obviously had a yen for inky blue, because not only did she choose the shade for her living room, she used it in her bathroom as well. (Seen in the third photograph, the bathroom walls were painted with a mural that shows a colonnaded view of the ocean.)
In other photographs, and in a few illustrations, too, blue appeared as an accent color. Take, for example, the charming illustration of the living room of Richardson Wright, then editor-in-chief of House & Garden, and his decorator wife, Agnes Foster Wright. In this room, the Wrights lived beneath a vibrant, bright blue ceiling. A similar shade can also be seen in the illustration of Condé Nast's paragon-of-chic ballroom, where Elsie de Wolfe chose an 18th-century Chinese wallpaper with a splash of refreshing blue.
But perhaps no photo captures the beauty of blue better than the Edward Steichen photograph, seen below, which shows a woman seemingly enraptured by the blue Delphiniums that grew in Steichen's garden. I understand the way that woman felt, because the spectrum of blues always dazzles me, too.
All images from various 1932 and 1933 issues of House & Garden
Congratulations go to Greenwich, Connecticut-based designer Lee Ann Thornton, who recently launched her own home furnishings collection. Consisting of twenty-five pieces, including upholstered seating, pillows, and even games tables, the furniture and accessories have that classic, tailored look that lends a home polish. What especially caught my eye are the collection's fabric options. Curated by Lee Ann herself, the fabrics, from such lines as Raoul Textiles, Lisa Fine, and China Seas, are in shades of blue and white. Whether you choose to mix a ticking-striped sofa with a botanical print pillow, all of the fabrics (which you can see above) are designed to work together, bringing a cohesive look to a room. Very clever.
Lee Ann plans to explore other colors in future collections, but for this debut collection, the blue-and-white theme has started things off with a bang. I urge you to learn more about this collection, which can be viewed on Lee Ann's website. I've seen one of her pillows in person, and I am thoroughly impressed.
For more information, or to see photos of Lee Ann's design work, please visit her website.
All images from Lee Ann Thornton's website