flagler's st. augustine, part 1 of 5

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

St. Augustine is a truly unique place, architecturally speaking. It is known as one of the oldest cities here in the States, with an official founding in 1565 by the Spanish. St. Augustine is also famously known as a Victorian vacation destination. You may or may not recall Newland Archer visiting May Welland there in Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence... Anyone? What about the movie version with Daniel Day-Lewis?

Well here is your true set:
Ponce de León Hotel built by Henry M. Flagler in 1888. Today the Hotel still stands in use and repair as Flagler College, a small private school founded in 1968. images from my flickr and here


Ponce de Leon Hotel Flagler College 4 St Augustine FL

The hotel was designed in the Spanish Renaissance style by the New York architects John Carrere and Thomas Hastings. It is also entirely lit and wired thanks to Flagler's friend Thomas Edison.








The hotel was built on part of the property that once belongs to Markland House which also now belongs to Flagler College. Image

Markland 3 St Augustine FL


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I never seem to post pictures of my own things. For the first time, here you go. Since we renters can't paint or remodel, we'll just have to take what we can fix. I have had two of these chairs forever. We used them as desk chairs for a partner's desk we used to have. Now they sit at individual small desks. They're not particularly remarkable antiques or anything, I found them at Source Perrier. I think they're now just Source Collection but I still use the old name. No matter, I love these old chairs.

They originally came with silk covered down cushions which quickly wore out and not to mention shed feathers like a chicken farm. So we found ourselves using just the cane which was not very sturdy and started to break down over time. I know the light isn't perfect sorry, I took it in the parking garage before loading them up...

I finally felt motivated when I saw this gorgeous Lee Jofa taupe linen velvet with a subtle stripe at a discount fabric store. At around $30/yd for the discontinued goods, I knew I wouldn't need much. I don't know if I could have done this myself since it needed a board cut to replace the cane... and honestly I know I probably spent more than some would on fabric even though I think it was a fabulous deal for that quality. I've been spoiled playing with fancy things at Mrs. Howard's lately. So this Lee Jofa was it. My local upholstery guy had them good as new in a week with even some fabric to spare, thanks Mike!

I am a tea drinker, and a clumsy one at that. Hopefully this neutral taupe will hide any Earl Grey.

ode to buildings

Monday, February 27, 2012

I've always loved architecture. I think it has this immense ability to impart an emotional feeling. Sometimes, while surfing the web, I find pictures of buildings that express this almost as perfectly as being there in person. This was one I found this weekend. Okay, so it is a wedding photo but I didn't even notice the people at first glance. Is that mean?


Friday, February 24, 2012

I was thinking of the sculpture "The Awakening" by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. which was originally at Hains Point, Washington, D.C. circa 1980. I always wondered about the meaning behind this sculpture. Everyone seems to agree it is scary but some even think it represents the resurrection of Baal.

It seems to be a very common theme, such as Bassin d'Encelade by Gaspard Masey, 1675-77. Masey's is most captivating of this theme, in my opinion. It is said that it really depicts the battle between the Giants or Titans, children of Gaia. Enceladus was one of the Titans. Enceladus was disabled during war by a spear of Athena and buried on Sicily, under Mount Etna. The volcanic fires of Etna were said to be the breath of Enceladus. The locals even said that Mt. Etna's tremors were said to be him rolling beneath the mountain. In Greece, an earthquake is still often called a "strike of Enceladus." ref

Versailles: Jardins du Château de Versailles - Bosquet de l'Encelade -  Le bassin d'Encelade

Monumento al Ahogado in Punta del Este, Uruguay, 1982.

Mano del Desierto in the Atacama Desert in Chile, 1992.

Let's not forget, Enceladus also got sixth-largest of the moons of Saturn as his namesake. It was discovered in 1789. What a guy.

tagging your paintings

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Your Paintings was brought to my attention by Hollister Hovey the other day. Your Paintings is a fun program by the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation to share the art of the UK. I think my favorite feature is the ability to tag and help catalog the works.

villa louis

Being American, I have a weakness for Victorian American houses. My favorites are a little off the radar and capture a moment in time. Villa Louis in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin is one of them. The Victorian mansion, constructed in 1870, replaced an earlier house from 1843. The house contains fine examples of Victorian decorative arts. Almost all the furnishings, artworks, china, glass, silver and books originally belonged to the Dousman family.

Hercules Louis Dousman (1800 - 1868) made his fortune as a fur trader, lumberman, land speculator and frontier entrepreneur. In the mid-1840s the Dousman family began developing their estate, Villa Louis. With the help of Milwaukee architect, E. Townsend Mix, they expanded the house in 1870 in the fashionable Italian Villa style.

In 1882, Louis Dousman, inherited his father's estate. As a new country gentleman, Louis and his wife, Nina Sturgis Dousman, constructed stables, barns, a race track and other out buildings. As a horse person, the fact I loved most was that they believed the artesian well water to have a therapeutic qualities in this location which would make Louis' racehorses faster and stronger than all others. Dousman hired a Chicago-based designer from the William Morris Company of London. The result was a reworking of the mansion, paying homage to the British Arts and Crafts Movement.

It is also the place of an annual carriage classic.

Image from Winona Daily News, Hamline, Villa Louis

a good read - newport villas

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Newport Villas is one of those favorites, which I open time and time again. As I notice a different house Cliff Walk, I have to check to see if there is anything on it. This book is amazing. It records a number of original photographs and floor plans as well as information on the owners, the architect, designers, subsequent owners, and what has become of the house.

I took some photos from the book to share with you just so you can see how invaluable this work really is if you are a fan of the period. First the loggia from Belcourt.

Then rooms from Villa Rosa, Gray Craig, Cherry Neck Bungalow and Bonniecrest.

This book comes with floor plans as well.

And just for some Newport love, think about supporting the Newport Preservation Society. I'm a fan and have been for a long time. Oddly, I've been to every tour-able house in that town, even those unaffiliated with the Society. Maybe we should look at a few... hmm.

Photos from the book, uploaded by me. I believe a number of these originate from the Newport Preservation Society's Archives.

unpainted inspiration

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A person's furnishings make even a blank palette their own.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Taking a quick break today to bring a new acquisition to my art restorer. My husband bought an amazing landscape at auction, or at least we like it! Unfortunately it has fallen prey to the usual decaying varnish which has been left neglected leading to flaking of the actual paint. Here's hoping my guy can help us out! I'm always amazed at the before and afters of art restoration! This is from Mr. Mahoney, but here's a cleaning in progress.

One of his more impressive fixes, this was dropped by a forklift!

There are so many talented restorers, but it is truly a rare skill. This book has been really helpful for me, the lay person, to try and understand what needs to be done. Here's the e-book for free. I cannot wait to have my landscape finished. I'll have to take some before and afters myself!

images from the PAFA, New England Art Restoration


Friday, February 17, 2012

Seem to be spotting a few lately. Birdcage Memory Board from Restoration Hardware for $69

From World Market, the Alaina Bird Cage Wall Frame on sale for $24

unpainted inspiration

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Embrace the whites. I am loving these grey neutral drapes with brass hardware.

cover up

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The great value of looking at inspiration always seems to be in the details. For example, I was perusing online magazines and noticed luxuriant fabrics and furs draped over ottomans and tables. My favorite is this decadent drawing room of Château de Fleury. Kind of makes me wish I had picked up that bearskin I saw recently for an ottoman.

Source: elledecor.com via Ann on Pinterest

Or in Andrew Gn’s Paris Apartment. He rightly leaves no surface naked. Meow.

Source: elledecor.com via Ann on Pinterest

Source: elledecor.com via Ann on Pinterest

Source: elledecor.com via Ann on Pinterest