One fascinating American country home style is known as a dogtrot house. Somewhere between a camp and a cottage it’s a supremely rustic dwelling that borders on the primitive. A phenomenon of the pre-Civil War south, a breezeway house, as it is also known, consists of log cabins connected by a covered bridge or walkway that functions as a hall. Like some homes in tropical climates, living spaces are not fully connected and screens play an important role. This 1840s dogtrot was acquired in Kentucky and moved near Madison, Georgia where it was extensively rebuilt and decorated by the owners, a former utility and exec turned nurseryman and his wife, an interior designer.… Continue Reading
Some of this mixed color decor is intense and based on the saturated fuchsias, jades, saffrons and aquas found in Chinese Art Deco rugs made for export from the 1920s until the eve of World War II. Those are sorely out of fashion now though they can be considered bohemian. Some of it’s a hijack of the historical Rococo palette — sky blue, cotton-candy pink and celadon green — that turns it into a confetti riot. All of it’s interesting because we’re seeing staid color traditions from past centuries reinterpreted in unexpected ways.… Continue Reading
Over the last ten years, the 2003 Something’s Gotta Give kitchen (actually a movie set) provided a much-copied formula for a popular black and white look: white Victorian-style cabinets with black counters and accents. That scheme created crisp, high contrast drama. The latest variation on the black and white theme is simpler. I’m seeing white kitchens with light counters and only a single dark accent — a black French range. Both Lacanche and CornfuFé offer stunning French-made ranges in a variety of black and near-black finishes, both matte and glossy.… Continue Reading
Someone fortunate enough to have, or build, a home where natural stone is a structural component in bathrooms understands the appeal of living with a surface that’s tactile and textured, has integral color, and is as old as the Grand Canyon. Where I live, many stone houses date back to pre-colonial America as I detailed in my tour of Ulster County Stone Houses (though that was limited to exterior views). The maxim is that rooms with stone walls stay cool in summer and warm in winter, subject to efficiency of the heating system.… Continue Reading
Zebra print carpets are so enduring, every shape, size and variation is available, from skin-shape throw rugs to broadloom.
So if I’m going for pattern and high contrast on the floor, zebra print carpets are an obvious solution. First, they are black and white, which means they go with almost everything. Zebra is a bold carpet pattern but it’s less slinky than leopard or tiger. And while any animal print is a traditional pick, I find the zebra pattern can look quite modern when it’s pushed by other elements. Sublimely abstract in a mid-20th century Persian kilim [top] the zebra rug in a Sagaponack summer house hardly looks its age.… Continue Reading
In ancient French bath in a manor house retains its antique atmosphere.
How charming and quintessentially French is this unfitted bath in an updated manor house in Champagne? Of course, it could be Sweden or Belgium too. Styled to look cozy, the room has a settee, a chair and a privacy screen in front of the window. It also appears to be L-shaped, with additional sanitary facilities out of view (or in another room entirely, which sometimes happens in old houses).
In the days before indoor plumbing, servants would have filled the freestanding slipper tub by hand, using buckets of hot water.… Continue Reading