Saturday, March 31, 2012

Back from the South and Still in Pennsylvania

Will I ever stop posting about Pennsylvania?  Honestly, I had only this one more scheduled, but then during my visit to southern friends and relatives, another Pennsylvania house popped into view in a spring magazine.  I may need to linger here a bit longer.  (I had a wonderful visit in the south, loved Savannah, Charleston, and Stuart Florida.  More about those areas in a future post.  Suffice it to say, I now think I need another fantasy house - one in Charleston.)  But now to Pennsylvania.

The beautiful home below looks old, but was newly completed in 1994 with the expertise of architect, John Milner, and with three years of hard work by the owner and his wife, Suzanne Roberts and her husband, chairman of Comcast.  It appeared in Architectural Digest's September 1994 issue.

Can you believe this house is only eighteen years old?  It really looks as though it were at least one hundred and eighteen years old (except for the comfortable chairs and sofa).

The antique tables, the red ware, the fieldstone fireplace and the old wood flooring add much to the charm of this home.

An all too brief view of the home's kitchen reveals old beams, more wide plank floors, and a peek into the buttery beyond.  

Doesn't the cupboard below remind you of some of those seen in the Brandywine homes?  Love the hardware on this cupboard's door and on the door in the background.

"A circa 1790 Fraktur drawing is set alongside miniature pottery from the same era in a staircase niche.  Suzanne Roberts, who oversaw the design of the interiors, found many of the antiques at local shows."  I only wish more of this kitchen was visible.  I would like to have seen how the antiques were combined with new kitchen convenience - a special interest of mine.

A guest bedroom.

Another guest bedroom in the loft.

Exterior of the guest house with plants authentic to "18th and 19th centuries."

Interior of guest house.  While I love the beams and the fireplace, log cabins are a bit too primitive for me, but the owners "wanted it to look as though it was lived in by a neighboring farmer who had traded with the Indians."  (And why should the owners care what I think!!)

Guest bedroom in the guest house.  Again the feeling is a bit too "western" for me.

The owners themselves who care not a whit about my thoughts and rightly so.

And now onto another home designed by John Milner, the architect for the home above.  Several years ago my son, his wife and myself went to a Christmas tour of homes in the Brandywine area.  John Milner's offices, located in this area, were open to the tour-goers.  We loved the office and every image that appeared on the computers in the office.  Since then, John Milner remains one of my favorite architects.  The images which follow will help you understand why.  These images and more are available at 

One of his interiors appears below which I chose it because it is of a kitchen - see I do remember my focus.

Again, part of the kitchen.  Love their old table mixed with new lighting here.

How lovely is this new barn!  The landscaping is perfect.

I long to see the inside of each of Milner's houses.  Note the two chimneys, indicators of charming interiors.

One of his charming interiors indeed.

With John Milner, I was going to leave Pennsylvania for quite a while, but bear with me next time as we visit one more home there.  But now, onto images of a random kitchen I stumbled upon, again helping me with my kitchen focus.
The kitchen pictured above (and below) is a design mixing elements of old and new.  While I love this mixture, my source here is unknown.  This happens when I tore pictures from magazines before thoughts of a blog ever entered my head.  My apologies.

I love commercial stoves like this Wolf.

If my kitchen were being photographed, I would straighten the slipcover on that chair.  But, oh well, I'm sure the owners don't care about my opinion anymore than did the owners of the log guest house from above. 

It's good to be home again after my southern trip.  Always enjoy my ventures from home and seeing good friends and relatives, but hate living out of a suitcase and love being home.  Glad to be writing my blog again.  Till next time.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Still in Pennsylvania for a Bit Longer

I really do plan on moving to another location, but, in organizing my magazines in a chronological order (of sorts), I keep finding more articles on more lovely homes in Pennsylvania.  What's a blogger to do?  Even after I think I'm done with the state, more articles keep popping onto the scene.  I think the homes included here are quite special.  I'm also including an image of aristochiens by Thierry Poncelet (when I stumbled upon this, I thought of Greet's earlier post on Belgian Pearls), and lastly, to stay true to my blog's name, I'm including two interesting kitchens.

This first home was published in Colonial Homes, Fall-Winter, 1976-1977, an issue from over thirty years ago yet it still holds a timeless appeal.

Lots to love about these rooms - the antiques, of course, the paneling, the paint colors, deep set windows and this conservatory at the end - in this conservatory with its soft feel of summer in the dead of winter, I wouldn't even mind the uncomfortable ladder-back chairs.  (Honestly now, have you ever known a ladder-back to be comfortable??)  If we substituted the primitive paintings with Wyeth ones, this home might be in Brandywine country.

My second home today appeared in Architectural Digest's June 2009 issue.  For many years, Architectural Digest devoted their June issue to only country homes.  I always watched for it as June drew near to find just such beauties as this one.

Just seeing these first two photos, don't you just want to move right in?  Love Pennsylvania stone houses and, to make it even better,  it's peony season.

Again, even though I like much primitive art, without it here, this could be a Wyeth home.  Love that little tavern table in front of the leather sofa.

Ditto the above comment minus the table comment.

Even though it's peony season, the fireplace is so appealing.  The dinnerware and wine glasses are lovely here and notice the peony centerpiece.

Part of an upstairs bedroom with dormer window.

Why don't more bedrooms today have fireplaces?  Love them - even in peony season.

What a great spot for appetizers and the closest image this article had to a kitchen.  I'm sure it's just outside the kitchen though.  And that wisteria.  The only wisteria I ever had never bloomed, not even once, and after ten years, I yanked it out.  Here, the wisteria absolutely makes the setting.  In my fantasy Pennsylvania house, my wisteria will bloom, bedrooms will have fireplaces, and Wyeth paintings will abound.

The owners of this beautiful home have wonderful taste and are living my fantasy.  (Yes, I'd have sheep and a sheep dog in my Pennsylvania home.)

And a barn to house my horses whose stalls my fantasy grooms would take care of.  Hope you loved this home.  I loved posting about it for you.

The first three images of kitchens presented next were found in Veranda's spring of 1998 issue.  But, before the kitchens, I found a home in this same issue with Thierry Poncelet's aristochiens hanging on the wall.  Thinking of Greet Lefevre's earlier post about this topic, I thought I'd add it here.  So, Greet, this one's for you.

Now to the kitchens.  I do remember my topic even while straying.
It is so well-equipped that I know delightful dishes are made here.

Don't know what to say about the stuffed fowl.

Great pottery on top two shelves, and great organization on the bottom two.

About this next kitchen,  I'm sorry to say that I have no source.  When I tore the pages out long ago, who knew they'd be in my blog!

Not sure these Andirondack chairs would be any more comfortable than ladder-backs, but the fireplace in the kitchen scores high.

I will be away for the next ten days visiting friends and relatives in South Carolina and Florida.  Will visit Savannah and Charleston for the first time ever, will join a house and garden tour, will listen to  a lecture by Victoria Wyeth, and will enjoy good friends, close relatives, and warm weather.  I'm bringing my camera so may have photos to share that may delay my next Pennsylvania posting.  But maybe not, I'm not the world's best photographer.
Till next time,

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Sculptor from Brandywine and More

Last posting, I promised a post about Andre Harvey, the renown Brandywine sculptor. While searching for his information, I stumbled across articles about Renny Reynolds, also a renown floral designer.  Since spring is in the air, I thought a posting about both men would be appropriate today.  First - Andre Harvey.

A photo of the sculptor himself (from Brandywine by Anthony Edgewood).  If you believe the pig his arm is resting upon is real, it is not of course, but one of his fabulous sculptures.

This pig, another of Harvey's sculptures, resides outside the Brandywine River Museum where it welcomes visitors.  What is it about pigs and Brandywine? Jamie Wyeth paints them, Andre Harvey sculpts them.  Whatever it is, the results are exquisite.

The sculptor's home.  The Pennsylvania exterior stonework does not show very well here, but his woody station wagon does.  (The above photo and the following ones are from Southern Accents, March-April, 1993.)

The entrance to his home.  Notice the beautiful hardware on the door and the frog sculpture in the distance.

The settee in the same foyer with his possum sculpture hanging above.

The "spare beauty" of the stairway with a goat sculpture atop an antique table.

The artist working on a much larger goat sculpture.

Turtles clamber on the dining room table and an armadillo, entitled The Relic, stands atop an English oak William and Mary highboy.  I so love highboys, armadillos not so much but sculpted ones are fine.

Living room of the artist with a ubiquitous pig sitting near the hearth.  Love the paneling in this room.  My sons tell me the paneling in my living room cries out to be similar to this, while I maintain ours needs to remain a simpler paneling.
Thus ends our visit to Andre Henry.  Wish I had more photos to show you, but this is all of them from my files.

Now onto Renny Reynolds's home in Pennsylvania.  Reynolds designs most of his floral projects in the New York City area, but comes to this "farm" in Pennsylvania to relax.  I think you'll see why.  (The following photos are from House Beautiful, March 1993.)

From the moment I saw this dining room in House Beautiful, I loved it - the massive fireplace, the sconces above it, the comfortable chairs, even his sweet dog.

Both of the above photos are of the living room. Don't you love the paint color of the paneling here and that narrow table in front of the sofa?  The topiary in the window must be one of Reynolds's designs.

Now some outside photos of the house and flora and fauna.
My resolution on this photo does not do justice to that wonderful Pennsylvania stone design.  (I need photoshop.)

Doesn't this seem like a great place to unwind?  So ends the photos from this article from House Beautiful, but I found more.  I'm sorry to say, unlike me, I tore the following photos from their original magazine, but I believe it was another House Beautiful article.  They include images of Reynolds's "potting shed" made from the barn on the property. Let's take a look.

Now, I have a potting shed and I have garden books on shelves in my den, but this building is something really special.

More of the grounds which make me long for summer, although spring is definitely in the air in upstate New York.

 I have not forgotten that  my blog is supposed to be more about kitchens, and I know I keep promising that they will appear.  So, today I will end with two kitchens, both of them in Pennsylvania.  

The above photo is from Colonial Homes, January-February 1987.  It has that Pennsylvania feel and its rooms and its kitchen are pretty classic.

 I like this house and many of its antiques shown in the photos above, but, not to be too critical, it is just too cluttered.  Could be a sign of its era.  Today, I do not think photographers would stage these rooms the same way.

On to what I think may be a kitchen more like today's, but still containing an atmosphere from the past.

So what do you think, my dear reader?  Too cluttered?  Too outdated?  While I like these rooms, I do not love them as I do the Brandywine rooms discussed in previous posts.  I think they lack the spareness which attracts me more and more as you will see when my journey continues next time.