Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Quick Detour to DC and Back to Nantucket

Several readers have commented on how serenely pleasing they find Jacobsen's interiors, and how much they love Nantucket.  Me too.  But before continuing with Nantucket, I thought it would be interesting to see the architect's own home in Georgetown (at least it was his home in 1988) and also his son's home there.  Simon and his father are now partners in Jacobsen Architecture, the website where my images of Simon's house can be found.  Let's take a look and see if you love these homes as much as the Voorhees home in Nantucket.

The images of Hugh Jacobsen's home are from Hugh Newell Jacobsen, designed and edited by Massimo Vignelli with photos by Robert Lautman (who seems to be the photographer for all his houses).  The book is a retrospective of Jacobsen houses published in 1988.  On a tree-lined street in Georgetown, this house was originally red brick. Today, its seemingly front door is to the kitchen.  The present main entryway is accessible only through the gate to the left.  Notice the interior white shutters seen through the windows reminiscent of the Voorhees home - actually that would probably be the other way round.  The Nantucket home mirrors the Jacobsen style seen here.  Both homes have more contemporary interiors encased in earlier exteriors, a look I love.

The Jacobsen library with his signature egg crate book shelves.  View out the windows is ivy filled and private.  (Are those hanging lights in the windows or are they shade pulls?)

The living room with a view toward the library.  Sofas here are reminiscent of the Voohees home...or the other way around.  Sadly, these are the only images I found of Hugh's own house.  Would love to have seen more of the kitchen and the garden.

Now onto Simon's home also in Georgetown, a home also containing contemporary rooms within the framework of a much earlier exterior.  Again a tree-lined street. This house, however, is designed by Simon Jacobsen, not his father.   These exterior shutters are a first.  Typically, with the father, shutters are only on inside windows.  The house, originally two houses, is now joined to make one beautiful whole.  (For any other upstate New York readers, doesn't this street remind you of the row houses in Geneva,  NY?)

From the outside, would you have expected this very uncluttered interior?  You would if you know the Jacobsen touch.  Again, note the egg crate bookcases.

Same room, different view of this large "gallery space."  Windows here are similar to those in the father's library and are omnipresent in Jacobsen Architecture's new houses.  The floor lamps here are Jacobsen style and were also in the Voorhees home in Nantucket.  Note the white floors (getting inspired, Phyllis?)

Stairs leading up to and down to different living areas.

Piano at other end of the gallery room with both up and down stairs still visible.  Great space for entertaining.

View from gallery room toward library.  Love the plant here.  Seems to be thriving in the light-filled space and the sweet dog does too.

The library with beautiful fireplace and mantel and, of course, egg crate book shelves.

Another library view.

Dining room with view through to kitchen.  (Baby buggy in alcove is a mystery.)

Love fireplaces in dining rooms.  (All my fantasy houses will have them.)  Mantel looks as though it might be original.

Such a serene space in Georgetown, congested DC!

Private outdoor space full of dappled shade.

View from patio toward the rear of the house.  The combination of two houses into one is more evident here.

Now back to Nantucket.  The following images are taken from Nantucket, by Virginia Scott Heard with photos by Taylor Lewis.  Below is the windmill on Nantucket, familiar to residents and visitors alike.

Here, at the end of Maxcy's Pond, we see a new house - Shear Penn Hill cottage.  A truly beautiful setting.  While this home is very different from those designed by Jacobsen Architecture, it is very Nantucket.  Take a look at it with me and decide which style you like best.  Which would be your fantasy house?

Large living room is divided into dining and sitting area with fireplaces at both ends.  Here we see the dining area.

And here the sitting area with its fireplace.

Here the library.

Lovely collection of antiques.

A kitchen perfect for entertaining.

Great corner cupboard, and inside red ware I loved in Pennsylvania.

So, dear readers which do you prefer?  My dilemma is that there are things about all three of these houses that I like.  While the Jacobsen houses seem serene and uncluttered, they are almost too museum -like for day to day living.  While the Nantucket house above is warmer and cozier, I like less busy fabrics and simpler window treatments.  While Jacobsen houses are uncluttered, I love antiques.  Is there a compromise - besides having 7 different houses?  I think there is, but it comes much later in my journey.

To end today, I'd like to leave you with an image from The Nantucket Table, by Susan Simon, an image of things I know I love - books, food, and Nantucket baskets.

Till next time, dear reader, when we will see more Jacobsen design to help make up our minds - or at least mine.


  1. Hi Billie ~
    I prefer ALL :-) I could live in any of them.
    BTW, Jacobsen's own home is very warm and not that sparse in person---it is filled with classical antiquities, for example. I toured it maybe about 4 or 5 years ago. It's modern, white and edited, but still filled with antique collections, colorful books and architectural objects.

  2. Hi Billie! I love, love, love the white floors. I am beyond inspired - I am committed! And you know what else, I am going to copy the Jacobsen bookshelves. I have a slightly tortured relationship with my sizable collection of books. I am devoted to them, but things like differing sizes and and all the different color dust jackets are a small source of visual stress for me. Can you see how that would be? :-) I think the uniformity of the egg crate shelves will resolve it.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. New reader here, I love the white floors in house in DC-the home in Nantucket(which is beautiful) has too much wood color for me + think I will combine all of them.