Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Jacobsen, Two "Nantuckets", and One Luncheon

Today's post will well illustrate my conflicting design aesthetics, aesthetics that you, dear reader, may well think can never be reconciled.  Of course, my fantasy houses reconcile all my varying tastes and desires, but they are just that - fantasies.  So what will be the resolution to my conflicts?  Oh, we have miles yet to go before seeing any resolution.  Let's just enjoy where we are now - in the throes of conflict.

Always loved this particular cover of House and Gardens.  Thought I'd be tricky and clever and just post the cover, thus avoiding the need for  any further annotations.  The cover is pretty though, isn't it?  Those roses in the silver vase with the floral fabric.

So inside, we find another Jacobsen-designed home, one which always inspired me.  But, it isn't in Nantucket.  (I know, I know that's where I'm supposed to be, but I also must explain what a huge effect Jacobsen's design had on me before leaving him.)  This home is in the outskirts of Philadelphia - remember when my Pennsylvania posts seemed never ending?  Well, we are back there, briefly.
A quote from the article well describes this home, "The setting, though on the outskirts of Philadelphia,  seems more Williamsburg then Williamsburg itself: cleaner, crisper, whiter, more restored, and densely historic.  Each section has a different roof shape; each is surfaced in a different material."  Some of the roof shingles here look like those in Nantucket, but what really gets me about Jacobsen's work is that "cleaner, crisper, whiter" look.  I love it.

An entire wall of book shelves - all in his egg crate pattern, familiar to all of us now.

One view of the living room.  (Sorry about the crease again, but wanted you to see the entire room.)  Notice the shutters on the windows are again on the inside, never the outside.  And here, we see a touch of red, just as in one of the houses from my last post which contained a touch of blue in the library.

Different angle of the same room.  So "crisp" and "whiter."

Master bedroom.

View of the house from the woods.
This home is the end of my Jacobsen design for a while.  (I may have to refer to another of his homes later in my design journey which I hope you are not finding too confusing.  If you think you are confused, imagine my poor husband and his "chrome peanut" lament.)

Now, back to summer in Nantucket and the family home of Victoria Hagan there.  My clever annotation again.  (The cover is an image of Cindy Crawford's New York duplex, but more about that when we cover Kelly Klein in New York.)  Just note the magazine and date so I don't have to.

Victoria's family (she is in the blue shirt) outside their gray-shinlgled barn for which Victoria did the interior design.  The family rented in Nantucket for years, but finally decided to buy a place all the family could enjoy.  Victoria says, "the barn project was beyond the ken of armchair decorators, so they just kind of handed it over."  And she did this while being the mother of these twin babies!

Foyer's benches and stenciled floor are original to the barn.

Living room is very different style from Jacobsen's but very pleasingly Nantucket-style.

Living room seen from above.

Victoria's father with one of  the twins.  Funny story here.  Her dad bought a very large wrought iron chandelier and hung it over the living room.  No one liked it, and curiously it crashed down during construction.  Victoria's dad still blames her, but she responded, "the chandelier was not meant to be in this house."  The one above looks very appropriate.

Breakfast room.

Dining room.

Upstairs landing (with a view of the wrought iron chandelier's replacement.)

Eighteenth century writing desk.

Master bedroom.

The Hagan barn/house is not crisp, clean, and white, but it is redolent of family living as the image of Victoria's sister and niece below illustrates.  It is a comfortable house.  While I love Jacobsen's houses, I would be afraid to set down a canvas bag there.

See what you think of this second Nantucket house from Shelter magazine, July 2006.  (I believe its name has since become Interiors.)  Below is the exterior of an early Nantucket house, simple and cedar-shingled, but one in which its owners "plant their own brand of modern."
(By the by, our chimneys look just like this now.  New England chimneys were my inspiration.  So unlike Jacobsen's - see, more conflict.)

I know this paneling is not Jacobsen white, but isn't it Nantucket charming?

Right half of living room.

Detail of same room.  All of my rooms used to be white with colored trim (except the kitchen and den) like the room seen through the door below. Once I found Jacobsen's style, I changed all color to white, but this house still strikes a chord with me. 

Close up of same room.  Beautiful antiques in this home.

Left half of the very pretty sitting room.

Right half of same sitting room.  I love toile, but have none in my home - saved a big collection on my Pinterest board, but none in my house.  Why?  It's usually too pretty for me unless Darryl Carter uses it (then it's perfect), but more about him later.  Love the tea set even though it's pretty.

Breakfast room which has more of the antique-Pennsylvania-feel and much less of Jacobsen.

Again, so pretty.

Another teapot, this time one reminiscent of a Nantucket basket.

Charming bedroom.  I am not a fan of swags (too pretty for me) but the one here suits the room ( but so would shutters).  Notice in this house that the rugs are seagrass or sisal to add that fresh feel, but then antique hooked rugs are placed atop to give that Nantucket feel.  I love this room (minus the trim paint and swags.  Too opinionated?  It's my blog.)

Beautiful in a pretty sort of way,

Right half of same bedroom

Last image of this house, and it is a pretty one.  Love that toile and love this house, but I could no more live in it than I could one of Jacobsen's.  Both are fantasy house material.  In my quest, I needed to find a compromise aesthetic, one neither too serene and white nor too pretty and antique.  Does such an aesthetic exist?  My quest continues.

I leave you today with images from something about which I have never been conflicted  - Gourmet magazine.  Like too many magazines, Gourmet is no longer published, but like so many of its devotees, I saved many of its issues and filed them by month.  Today, I share with you one from my July collection.  Gourmet's foods and articles always fit the season, and the table arrangements always inspire as does the article below.   Note it is from July, 1998, but recipes and decor still work today.

This particular article was titled "Lunch among the Hydrangeas."  How Nantucket-y is this!

Images of the menu follow.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that my blog is entitled Kitchens I Have Loved.  These next images then are my tribute to my blog's title, to Nantucket, and to beautiful, beautiful summer.
Salmon with tarragon sauce and fingerling potatoes
Berry tart with mascarpone cream

And below is a photo of the patio outside my own kitchen.  I wish I could serve all of you lunch here among my hydrangeas.

Do you understand my design aesthetic conflict?  How do you feel about serene and white as opposed to antiques and toile?  Are you conflicted?   Since you hear my opinions all the time, I would love to hear yours. 

Till next time, my patient reader, when I promise to have less parentheses.


  1. Well, I know I don't have to tell you that I am all about serene and white, and while I can appreciate someone else's American antiques and toile I could not live with them myself. Personal preferences aside, I thought the early Victoria Hagan house was beautifully done.
    All best,

  2. Dear Billie,
    I do understand your design aesthetic conflict! This post keeps me thinking : 'What do I really prefer...? The clean and crisp or the antique and tole?'
    I just love both!! Love the white entry of Victoria Hagan and love the rooms of Jacobsen, oh yes I do! But I might think that I feel most comfortable with the Nantucket style with antiques and toile! The Nantucket rooms with the paneling is my favorite, I can't help!
    Oh I am so agree with you that I would prefer shutters in stead of swags in the rooms!!
    Billie, I wish I could set around your beautiful garden table, discussing all design aesthetics!!
    Thank you for such a wonderful post that made us think about design aesthetic!

  3. Hi, Billie -
    I am so sad this marks the end of Jacobsen :-( You end it well: a masterpiece in PA! That is probably one of my favorite Jacobsen homes. So sculptural and pure. And I love the transition to Victoria Hagan. The foyer shot is on the cover of her beautiful book.....it reminds me a bit of Mount Vernon and Monticello. Thanks for all your scans :-)