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.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer in Nantucket

It is beautiful weather in upstate New York today - real summer weather, and nothing says summer like time spent in Nantucket.  To me, Nantucket speaks of blue hydrangeas, shingle houses, the sea, lighthouses, dinners outside and Hugh Newell Jacobsen.  Why Jacobsen?  Because he designed so many houses on this island, and they are always deliciously cool, serene and uncluttered.  Today we will view a house/barn he again designed with Eugenie Voorhees.

The image below, as you can see is from a July Gourmet.  Again, because I tore this out, I cannot tell you the year, but it so represents summer in Nantucket - a lightship basket, hydrangeas and a shingle house - that I had to include it.

The ferry which brings most visitors and islanders to the landing near Brant Point Light.
Nantucket, Images of the Island, by John Buck
Below, an image of the architect himself - Hugh Newell Jacobsen.  It is taken from his firm's website, Jacobsen Architects (as are most of the ones that follow unless indicated otherwise.)

Above, we see the exterior of the Voorhees barn/house with its deep blue colored door and shutter.

Like so many of Jacobsen's houses, the exterior of this one is as spare as its interiors.  In the rear of the house, simply a mass of daffodils and a beautiful patio.  Again,  love the color of barn doors and the off-sided shutter to remind us of the home's origins.

For so many of us following Loi Thai, note the simple topiary - perfect.

A peak into the living room. On the wall an architectural rendering of this home.

View from the living room looking the opposite way toward the dining room.

Full view of living room with those lovely, simple shutters, and white fireplace of painted brick.

The idea of a book-lined dining room makes so much sense.  When not being used for dining, it can double as a library with a large reading table, and when acting as a dining room, it has interesting walls for guests to peruse.  Note the bookcases are all the egg carton pattern with books close to the edges.
(This is only my humble opinion, but why to people cover their books in white slipcases?  So much more interesting to see titles on the spines.)

Same dining room, different centerpiece sans apples.  Do you like the white floors?

Dining room again, this time showing the stairway to second floor.

Two iconic summer foods - pink watermelon and red tomatoes really stand out in this very white kitchen.

Top of the staircase, looking into master bedroom.  The wall reaches only partly to the ceiling revealing the peaked ceiling, again hinting at the house's barn origins.

More bookcases in the bedroom - a woman after my own heart.

Guest room with its high "barn" window.
What do you think?  Isn't this home a dream?  (I only wish when I have my fantasy house on Nantucket
I can keep it this spare and uncluttered!)

Now to a little discussion of Nantucket lightship baskets.  Most people know these baskets are indigenous to Nantucket and have very distinctive characteristics: they are made of rattan, have wooden bottoms and are made with a mold.  Today antique lightship baskets fetch enormous prices, and even new ones can be pricey.

A nest of antique lightship baskets as seen in Nantucket Lightship Baskets, by Katherine and Edgar Seeler.

From the same book, an image of two Nantucket handbags by Jose Reyes.

Knowing, my love of these baskets, my husband (author of the "chrome peanut") bought me one in 1986.  I remember him saying it would have to be a Christmas, birthday and anniversary present.  I still love it today, and carry it on special summer occasions.
I would have preferred a clam or whale on top, but he loved ships, so I kept and loved what he selected (but I would have loved a clam more.)

He even had my name and date inscribed.  Because my husband died of cancer ten years ago, this gift has taken on a huge significance today (but his gift of laughter was his greatest one.)

Another visit to Nantucket, I had to have this very large basket which now holds my clivia plant in the living room.  (Usually, the clivia goes outside for a little R&R during the summer, and all my small baskets hide away inside this one for a sparer, summer look, but have not gotten to it yet.)

My smaller basket collection (which should be in that large one) atop the highboy.  The tiny one once had a handle, but the cat jumped up here, pushed the basket off and into the mouth of our golden retriever.  I could have just cried when I saw the handle chewed off, but had to laugh when I saw the dog's proud demeanor when presenting it to me.

And lastly, an image from The Nantucket Table, by Susan Simon focusing on dinner on the beach - something we might all like to do this beautiful summer evening.

Hope I didn't get too sentimental in this post.  Onto  happier times in Nantucket next time, dear reader.  Right now, it's into the pool for this blogger.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Leaving a Very Large Island - Arriving on a Very Small One

While I enjoyed sharing my love of England - its decor, antiques, gardens, and kitchens, it's time to share my love of Nantucket, a very tiny island which also offers much charm with its own distinctive decor, antiques, gardens and kitchens.  Nantucket, once the whaling capital of the world, lies off the coast of New England, and the name itself is an Indian word meaning, "the land far away."  Because it is so far away from the mainland, like most islands, it has a sense of being cut off from the rest of the world.

From England (satellite view of the United Kingdom).
Google Images

And England's charm.
Google Images
To Nantucket.
Nantucket by Cary Hazlegrove
And its charm.
Nantucket by Cary Hazlegrove

The first article that inspired my love for and visits to Nantucket appeared in this issue of House and Garden.  It is an August issue and perhaps it was the summer season or the beauty of the cover that first lured me in.

But, it was the home of Eugenie Voorhees that made me fall in love.  Ms Voohees visited Nantucket every summer of her life, and, when still living in New York City, bought the following house in Nantucket.  As its new owner, she peeled away the rooms "'like an onion' to reveal the natural beauty of paneled walls, mottled doors, and pine floors."  In her quest for  clean, pure rooms within a 1757 house, she enlisted the help of architect, Hugh Newell Jacobsen (much more about him in future posts).
On the outside, a shingled gray house that looks so typically Nantucket.

But inside, I found this:

And this:

The following image reveals only part of the living room above, but am including it because here you can see the original paneling stripped to its original color juxtaposed with the new paneling surrounding the fireplace.  Love, love this contrast.

The dining room chairs which are French antiques may have first inspired my love of the Tolix chairs now in our kitchen's eating area. Notice the stripped door and antique table in very spare surroundings.

The stairway to the three bedrooms was refinished.

View of the master bedroom with tables designed by Jacobsen.

Another view of master bedroom showing its Jacobsen-designed fireplace and paneling.  (OK, a house just like this in Nantucket is an addition to my fantasy houses list.)

Hall bathroom was left "old-fahioned and simple."

In May, 1989, Voorhees's home was also featured in British Homes and Gardens.  In less than five seconds, I had purchased the magazine and studied these views of the living room.  The bookshelves seen here are distinctively Jacobsen and are called egg create shelves.  Notice how the squares are all the same size and how the books are resting at the edge of the shelves, not pushed inside.  Guess how my books are now resting on my bookshelves!

Another view of the living room.  For years, I only had bouquets of daisies on my living room's coffee table.

Closer view of bookshelves.

Part of the dining room.  Second half will follow, but his shows the window treatments now also in my home.  If I have any window treatments at all, they are white shutters inspired by this house and its owner and architect.

Second part of dining room showing a glimpse of front entryway.  My front door is now a color similar to this one, and if I could walk to grocery shops, I would own a basket like this one - seems a little silly to just wheel groceries from store to car in the parking lot, but I considered it.

Close up of the brushed-steel antique French garden chairs.  Since I could never find these, Tolix sufficed beautifully.  I also wanted to strip all our stained pine floors to a color close to this, but my husband vetoed the idea.

Upstairs guest room.  So spare, but so lovely.

Views of the master bedroom with its stripped and new paneling.  Again I love how the old and the new play off one another so subtly.

No clutter in this spare, old-fashioned bathroom.  Same one viewed in previous magazine.  By the by, all the towels in my master bath are now white.

I must not have been the only reader who loved this house, because in 1990 it appeared again.  This time in Mary Emmerling's American Country Classics.  This house really is a classic.  See if you detect any changes.
Thank God tulips appeared - family members were definitely tiring of daisies.  (I now even own several of these same coffee table books - is there something wrong with me?)

Close up of living room fireplace, mantel and paneling.  (I do not own a tool like the one pictured here, but considered it.)

Bet this is a winter photo.  The fire, red throw and red sail were my first clues.  I love how the old paneling looks with the new in this photo.  And the shutters.

Guest bedroom still spare and beautiful. This time with striped sheets.

Sorry for the blurred photo here, but I had to show you how great the fireplace, paneling and chaise looked in the master bedroom.

And finally, another view of the most uncluttered of bathrooms.

Unfortunately, I have misplaced the article showing the kitchen of Voorhees's Nantucket home.  I will most likely come across it when in the middle of another phase, but to replace that kitchen's absence below is another kitchen designed by Jacobsen.  It has a similar feel to the absent Nantucket kitchen.

Thought I'd end with a view of my shutters so inspired by this Nantucket house. 

Not terribly inspirational shots.  When I become a better photographer like Loi and other bloggers I will include more photos of my home.

One small anecdote - when in the throes of feeling the effects of this cleaner Nantucket look, I changed slipcovers from patterned to khaki, I cleared rooms of any and all extraneous ornaments, I painted rooms white, I used only white daisies.  My husband stood back and watched, then told friends we would soon have nothing left in our house but a "chrome peanut."  It was almost going to be the name of my blog, but took too much explanation.  Now you know and it's our secret.
Pure Style Home Blog
Till next time, dear reader, when the "peanut" will still be in Nantucket.