Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Warm and Cozy in the Hudson River Valley; Warm in Ojai, California

It is 10 degrees in my part of New York state today, so "warm and cozy" is definitely on my mind.  For years I have saved two magazines showing the same house, seemingly the the very definition of warm and cozy.  After scanning all the images of this house for you, I googled the owners' name and found the family living in an Ojai, California home in 2004, so I added these images also.  Come join me as we view both homes and their locations, and decide if both homes have warm and cozy elements.

Don't let the July, 1993 date delude you; the home exudes warm and coziness when readers would think the issue would be full of only "beachiness".

See.  (Don't you love the red paisley throw on the sleigh bed?) Cozy , right?

Right side of room with beautiful books and an antique painting.

And the requisite blazing fireplace. 

The study with a hanging tapestry, a find of the owner.

Dining room with more antiques and a painting I love.

Dining room close up.

Primitive armoire holding china, linen and cocktails.  And another antique painting.

That I love the kitchen is no surprise.  Yellow ware seems to be a particular favorite of the owners, but the cat seems unsure.

Master bedroom with its own roaring fire.

Bedroom and master bath details.

Note the touches of black throughout the house, acting like a unifying cord.

Guest bedroom.

Attractive owners of the house and collectors of antiques - Carol Gramm and Jack Bunce, both one-time models who met on a shoot.

Jumping ahead to November, 1994, we find the same home in Martha Stewart Living.

The same dining room as above but now in its Thanksgiving finery.  Love how the owners actually use their yellow ware.

Lorraine Bunce, Carolina's mother-in-law helps prepare sweet potatoes,

while Carolina bastes the turkey.  Even now days after Thanksgiving and Christmas, this fare looks so delicious - especially in 10 degree weather.

Cat still a fixture, warm fireplace, and lovely cheese tray all speak to a cozy holiday.

Glimpse into sitting room from dining room.

Another view of dining room in Thanksgiving finery.  Natural, simple and beautiful.

Host, Jack Bunce, and his guests.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Glimpse of a youngish Martha, and cranberry-filled pears.

Dessert table.

Carolina - chef, antique collector, decorator - rests after her job well done.  Note that Jack will do all the clean up before morning - a tradition that needs to be followed by all families, especially mine.
Don't you agree the Bunce home illustrates many elements that make up warm and cozy: fireplaces all aglow, a touch of red in paisley throws and tapestries, library with leather books, carefully chosen antiques, a kitchen bursting with holiday cheer.

Now let's view the Bunce family after their move to Ojai, California.  The following images were taken from the September 2004 issue of Martha Stewart Decorating.  During the time between the Thanksgiving above and the move to Ojai, Carolina founded her own design firm, Gramm Design.

Still the great yellow ware collection.

Still the pretty table scapes.

Still a great kitchen and antique oriental rug. 

Several of the paintings from the Hudson River Valley house.  Clementines now adorn the table replacing pumpkins.

Wooden floors replaced now with tile ones.  (Has the dog replaced the cats I wonder?)

Ah, still the antique daybed, painting, and a fireplace aglow.  Is that a clementine tree I spy?

Antique bed?  Antique chair and tile floor.

A very California and inviting exterior.

A 2004 picture of the Bunce family now including their 8-year-old son, Graham outside their Ojai home.  (All these articles may be found on Carolina's website,

What do we think?  Can warm and cozy be transferred from a home on one chilly coast to a home on a warm one?  I'd be interested in your opinion, and I will tell you mine in the next post.  Till then, stay warm.  
From a very nippy 10 degree,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Warm and Cozy

What makes a home warm and cozy and why do we seek it out at this time of year?  The time of year is an easy one.  For those of us living in colder climes, the comfort of a warm house is understandable and necessary.  The cozy factor, however, is the result of combining many elements, ones that I will address in this post - a fireplace, touches of red, libraries, beams, stone and brick, wood, kitchen copper, tapestries, folding screens, antiques, shutters and, yes, wallpaper.  None of these elements seem necessary or even attractive in warm climates, but let's take a look at how inviting they are in the throes of cold winter.

First to fireplaces - the ones below set a mood of warmth and coziness even if they never threw heat.

The room below contains so many cozy elements - the touch of red on the walls and upholstery, leather books and chair, bookshelves, red in the oriental rug.  It's an attractive room in any season, but much more so in a cold winter.

Below is Tricia Foley's living room in the winter.  The warmth of the fire gives this white, serene room a whole different flavor.

This room seems perfect as a beach house, but the fire in the fireplace gives it the cozy factor.

Onto cozy libraries, the one below has almost every factor going for it (if only a fire was blazing in the fireplace).  It is wood-paneled with beams and shelves of books.  Some furniture is antique with some leather and some with touches of red.  Great place to hide away on a snowy afternoon.

Ditto this room.

And this one minus the beams.

I love libraries and this one is a peach.

Great worn leather with a blanket and a book.

How great are these door-bookcases!  Very Downton Abbey.

I could spend days and days in the library below, but doubt it would be as tempting in summer temperatures.

The last library image - another peach with that touch of red.

Onto warm and cozy kitchens.  The wood floors, beams, and the stone surrounding the stove give the kitchen below great winter appeal, but I would love it anytime of year.

Another view.

Again, a plethora of beams and wood.  Love the touches of black and the stools.

The next kitchen has a touch of Jackson Hole or Aspen about it.  So welcoming to a large group of tired skiers.  Stone work is amazing.  Note the rug under the table (orientals may be another warm and cozy element which I neglected in my preface).  A seagrass rug here would never have the same warming effect.

Beautiful stone and wood work.  (The deer head does nothing for me but elicit pity for the deer.  That's just me.  I never feel sorry for them as they devour my tomatoes and hydrangeas.)

Kitchens below have much stone and that antique European look that I love.

Note the wonderful books on the table.  Books add warmth no matter where they appear.

And here is that great touch of copper, the best conductor of heat, which actually looks used and loved in this kitchen.

Below is a French kitchen, from House and Garden, one I have admired for years.  How much would you love a fireplace in your kitchen?  I'd never leave it.

The last two kitchens are more American in style but again have great beams, stone, wood, and antiques.

More loved and used copper - never just for show.

Onto several rooms containing tapestries.  Until this post, I always admired them, but didn't realize how much tapestries contribute to coziness.  John Saladino uses tapestry to great effect, but more about him soon.

Even the chairs and pillows sport tapestry.  Love the wood ceiling here.

From Rose Tarlow, more tapestry and antiques.

Like tapestries, I never realized the warmth screens can give to rooms, like this one belonging to Coco Channel.  After  taking the Christmas tree down, I always feel the need for a screen in the empty spot.  Interestingly, I never feel that way in the summer.  Also note Coco's tapestry chair in right corner.

Screen in Michael Taylor's living room.  Such a beauty.

The following rooms all contain antiques, beams, fireplaces, or rugs, and seem so warm.  They all contain some cozy element and I couldn't stop myself.

Forgot animals.  They always add an element of warmth.

Onto bedrooms - keepers of paneled shutters, fireplaces (if one is lucky), screens, beams, books and antiques.  They sometimes have it all.

What a great book-lover's bedroom!  Note that all the beds are made in these rooms.  I never understand why bedrooms are so often shown with rumpled bedding.

Patterned wall paper used to be much more popular than it is today.  A room by Bunny Williams below shows how appealing it can be, especially in winter months.

Pretty bedroom.  Usually, I am not so much into pretty but this bedroom is great - wallpaper, rug, antiques and all.

Bedroom beams in a room designed by Axel Pairon.

This bedroom is not pretty, but is everything cozy that I love - beams, floor, bookcases, wing chairs with that touch of red, a fireplace and a great highboy.  What's not to love??

This is lovely too, but in a more serene way.  (I need so many houses in my fantasy life.)

And the last bedroom, cozy in its own way - the metal bed, the paneled doors/screen, and the layered rugs.

So ends my view of what makes a room warm and cozy.  Feeling toasty yet?  If you feel I have left out any major elements, please let me know.  If you are not into the warm and cozy thing, you may want to check out for a bit.  It will by my focus for many postings to come.

Next time, it's onto individual homes that invite you to feel their comfort, warmth and coziness in these winter months.  Snuggle in-