Monday, October 28, 2013

A Braithwaite Conclusion

It's always hard for me to leave designers whose work I really admire.  So it is with Nancy Braithwaite.  Today, I'm covering two of her more recent home designs, ones you may have already seen.  I post about all these designers so I have their work chronicled for myself and hope you enjoy seeing them for your first time or your fortieth - they always inspire.

When I first saw this home, I liked it very much but was surprised Nancy had designed it.  The more I studied it, the more I saw her uncluttered, neutral stamp, and the more I loved it.

Please read the article's explanation - so much better than mine - then see how well Nancy fulfills her client's wishes. 

Architect Norm Askins worked with Nancy on the interior architecture of the home above just as he'd done on several previous projects.  Remember when this busier style seen below...

changed to this sparer one?  It did so with help from Norm Askins.

Let's just take a peek at more of Askins's work as seen on his website.

All very pretty, right?  But let's look now at a result of Nancy's collaboration with architect Jim Choate on Kiawah Island (Veranda, March 2011), and it's not a "pretty" picture.

Really different, from early work with Askins, right?  Maybe not - the simplicity, the neutrals were always present.
From James Choate website

From James Choate website

Nancy "had to have" these toads by Robert Kuo because they were as "sculptural as the house."

Is the sheep here also the work of Kuo?  Anyone know?

And was this sheep transported from the Braitwaite home in Atlanta, or just a sibling?  A tiny mystery.

So what do you think?  Has Nancy abandoned her southern love of softness and antiques?  Do you feel betrayed somehow? Don't.  Her journey seemed headed this way all along.  Remember this early un-soft, un-antique Nancy below.

And here.

It seems Nancy always followed her love of simplicity and neutrals, and her love of "integrity".  In her Kiawah home, she says, "Every single element had to be simple and powerful," but I believe her elements always were.

A few more images from James Choate's website.  Below the Braitwaite's Kiawah home from the outside.

Concrete and stone are probably very wise materials on a southern island.

A few more examples of Choate's non-Kiawah work where he too deals in integrity and power.

So ends my Nancy Braithwaite posts.  I really feel quite sad about it, but hopefully we'll soon see more of her beautiful work in another perfect location.  I'm ending with a kitchen I have loved, one that speaks to today's themes - simplicity, neutrality, integrity.

Next time, still in the south.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another of My Detours - This Time to Maine

Today was scheduled to be my last post on Nancy Braithwaite, but last week I went to Maine with a good friend.  It was a whirlwind trip with lots of driving and lots of good conversation.  We've known each other since high school; her husband was our best man.  So our trip supersedes Nancy's finale but only till next post.

Our first destination was Yarmouth, Maine where she and her whole family had had a lobster bake in August .  They (all fifty of them) had a wonderful week-end and she relived it a bit by showing me the beautiful locale.  Quiet now, but I could just imagine the festivities.

Below is her cousin's converted barn with two apartments, one of which she and her husband occupied for the week-end.

Cocktails began here each night,

and the lobster bake took place here, with lobsters and clams provided by vendors below.

Cousins and grandchildren mastered the art of paddle-boarding here.

Across the lane from the restored barn was the bed and breakfast housing more of the family.  I lost the photo of the exterior, but captured some charming interior ones.

Pretty neat place to hang out if weather is inclement, but weather was perfect for the lobster bake and our visit.

Liked this little chest of drawers.

Leaving Yarmouth and its lobster bouys, we drove to Acadia, the Jordan Pond House, autumn gardens and Northeast Harbor ...

where dreams of eating popovers and viewing bits of paradise danced in my head...

instead we were greeted with this.

Most visitors had the feelings below.

But undaunted, we wended our way to Castine, where we had reservations at the Pentagoet Inn.  Below is a charming lighthouse seen as we entered the town.

Before a dinner of scallop-bacon-corn chowder, beet salad, cod, and gingerbread with carmelized apples and whipped cream, we did a quick tour of the town to whet our appetites.  Good thing.  

The Pentagoet has no TVs, so I fell asleep listening to the Tigers beat the Red Sox.  I was asleep in about ten minutes but my baseball-fan friend listened to the whole game.

Next morning we did another tour of Castine before driving back.  Castine has much colonial history with the English almost entering its harbor during the Revolutionary War.

And it is a beautiful town, quintessentially New England.

A couple more shots on the way out of town...

then we headed toward Wiscasset and a lobster roll lunch.  While we were disappointed that Acadia was closed, and the Marston House in Wiscasset was also closed, we had a great time.  It reaffirmed my  
belief that good friends are one of life's greatest treasures.

Now to another personal note.  I've never mentioned this before, but I work part time at a Williams Sonoma store in my area.  A new cookbook by the Beekman boys caught my eye there and in two seconds it was mine.  I want to try many of their recipes here but started in their autumn section.

This morning I made their cinnamon bread recipe which looked irresistible, at least I couldn't resist it.

Above is their masterpiece.  Below is mine.  I'm embarrassed to say this, working at WS and all, but I do not have a non-stick bundt cake pan.  I improvised with a redware antique one which I prayed would release the bread.  Here are my results.

The bread did not release as nicely as I had hoped as you can see from the little tears, but it is really delicious with its buttermilk, cinnamon and egg yolks.  The house smelled terrific.

Got a little carried away with my staging here and should have removed the dust mop and vacuum cord.

Now, last but not least, two great kitchens I have loved from Pinterest.  Love the lighting, stove and refrigerator in the first one.  Perfect, and no cords or dust mops.

Stainless steel is such a great counterpoint to the brick, greenery and old wood flooring in this second one.

That's it my friends.  Hope I didn't blather too much about personal "stuff".  

Next post will be my last on Braithwaite, at least for a while.