Sunday, March 16, 2014

Discovering Walda Pairon

Discovering Walda Pairon

Of course people knew of Walda Pairon before I did, but when I found her, it was like finding Hugh Newell Jacobesen, Nancy Braithwaite, or John Saladino.  I was moving from an antique colonial style to a more serene colonial to a more sophisticated colonial to this wonderful Belgian style that somehow combined all previous favorites.  Walda Pairon's style spoke to me.  What follows are my first glimpses of her style.

First from 1991.

Many of the images from Vogue Decoration concentrate on her floral arrangements which seemed so natural and garden-esque to me.  

It's interesting that Walda, like Gerry Nelissin, sold many antique pieces from her own home collection.  I believe you will note the changes.

She emphasizes gardens, floral still lives and hired Jaques Wirtz to help design her garden in Kalmthout.

An outdoor table set for the celebration of her youngest son, Axel.  Two solid silver antique candelabras flank the table outside and then flank a table inside in a living room corner

Colocynths and lemons arrangement in the little veranda.

In this glimpse of her kitchen, notice the bread on the chandelier.

Those silver candelabras again, this time on dining room table.

I really love her stock room which may double as a mud room.

Walda's first husband was tragically killed in an auto accident.  She eventually marries Roger Souvereyns, seen here, a four-star chef whose restaurant Walda helped decorate.

The whole family, as well as the garden in which they sit, is so chic.  And she has a Lutyens teak bench tucked in the greenery!

Interesting tid bit about Louis the XIV.

Onto 1995 and an interesting story about how the following magazine came into my possession.  My second son was in college and his then girl friend was spending several months in France.   He felt it necessary to call her frequently before the advent of cell phones.  When we received a bill of over $500 for one month, my husband and I could have strangled him.  Much was forgiven when she returned with this magazine for me featuring an article on Walda Pairon.  My son, on the other hand, was not forgiven and still had to work off his $500 debt that summer.

Again, she is as chic as her gardens and design.

View of the house she chose to paint an ocher color similar to houses seen in France, a country she frequented often on antique-buying trips.  The twig chair was probably more for effect than comfort.  Isn't the autumn leaf-covered table dynamite??

The technique is discussed below.  One of the French teachers I taught with translated the text for me and, if anyone is interested, I still have her translation.

Another entrance.

Bow window in dining room.

Walda frequently uses bright colors as seen in the "salon's" sofa.

I tried to imitate her bowl of oranges and dried lemons...
sadly mine (below) never had her same panache.

A very different kitchen chandelier.

Remember this kitchen view.  In a future post, it will appear very different as she edits, edits, edits.

Love how she loves her dog.

Gone is the white side board and in with the new.

Walda's spheres - always unique especially amidst silver pieces.

When making our gardens, this magazine was one of our real inspirations.  I saved them all but now only buy them intermittently.  Still, seeing an issue brings back wonderful memories like wonderful magazines do.  I was thrilled when it featured Walda's garden.

How beautiful are her potted plants and statuary on this terrace?  She has three terraces.

Again that chair is beautiful to look at as is her potted hydrangea next to it.  She inspired me to pot two hydrangeas on either side of our teak benches.  (During the fall, I remove the hydrangeas from their clay pots, place then in plastic ones, and heal them into the compost pile with leaf debris all around them.  So far they have emerged happily healthy for another summer in their clay pots.)

Close-up of her leaf table cloth - inspirational but too daunting for me.

Walda seems all about structure in her garden and terrace with little color.  She doesn't "like using bedding plants or bulbs in (her) containers because they look so artificial and out of place."

Definitely a garden and home that never seem artificial or out of place.  Next time, more Walda but more interiors.

Very chilly here again.  March is still "coming in like a lion".  Stay warm, think spring and beautiful gardens.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Apologies to the Dutch

Last post I wrote about how Gerry Nelissen's design led me to a Belgian love affair, but perhaps you were confused because Gerry is Dutch.  (Perhaps this fact explains why Greet Lefevre had not known of her when I asked if she knew Gerry's work.)  Despite my national mix up, Gerry's design did lead me to seek out other work like hers.  This circuitous route eventually led me to the many Belgian designers who will be my subject for many future posts.  But, not today.  Today we are still in Holland (it's close to Belgium) discussing Marcel Wolterinck's work and his connection to Gerry Nelissen and Piet Boon - all Dutch (not Belgian).  Hope this clarifies last post's misstep.

Marcel Wolterinck began his career as a floral and garden designer, later branching out into interior design.  I think his ardent love of gardens will be evident as we examine his home in Laren, an area known as "the garden of Amsterdam".  Elle Decor's cover looks a bit dog-eared below because of my constant perusals.

Conservatory whose burlap draperies inspired my own shower curtain, dining table cloth, Christmas tree skirt and more.

Below Wolterinck limited himself to only three foliage plants - the "plane trees allow for filtered light..., Virginia creeper climbs the stone wall and turn into scarlet draperies in the autumn.... Big pots of Hosta sieboldiana 'Variegata' complete the short plant list."  He chose the variegated hosta because the pale gold edge matched the Dolomite sand on the ground.  Woterinck refers to this section of his garden as the French garden.

In this exterior view, his conservatory is seen from the water garden.

View of the English garden with its very English teak chairs.

In the kitchen garden resides a dining table with legs of reclaimed wood and top of lead.  (Eat your heart out, Restoration Hardware.)  Marcel says lead in the garden is "indestructible and yet of the softest gray".  The balcony wall above is also topped with lead.

Now to the inside starting with his kitchen of course.  When we visit Walda Pairon's kitchen soon, Wolterinck's should ring a bell.

The article calls the room below the "smoking room", but it looks like a library to me.  Love all the green out the windows, perhaps because I've been viewing icy white out my windows for weeks and weeks.

The sitting room.

Bedroom which is described on the bathroom image below it.

His painted tub reminds me a bit of a Nancy Braithwaite bedroom and my own mudroom.

Sadly, this home in Laren is now sold.  I could have been happy there for years, but his design moves to a more modern, spare style.  After seeing this article, I purchased two of Marcel Wolterinck's books, and would love to scan pictures from them but fear copyright infringement; the following images are from his website and should illustrate how his design becomes more spare, more modern and clean, more sophisticated  - almost Liaigre-esque.  First, the entrance to his showroom.

Gone are his days of checkered bathtubs and burlap draperies.

Now let's take a look at a more current project he worked on with Gerry Nelissen, and Piet Boon which combines all their talents.  (I know I  have not yet discussed Piet Boon - still looking for my article on his home.)  In this project, Gerry and Marcel's design and garden skills combine with Piet's architectural ones in renovating a building in the rural village of Newer Ter Aa.  The outside of the renovation almost looks like the entrance to Wolterinck's showroom.

Light-filled entrance.  Piet Boon is well known for his love of light,

The rooms below definitely feel more Nelissen-esque, but the light is all Boon.

Again lots of architectural light even in laundry room.

Sunroom via Wolterinck I'll bet.  Love that table.

First floor bath.

Stairs to second floor looking up...

and down.

Second floor bath with double sinks.

Lots of light but I miss Gerry's collections, and Marcel's plants.

Stairway to loft...

overlooking windows to outdoor balcony...

and looking very Wolterinck to me.

Bridge to guest house.

And lastly, views of gardens surrounding the renovations, starting with roses climbing the bike garage.

View toward the renovation from bike garage.

Views from guest house across the river to main house.

And an aerial  view of landscaping.

Whew, this was a long post.  I wanted to clarify the direction my design interests were heading, and these two Dutch designers and architect led the way.  Next time, more on Piet Boon if that article rears its head.  Then definitely onto Belgium.
Stay warm,