Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Around We Go

As the world seems to be spinning out of control lately, our thoughts have turned twisted.  Nothing too sinister though. Barley twists are popping up everywhere we look...on buildings, on furniture and at the bakery (we love those twisted donuts!).  One of the Baroque periods greatest masterpieces, Bernini's Baldacchino at Saint Peter's, arguably laid the foundation for what has become one of the most replicated motifs around the globe.  Once considered a bragging right of the skilled craftsman, the hand-carved barley twist with perfect symmetry and proportion has suffered a fate that the modern world takes for granted -- mechanical reproduction. Regardless, designers, architects and others are still drawn to this playful and optically stimulating motif just as they were centuries ago.  

Enjoy the feast below.  WARNING:  If you start to feel faint or dizzy, close your eyes and count to ten.
2. Cloister at the Basilica of Saint Paul, Rome  
3. Louis XIII Style Desk, France, c. 1890
1.  Bernini's Baldacchino, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, c. 1633
2.  Chimney stacks at Mapperton House, Dorset, UK, c. 1540
3.  Continental Mahogany Secretaire, late 19th century
1.  Italian Chandelier, 19th century
2.  Brass and wood barley twist candlesticks
3.  Staircase detail, Henrietta Spencer-Chuchill

Subscribe to Bubble & Squeak here 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tuft Love

As we posted before....we're a little in love with the red tufted sofa in the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire's private entrance at Chatsworth.  Tufting is a little bit romantic, a little bit gentlemen's club and a LOT a bit of look.  We've pulled together some of our favorites.  Enjoy!

Subscribe to Bubble & Squeak here 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Plan, take one

In our absence, we've been busy planning, drawing and dreaming.  We've come up with a rough (although it was drawn in CAD) plan.  And to get this whole thing started, we're sharing the first couple of rooms.  The drawing below shows the Entry, Foyer and the combined Living Room and Library.
Keep in mind that this plan will be evolving and changing over the life of this project, as suggestions come in from our readers and as our own ideas change. Every journey needs a beginning.. right!?  What you're seeing above is the front entry with a coat closet. As you enter, you'll step up into the proper foyer with a graceful staircase to the left, and a powder room to the right.  Ahead, you enter the living room and adjacent library, each with it's own welcoming fireplace. The living room and library will be separated by a deep coffered archway. More on the design of that and other details later!

Below are several images we've collected as inspiration for this project (our apologies in advance that we didn't record the source of each image.  Going forward we'll be better about this).  Of course if you're at all familiar with the scale of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire's entrance to Chatsworth's private rooms, the scale is impressive and possibly a bit too grande for us, but the general feeling is something we're attracted to.  It's casual and elegant.  P.S.--We're keeping our fingers crossed that some variation of that red tufted sofa makes it way into the real cabin some day.

The Foyer:

The Living Room & Library:

Because this whole blogging thing is new to us, we're just beginning to see how this is going to pan out.  Layouts may change over the next couple of weeks in an attempt to make things better, but the concept will remain the same.  We'll be posting the latest drawing/plan of the cabin with a few inspiration images and the following posts will address different aspects of that plan.  For example, above we've included  an image of a red tufted sofa, so the next post we have lined up will address tufting...chairs, sofas, ottomans, etc...  All in hopes of inspiring our readers and helping us to understand our future cabin's identity.  

Until next time...

Subscribe to Bubble & Squeak here

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Opposites Attack

Miner's cabin, Alexandra Champalimaud

One of the driving forces in my design aesthetic is the idea of opposites.  Think sparkling crystal girandoles atop burled rootwood tables, refined French fauteuil chairs upholstered in African antelope hides and very crude neolithic Chinese pottery resting on highly carved 19th century English center get the idea.  Of course, this is a concept I play with when thinking about the cabin.

When it comes to the exterior, I'm generally drawn to a traditional rustic style with exposed logs, stone walls, etc...  After all, this is supposed to be a place to get away, something casual and relaxed.  But, what if we mixed things up a bit.

You've arrived at the cabin and the exterior looks something like Alexandra Champalimaud's miner's cabin above, or perhaps like one of the structures below....

Once inside, the mood is completely different.
Oscar de la Renta's home

Yellow drawing room by Nancy Lancaster and John Fowler, c. 1957
Ralph Lauren, Rhinelander Mansion, New York
Ralph Lauren, Chicago
I know these spaces may not seem casual, but with the right elements like a roaring fire, dim lighting and a cocktail in hand, they can be as relaxing as any other weekend retreat.  "Roughing it" in the country doesn't mean that you can't do it in style.  The English have their manor homes, the Italians have their villas and the Swiss have their chalets...I want my cabin to have a little bit of all of those all rolled into one.

Subscribe to Bubble & Squeak here

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fired Up

Sitting at home snowed in today, the thought of curling up next to a cozy fire sounds delightful. Of all the quintessential elements a cabin should have, the fireplace tops the list. I don’t think there is anything in today’s modern world that can replace the romantic and intimate allure a fire can bring to a room.  Whether it is the crackling and popping or distinctive aroma, nothing else seems to universally put us at ease and bring us back to a simpler time.  Grande or quaint, they all have the same effect.

Sandringham House, Norfolk, England
Steven Gambrel
John Saladino

Subscribe to Bubble & Squeak here