Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Timeless Detail

Older Home Eye Candy!



Aside from my unstoppable love of anything Fleur-de-Lis, it is hard to pinpoint why I am so captivated by this image (above). Perhaps I appreciate it because it demonstrates a bygone time when details mattered, and represents the many reasons people like me passionately treasure homes build a hundred years ago. The photo was taken in my dining room, it is a corner of my impressively bold, unusually heavy, masculine, hexagonal chandelier. The amount of time and artistry that was put into creating it, along with the rest of the fine plasterwork, ornamental details, and millwork of houses, like mine, built here in New York at the beginning of the gilded age, is unimaginable by today's standards. Ah yes, this is why I like it so much!

Typical doorway in Historic Limestone section of Brooklyn
It's true, I am growing tired of brushed nickel everywhere, but sometimes it just works!

Decorating older, timeless homes can be quite challenging. Having lived in many old homes, I understand the difficulty of adding modern energy while trying to preserve a home's original detail and grandeur. It's a fine line, adding flair and keeping integrity, balancing between too new and too old fashioned. A well-build interior, however, whether done in 1995 or 1795, will last if the bones are beautiful.
Almost 20 years, and it still looks great!

New tiles, with a nod to the past!

When we first moved into our house, it was filled with unbecoming contemporary furniture, which was poorly punctuated by bright, unflattering wall colors.  It didn't work.  Luckily, we were able to see through the unsuitable choices, and saw instead a place that could be easily resurrected.

We weren't about to get rid of this amazing fireplace adornment, so we brightened it up a bit with some architectural silver boxes. 

It is imperative that the design of older homes take its pointers from the home's existing architecture and details. Capturing and holding onto some of the past creates charm. Simultaneously, older homes need touches of freshness, liveliness, flair and unexpectedness.

Our high-back dark mohair sofa is wonderfully comfy, especially on cold winter nights. But it needed to be lighted up a bit, so I added a cashmere pillow and placed a woven basket shaped like a bag alongside. It adds some spice and is perfect for storage. 


Silver boxes help finish our bathroom counter.

Mixing a traditional print with a modern bed frame works well in new and old spaces. Sheets are by Anichini, an American-made company based in Vermont. 
Picture groupings never go out of style!

My dining room walls are dark mahogany. To brighten them up, I added an earthy sofa, pillow and blanket.  It worked, and  it's lovely to have a sofa in our well used dining room!


Home Design Recommendations:

If you are working on a house, or just appreciate well designed places, then pick up copies of the following magazines:





Thank goodness my daughter enjoys shopping with me!