One of the great joys of my career is the privilege of breathing new life into a historic structure that has stood the test of time, but that has perhaps suffered from neglect. I recently had the chance to develop concepts for a building dating to 1913 that is destined to become a luxury hotel. Here is the initial materials palette and three renderings showing the future guest rooms.
Cypress is one of the species that always imparts a special character to a room. In this case we selected a richly hued honey cypress than envelops guests in a cocoon of warmth. This is a dining space I did a few years ago for a lovely couple in the New York area. The cypress was located in South Carolina near one of their vacation homes. I intentionally designed the room in a strong English flavor to compliment the architecture of the dwelling. Hand-craftsmanship was critical to the simplicity of the room. It remains one of my favorite spaces.
Designed when I was Principal of Hotel & Home at Glave & Holmes Architecture, a small regional firm in Virginia. Photography by Ansel Olson.
Classicism is often dismissed as a viable design option for the present day, but throughout my career I've had the pleasure of working on a number of important historic buildings. Sometimes the best design solution is a traditional solution. The Miller Center of Public Affairs was just such a case. The impressive architecture of this historic home required a respectful interior that felt contextual and also met the needs of the team using this building as a venue for lectures by some of the world's great political minds. If you're a fan of C-Span then you know this beautiful building from the series of televised speeches filmed here. I had the pleasure of being the Principal Designer on three phases of design for this client during my time with Glave & Holmes Architecture, a small regional firm based in Richmond, Virginia. Photography is by Ansel Olson.
Dear Readers, I greatly appreciate all of you who have written to tell me how much you enjoy The Art of Fine Living. My only purpose in sharing my view of the world is to hopefully add a bit of joy to your lives. Many of you have asked to see more of my design work and so I have decided to post a project each week showcasing one of my favorite projects from my 20 years of practice. I began my design journey in New York, working in a seventh avenue fashion house creating women's eveningwear, but later shifted to interior design and decoration. Still, I have never lost my passion for fashion and was elated when a dear friend invited me to create a room for her that captured the joyful and vivacious colors of Parisian fashion. After looking at her wardrobe, always one of my first steps in a residential project, I realized that pink was a favorite color, and one that looked great with her complexion. Many designers forget that the client should look their best in the spaces we create. This sitting room remains one of my favorites. I love the Robin's Egg blue paired with the hot pink, which was inspired by the Hermes Kelly bag. I also like the sharp contrast of the Wedgewood Basalt Collection. The best reward is when a client tells you they love the space you've created for them. That's how I measure success.