Archive for June, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

local and lovely — farmington kitchen & garden tour

The 13th Annual Farm­ing­ton Kitchens and Gar­dens Tour hosted by the Friends of the Farm­ing­ton Library was held Sat­ur­day at six pri­vate homes and seven pub­lic gar­dens and muse­ums. The old­est home dates back to 1659 and most were in the Vil­lage, as we refer to the cen­tral, old­est part of Farm­ing­ton CT.
An incred­i­ble vari­ety of both kitchens and gar­dens, from mod­ern to stately to eclec­tic pro­vided a draw for many despite the early rain.

I can't tell you much about the event other than my lit­tle cor­ner of it. We were on the tour for the first time. Imag­ine hoards of gar­den lovers drop­ping in to see your out­door spaces, and then check­ing out your kitchen too. I'm a designer, and I was stressed out ahead of this event!  But, as always, I have a team I can rely on to make things happen!

First, the delight­ful and fun Cyn­thia Dodd from Plantscapes arrived to design and exe­cute stage 1 of "The Plan". For me, hir­ing a designer for the first time was a novel expe­ri­ence. As we dis­cussed choices, I made a con­certed effort not to ask for changes that would com­pro­mise the design — even when I could not visu­al­ize the fin­ished project. I will admit I did hem-and-haw about the foun­tain color, but we laughed through the whole thing and we even­tu­ally com­pro­mised on a color that suits us both. Hav­ing some­one else dress up my home was a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence! I can't imag­ine why every­one doesn't hire a designer!

Some peeks at the garden:

the new fountain

the new foun­tain in the foun­da­tion gar­den — this bed was com­pletely renovated

one of the planters on the front porch

one of the planters on the front porch

love this green planter!

love this green planter!

more greenery beside the front door

more green­ery beside the front door

some new gems in front of the studio

some new gems in front of the studio

the kitchen garden - I can't handle more than 3 tomato plants!

the kitchen gar­den — I can't han­dle more than 3 tomato plants!

these ligularia will spread in the shade behind the studio

these ligu­laria will spread in the shade behind the studio

more new perennials behind the house

more new peren­ni­als behind the house

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new planters complement my panton chairs on the back patio

new planters com­ple­ment my pan­ton chairs on the back patio

Stage 2 of the new gar­dens will bring even more color and energy to our land­scape. And maybe in 3 or 5 years, as the newest plants mature and fill in, we'll be on the tour again.

To add some flo­ral zing to my kitchen, I called on the über-talented Robin Weir of Haworth's Florists. She is amaz­ing! I show up with a vague con­cept ("give me funky"), and a fab­ric sam­ple, she deliv­ers orig­i­nal, ener­getic and all-around fab­u­lous arrange­ments. Here are the three she designed for my kitchen:

in a corner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

in a cor­ner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

on the island, this arrangement garnered many compliments

on the island, this arrange­ment gar­nered many compliments

detail from the arrangement on the kitchen table

detail from the arrange­ment on the kitchen table

A few details from my kitchen — I'm a lousy pho­tog­ra­pher, so can only show snippets!

new pillows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thompson chairs

new pil­lows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thomp­son chairs

newly reupholstered side chairs

newly reuphol­stered side chairs

my crow foot table in the seating area

my crow foot table in the seat­ing area

 

tibetan chest from kips bay quickly accessorized from around the house!

tibetan chest from kips bay quickly albeit scant­ily acces­sorized from around the house!

I under­stand from the orga­niz­ers the Farm­ing­ton Kitchen & Gar­den Tour was a suc­cess and hope sig­nif­i­cant funds were raised for the libraries in town. Many thanks to the vol­un­teers who looked after my home!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

lovely things…spotted at west end

Usu­ally unso­licited cat­a­logs are quickly dis­patched to the recy­cling bin, but this one caught my eye. At West End is full of cute recy­cled and rus­tic dec­o­ra­tive acces­sories. This fun take on "See No Evil" is charm­ing and so on trend!

see no evil hear no evil speak no evil owls

"see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" owls from at west end

This wee­nie dog made me smile and think of my friend Jane and her lit­tle Jack:

recycled weenie dog from at west end

recy­cled wee­nie dog from at west end

This really could live on my patio!

head stool from at west end

head stool from at west end

The cat­a­log is beau­ti­fully pho­tographed, but every­thing is on the web­site too. Be sure to stop by if recy­cled and rus­tic works for you!

 

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

travel thursday — philip johnson's glass house — part 2

While the main attrac­tion at Philip Johnson's New Canaan CT prop­erty is the Glass House itself, there are sev­eral ancil­lary struc­tures on the estate that he and his part­ner David Whit­ney used to enter­tain and house some of their art collection.

philip johnson's glass house

philip johnson's glass house

From above the main house, you can see in this pic­ture a por­tion of the Brick House, designed for guests. In oppo­si­tion to the trans­parency of the glass house, the brick house has only three round win­dows on its rear façade. Accord­ing to our guide, the Brick House was inun­dated by water shortly after the the prop­erty opened to the pub­lic, result­ing in exten­sive dam­age to the inte­rior and its fur­nish­ings. The restora­tion project has been under­way since 2008.

the brick house for guests on the glass house property

the brick house for guests on the glass house property

To the right, out of frame in the pic­ture above, is the swim­ming pool, seen below.

the glass house swimming pool

the glass house swim­ming pool

As we con­tinue across the upper path, we arrive at what appears to be an under­ground bunker, but is in fact the Paint­ing Gallery. John­son and Whit­ney were avid sup­port­ers of con­tem­po­rary artists and col­lected a vari­ety of works. Many of their larger pieces are housed in this masonry and earth berm facil­ity built in 1965. Within the three cir­cu­lar pods, cen­ter spin­dles allow for stor­age of 42 works, although only a few are viewed at one time.

entrance to the painting gallery at the glass house

entrance to the paint­ing gallery at the glass house

Within the entry of the Paint­ing Gallery, on the left is this Michael Heizer paint­ing of a sculp­ture to be made and  on the right, three pho­tographs by Lynn Davis.

michael heizer painting in the glass house painting gallery new canaan ct

michael heizer paint­ing in the glass house paint­ing gallery

Step­ping fur­ther into the three cir­cles, a few of the pieces on dis­play, the first two by Frank Stella:

frank stella multi-media work at glass house new canaan ct

frank stella multi-media work at glass house paint­ing gallery

frank stella multi-media work at glass house new canaan ct

frank stella multi-media work at glass house paint­ing gallery

Two more pieces, sorry I didn't catch the artist's name on these…

 

two large scale paintings at the glass house painting gallery new canaan ct

two large scale paint­ings at the glass house paint­ing gallery

From the paint­ing gallery, we next visit the Sculp­ture Gallery. The gallery fea­tures five lev­els and was designed to feel like a Greek vil­lage on the side of a vol­cano, where streets are stair­cases. The inte­rior play of light in this build­ing is stun­ning. Some of the most appeal­ing pieces (to me, anyway):

"Raft of the Medusa" by frank stella, aluminum

"Raft of the Medusa" by frank stella, aluminum

"two lovers on a bed" by george segal (right) and "the archbishop, the golfer and ralph" by john chamberlain (left)

"two lovers on a bed" by george segal (right) and "the arch­bishop, the golfer and ralph" by john cham­ber­lain (left)

a portion of andrew lord's "large vessels", bismuth clay and gold

a por­tion of andrew lord's "large ves­sels", bis­muth clay and gold

tubular steel rafters form the ceiling in the sculpture gallery

tubu­lar steel rafters form the ceil­ing in the sculp­ture gallery

The tour ends with a walk to the top of the dri­ve­way and a brief look at Da Mon­sta, which John­son con­ceived as a future vis­i­tor cen­ter after his death. Sadly it proved to be too small for that task.

da monsta at glass house - this image via philipjohnsonglasshouse.org

da mon­sta at glass house — this image via philipjohnsonglasshouse.org

Part of the joy of explor­ing this won­der­ful National Trust site on a beau­ti­ful day was spend­ing it with dear friends. Here we are hav­ing a well deserved rest in charm­ing New Canaan CT.

girls' day out was a blast!

girls' day out was a blast!

Be sure to book a tour of Philip Johnson's Glass House on your next visit to Con­necti­cut. You are sure to enjoy this mod­ernist archi­tec­tural gem in its pris­tine setting.

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