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31 August 2011

"You can go your own way, go your own way"

Editors Note: This post will be a lot more fun to read if you can play this YouTube Fleetwood Mac video at the same time.

Fleetwood Macs' Lindsey Buckingham and his wife Kristen remodeled their LA house from the ground-up in 1999. The exterior of their newly rebuilt home was a mix of  Spanish/Mediterranean revival style. For the interior, they hired decorator Madeline Stuart.  

Elle Decor, Simon Upton

The outside architecture was influenced by Wallace Neff, the famous California architecture who built large houses that overlooked the Pacific ocean.

Elle Decor, Simon Upton
He became collectively known for his use of tiled roofs, wood front double doors, barrel-vaulted ceilings, wrought-iron railing stairways. His style was secured in the 50s.

Wallace Neff Designed Home, Source

Simon Upton Photgraphy
(And I love this photo because there's a black doodle in there too:)

Simon Upton

The Buckinghams house is easy on my say the least! It's a great mix between fresh, ecclectic, balanced and rustic.

Simon Upton Photography, Madeline Stuart 

It isn’t one of those interiors that looks amazing in a magazine, but that’d be really hard to maintain its clean look. This home looks inviting, lived in, and natural.

There’s definitely a mood of eclecticism to this home. Simon Upton
Simon Upton Photography, Madeline Stuart Design
And I like that there’s dark, natural wood—unpainted. Why is it that more and more designers are painting beautiful wood?
Elle Decor, Simon Upton

Simon Upton

Kristen dedicated a few years transforming her home into something that radiated her authenticity and personal tastes. One of the things they worked hard at was finding unique, vintage pieces to fill the rooms. She became obsessed with locating certain elements, like the tobacco colored Terra-cotta floor and the reclaimed bricks.
Simon Upton

No doubt that it would be work to accumulate this style. Even with a large bank account.
What I found really intriguing about this story is that today, you can read about Kristen’s instinctive remodel of her home on the 1stdibs Introspective Magazine. Personally, I think if you make onto 1stDibs Introspective, by all accounts, you've made it as an artist.

Buckingham Garden, Elle Decor

Apparently, she gained a passion and, to some extent, a knowledge about decorating from the whole experience.
After Kristen finished her home, she liked it so much, she couldn’t let go. Today, you can find her decorating company has expanded to her opening a boutique.

About the store, she says

 “When I worked with Madeline on our first house, we would often design custom furniture whenever we couldn’t find anything to fit the bill. Whether it’s an idea that could be shaped into a new table or chair or a vintage objet d’art I found on my travels, I wanted to share the excitement I feel every time I see great design. This store fulfills this perfectly.”

K. Buckingham's LA shop
Although I imagine that doors open easier when your husband is a member of Fleetwood Mac, still, it requires interest, desire and discipline to continue the effort.

Elle Decor, Simon Upton

I really like what she’s done to her own home (with the help of Madeline Stuart), and I’ll be curious to see other homes she designs.


25 August 2011

Louisiana Plantations

Creole homes are found in the south, near the Gulf Coast. The architectural style was influenced by French and Spanish colonial styles. Many were built more than two centuries ago, and they're still standing!

The term Creole became commonly applied to individuals of mixed heritage born in Louisiana.
Double Galley House
Shortly after the arrival of the first two slave ships from Africa in 1719, New Orleans became one of the nation’s major ports of entry for slaves, immigrants, and goods. Then, in the 1720s, Germans began immigrating to the region, followed by the Acadians (now known as Cajuns) in the 1760s. The Saint-Domingue Revolution, which began in 1791, led to the start of immigration of Haitians in early 1810.
Louisiana State Bank, Richard Koch

“Creole Houses” is a book on the character and style of the homes and people found throughout the state of Louisiana. Steve Gross and Sue Daley provided the photography and John Lawrence documented the history.

In an interview with Southern Accents, John Lawrence talks a bit about what is typical for Creole homes.

Built from the 18th to mid-19th centuries, typical manors or cottages have shaded galleries, covered porches and courtyards with plans that promoted cross-ventilation. Casement windows allowed breeze to flow through the entire window. Many were built with heavy timber frames and bricks in between, which they then coated with plaster or stucco.

A lot of these houses are still standing because of the durable materials and design that was used. The local cypress wood that's commonly found in Creole homes resisted rot and insect attack.  
Carpenters, ironworkers, brickmasons, plasterers, and furniture-makers of African descent contributed to the architectural style.

4 photos above from Steve Gross and Sue Daley

It is also significant that these homes withstood the 2005 hurricanes.
Chretien Point Plantation, Richard Koch

Pitot House is a quintessential Creole house and a Louisiana Landmark, open to the public.

Can you imagine some of the antiques that can be found in these old manors?

The "Pigeonnier" at Parlange plantation with interior converted into a guesthouse.

This is the inside of the photo above it!

The August issue of Garden and Gun includes a story about Hollywood director Tate Taylor’s move to Wyolah Plantation—a 70 acre plantation in Mississippi.
Look at those columns!

So lush

Loving the deep south yet?

A. Hays Town is a well-known architect and renovator of French Creole homes built in the 19th century. The blog, Under Spanish Moss offers the original posting of this story, but it was so inspiring, I wanted to share the photos of the restored Creole cottage. Aamaazzing.

Jo Ann Hymel, an interior designer with Rogers and McDaniel Antiques purchased a Creole cottage in Baton Rouge. She wished Hays Town to redo the home which he agreed to after she allowed him to move the cottage across town.  

2x12 boards from a school house demolition in a town nearby made the floor.
French Cypress Doors with early 1800’s door hardware. Cypress doors offer hidden space for entertainment preparations 

American Empire chest and beautiful silk drapes

Dutch brass chandelier hanging over French dining table

A. Hayes often installed floor to ceiling wood windows

I would move into this Creole cottage tomorrow

Another Garden and Gun article featured southern antiques dealer Patrick Dunne's old Creole manor named Serenity. The photos are below. You can visit his antique store, Lucullus, which is based in New Orleans, to find some true antique pieces. 
  Built during the first decades of the 1800s, is a classic French Creole manor house

Wide-plank cypress wood is again used here

 Like most Creole houses, Serenity has no halls (for ventillation) with high ceilings and tall French doors.

Historical Buildings from the Historic New Orleans Collection
The Counting House

The Counting House was built as a warehouse by Jean Fran├žois Merieult in 1794–95. A 20th-century renovation revealed that material from a previous warehouse had been incorporated into Merieult’s building.

The walls were found to contain some small French bricks, as well as thistle-shaped ventilator grills dating from the early colonial warehouse.

Hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I did. Thanks for reading!


22 August 2011

Art of Kinetik

Design inspirations can come from many art forms. It’s nice to look at different types of beauty to freshen things up. It's also fun to learn about different types of design. 

When someone describes their vision for a home, words that you'll hear are aesthetic, timeless, balance...

Photos from Art of Kinetik

Art of Kinetik is based in Belgrade, Serbia, where research and development, including the design, naval architecture and engineering is being done to create a new class of luxury yachts ranging from 10 to 30 meters long. The yachts are made of mahogany, teak, stainless steel and leather to create floating pieces of art.

It was hard to find much information about the company, since most of the press they’ve received is in French-, Italian-, and Russian-printed publications. But these pictures are worth a thousands words. These yatchs are best appreciated through visualization.

However, I did find a press release that talks about their use of wood in the creations.

Why wood? One can talk about wood for hours. Wood is ultimately a material that is beautiful, noble and timeless. When it comes to boats, wood has numerous technological, functional , structural and aesthetic qualities that none other can match. Structurally, wood is a material that has a very good weight to strength ratio. It naturally does not fatigue over time like metals. Wood also naturally absorbs sounds and vibrations, so it provides a uniquely comfortable and luxurious ride. Finally for us wanting to make floating pieces of art, wood being a timeless material was the only natural choice

The company was formed at the end of 2007 with private funding by four friends, the oldest being 42. They saw an opening into the market--and happened to be wealthy enough to invest in-- modern styled wooden yachts. The yachts aren’t just for looks either. Each one has 2 Rolls Royce jets that reach speed of 45 knots and each yacht requires 8-10 months to build from the time of purchase.

The thing is, in order to even see these boats in real life, you'd have to be in the Mediterranean, or have quick access there. These babies can be found in Port Montenegro, next to the Adriatic sea where European and Russian billionaires are purchasing homes.

Montenegro, with a population of about 670,000, is a country roughly the size of Connecticut that achieved independence only in 2006. With its boundless mountains that drop straight into the Adriatic, Montenegro is, as Lord Byron once declared, very much the “most beautiful merging of land and sea.”

A "Hedonist", the yacht's name, being shipped to the Adriatic Sea

Adriatic Sea

And the guy who heads up the company, Art of Kinetik? Boris Ivanovic…

Yes, sometimes it’s good to see something unexpected…