Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Peek Inside The Golden Age of North Shore Life This Holiday Season- Part 1

On Sunday evening, Dave and I had the pleasure of visiting the “Designer’s Holiday Show House Fundraiser” at the Endicott Mansion at Glen Magna Farms, in our very own town of Danvers.  Glen Magna, part of the Essex National Heritage Area, is owned by the Danvers Historical Society which was founded in 1889 “to discover, collect and preserve objects which illustrate local history” which is, of course, a passion of mine.

The original property was purchased during the period of the War of 1812 by Joseph Peabody, a wealthy Salem shipping merchant.  From there he built a dwelling that he described as “in every respect well calculated for a gentleman’s seat.”   The property grew to 330 acres and served as the as the summer retreat for the family for one hundred and forty-four years.  By 1892, Joseph’s granddaughter Ellen Peabody Endicott further enlarged and embellished the house and grounds, and hired a Boston architectural firm to expand of the Mansion to its current classic colonial revival style.  She also had the gardens planted with rare and desirable ornamental trees and shrubs which resulted in her winning a gold medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.  

In 1901 Ellen’s son William Crowninshield Endicott brought the Derby Summer House, a two story Adamesque folly building built in 1794, to the property.  The Summer House was designed by the legendary architect and wood carver Samuel McIntire and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  After 220 years of enduring New England’s grueling weather conditions, the wooden building is in need of significant restoration, and with the help of the participating interior designers, supporting vendors, and all who visit the home, the “Designer’s Holiday Show House Fundraiser” will greatly help the Society meet the restoration expenses. 

We arrived at the estate on Sunday evening for a special tour for design bloggers after the home had closed to the public for the day.  With the short days of December, the sky was already getting dark at 4pm and the twinkly lights of the home drew us in with their magic.  It was so wonderful having the chance to meet each of the designers in their space and learn about their inspiration and design process.  Unlike a usual show house, the designers were charged with preserving the “Mansion’s historic fabric” and “melding their designs to the 1890’s to 1930’s when the Endicotts were at the height of their national and international prominence, and transformed this magnificent Mansion  again to the height of elegance.” 

So I hope that you visit, because you will not only be viewing an amazing estate and stunning design work, but also doing something good for the preservation of a historic jewel.  The Designer’s Holiday Show House Fundraiser is open until Sunday, December 15th… so you only have a few more days!  For more information please visit the Danvers Historical Society.

Check back for more on the rooms and their designers!

All photographs property of Katherine Hawkins

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Design Home 2013"... A Sea Of Teal

Now that I have introduced you to "Design Home 2013," and have shown you around the exterior of the property… it is time to go inside!

But… before I do that, I would like to fill you in on a few other details about the Concordia and the unit that the Design Home takes place in.  Design Home occupies a first-floor ocean front unit with 3,637 sq. ft. of living space.  It is the largest residence in the building and was actually created by combining the space that would have made up two regular units.  It has a huge master suite, a guest room with en suite bath, reading/guest room, study and media room.  Other residences in the building have a variety of 2, 3, and 4 bedrooms, with both oceanfront and town facing units.  They all have two heated underground parking spaces (Design Home gets three!), and storage space (Design Home gets double!)… love that!

Design Home 2013 is available for purchase, as are four other units in the building.  Design Home will cost you a cool $2.5 million… probably double that if you want all of the furnishings inside and amazing original works of art.  All of materials, furniture and accessories are top notch, and the art work is all original and quite valuable.  For more information about purchasing this dreamy home, visit Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

I mentioned in my last post that all of the interiors were coordinated by a collaborating team.  The Design Coordinators are Jerry Rippetoe & Tony Sienicki, of TJ’s at the Sign of the Goose retail design center on Route One in Cape Neddick, Maine.  According to their description in Boston Magazine, “their designs reflect tradition with modern flair, and their transitional approach favors richly, handsome materials and finishes, whereby luxury becomes comfortable and welcoming.”  Who wouldn’t love to live that way?!

“Design Philosophy for Design Home 2013:
The Palette: Rich jewels tones (aqua, teal and sapphire) sparkle and compliment the water views.
The Style: Transitional classic, combining timeless pieces with unexpected accents.
The Lifestyle: Relaxed luxury, perfect for empty nesters that live along the waterfront.”

Let’s get started...

We'll begin our tour in the foyer, where a visit to any friend’s home begins.  It really creates and elegant and welcoming feeling with its tone-on-tone deep teal striped wallpaper surrounding you on all sides as well as the ceiling.  The space sparkles with an elegant chandelier and sconces from Lucia Lighting & Design, who supplied the lighting throughout the home.  (I can't resist mentioning here that Lucy was also kind enough to allow me to feature a beautiful ceiling mounted fixture featuring lilac Swarovski crystals and natural shells in Syrena's Room, my space at Secret Cove, the Museum of Old York's show house in Kittery Point, Maine this past summer!) 

My favorite elements of the Foyer are the Valencia Crystal ceiling fixture and sconces from Lucia, Paradise Leather Finished Stone tile from Tile By Design in Danvers that gives me the vision of sand from the nearby beach underfoot, and Seabrook wallpaper.

Peabody Essex Museum of Salem provided original examples of Fabergé eggs from their collection, in conjunction with their current exhibit “Fabergé Revealed.”  How amazing to have museum-quality accessories.

From the Foyer, you are drawn to the left where the Great Room beckons with amazing views of the ocean beyond.  The room is surrounded by beautiful custom woodwork and built-in cabinetry created by Family Kitchens of Salem.  Above the fireplace is a magnificent original oil painting The Grand Bankers from Kensington-Stobart Gallery, who provided all of the original art throughout the Design Home.  I was taken by the color of the water… emitting a “sea of teal”… and it felt to me that this piece had been the inspiration for the entire color scheme of the interior design throughout Design Home 2013.  I don’t know if that was the case… but it sure felt that way to me!

The Great Room is divided into two seating areas… one facing the fireplace and the other facing the entertainment built-in.  The furnishings and accessories, from TJ’s at the Sign of the Goose, are in neutral almond tones and soft blues, creating an elegant but relaxing feel.

The beautiful sky blue paint looks so crisp against the glossy white woodwork…

Stunning gold gilded decoupage vases with a seahorse and scallop shell motif from Scott Potter’s Hearst Castle Collection glisten in the corner as the sun trickles in the nearby window.

I loved the touch of seaside whimsy that this shell chair, reminiscent of the Art Deco era, added to the space!

A classical game table perched by the picture window has one of the best views in the house, and is a perfect spot for a game of chess, or even better to me would be my morning coffee!

The game chairs, with their distressed green finish and palm design fabric, lend a bit of a tropical feel to the setting.

Just a few steps from the game table is the French door leading to the outdoor covered patio.  It is outfitted with contemporary flair from the Barlow Tyrie teak dining table, chairs and tabletops accessories, all from Didriks of Cambridge.  I love the combination of the pumpkin color seat cushions and the dusty amethyst placements.

I am always a fan of white kitchens, and this one was perfect for the setting.  Considering it is part of the great room, but situated in the center of the home without any exterior windows of its own, the custom white cabinets from Family Kitchens in Salem keep the space light and airy while still complementing the relative formality of the nearby seating areas.  I thought that the reflective sea green tiles on the back splash from Tile By Design lent a nice coastal feel.

Well, that is a tour of the more public spaces in “Design Home 2013.”  Next time we will travel into the master bedroom and down the hallway to the other bedrooms, study and media room.  What do you think so far?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

“Design Home 2013”… Ready To Sea And Be Seen

On August 28th, Dave and I were thrilled to be among the select few design bloggers and members of the press who were invited for a sneak peek at “Design Home 2013” in Swampscott, Massachusetts. 

The “Design Home,” sponsored by Boston Magazine, is opening to the public today, September 12th and will be available to tour through October 7th.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from ticket sales are benefiting Boston Children’s Hospital.  So if you want to view a gorgeous home in a beautiful seaside setting and get some wonderful design ideas and inspiration while contributing to a great cause, be sure to visit!  For more details, hours and directions, visit Boston Magazine.

Having just spent my summer (with planning and all other elements of execution beginning way back in January) doing Syrena’s Room at “Secret Cove,” the Museums Of Old York show house in Kittery Point, Maine, I was very interested to check out this installation.  Unlike a show house where each space is designed by a different designer, resulting in a lot of variety in the spaces, “Design Home 2013” was completed by a collaborating team with a unified approach.  So, unlike a show house in which each room is a surprise as it unfolds, the spaces of the “Design Home” flow consistently as they would if they were designed for a specific homeowner.  The con of this is that you generally don’t get as many unique design approaches or cutting edge ideas.  The pro is that as you walk through the home, you feel as though some lucky person (maybe you?) could live there exactly as it is shown.

The home itself is actually an expansive single-level oceanfront unit located in the sea-hugging Concordia, a stunning coastal condominium with views of the harbor, Nahant and even the Boston skyline off in the distance.  Interestingly though, the day that we visited, the skies over land were clear, but there was unusually heavy fog hugging the coast.  Although our views were not as expansive as they would be on a clear day, the fog created a beautiful, serene feeling in and around the home.

The Concordia was built on the original site of the three buildings that made up Cap’n Jack’s Waterfront Inn.  Situated on a beautiful stretch of land at 245 Humphrey Street in the midst of the seaside town of Swampscott (which features landscape and park systems designed by Frederick Law Olmstead), the developer and builder sought to create a residence that appeared as though it had been there for 100 years.  The quintessential New England Shingle Style architecture features requisite cedar shingles, a multi-gabled roofline, crisp white wood trim, as well as large windows and decks to take advantage of the setting.

For now, I will share some images of the exterior and setting, and in future posts will take you inside.  After that, of course, I hope that you visit and see it for yourself!