Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Belgian Love Affair

Almost sounds like a movie, but, no, it's a style and design that began to pique my interest about 18 years ago.  While my interest in early American and English styles waned (but was never completely abandoned), I began to study a new look.  Gerry Nelissen's home was love at first sight.

The January-February 2001 issue of Veranda ignited my new interest with the following article.

Nelissen built a house in Winssen, a village southeast of Amsterdam, and she built it atop the foundation of an abandoned farmstead.  This melding of the new with the old really appealed to me.

As did her neutral colors...

her collections...

and her simplicity.

Always loving kitchens, Gerry's spoke to me.  So many treasured items arranged so well could always be sold to a client.  Note the tile on the kitchen floor - from the floor of an old church.

Her kitchen looks so fresh with her collections so neatly arranged.

Never a fan of primary colors, these neutrals really appealed to me.

If not neutrals, then whites.

Nelissen collaborated with Marcel Wolterinck (the very subject of my next post) on the garden.

The next group of images is of the same house and designer but was one of my tear-outs so I cannot give credit to the publication.  See if you can see the changes which occur.  (Note the article reads that "you can visit".  I wish I knew how.)

View of the library with dining room to the rear.

First glimpse of her patio/terrace.

OK, did you notice the dining room chairs are all black in the second article, the black cupboards in the dining room are now stained, and the kitchen shelves are no longer white?  Perhaps the designer sold the earlier pieces.  While I know Amsterdam and Winssen are Dutch and not Belgian, Gerry's home here has what today we call the Belgian look.  Belgian or Dutch, it was the start of my love affair.

To end, I thought I'd add several images from one of my February Gourmets.  Not Dutch or Belgian but still a delight and sort of warm and cozy.

Simple table settings.

And warm candle light.

Next post and for several more after that, my topic will be a Belgian love affair.  Stay tuned and stay warm and cozy.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Winter's Lovely Side

It has been a brutal last few days in upstate New York - temperatures below freezing, power outages, schools closing, pipes freezing.  But this Wednesday morning, the morning after 12 inches of fluffy snow fell, I came downstairs to discover a winter wonderland.  I couldn't stop taking photos with my iphone and thought I'd post a few of them.

This shot faces north into our woods with sun coming from the east.  A dogwood stands in foreground.

Easterly view toward the sun and winter's redbud tree.

More southeast toward our potting shed and still the rising sun.

Southerly view toward birdhouse.

Southern shot from our kitchen window overlooking the white lilac.

Back porch's view south.  I actually stepped outside for a moment to take this and almost gasped with the cold.

Quickly stepped back into the mudroom to take this shot of the porch,

and gladly remained inside to take images of the sun slanting into the living room - on the mantle...

on the coffee table...

on the highboy.

And in the dining room which also faces east, I loved the bright sunlight cast on the wall.

I'm really proud of my paperwhites.  Every year I order about twenty-five bulbs; the first group bloomed right on schedule for Christmas, and the second group bravely blooms right now.

Very proud.

Lastly, this glimpse into our kitchen with sun shining on my copper jam pot.

That's enough of that - was just such a beautiful morning I couldn't resist saving it and sharing it.

Next time, I am back on schedule with my first post on Belgian style, a style I have come to love.  I  promise... unless of course another snow storm comes our way.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Christian Liaigre

In my last post on the art of refining, Christian Liaigre chairs and daybeds were featured in a Connecticut home.  After discovering his furniture design there, I purchased his book, read it like a Bible and tried to ferret out any articles on his work.  What follows are some of my discoveries, discoveries about Liaigre's work, the very embodiment of refined taste.

This is the book I purchased and the one I still study today.  I'd love to scan images from it, but the copyright warning seemed serious and severe, so just know it's wonderful and if you do not own it, you should.

Now to images scanned from magazines which seem less seriously illegal but still beautiful.  Having said that, the first and second group of images fell victim to my tear-outs and because of my negligence in notating tear-outs I cannot give credit to the publication.  (Please come visit me, if I end up in prison.)  The following images are of his Paris house from an unknown magazine.

The article mentioned that Liaigre sometimes liked to paint color directly on the wall instead of framed art as he did below.

And here.

From his third floor bedroom, his skylit dressing room is seen.

Love the bath.

Guest bedroom follows.

Now to his home on the Ile de Re.

Over sized mirror resides on the floor of Liaigre's bedroom and a beautiful luggage rack with linen straps.

Liaigre drew inspiration from the Shakers for his bed.

Guest room.

The following images are from Elle Decor's December 2013 issue and are of his home now on St. Bart's island (finally I know a source).  Still with his touches of red.

As you know, I love shutters almost anywhere.  Love them here in Liaigre's St. Bart's bath.

Interesting fact about this home.  Though it is very hot in St. Bart's, Liaigre refused to air condition the house.  He prefers open shutters and island breezes which sound wonderful while posting from my northeast tundra.

And finally some images gleaned from Pinterest.  I'm not a fan of red so the lack of it in these rooms seems fine, but will bow always to Liaigre's expertise.

Again, great neutrals and not missing touches of red.

Neutrals and shutters!

The beams in this library remind me of a home he designed in Bavaria, one of my favorities from his book.  (Note to copyright authorities: this  image is not from the book.)

One of his sofas with a great mirror.

This Soho room found on Pinterest is from his book and was featured on Mark Sikes's blog.

And finally, his furniture arranged in a David Sutherland showroom.

So what do you think?  Do you like Liaigre's refinement?  Or do you adore it?

Next time off to Belgium and more of my Great Design Change.