Friday, May 7, 2010

Fonthill Interiors

The interiors of Fonthill are probably even more fascinating than the exterior; they were the driving force behind the architecture afterall! Above you see some of the remaining color in one of the bathrooms. Originally the house was filled with many bright and pastel colors (some might say garish). Mercer was a collector of many things, including prints, which are displayed everywhere he could find wallspace including over the sink!
Tiles by the Moravian Tile works are found everywhere - floors, ceilings and fireplaces. Mercer used the house as his laboratory and tile museum, bringing potential clients to see different examples and even allowing them to stay overnight. I especially love these tiles set into concrete on this chimney breast; Mercer was inspired by 16th century Italian fabric in this instance. Notice the Wedgwood Portland vase on the upper left-hand shelf.
In Mercer's private study, you can see how much the room was used. The leather on the sofa is worn OUT, which I love to see. Books line this room (as elsewhere) as do ancient pottery examples sourced from all over the world. The wood paneling was reclaimed from many sources, much of it from old doors; Mercer was nothing if not resourceful. This was one of the few rooms with wood flooring and where he would have spent much of his time; amazing views out the huge corner windows of the garden.
The Columbus room was dedicated to the discovery of the New World and the tiles are all about this event. The tiles were set into the concrete formwork as the ceiling was being poured and were not applied afterwards; an innovative technique!
The interior photographs are by Bjorn Wallander and were featured in the Sept. 2007 Martha Stewart Living magazine. Thanks to Kathy of Hearth and Hedgerow Ltd. for helping me gather some information. Check out her blog!

14 comments:

BWS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pve design said...

I would love to spend hours sketching there....
pve

Karena said...

Astounding interior, so inspirational! The tilework, the Columbus room, the study, all of it!

Karena

Art by Karena

The Down East Dilettante said...

Magical place---I do love the one-off power of personal fantasy. Thanks for the great pictures.

Are you familiar with the original Fonthill in England, created by the mad collector Henry Beckford?

Kathy Appel, ASID said...

Hello Stefan -

I just got an email from Ed,our curator at Fonthill sharing your post with all the associates at the museums. Your post looks great and is very informative. Thank you for the link!

Kathy

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I love all the quirky lived in feeling of this house...it's the kind of dwelling that the essence of the spirit of the occupant lives on through time.

VoiceTalk said...

I love this house! Seeing it here makes me want to go back very soon. Great post1

Anonymous said...

I am going to take your word on this. Have never been inspired to visit this place and still not sure but you may be convincing me it is worth a look. Thanks.
Doug

TG said...

Nice and intersting, Thank you

Renee Finberg said...

s,
this is fascinating.
i want to see it in person.
the fireplace, the ceilings....
gorgeous!
thank you xx

Debra Healy said...

Captivating. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

24 Corners said...

What a fascinating place...so well loved and lived in. The much used sofa was fun to see...after all that creating, he needed some couch potato time just like the rest of us.

Thanks again for another great escape...

Laura [What I Like] said...

How incredible...this homeowner was clearly very brave, with tiles and, I would imagine, other things as well!

Thombeau said...

Wow.