Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vizcaya: the tea room

The Tea Room (or Enclosed Loggia as it was originally known) is probably the most beautiful room in the house, if not in all of Florida! Tooting his own horn, Chalfin himself called it an 'enchanted room'. Facing the Italian gardens, the room leaves the Renaissance behind and is decorated in an early Neoclassical style from the 18th century.


The room was originally furnished with highly colored striped upholstered pieces and small tables on a highly stylized marble mosaic floor made in New York and shipped in pieces. See an older photograph of the space below.The wall paintings depict Neapolitan scenery and date to the late 18th century.
The table above is the only piece of furniture left and is original to the room.The gilded wrought-iron gates that lead into the courtyard were bought before the house was designed from the Villa Pisani in Venice.Their height required a high ceiling which was taken from the rooms above which have a raised floor level. The red Verona marble door surround is original to the Villa Pisani as well.
Despite all of this ornamentation, what really steals the show for me at least is the ceiling.

Painted creams, pinks and blues, I think the plaster ceiling resembles a piece of delicate Wedgwood. The stained glass doors look out onto the garden and feature Chalfin's favored seahorse motif.

This painted leather door leads into a butler's pantry which seperates the space from the dining room.
The arched gates into the courtyard echo the stained glass nicely. I think this is my favorite room at Vizcaya so far, what do you think?

11 comments:

Divine Theatre said...

I could happily wander around that room for days!
Thank you again for your insight!

The Down East Dilettante said...

This, and the breakfast room above it, are two of my favorite rooms at Vizcaya. A real masterpiece.

Woody said...

That's just not fair....

Toby Worthington said...

Love it! Talk about a synthesis of styles.
Robert Adam meets Palazzo Labia meets Drottingholm's chinese room, sort of thing.....
and that ceiling, as you say, looks good enough to eat.

The Devoted Classicist said...

It is a fabulous room to be sure. As he was otherwise such a classic designer, I would not have thought Chalfin would have placed that pedestal with the urn candelabra in the center of the room as seen in the b&w photo. Those delightful side chairs are a perfect choice, however.

Hels said...

*sighs happily* I think that any entertainment space that faces well groomed Italian gardens via (I assume) glass enclosure.. has to be utterly brilliant.

I am less worried about whether the room has Renaissance or early Neoclassical decoration. People needed to look out, not in.

Carolyn said...

Just beautiful! How I wish I could wander to that place.

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quintessence said...

Most definitely my favorite room - just exquisite. The colors are breathtaking and the coordination of floor, ceiling and art is just incredible!!

Janet said...

You, me, a cup of tea and a bit of Vizcaya. It has to be! (btw, I recognize that ceiling...I see it every night before I go to bed and pull my bookmark out from in between the pages).

Debbie Hayes said...

Almost difficult to see so much beauty all at once!

Melanie Royals said...

Vizcaya is so magical. Been there twice, but it's great to see it again here!!