Saturday, June 26, 2010

A hot weekend

More of the same hot weather here in DC, so you'll find me in my favorite corner with a stack of books and magazines. I'm trying out the british notion that hot tea in hot weather will cool you down: I'll let you know how that goes! What cools you down?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Filoli Floorplan

I just realized a floor plan of Filoli would make all of the pictures easier to locate. Many thanks to ChipSF for sending it to me! Click on the image to enlarge.
Next week I'll bring you the gardens!

The study at Filoli

The study at Filoli is one of the smallest rooms on the ground floor and was the favorite of the 2nd family who owned the house, the Roths. Originally, this was the home office of Mr. Bourn but the Roths quickly convereted it into the family sitting room; complete with radio and later the requisite tv.
Hidden in the oak paneling on either side of the Carrara marble fireplace were a closet and a safe which the Roths converted to a more practical bar and wine cellar. Those were some SAFE wines!
The furnishings all belonged to the Roths but the built-ins were original as well as the unusual distressed finish on the floors. I love these bookcases and the neat-nick in me loves the glass to keep dust off all of the collections held within!
This was yet another room with flowers - these took the place of where the tv once stood: not very pretty for house tours and therefore removed.
As the last of the interior pictures, I wanted to share these gorgeous Goyard trunks & suitcases that belonged to the Roths. They reside in the breakfast room, now called the 'ship room' which holds the Roth's maritime collections. Now thats traveling in style if you HAD to leave beautiful Filoli.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Filoli Drawing Room

The drawing (or WITHdrawing) room at Filoli is, after the reception room, the most grand room in the house. Meant for entertaining guests (ladies) after dinner, this is a formal space. The overdoors of broken pediments, seen above, hark this formality.
The drawing room lies between the reception room and the dining room with the library, seen above in the distance) at the end of an enfilade created by this suite of rooms. Formal architecture like this makes my heart sing! I love the matching overdoors through the rooms.
The carrara marble fireplace is unusually underscaled for the large room. It creates a feeling of intimacy in this seating group but the room lacks a strong focus. This may have been purposeful as it forces one to look at the view of the gardens through french doors. I love the texture of the linen covered walls. To one side of the seating group is a card table while the other side holds a piano. Mrs. Bourn originally used this space as her music room. The stunning Parquet de Versailles floor is of quarter sawn white oak. Each room has a different floor which generally would feel discordant but because of the scale and varied nature of each space, works at Filoli. One last room with some hidden surprises to share tomorrow before we explore the gardens. I can't wait to share them with you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Filoli Library

The walnut paneled library at Filoli was the favorite of everyone on the tour, including our guide! The room is a copy of the library at Denham Place, England and was purchased before the house was even built by Mr Bourn. The intricate carvings depict roses, tulips, and daisies intertwined with leaves.I think the reason it remains so popular is it feels the most like a home; it's personal. The room is littered with family portraits including this sketch by Sargent on the wall, above. Also, there is just something about a room filled with books, don't you think? I believe the saying "never trust anyone who doesn't have books in their house". The Isfahan patterned carpet in the room has a vivid history. It formerly lived at Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, after having been woven in Agra, India especially for Queen Victoria. It is one of the items original to the house, having been purchased by the Bourns.
I imagine many happy hours were spent on this sofa in front of the fireplace, curled up with a teatray and a stack of books. Thats where I'd be!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Choragic Monument of Lysicrates

What do Athens, Pittsburgh and Sydney all have in common? No, this is not a trick question! Each has a Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.The original monument was built near the Acropolis around 334 BC to commemorate the benefactor Lysicrate's sponsorship of dance. It was one of the first recorded uses of the correct Corinthian order for a monument; a style which would be copied for centuries to follow. Above is the original.I first became aware of the monument while back in college at drawing classes which were occasionally held at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The 'Hall of Architecture' , pictured above, was recently featured in a spread in the World of Interiors magazine (March 2010) with beautiful photographs by Simon Upton. The charcoal sketch at the top of the posting is one of the many I drew of the monument, my favorite in the room. I wish I had photographed all of my drawings better!
The design has been copied and modified over the years after being restored following the Greek war of Independence when it was badly damaged. Often it appears as a folly in a garden, at other times atop a dome and has even been stretched into a lighthouse in Portland, Maine.

Next time you see this classic design, you hopefully will remember its long history. Also make sure to check out the March 2010 issue of WOI for the charming article on the hall of architecture at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh!