Friday, April 15, 2011

Vizcaya: Breakfast room and kitchen

Vizcaya has a few quirks, one of them being the kitchen and breakfast room are located on the 2nd floor. Now, I think this is a great idea as you don't have to go far in your pajamas in the morning for that first cup of tea (or coffee) although I do prefer my breakfast in bed. But enough with that, on with the room!The breakfast room was used more often than the Dining Room and it's easy to see why; it's gorgeous! I may have said this before, but I think THIS is my favorite room in Vizcaya, if not the Tea Room.The Breakfast Room lies directly over the Tea room which has an especially tall ceiling allowing for its entry gate, which explains the 2 steps up into the space. This gives the room a lower ceiling which lends an added intimacy which I love. The windows fill an entire wall and telescope back into the wall, opening the wall completely to the formal gardens, much like the loggias below.
The most striking feature, other than the chinoiserie overtones and fireplace, is the 18th century French wall painting/mural depicting harbor scenes.

A great feature in the room, seen in other areas in the house, are 4 corner chandeliers rather than 1 central fixture, which leaves the ceiling open for other decorative uses.

A collection of Ming dynasty porcelains from the 16th century decorate the space and I LOVE the gilded orange chinoiserie chairs!
Here you can see the wall of windows which slide back into the walls, turning the room into yet another loggia. The doorway leads into the modest kitchen.
Modest, that is, compared to the size of the house. Remember there were other service areas on the 1st floor to accomodate Deering and his guests.
The kitchen features an enviable collection of copper pots; think they'd miss a few if I took them home? The enormous stove is both coal and gas operated and even has a charcoal broiler.
Deering, like any self respecting millionaire of the day, had a French chef on staff along with his myriad kitchen assistants.
Food was supplied from the estate's farm across South Miami Avenue, which now houses administrative offices. Above you see the dumb waiter which supplies access to the butler's pantry below.
While the house had many of the most modern features of the day, it also had a few 'older' technologies, such as these speaking tubes; so popular in Victorian households. I'm sorry to say I wasn't able to test it out!


Patricia Torres said...

*sigh* these nooks are so so gorgeous!!

pve design said...

that kitchen is superb. It would work today!
All white and those shiny copper pots.....ahh!

The Devoted Classicist said...

The Breakfast Room is indeed beautiful, but it would be hard for me to say which is my favorite!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

What a great way to start a day! I especially like the pair of Chinese statues. They appear almost life-size.

The Down East Dilettante said...

The Reception room, the Tea Room, and this room. I have always been hard-pressed to say which of the three is my favorite, but like you, I think this may be it.

I first saw it before the house got sealed up. I cannot describe the effect to you---the windows were open, slid into the walls, making of the room an open loggia, with the murals blurring new and old, inside and out, and those touches of red lacquer against the maritime blues...the garden below. Jaded though I may sometims be, I quite simply stopped breathing for a second.

MK said...

who would not want to wake up and have morning coffee and breakfast in these beautiful rooms. Thanks for sharing all this.

MK said...

Who would not want to wake up every morning and have coffee and breakfast in here. I would wait eagerly for every morning if it was my home.

Blue said...

The murals are superb and I love the jib door set into them. Stefan, this a a great series about Vizcaya!

Jen of MadeByGirl said...

the breakfast room is so beautiful. i would so imagine myself being there. thanks for sharing this! :)

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

That mural is divine, what an atmosphere! I visited there 2 years ago and I'm so happy to have these visual reminders of how lovely a great house it is!

The Devoted Classicist said...

The docent told me the reason for the Kitchen being on the second floor was for ventilation to better keep the odors from the rest of the house.

Visiting the magnificent house for the first time in the summer, I see the need for climate control if the museum is to stay open year around. With the original intent to be occupied only during the winter, it would not be possible, from a curatorial aspect, to present Vizcaya without an intervention with an enclosure of some sorts. Perhaps at some point, the shopping mall-like cover over the interior courtyard can be replaced by a design that is less obtrusive.