Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vizcaya: Master Suite

The second floor of Vizcaya is broken into a series of guest suites boasting the most modern of technology for the day, including private baths and dressing rooms for each bedroom. Mr. Deering's private suite faced Biscayne Bay in the northeast corner of the house and includes a private terrace as well as a large sitting room. Many say his sitting room, seen above on the plan in blue, is the most beautiful in the entire house but I might have to disagree on this one: a bit overdone for my tastes.

Decorated in Italian Directoire style, the sitting room was based on the work of the late 18th century architect, Giocondo Albertolli. The walls are upholstered in Louis XVI style embroidered yellow silk with white and gold painted Italian boiseries.
Chalfin mixed French Empire mahogany furniture with an oval Savonnerie carpet and had the ceiling painted a blue gray with a gilded seahorse in plaster, the mascot of Vizcaya. I think the effect here is rather Trump does Vegas, but to each his own.The room also features a fireplace designed by Robert Adam for Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin, seen above in a historic photo.
Deering's bedroom, seen in green on the floorplan above, continues the Neoclassical theme but in Empire style; a great improvement to my mind compared with the sitting room.The ceiling again is painted a gray blue with gilded plaster work. The day we visited, conservators were working in the bedroom.

The fireplace is Adamesque from the 18th century while the bed was designed a la Polonaise with a small canopy with the same embroidered green silk used to upholster the walls.
The interesting mahogany bed features scenes from a Roman wedding on gilt panels.The carpet is an Aubusson with woven seahorses.
The bathroom, seen on the plan above in taupe, is probably the most well known bathroom in Florida. Designed in an ornate Neoclassical style, Chalfin chose 3 colors of marble(black, white and gray) to create 'paneling' with mounted urns of silver.
The ceiling was tented with embroidered linen much like a Napoleonic campaign tent.
The bathtub's gold plated faucets in the shape of swans deliver both fresh and salt water.The best feature though, designed by Chalfin, is a shaving bowl facing Biscayne Bay which is piped with hot water, seen in front of the window above. The photo above shows the view of the bay beyond the shaving stand: now that is morning ritual I could get used to!


Dear Polia said...

Now THAT is a master suite!

The Devoted Classicist said...

I have a very high threshold for decoration, so I like the sitting room. A "lit a la Polonaise" usually refers to a bed with a smaller central canopy, often round or oval, that is supported by a curved iron framework covered with festooned hangings. In common American terms, this example would probably be referred to as a quarter tester as the canopy just covers about a quarter of the mattress at the head of the bed.

Terry said...

There is just not let up. The shaving bowl is perfect. Given that most men shave every day, why isn't this a standard feature these days? Who likes bending over the sink to shave? I presume you'd design it at a custom height for the owner or make it adjustable.

The Devoted Classicist said...

Stefan, thank you for your indulgence, but I am going to amend my comment after seeing the other image of the bed with the suspended canopy and agree that it is a variation on a "lit a la Polonaise" despite the lack of supports. The French have a specific name for everything, so I am going to try to find out what might be a better term. You have a wonderful blog that I enjoy very much!

David Toms said...

The fact there is a loggia attached to it makes it all that much more special.

La Petite Gallery said...

When I lived in Miani Beach , everyone that came to visit I took to there,. Fabulous furnishings I love the Grotto and landing. I did a tent ceiling once it tok tons of fabric. That one is fantastic. Thanks for sharing Yvonne

Karena said...

So uniquely stunning. The shaving stand is the ultimate!! Thanks Stefan for sharing such wonderful images!

Art by Karena

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I remember visiting that bath room (or should I say viewing it!), and it remains my favorite of all time!

I think all sinks should be raised to adult heights. I know an architect who raised his bathroom sink to a more comfortable level and then simply put a stool under it for the ocassional child guest.

Philip Mitchell Design Inc. said...

The marble slab panels are extraordinary! Very inspiring.

Lord Cowell said...

The bathroom is very opulent. I would love to see the gold swan faucets in more detail. Do you have any close ups you could share? Hope you have a great Easter. David.