Saturday, February 5, 2011

San Simeon gardens

I hope you've been enjoying my series on San Simeon! I have been concentrating on the interiors as they're rarely seen and certainly less known than the exteriors. I plan on a post on the gardens at some point but that has obviously not been my focus. Needless to say, the exterior is as breathtaking, if not more so, than the interiors.
After this trip to Miami I hope to have other house tours as well, including the equally over the top gorgeous Vizcaya. I just had to post the above photo from the gardens at San Simeon as the statue reminded me so much of Princess Leia! Happy Weekend!

Friday, February 4, 2011

San Simeon: Hearst's library

Located off the bedroom's sitting room in the Gothic suite is the private library. Here, Hearst kept his impressive personal book collection as well as conduct business meetings as his office was next door; the man and his work were never seperated!
The focal point here is again the ceiling. Polychrome wood ribbed arches are seperated by Moroccan lanterns which are barely needed during the day with all of the light from the gothic transom windows. I think I could work here, don't you?
As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the estate on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

San Simeon: Master bedrooms

While the rest of the Casa Grande at San Simeon is positively kingly, the private bedrooms of Hearst and his companion, Marion Davies, are cozy and intimate.The bedrooms are located in what is known as the Gothic suite on the 3rd floor of the building. The ceiling of Hearst's bedroom is one of the many treasures in the castle and dates to the 14th century. It was removed from the 'House of the Jews' at Teruel in Aragon, Spain.Recently the painting was restored and the colors are vivid and bright, making the scenes they depict clear. The artwork in the bedroom is fittingly personal to Hearst and includes a lot of family photographs as well as religious iconography, much of it dating to the Renaissance. One of the most valuable pieces of artwork in the estate is the small “Madonna and Child” by Duccio di Buoninsegna seen below, which was a gift to Hearst from one of his publishers.Hearst's bath, while marble filled and ornate, is shockingly small. I love the 2 toned marble paneling. Notice the numerous gold taps at the sink, I was told some operate fresh water while others salt water.The suite runs the length of the Casa Grande and is comprised of 2 master bedroom suites joined by a sitting room atop the Assembly room and library as well as Hearst's private library and office above the refectory. Below, you can see from Hearst's bedroom through the sitting room and into his Mistresses (Marion Davies) bedroom.Despite their long relationship of 30 odd years, Hearst never divorced his first wife but was devoted to Marion until his Death, in fact leaving the bulk of his estate to her (which she refused). Marion claimed upon her death bed that her niece, Patricia, was actually their love child, born in secrecy in Paris in 1923 (read more about Marion's fascinating story HERE).Marion was an accomplished actress and entrepreneur in her own right. Despite their significant age difference, she claimed they were the perfect pair. Her life pretty much fell to shambles after his death but you can read more about that at the Claroscureaux link above. The sitting room, below, was where they would spend the most time together, often with Marion sewing her own clothing and mending Hearst's. Domestic bliss in a small apartment high above the grand estate; I think there's something to that! I loved the arched paneled ceiling which lends a further aire of intimacy, like an ancient galleon.
The ceiling in Marion's bedroom was an intricate design of stars done in gold and blue. The lanterns were uplights, which explains the washed out patch, no camera flash was used!
The walls appear to me to be a venetian plaster, does anyone know? I love the clock light on Marion's desk below.Marion probably had very little to do with the decoration of her bedroom, as the only feminine touch appears to be the pink jade lamps. Hearst's love of the heavy Renaissance Spanish style shines through.Read more about the art of the estate at Eklektx.
As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the estate on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My own Petit Trianon

Last night while watching the finale of Downton Abbey (was anyone else as frustrated as I am with the lack of resolution within ANY of the story lines?) I took my own advice and built my own little Petit Trianon.
It turned out pretty well although I wasn't able to figure out the wing walls for the courtyard elevation above (so I cut them off).
Much like the original, it's a little jewel box! I love the little parapet detail at the roof. If anyone else decides to build one, I would love to see the final result, especially if you figured out how the courtyard walls work.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Build the Petit Trianon

I came across this graphic recently to build your own model of the Petit Trianon. Simply click on the image above to enlarge and save to your computer. Print out on cardstock and voila -a few minutes of fun crafting! You may remember the postcard models I built of various house styles which I keep on my desk at work-this is soon to join them. Enjoy!