Tuesday, July 5, 2011

100 Can be Beautiful!

As my mother used to say, "Once in a blue moon"...a project comes along that truly speaks to my heart.

This is one of them.

This 100 year old beauty (back door shot) belongs to my very happy and stylish owner, Carol-who happens to be a client that dates back to my original historic stone-front store in Lowe Makefield, Pa. I've worked on her Yardley home, her former historic Main Line home (historic Philadelphia), her Philadelphia city high rise, and now-back to the Main Line again...home at last! I think these projects total about 18 years! Only a few doors down from the home she sold a few years ago, Carol bought this home in pristine condition the hour she saw it go on market. She knew the home from years ago when she was a neighbor and couldn't get her realtor on the phone fast enough.

Done. And here we are! Lucky her. Lucky me! Oh, so lucky...it's truly inspiring.

We entered through the side door into this bright and inviting kitchen. Oh, how I wish I had that rolling ladder to store and reach my cake plate collection. *sigh* Classic white marble counter tops; clean, crisp subway tile back splash; commercial Viking oven; strong, industrial style pendants. What more could we want?! Did I mention that the walls are painted a fabulous stony gray color? Yea. Pretty much perfect. (I couldn't help but think that I should have been the owner...I guess designer will have to suffice. )*sigh*

Do you think the Black-eyed Susan bag is sort of like staking my claim?

After the appropriate jaw-dropping assessment of the kitchen, we were ushered into the butler's pantry. My heart jumped again. I happen to have a real soft spot for butler's pantries. Does anyone recall the highlight of the Princeton Jr, League Designer House several years ago where I did the butler's pantry? I think it might be one of my favorite projects ever...sorry, no photos at hand easily. I can just see this one filled with old hotel silver, china and crystal of all shapes and periods. There is an original stainless work sink that will get plenty of use with society galas. Watch for the finished design of this room! (Can't wait!!)

This is an original wall sconce still lighting the way in the butler's pantry! Such style.

We rounded the corner to the living room. A few changes (wall color and sconces ) are to be made prior to the furniture placement. Most of the furniture from the current high rise will be used in this room. Shag rug? A few unexpected urban touches and this room should be good to go! (I'm still lobbying for some graphic linen draperies, but can't get Carol to jump on board! ) She can really be stubborn. *sigh*

Just look at this front door. Ahhhh, historic architecture. There's nothing that can match this.

Carol swung the door wide to expose the bright sunshine. The foyer is a room in itself. I'm not kidding, we could place a good 12x12 Persian rug in there! Great idea. Note to self, *get a fabulous 12x12 Persian rug for the foyer to replace that tiny slip of a rug Carol is standing on. (Carol is a little slip of a thing herself!).

*second note to self. Make sure 12x12 is large enough*

There are mirror image sun rooms on either side of the living room and dining room. I'll have at least 4 mantles to detail! *sigh*

Delightful sunlit rooms. Cozy winter spaces and breezy spring spaces. *sigh*

The house is full of these beautiful doors, solid walnut with an inlaid border. This charming shape is a pass through hall from the kitchen to the dining room! I'm pretending that the house servants must have been people about my height! Anyone too tall would have to duck to breeze through these halls.

Vintage door knobs grace every door. I was particularly enchanted by this tiny one! (One more for the case of small helpers...

On the third floor, we entered a closet with several treasures! These deep storage drawers were tagged with labels. I would never remove these!!

Original charm and history. *sigh*

In the same closet, Carol had found several of the mahogany doors at rest. She had the brilliant idea of turning one of them into the breakfast room table! Simply brilliant! We brainstormed having some iron legs custom designed to support the door. Hardware will come off, and the holes will be part of the history and character of the table. (Did I mention that I love this idea?!)

This marble floor will definitely remain! (Is anyone wondering just what my job will be yet?)

Thank heavens, there are a few rooms that need immediate help! This was the former mother-in-law suite, on the third floor. (It might make being a live-in mother-in-law quite desirable)!

Carol peering into the original dumb waiter. These people really knew how to live! There are also original wall telephones in several of the bedrooms.
Room service, please! *sigh*

This house.

Is not.

For the faint of heart, or weak knees.

This was the view from the back door! Oh, my.


An architectural vista from every angle.

Charm unmatched.

So that's the tour! (I did leave out some important rooms...too many rooms, not enough time.)

So, you can see, I'm truly in heaven. Thanks, Carol. The pleasure is all mine.

Now, to bed. I've got a lot to design tomorrow...and the next day...and the next day...you get the picture.

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