That’s My Jamb

jamb 9Good Morning Lacquered Lifers. This month, World of Interiors featured the latest project by Will Fisher, the founder of the famed UK-based fireplace and reproduction company, Jamb. Having been a big fan of Jamb’s products for a while, I was thrilled to see Fisher’s latest project. Located in the East End of London, this house was quite derelict when they found it – inhabited by squatters, with a vacant commercial space on the ground floor, it took a lot of vision to see the potential in this property.  jamb 1The partition between the living and dining rooms on the first floor was designed by Fisher and built on site. Although the turn-of-the century building was not under the protection of the Spitalfields Trust, unlike so many of its neighboring buildings, the Trust was extremely helpful in making recommendations – which included that of the joiner that built the glazed partition. 
jamb 4The paneling is not original to the house. Fisher had the paneling added throughout, which contributes just the right amount of character to each space. In this photo, the beauty of the original floors really stand out against the creamy paneling. 
jamb 5In an upstairs bath, the buttery color of this vintage tub is the perfect counterpoint to the gray-green of the paneled walls. Looking closely, I believe those shower fittings are Catchpole & Rye – one of my personal favorites.jamb 8In one of the bedrooms, the mantel was custom made using Peacock’s Eye marble. So incredibly chic. And looking to the right in this photo, you can catch a glimpse of the built in cabinetry that lines the small hallway to the bathroom – I so appreciate his use of furniture pulls on the drawers.

For more photos and information of this project, check out World Of Interiors January 2016 issue, or visit the Jamb Blog 

photos via Jamb Blog

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a virtue. A saying long used by our elders in a vain effort to teach the younger generation that good things come to those who wait. I wonder if these sayings will continue to be used by my generation as we raise our children Wait? Why wait? Wait through the commercials to watch a whole television show? Order it on Apple TV. Wait for the newspaper? Go on Twitter. Slowly furnish a home over time to allow it to have that collected and curated look we all crave? Go online and order it all over the course of a weekend.

I know, I know, it’s hilarious that I say this as a blogger; but as a preservationist we are an inherently patient people. We respect time, and the passage of time, and the time it took for things to age and develop the patina and history that we obsess over and admire. So it has been with film director James Ivory and his c. 1805 home in NY’s Hudson Valley. IvoryThe 6,000 square foot c. 1805 home has twelve foot ceilings throughout, and was built on an octagonal plan, with two octagonal rooms on each side stacked on top of each other. Ivory purchased the home in the summer of 1975 … for $105,000.
Ivory 4Ivory 6
Ivory 5Ivory 3Ivory 2Ivory’s home, complete with stacks and stacks of books and miles of memorabilia and objets, looks as if it has been lived in, and loved, for forty years. And yet, the owner feels it is only 95% done. Patience, a virtue? In this case, I believe so. 

Photos via T Magazine

Kitchen Confidential

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Thank you for your patience while Mr. B and the pups and I took a little vacation. Now its back to business.

As Mr. B and I ponder the design of the Barbot House, the kitchen is obviously one of the top priorities. Not because kitchens sell houses, but because I love to entertain. Parties, large and small; formal and informal; cocktails or dinner; are some of my absolute favorite things. The Barbot House has a history that is littered with stories of parties and gatherings, and I plan to continue that tradition … which brings me back to the kitchen.  Today’s kitchens have become something of a showpiece in the home … thick marble waterfall countertops, massive stainless steel appliances, glittering backsplashes … and for what? To roast a chicken? Me, I lean towards the kitchens of old: no attached family room, nothing fancy, just enough space to cook a dinner. Even if that dinner is for 30 …

BeechwoodEnter Nicholas Mele, who took pictures of the kitchens in some of Newport, Rhode Island’s most famous summer “cottages” (Beechwood, Astor residence above).  Places frequented by the likes of the Vanderbilts and the Astors, places where gilt was the norm. In stark contrast to their ornate public rooms are the kitchens of these historic homes, where staff prepared food in a space that reads practical rather than pomp. Newport Kitchen Newport Kitchen 2 Newport Kitchen 3 Newport Kitchen 4I can’t promise teal refrigerators, but I can promise a kitchen which has the sole purpose of being an ideal place to put together a meal … whether its for 4, or for 40 …