The Shingle Life

The Benson House

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Happy to be back in South Carolina this morning after a very busy and productive time in Connecticut. Part of that productive time was meeting with a favorite client, a client whose 1903 Shingle Style home I am so privileged to be helping restore. So today we’re going to talk about some of my favorite Shingle Style houses, the Montauk Point Association Houses. Built between 1882-1883 in Montauk, and designed by renowned architectural firm Mckim, Mead & White, these homes exemplify the Shingle Style.

Scan 1The land for the association was purchased by shipping magnate Arthur Benson from a local farmer for $150,000 – how many more zeros do you think that would include today? Benson envisioned a summer colony of like-minded people who would appreciate a relatively casual social life and enjoy time out of doors. Frederick Law Olmsted planned the community, siting the homes and common buildings over looking the Atlantic Ocean and following a contours of the land – connecting buildings via an informal network of unpaved paths.

Scan 2
The de Forest House
Scan 4
The Sanger House
Scan 3
The Sanger House

All the homes are different, but feature common architectural elements that embody the shingle style. As in the de Forest house above, all the houses feature shingled roofs and upper stories, sitting on a painted clapboard base. Gables, and accents such as moulding around the windows, and porches all connect the houses casual atmosphere as well as their distribution along the cliffside. Scan 5The clubhouse burned down in 1933, and the Orr House in 1997 (it was fully reconstructed), however, the majority of the other houses are still intact and privately owned. While lifestyles and needs have changed – kitchens and bathrooms enlarged, heating systems installed – the houses still retain the hallmarks of the Shingle Style and would be easily recognized by their original owners and designers. And how about that view?

Photos via The Houses of Mckim, Mead & White available here.

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Book Review: Markham Roberts – Decorating the Way I See It

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, despite my plans for being organized prior to leaving for Connecticut, I was not, and LL felt the impact …

Fall is that great time of year when all the fabulous new coffee table books are published. This fall has been no exception, and I couldn’t help my excitement when a box arrived from Vendome Press containing Markham RobertsDecorating the Way I see ItMarkham Roberts_cc MR_022-23Decorating the Way I See It is organized into six sections: Floor Plan, Background, Scheme, Furniture, Collecting, Art, & Custom. While someone can simply browse the beautiful interiors contained within the chic python cover (yes, python!), the book also functions extremely well as a guide to decorating.MR_033 MR_068-069One of the most distinctive features of Markham Roberts is that none of his projects are easily identifiable as his. While that may sound like a criticism, it is in fact the opposite. His decorating range, as illustrated by this book, is very broad, and some of my favorite spaces of his (shown here) are completely unrelated. That fact makes Markham RobertsDecorating the Way I See it, one of the more interesting design books that I have seen in a long time. Because his style is so varied, you never tire of picking up the book to flip through it or reference it again. MR_126-7.2 MR_224For a book that deserves a spot at the top of your stack, order Markham Roberts – Decorating the Way I See It. Congratulations Markham!

Photos courtesy of Vendome Press

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Rainy Day Reading & Rowing

  • Books
  • September 29, 2014

Cambridge University Boat Club-1Good morning Lacquered Lifers. It is another dreary day here in Charleston – hello, sun, where did you go? – and I am taking the opportunity to look through some beautiful new books that have recently found their way to my doorstep. Despite the fact I went to school in Connecticut and Massachusetts, I have never been a rower, was never involved in crew in high school or college, and was never particularly interested in the culture of crew – until now. Rowing Blazers, written by Jack Carlson, he himself a rowing champion, explores the culture and history of rowing through its most recognizable attribute – the rowing blazer. I am now officially ashamed that after having gone to Boston College I never once watched the Head of the Charles. Photographer PhotographerWallingford-1-2RowingBlazer_cv_high resThrough photographs of rowing champions wearing the blazers of their school or rowing club, Carlson shares with us the history of rowing, and some of the great stories of the individual schools and clubs. A beautifully laid out book, with photos by F.E. Castleberry, one cannot help but think that a book like this will propel the rowing blazer into one of fall 2014’s biggest trends. With representation from Wisconsin to New Zealand, Carlson paints a picture through these vibrant blazers which is both entertaining and fascinating. A must read.

Rowing Blazers is available through Vendome Press

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