With Frances Elkins as my guide. From the shaped granite-topped vanity to the inset with the Queen Anne-style mirror, her influence dictated the most important elements of my bath and dressing room. All were drawn from the book Frances Elkins: Interior Design by Stephen M. Salny, with the exception of one. My inspirations are illustrated in the following photos.
My little design became a reality. After purchasing the crystal stars online, I took them and my design drawing to a local jeweler hoping they could create the nickel plated components. At first they were confident about pulling it off, but after three weeks, they called saying it wasn’t possible. That’s when my designer, Charley McKenney, offered to take my design to the metal artist who had previously created metal backs for two of my antique sconces. This guy, with no fuss, was able to make my vision a reality. Not only was the price reasonable, but they were more beautiful than I had ever hoped for. The brass stars were cut into shape before they were nickel plated along with the balls that would eventually be soldered to the screw posts. My idea was to have all the components separate. That way I could thoroughly clean the parts and avoid dirt and dust from collecting, thus mucking up all the sparkle. And because I can be such a spaz when cleaning, I have extra crystal stars to replace the ones I might break in the future.
In September 2004, I joined The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America on an four day tour of the Berkshires’ aging “cottages” of the Gilded Age. Bunny Williams, as a member of the board, was gracious enough to host all of us at her home and gardens in Connecticut. Unfortunately, the photos I took are all outdoor shots. I don’t remember why. Maybe I thought it would be rude to photograph the interiors. Maybe we were told not to. I just don’t remember. I won’t be posting all of these photos today. Instead they will be used at different times in the future to illustrate a point.
(above) Note how the building’s color allows it to blend in with its environment. When it came to choosing colors for my garage, my architect gave me two suggestions. The first one being to paint it the same color as the wood boards of my house (cream), or as the second choice, allow the building to blend in with its natural surroundings (too nice of a description for my unsightly backyard). I chose the latter. Now, after going through all these old photos, I realize that Bunny chose the same color concept for her outbuildings. A lucky and happy coincidence for me.