Thursday, February 27, 2014
Preppy & Pretty Chinoiserie
I grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois and know that much of my interior design aesthetic is a result of it. Gorgeous classic homes both grand and small abounded there by architects like David Adler and Frank Llloyd Wright. My parents came close to buying a Japanese style Wright home that had a koi pond in the foyer. I've never forgotten it.
Homes in Lake Forest are very much the style of where I live now in Belle Haven in Alexandria, Virginia. Many were built in the 1920s. The decorating is a modern take on old school, with lots of color, trims, classic fabrics and wallpapers, antiques, chintz, red dining rooms, ancestor portraits, crystal chandeliers and lots of Chinoiserie. The decorating could have been done today or thirty years ago.
I was so excited when I received the latest issue of House Beautiful to find this stunning 1926 French provincial Lake Forest home by noted architect Ralph Milman decorated by one of my favorites, Ruthie Sommers. It is a home I could so happily live in. I'm sorry, but I feel like walking through Restoration Hardware sucks the life right out of me. I could never live in a home filled with beige unless I was heavily medicated.
This home is filled with pink, blue, and green, with lots of yummy chocolate brown to ground it. Sommers used all of my favorites - Benjamin Moore Aura paint, Farrow & Ball wallpaper, and fabrics by Brunschwig & Fils, Cowtan & Tout, Fortuny, Rose Cumming, and Clarence House. It has a definite Greenbrier/Dorothy Draper vibe as well. It is preppy, happy, cheerful, and feminine.
You can read a fascinating interview with Ruthie Sommers about the house with full details here.