SUMMERTIME

Barbara B's Garden-Blog

Barbara B's Garden-BlogSummertime! This is the time I want to move outdoors to live on my porch and in my garden.

This reminds me of a conversation I had not long ago with my good friends, the Polaks, while they were visiting. Both are landscape architects. Bogdan, whose background is European and whose education is American, brings a wonderful point of view to the subject.

Over dinner one night we were discussing the idea of using gardens as an extension of our living space and agreed that it was neither a new or novel idea. Throughout the ages people have used their gardens to amuse and entertain, to do daily chores and to rest. They lived out of doors and slept indoors unless it was a hot summer’s night, and then they had sleeping porches. With the technological advances in house gadgetry and electronics, slowly but steadily people have retreated under the roof where all their needs are met by Sony, GE and Honeywell. The change in the way we live today and to our approach to living is very well represented by the gardens surrounding our houses. We have ended up with open spaces, acres of mowed lawns and for the best part hardly any space worth visiting not to mention in which to spend time.

We have reduced the usable parts of our gardens to the size of decks and patios we are able to afford. With a little guidance from a professional landscape designer and a basic understanding of our own nature we could expand our houses to palatial proportions. Let’s approach the subject from a more familiar perspective: the house.

When building or buying a house we pay particular attention to the number and size of the rooms, whether they will fulfill the functions we need them to fulfill or how many closets there are, and how much storage there is, etc. Then we, hopefully, get some guidance from a professional interior designer so that our needs for privacy and aesthetics are met, and we are surrounded by beauty and comfort. Then we celebrate our accomplishments. Shouldn’t we apply the same principles to the garden? Absolutely! After all it is a natural and logical extension of our living quarters.

What can we possibly do in the garden that we cannot do in the house? The list is long and only our imagination will set the limits. Here are a few examples: We could grow water plants and have fish, or attract butterflies and birds. What about a space to meditate and contemplate, or play games (anyone for badminton or croquet?), and grow vegetables and herbs. Imagine a space from which to fill your house with flowers. To start a green addition to your house we should designate spaces for specific activities by erecting living walls that will define them. Should the walls be impervious? Not necessarily? Even sparse planting will provide you with enough definition and privacy to accomplish creation of garden rooms. Remember, plan carefully and accordingly; need – size.

The principles of garden design are the same as designing your home. Define the function of your spaces, and then plan what you need to fulfill this function. Finally add the details. In my work we fulfill the function with a floor plan and then add the details with specific color, furniture, fabric and accessories. In garden design you design the space according to the function with a plan then add the details with specific trees, shrubs, flowers, walls and then garden furniture and accessories.

The use of stone walls gives texture and interest to a garden. Paths wandering to a destination lead you to an unexpected area of tranquility. A private corner with a bench so that you can sit and meditate on the beauty of your world. Or a garden ornament or interesting bench even grown over with moss or lichen are like accessories and art in an indoor room. They give the garden personal style. Statuary is another great garden art. I recently saw a wonderful small horse farm with a charming cottage, a lovely garden with the outdoor spaces defined by unique horse statues. From inside the house you have a fabulous view with a statue beckoning your eye to the fields beyond. In the front of the house there is a small private garden space with another horse sculpture to bring it to life. It certainly delights as you find the owner’s interests when you turn a corner.

Up north many houses have sun rooms on the south side of the house to bring the garden indoors during the winter. One of the most enjoyable ones I created with a client was to have a garden mural painted on the walls depicting a garden complete with stone walls, trees, flowers, birds, chipmunks and squirrels at play. We added a heated stone floor and comfortable furniture. It was a winter garden and then in the summer had French doors along one wall that opened it up to a terrace outside and became part of an outdoor living space.

My house in Connecticut was built in 1850, and even though the garden has been changed many times over the years, the bones of the old garden rooms were still visible even though they were buried in places. It took time, but bringing the garden room with old rock walls back to life was a labor of joy.

Now, I am here in North Carolina and my new garden was completely overgrown when I bought the house. Slowly, I am making outdoor spaces to give my house charm and character and make living spaces for me to enjoy the wonderful outdoor living in this mild climate.

When I was a child my favorite book was The Secret Garden. Here in my small front garden I am trying to create, in a very different way, the tranquility and creativity that those children realized in bring the secret garden back to life which transformed their lives. After a couple of years it is beginning to have the shape I desire. The plants are beginning to grow to some maturity and give my garden the beginning of my vision. I have added a dark green fence with lattice at the top so that the plants in the small flower garden have a back drop to enhance their colors. This and a large tree located between the fence and the street give me a small, lovely area of tranquility and beauty.

Barbara B Bench Blog

What I love about a garden is that it grows and changes with time just as we do. We are inquisitive beings who love to discover and experience our surroundings. Let’s use this wonderful sense of ours for the specific purpose of enlarging our living spaces and making our garden a pleasure to create and enjoy.

Gillian Drummond is the founder and principle designer of Drummond House , Interior Decoration and Consultation, in Tryon, NC. You can see her website @ www.drummondhouseco.com. To contact her call 828-859-9895 or email to info@drummondhouseco.com.

 

Family Rm: Christophers

Christophers Family Room

A Lively Blue & White Scheme for A Fun Filled Family Room ~
My client loves blue and white. When we remodeled the kitchen and family room we went all the way for the blue and white color scheme. Using a happy vibrant blue for the walls and blue a more subdued blue and off white for the large comfortable upholstered furniture, it is inviting for one or many.
This room is used by the whole family including two teen-aged boys a dog and cat and the parents for watching TV and doing homework. It has held up extremely well to all the wear. They love it.

A Lively Blue & White Scheme for A Fun Filled Family Room ~

My client loves blue and white. When we remodeled the kitchen and family room we went all the way for the blue and white color scheme. Using a happy vibrant blue for the walls and blue a more subdued blue and off white for the large comfortable upholstered furniture, it is inviting for one or many.

This room is used by the whole family including two teen-aged boys a dog and cat and the parents for watching TV and doing homework. It has held up extremely well to all the wear. They love it.

About the Client:

This charming couple have been clients for 18 years. I started working for him in his bachelor quarters. Shortly afterwards he became engaged and I met his wife to be and, luckily, we saw eye to eye immediately. We have decorated three houses together.

About the Project:

They clients live in a beautiful brick Georgian that was built in the 1930’s. It is a beautifully planned house and a dream to make into a beautiful home for them and their two teenage boys. Mrs. Christophers has always loved blue and white so we have incorporated it in her favorite rooms. We also rebuilt and decorated their beach house together. We kept all the charm of the original beach house that had been in the family for generations but made it easy to keep up and very comfortable.

Testimonial:

“Gillian recognizes our taste and style and all the many different elements together to create a lovely, quietly elegant home . She enjoys incorporating all our loved items into a fresh new design. She is a wonderful person to work with and has become a dear family friend. After all, we have worked together for 18 years and three houses!”
~ Marianne Christophers

Dining Room: Mather

Dining Room Mather

Decadent Dining for Two or Twelve ~

A sophisticated room that is wonderful to sit in at night over a long leisurely dinner for a woman who entertains often.

This lush dining room has delicious pomegranate red lacquered walls inspired by the antique Persian rug. The heirloom blue and white pieces are showcased in the bookcase and the mahogany dining table is always ready for a festive occasion.

About the Client:

Single career woman who loves old houses and the ambiance of English country house style.

About the Project:

The house was built in 1850 and needed renovations as it had not been taken care of for years. Together we re-thought the house and how she would live in it. The original house had a tavern on the ground floor, now it was just a dark, empty space, we turned it into a lovely office. We also moved the kitchen into the breakfast room and made space for a wonderful dining room as her favorite way of entertaining is having 6 or 8 people for dinner.

We created a sun room from a screened porch which then became a year round place to enjoy and also to put plants in the winter. The end result is a house that really works for my client, it is bright and sunny with beautiful fabrics and Oriental rugs in the English manner. She enjoys sharing it with friends for week-end parties.

Foyer: Wilson

Foyer Wilson

Veronica believes that color is healing and for her this beautiful shade of aqua is the most healing and soothing for her. This is the hall leading to her sitting room/office. We kept it as simple as possible with silk balloon shades in the same shade of aqua. The upholstered bench and the painted chair are both in spring green. This is the perfect prelude to her inner sanctum.

About the Client

They are an English couple with an adorable cottage on a lake. He is a rugged outdoorsman and she is an astrologer of some repute.

About the Project:

We have created a very English home for them with some things they already had and finding antiques where they needed furniture. Pretty color was the one thing that she insisted on having and beautiful silk balloon shades on the windows. It is a very feminine cottage – but he just loves it.

Testimonial:

“I can always rely on Gillian to my bring room or my whole house to a perfectly coordinated living space, adding color, comfort and exquisite taste. She is a pleasure to work with.”
~ Anne Wilson

Living Rm: Christophers

Christophers Living Room

Rose Tones Beckon for Formal Entertaining ~

A rich rose velvet dresses the sofa and a seascape draws your gaze above it. Like a lot of families today this living room is used for entertaining and family holidays.

It is a sunny and bright, formal room that is still comfortable and serves its purpose well. My client’s love of flowers is evident here and was why we chose the chintz for the window treatments and wing chairs.

About the Client:

This charming couple have been clients for 18 years. I started working for him in his bachelor quarters. Shortly afterwards he became engaged and I met his wife to be and, luckily, we saw eye to eye immediately. We have decorated three houses together.

About the Project:

They clients live in a beautiful brick Georgian that was built in the 1930’s. It is a beautifully planned house and a dream to make into a beautiful home for them and their two teenage boys. Mrs. Christophers has always loved blue and white so we have incorporated it in her favorite rooms. We also rebuilt and decorated their beach house together. We kept all the charm of the original beach house that had been in the family for generations but made it easy to keep up and very comfortable.

Testimonial:

“Gillian recognizes our taste and style and all the many different elements together to create a lovely, quietly elegant home . She enjoys incorporating all our loved items into a fresh new design. She is a wonderful person to work with and has become a dear family friend. After all, we have worked together for 18 years and three houses!”
~ Marianne Christophers

Kitchen: Christophers

A Kitchen Bedecked in Blue Pearl and Gleaming Stainless ~

A Kitchen Bedecked in Blue Pearl and Gleaming Stainless ~

Blue pearl granite countertops cap an elegant kitchen with stainless steel appliances and crisp white cabinets. My clients love of blue and white is evident in the hallmark wallcovering.

Her affection for gardening is showcased in the custom stove backsplash tiles featuring favorite botanicals. Functional and formal this kitchen is ideal for prepping family feasts and entertaining friends.

About the Client:

This charming couple have been clients for 18 years. I started working for him in his bachelor quarters. Shortly afterwards he became engaged and I met his wife to be and, luckily, we saw eye to eye immediately. We have decorated three houses together.

About the Project:

They clients live in a beautiful brick Georgian that was built in the 1930’s. It is a beautifully planned house and a dream to make into a beautiful home for them and their two teenage boys. Mrs. Christophers has always loved blue and white so we have incorporated it in her favorite rooms. We also rebuilt and decorated their beach house together. We kept all the charm of the original beach house that had been in the family for generations but made it easy to keep up and very comfortable.

Testimonial:

“Gillian recognizes our taste and style and all the many different elements together to create a lovely, quietly elegant home . She enjoys incorporating all our loved items into a fresh new design. She is a wonderful person to work with and has become a dear family friend. After all, we have worked together for 18 years and three houses!”
~ Marianne Christophers

Library: Banks

Library Banks

A Good Book and Great Conversation Make This Library ~

A small library with book shelves on two walls which are filled with leather bound books as well as old favorites that are read again and again. We used the terracotta colors that the client loves with coordinating textured cotton fabrics that pull the small room together.

I recovered the reclining chair in a heavy linen fabric and gave it some style with a buttoned back. This room is used every evening and they love it.

About the Client:

A very interesting older couple, he is a lawyer and still working in his eighties and she is an adventurous lady who lived in Venice when she was younger. She has a marvelous collections of English watercolours and old books that she has collected over time.

About the Project:

They are downsizing from a lovely sprawling farm house to a more formal town house condominium. Together we decided on what to keep and what to give to their grown children or sell. Then we created beautiful backgrounds, recovered the upholstery and hung all the wonderful watercolors. They are leading a very happy and much simpler life now.

Testimonial:

“We had a house full of beautiful antiques, books and art. Gillian helped us downsize into a much smaller condominium. She created beautiful backgrounds with wonderful colors and recovered all our furniture in exquisite fabrics. We now have a warm, comfortable home that feels as if we have always lived in it. I enjoyed working with Gillian, she truly understood me and what I wanted to accomplish.”
~ Vickie Banks

Specialty: Sun Room

Specialty Sun Room Lucy

A Sunny View to the Garden ~

Again the blue and white theme that this client loves. This is her space that she enjoys winter and summer to work on her special projects or meet with friends.

We always meet here. He uses it to watch sports when the boys are in the family room.

About the Client:

This charming couple have been clients for 18 years. I started working for him in his bachelor quarters. Shortly afterwards he became engaged and I met his wife to be and, luckily, we saw eye to eye immediately. We have decorated three houses together.

About the Project:

They clients live in a beautiful brick Georgian that was built in the 1930’s. It is a beautifully planned house and a dream to make into a beautiful home for them and their two teenage boys. Mrs. Christophers has always loved blue and white so we have incorporated it in her favorite rooms. We also rebuilt and decorated their beach house together. We kept all the charm of the original beach house that had been in the family for generations but made it easy to keep up and very comfortable.

Testimonial:

“Gillian recognizes our taste and style and all the many different elements together to create a lovely, quietly elegant home . She enjoys incorporating all our loved items into a fresh new design. She is a wonderful person to work with and has become a dear family friend. After all, we have worked together for 18 years and three houses!”
~ Marianne Christophers

Living Room: Banks

Living Room Banks

An Art Collection Inspires Traditional Living ~

When designing this room with the client, who is a beautiful redhead, she requested that we use coral and terra cotta colors which also went with their priceless oriental rug. She fell in love with the chintz we used at the windows.

The mixture of beautiful fabrics, interesting furniture and antique books makes this a wonderful room. The flame stitch fabric for the wing chair pulled the whole thing together and gave it a new dimension. Above the sofa hang English watercolors from her collection.

About the Client:

A very interesting older couple, he is a lawyer and still working in his eighties and she is an adventurous lady who lived in Venice when she was younger. She has a marvelous collections of English watercolours and old books that she has collected over time.

About the Project:

They are downsizing from a lovely sprawling farm house to a more formal town house condominium. Together we decided on what to keep and what to give to their grown children or sell. Then we created beautiful backgrounds, recovered the upholstery and hung all the wonderful watercolors. They are leading a very happy and much simpler life now.

Testimonial:

“We had a house full of beautiful antiques, books and art. Gillian helped us downsize into a much smaller condominium. She created beautiful backgrounds with wonderful colors and recovered all our furniture in exquisite fabrics. We now have a warm, comfortable home that feels as if we have always lived in it. I enjoyed working with Gillian, she truly understood me and what I wanted to accomplish.”
~ Vickie Banks

Dining Rm: Christophers

Elegant Traditional Dining Amidst A Bouquet of Roses ~

Elegant Traditional Dining Amidst A Bouquet of Roses ~

Formal dining room in a lovely 1930’s Georgian house. The client has a true affection for blue and white but we decided to have a warmer room for the evening and indulge her love of flowers.

The yellow, pink and blue flowered wallpaper goes well with her blue and white porcelain collection and is enhanced by the beautiful, lush pink stried silk curtains. This is truly a beautiful but comfortable dining room.

About the Client:

This charming couple have been clients for 18 years. I started working for him in his bachelor quarters. Shortly afterwards he became engaged and I met his wife to be and, luckily, we saw eye to eye immediately. We have decorated three houses together.

About the Project:

They clients live in a beautiful brick Georgian that was built in the 1930’s. It is a beautifully planned house and a dream to make into a beautiful home for them and their two teenage boys. Mrs. Christophers has always loved blue and white so we have incorporated it in her favorite rooms. We also rebuilt and decorated their beach house together. We kept all the charm of the original beach house that had been in the family for generations but made it easy to keep up and very comfortable.

Testimonial:

“Gillian recognizes our taste and style and all the many different elements together to create a lovely, quietly elegant home . She enjoys incorporating all our loved items into a fresh new design. She is a wonderful person to work with and has become a dear family friend. After all, we have worked together for 18 years and three houses!”
~ Marianne Christophers

Specialty: Sun Room

Specialty Sun Room Mather

Every Space Has a Purpose ~

Not one to waste space, this screened porch was enclosed and made into a charming back entry hall.

It provides valuable space for the owner’s significant book collection as well as a sunny nook to read with ample skylights and bright white wood work.

About the Client:

Single career woman who loves old houses and the ambiance of English country house style.

About the Project:

The house was built in 1850 and needed renovations as it had not been taken care of for years. Together we re-thought the house and how she would live in it. The original house had a tavern on the ground floor, now it was just a dark, empty space, we turned it into a lovely office. We also moved the kitchen into the breakfast room and made space for a wonderful dining room as her favorite way of entertaining is having 6 or 8 people for dinner.

We created a sun room from a screened porch which then became a year round place to enjoy and also to put plants in the winter. The end result is a house that really works for my client, it is bright and sunny with beautiful fabrics and Oriental rugs in the English manner. She enjoys sharing it with friends for week-end parties.

Master Bedroom: Mather

Bedroom Master - Mather

Dreams Inspired by the Garden ~

A pretty feminine bedroom that showcases the owner’s love of flowers.

Tuck in for a good night’s sleep amongst a bouquet of floral pillows set against a treasured antique bedstead. All the comforts of home even when you are a guest.

About the Client:

Single career woman who loves old houses and the ambiance of English country house style.

About the Project:

The house was built in 1850 and needed renovations as it had not been taken care of for years. Together we re-thought the house and how she would live in it. The original house had a tavern on the ground floor, now it was just a dark, empty space, we turned it into a lovely office. We also moved the kitchen into the breakfast room and made space for a wonderful dining room as her favorite way of entertaining is having 6 or 8 people for dinner.

We created a sun room from a screened porch which then became a year round place to enjoy and also to put plants in the winter. The end result is a house that really works for my client, it is bright and sunny with beautiful fabrics and Oriental rugs in the English manner. She enjoys sharing it with friends for week-end parties.

Library: Christophers

A Cozy Nook for Reading and Study ~

A Cozy Nook for Reading and Study ~

When I first met my clients it was before they were married. I designed a small library/TV room for him in his bachelor pad. We did it in this warm, fun linen fabric that she loved. When they moved we bought more of the fabric to do the curtains in this present room.

We commissioned the needle point to go on the foot stool as it was a family heirloom. My clients have cocktails in this room with a fire going every evening in the winter.

About the Client:

This charming couple have been clients for 18 years. I started working for him in his bachelor quarters. Shortly afterwards he became engaged and I met his wife to be and, luckily, we saw eye to eye immediately. We have decorated three houses together.

About the Project:

They clients live in a beautiful brick Georgian that was built in the 1930’s. It is a beautifully planned house and a dream to make into a beautiful home for them and their two teenage boys. Mrs. Christophers has always loved blue and white so we have incorporated it in her favorite rooms. We also rebuilt and decorated their beach house together. We kept all the charm of the original beach house that had been in the family for generations but made it easy to keep up and very comfortable.

Testimonial:

“Gillian recognizes our taste and style and all the many different elements together to create a lovely, quietly elegant home . She enjoys incorporating all our loved items into a fresh new design. She is a wonderful person to work with and has become a dear family friend. After all, we have worked together for 18 years and three houses!”
~ Marianne Christophers

Front Room: Weed

pressman-front-room

This bright, sunny, cheerful room is used by the whole family for hanging out, family dining and watching TV. Center seating group around fireplace and TV anchors the room but there is a cozy corner to go off and read a book on your own. More blue and white porcelain and an interesting painted chandelier over the old table and chairs completes the room.

About the Client

Sophisticated, well traveled couple who have moved from place to place with the Fortune 500 company that he works for. They have a busy lifestyle with 3 teenage children and frequent entertaining.

About the Project:

We renovated a 1908 Dutch Colonial house which needed a great deal of work. The clients have wonderful furniture and rugs and accessories that they have collected in their travels. We used what they have and enhanced it with new fabrics, wall coverings, carpets, faux painting and window treatments. New lighting fixtures for the interior and exterior were installed throughout and new furniture for selective rooms. It is now a warm, comfortable home for them and their 3 teenage children to enjoy with their friends.

Awards and Accolades:

This renovation received the Hobi Award for houses over $3 million for 2009.

Testimonial:

“I really enjoyed working with Gillian and we worked well together. This huge project came in on time with a terrific end product. We are well pleased with the results.”
~ Mary Weed

Home Office: Mather

mather-office

A Cozy Historic Home Office ~

What was once a dark and dingy room is now a pleasant and practical entry hall and home office.

Keeping with the color palette established, this cozy home office is lifted by the whitewashing of the beams and ceiling and the same done to the historical brick fireplace. The floral motif started in the living room is brought in with gold framed botanicals. It is a productive and pleasant home office.

About the Client:

Single career woman who loves old houses and the ambiance of English country house style.

About the Project:

The house was built in 1850 and needed renovations as it had not been taken care of for years. Together we re-thought the house and how she would live in it. The original house had a tavern on the ground floor, now it was just a dark, empty space, we turned it into a lovely office. We also moved the kitchen into the breakfast room and made space for a wonderful dining room as her favorite way of entertaining is having 6 or 8 people for dinner.

We created a sun room from a screened porch which then became a year round place to enjoy and also to put plants in the winter. The end result is a house that really works for my client, it is bright and sunny with beautiful fabrics and Oriental rugs in the English manner. She enjoys sharing it with friends for week-end parties.

Front Hall – Weed

Front Hall

Front Hall

Beautiful Dutch door is original to the 1908 Dutch Colonial Revival house. Damask wall paper makes a soft but interesting background for hand painted screen and a collection of antique blue and white porcelain.

About the Client

Sophisticated, well traveled couple who have moved from place to place with the Fortune 500 company that he works for. They have a busy lifestyle with 3 teenage children and frequent entertaining.

About the Project:

We renovated a 1908 Dutch Colonial house which needed a great deal of work. The clients have wonderful furniture and rugs and accessories that they have collected in their travels. We used what they have and enhanced it with new fabrics, wall coverings, carpets, faux painting and window treatments. New lighting fixtures for the interior and exterior were installed throughout and new furniture for selective rooms. It is now a warm, comfortable home for them and their 3 teenage children to enjoy with their friends.

Awards and Accolades:

This renovation received the Hobi Award for houses over $3 million for 2009.

Testimonial:

“I really enjoyed working with Gillian and we worked well together. This huge project came in on time with a terrific end product. We are well pleased with the results.”
~ Mary Weed