Post Wedding Shower

Thanksgiving Eve Gathering

Mansion in May

Wallpaper

Repair Months

Christmas 2009

Side Chairs

Fall Arrival 2009

The Beach House

A Casual Dinner Party

The Peonies Arrival

This winter, I was asked to decorate a room for the Morristown Memorial Hospital’s May 2010 Designer Show House at Fawn Hill Farm in Harding Township, New Jersey. The anatomy of doing a show house room is unique for a decorator, and presents different challenges than a traditional decorating space. First, there is no client. Second, there is no budget. Third, it has to appeal to thousands of visitors. Fourth, it has to removed without damaging the architectural integrity of the space.

The room that I was given to design was a small, hexagonal shaped, brown paneled dining area between the kitchen, dining room and the entrance hallway with two windows overlooking two shade gardens, a fireplace with a tile surround, and a wall with two banquettes. The space spoke to me of morning coffee, newspaper reading, and family conversation. I was immediately inspired to do a morning room with a distinct garden feel, almost as if you were in a gazebo. To lighten the space, I began with a palette of white on white and pale blue in solids and patterns by glazing the dark brown paneled walls in a faded, foggy, and blue. Next, I installed white wooden lattice on the ceiling with an undercoating of blue poking through the oversized lattice squares. I covered the outdated Portuguese tiles with plywood which was painted to look like French limestone.

A distressed, bleached finished round table of wide wood planks and four upholstered chairs in blue and white linen were set in place. Above the table hung a white twig lantern. The banquettes were covered in a herringbone pattern of soft blue with pillows of different textures but in the same quiet blue colors. The sheer soft Roman shades at the windows filtered the light coming in from the courtyard. English artist Clare Potter decorated the Christopher Spitzmiller white vases with morning glory and carnations and they sat on white washed brackets and decorated one wall. On the opposite wall were framed black and white photographs of all white flowers.

I began by setting the table with beautiful white washed woven placemats and soft blue napkins. A Richard Ginori white plate and bowl sat atop a large 13” hand blown glass soft blue charger. A Lindean Mills water glass and tall tumbler were placed at every setting, along with a light bamboo style flatware. For the centerpiece, I used an Italian white porcelain footed bowl and filled it abundantly with luscious white hydrangeas. Two gold Elephants and a round carved mirror gave the mantel whimsy and strength. I finished the room with dendrobian orchids in mossed pots at the windows, and some gardening books for leisure reading.

The result was delightfully fresh, relaxed and pleasing.

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