Friday, January 28, 2011

Dean Yoder; A Modern Design

In Tribeca, New York City, Dean Yoder was commissioned to decorate an apartment overlooking the Hudson River and showcase a collection of  an artist's photo montage as well as figural sculpture. A gallery shelf and lighting hung from custom back-lit Anagre panels on the ceiling make what was once a sterile hall into an exciting exhibition space. Chemically treated copper panels are clad to walls and doors at the end of the hall to create interest and dimension.

A low slung custom designed bed by Dean was specified to make morning wake-ups accessible to twin toddlers.  The parents love to play with their children in the morning.  Dean designed a wall treatment behind the bed, made from woven blocks of mahogany and down-lit them to accentuate shadows, making it a sculpture all unto itself.  Period Noguchi lanterns were hung as a collection in the room to add interest and surprise.  The Japanese kneeling bench around the bed makes comfortable meditation and perches for children possible.  Upholstered in orange leather, they are kid-friendly and practical.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dean Yoder and Jonathan Grimm Make a Dream Come True

Dean had always wanted a room like the ones he had created for so many of his clients. He coveted Louis XV period furnishing and lighting as well as comfortable soft upholstery. With Jonathan's help and a concerted team effort, the two made the dream come true.  (Sofa pillow fabric by Lee Jofa, two ottomans fabric by Old World Weavers, rug by Stark Carpet)

Boserie, Butterfly Roman shades,and  a period, signed, Louis XVI writing desk go a long way in making the room, a 30 year dream, come to life.
A signed Roybet, graces the Louis XV Rococo marble mantle. Louis XV gilt chenets have watched guard over the many holiday season fires shared with friends. (Balmer Architectural Plaster mouldings were used on ceiling and wall ornamentation.)

A signed painting by Jaquin with pastoral sheep adds quiet to the voluptuous Louis XV gilt ormolu mounted commode circa 1870's, in the manner of Charles Cressant.  The original resides in the Wallace Collection, London, England. 

Dean, after playing the piano for some 30 years, purchased his dream piano, a concert grand Steinway C. The gilt and porcelain lamp came from the estate of the founders of General Motors Corporation in Detroit Michigan, Dean's home state. The Louis XV "x" bench was a gift from Jonathan's family estate and was reupholstered in Scalamandre fabric as a birthday present to Jonathan.

Dean and Jonathan's Gardens (part 2)

These are the new gardens that are about two and a half years old, which makes it a very young garden. Red Darwin Tulips greet spring visitors. The red was selected to complement the roof of the Gold Coast home Dean and Jonathan are creating together.

Dean Yoder is out in the garden before church services taking in the Red Darwin tulip display he planted the previous fall.

 After the tulips have receded, Iris and Sweet William start to give their annual show.

Gardens can be complete in a single pot, Sedum Glaucophylum and Irish Moss create interest and beauty on the patio.

The mixed perennial border gives the green Kentucky Blue Grass lawn ornamentation like good jewelry with a beautiful dress. Japanese Poppies, Creeping Jenny, German Iris and Knock Out Roses create a riot of color.

The great lawn is a favorite place for friend to collect to sip cold drinks and take naps in the vintage Salterini chaise lounges which date from the 1930s.

The Asian garden is entered by crossing a Chinese bridge illuminated by a candle lite pagoda.  Crushed Bluestone,  with the help of metal landscape edging, create the wandering path to the Chicken-coop Pagoda House.

The Chinese Pagoda was built by both Dean Yoder and Jonathan Grimm and  is the home to their five laying hens. "Chicken coops should all be of Chinese influence," says Dean. "Chicken are originally of Chinese linage and were introduced to the rest of the world hundred if not thousands of years ago." The moon gate door splits in two and becomes a dutch door allowing visitors to observe the "ladies" while keeping them safely penned.

Dean and Jonathan's Gardens (Part 1)

 The proud owners Dean (left) and Jonathan (right) in front of their 1941 Cape Cod revival in Long Island, New York.  Selecting Columbine with red petals and pink throats was taken into account to accentuate the burgundy trim on shutters and doors.

To lead the eye to the point of entry, the lawn and beds are strategically placed.  A combination of Pacific Blue Hostas and red Columbine make a beautiful combination.

 Verigated Hosta and tropical plants such as the Sabre Ficus are moved from the greenhouse in early Summer to add interest amongst the perennial plantings.  A Colonial lantern and fishermans' bait basket used as a mailbox are whimsical notes that add interest to the Colonial architecture.

 A Porte Cachere was added to the side of the house to add balance and connect the gardens and architecture.  New Dawn Roses were planted to soften the trellis and a terra-cotta sculpture was placed in the perennial border as a focal point from the side of the house.

Old-fashioned Purple-Bearded Iris are dug up and replanted each Fall with the anticipation of their beautiful blooms in Spring.  A purple ornamental Plum was planted at the far end of this garden to give interest amongst all the green foliage.
Roseum Elegans Rhododendron is the star in this quiet corner of the garden, punctuated with Japanese Painted Fern and Jack-In-The-Pulpit.

Classical Orangerie Boxes were built in our workshop and placed in the borders to accomodate climbing plantings.  Sterile Purple Loosestrife (Robert) crowds the back corner as Arborvites tower overhead.

 A pair of early-19th Century French ornamental gates frame the entry to the back lawn while Arborvite act as structural columns in the distant background.

A large terracotta Fu Dog stands under Golden Shower Hybrid Tea Roses and the combination of giant purple Allium are pleasing to the eye.

Pets are always welcome in the garden.  Max takes a nap.

Gert turned out to be a male Silver Spangled Hamburg Rooster after all.
Nestled in to the perennial border is where our chicken coop was sited.  It's a magnet for interest of all kinds.  Children and adults both love chickens.

A mature specimen of Roseum Elegans Rhododendron in the foreground frames the combination garage and greenhouse located at the back of the property.
The greenhouse utilizes the garage and a back wall as a heat sink to maintain temperature in the cold winter months.

Phalaenopsis, Burro's Tail and Kangaroo Paw Fern bring Summer into the garden during the cold Winter months inside the greenhouse.  Songbirds also bring Spring into the bleak cold season.

Early June



Potted fibrous Begonia accentuate the burgundy trim of the house.

A Victorian urn fountain creates another focal point from the house.

Dean's old Jag.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dinner is served- furnishing made to dine by

This table setting is called "Tea for two." The background paneling, painting, and scalloped table were made from scratch from my drawings and in our own workshop.

Biscuits and tea with honey and lemon. How civilized and British!!

Simon Boulivar was the theme of this setting. President of Colombia and founder of the country, the table is set with pre-Colombian gold ware. The floor was made from cork in three different grains and colors. It took over 6000 cuts  and 400 hours to fabricate. All was made in our own workshop and is of my original design.

A meal at the bedside in this small room with oak paneling with a 17th century four poster bed is the setting in this renaissance vignette.

A Cape Cod gets some "Je ne sais quois"

This is the home I lived in before moving to the north shore. We still use it today as a rental, but it was quite the showplace a few years ago.

The front columns were modeled after an 18th century house in Historic Roslyn New York. They were added after being milled in our workshop out of Northern Cedar.

The porch posts were adapted to create a small deck. Oval windows were fabricated from scratch to match the diminutive scale of the house. Jonathan Grimm built them in our work shop as well.

A greenhouse and copula were added to the existing cinder block garage to give it balance and character.  The green house is a place to enjoy tropical planting like banana and orchids in the dead of Winter.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chelsea Manor - Dean Yoder Makes Over a Forgotten Icon

Chelsea Manor located in Muttontown, New York, is one of many Gold Coast mansions still standing today. I have designed three interiors for the residence once owned by Mr. Benjamin Moore who was later Mayor of Muttontown.

From the back of the estate, a snow covered monumental yew hedge wraps the grounds like a winter scarf. Beyond the hedge one crosses the ornamental moat to glimpse espaliered pear trees climbing the courtyard wall. Chelsea is once again alive with an enchanting graceful beauty. 

Chelsea is one of  the few American homes with  moated entrances, at least along the back and side of the home. No armies ever anticipated crossing the narrow waterways, however, the fantasy of a fortified edifice hearkens back to the French Castles that evoke security and sanctity.
I decorated the interior of the Music Salon utilizing a masterwork painted By Jose Marie Sert. His magnum opus stands in the grand lobby of Rockefeller Center where his painting covers what was once thought to be an offensive work by Diego Rivera. The Steinway D crowns the setting that is both sumptuous and comfortable with Italian Grotto furniture from the 18th century a long with an eclectic mix of French 18th an 19th century, Art Deco and Neo Classic designs. I wanted the room to have the wow factor and measure up to the work of Sert. It is and was my hope to achieve a  room that feels stimulating during the daytime as well as provocative and moody by night.
 This allegorical painting by Sert is painted over white gold in brilliant sepia tone strokes. The story tells of the struggles of the journey from the Old Country to the New in America. Placed on fan folded panels on three walls, it warms and illuminates the music gallery with an unearthly shimmer.

 I installed soft and comfortable upholstered furnishings to invite guests to linger and lose track of time.  
An Italian fantasy figural carved ostrich chair with a limed finish is a rarity from the early 19th century that perches for a listener near the bell of the Steinway D Piano. All fabrics in this frame are from Lee Jofa.

The Art Deco shell chair is covered in Rose Cummings Silk with a Venetian blackamoor that looks as if  it just stepped out of the Sert painting to punctuate the scene.

(Above) A Roman marble bust stands century over guests.  Views from the sixty foot long room beacon to visitors to enjoy a romantic evening's entertainment. (Below) The master bath has become a sophisticated retreat where I created a custom sink and placed cork on the floor to warm the space both visually and temperature wise. Walls are prepared with a carved wood boiserie and Venetian plaster.

The Master bath was fitted with a built in tub and Venetian plastered to go with the walls.The fresh water and salt water faucets were installed for a spa like application

The paneling on the walls was applied with carved wood ornament from our own workshop. The filigree was modeled from ormolu mounts from an eighteenth century commode in the room.