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.