Molding and Trim

Looking for kitchen design inspiration today, I came across a photo of a glorious kitchen – my guess is Paris or similar environ. While not right for what I am currently working on, it was instant kitchen love. I normally don’t like Ghost Chairs. But here, my first thought was Perfect!!! Cabinets become modern sculpture in the space, acting as a foil for the exuberance of the crown molding. Most of the time blue walls leave me cold. If this room gets evening light, I’ll bet the paint absolutely glows and changes color, mimicking the changing evening/night sky. Spot on!!!

Beautiful European Kitchen, Source Unknown

 My regret is I was moving so fast I failed to note the image source or if there was a designer credit.

So if you see this and can help me credit the designer, let me know who it is.

Cheers,

John

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I periodically post design sketches of the projects we’re working on on our WKD Facebook page. I thought I’d consolidate a series of sketches and mockups we have done on the interior renovation of the living room in an Antique Colonial/Federal Period Reproduction home to show the progression we go thru with a client when we’re working thru the design of the interior architecture of a room with them.

First it’s the ideas and inspiration.

Sometimes it comes from our own work, as in the paneling and mantel surround we designed for a home in Lincoln, MA several years ago.

Colonial paneling and mantel surround designed by Wilson Kelsey Design

Or it can come from from the traveling Sally and I do, as we continue to educate ourselves, learning about our profession and architectural heritage. These are pictures I took in the basement of the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia last spring. They are of the paneling that was in Philip Trammel Schutze’s apartment, the architect of the Swan House.

Philip Trammel Schutze apartment, Swan House; Wilson Kelsey Design

Philip Trammel Schutze apartment, Swan House; Wilson Kelsey Design

We often turn to our library as a resource. For this project, I pulled Brent Hull’s, Traditional American Rooms off the shelf. It is a fabulous documentary of many of the Federal Period Rooms at Winterthur. I referred to this book recently as I worked on the mantel and cabinetry design for a project we are doing in Wellesley and Charlestown.

The Marlboro Room

Marlboro Room Winterthur

The Hampton Room

Winterthur, The Hampton Room

I reviewed these and other images with our client, went thru their own extensive library with them and began sketching, quickly coming up with 4 ideas.

I call these little sketches/doodles “cartoons”. They don’t communicate much detail, rather they express Gestalt – feel, emotion, a sense of place.

first Federal Period paneling/mantel sketches; Wilson Kelsey Design

Our client pounced on the bottom left because of the mantel. They asked that we keep the door frame assembly simple, as shown on the right of the sketch.

We then moved into more detail and larger scale, reconfirming the selected mantel design in the process.

Yes, the walls will be green – not this intense…

living room mantel elevation, WIlson Kelsey Design

Too leggy…

Federal style paneling and mantel; Wilson Kelsey Design

Next we drilled down to the panel trim.

This shows the panel trim within the confines of the stiles and rails of the paneling. Note how the door trim/assembly has been pulled forward, proud of the paneling, emphasizing it’s verticality, giving the room “lift”. (Lesson learned when visiting Paris last January.)

Federal Period Style Panel; Wilson Kelsey Design

Here the trim sits proud of the stile/rail assembly by about 1/8″. We liked the shadow line created by the difference in height.

Federal Style Paneling Study; Wilson Kelsey Design

We moved on to mock ups and what I call the “eyeball design” phase, confident of the outcome…

Six different mockups were done. I”ll keep it simple.

Here are the two finalists.

Trim proud of stile/rail; Wilson  Kelsey Design

Trim within the stile/rail; Wilson Kelsey Design

We got fooled. What we thought would be best was not. The trim that sat proud of the stile rail called too much attention to itself. You saw a series of picture frames as opposed to an integrated whole, which is what we saw with the trim that sat fully within the stile/rail assembly. it was softer, more delicate – in balance with the room.

Repeat after me.

Pencils are cheap. 2×4’s are expensive.

Mock ups, mock ups, mock ups!!!

Fractions of an inch actually matter – tremendously!!!

And so, the unfinished room awaits it’s final assembly.

federal style paneling and mantel in construction; Wilson Kelsey Design

Take a close look at the flu assembly – how it corbels to the right to pass steel beam supporting the second floor.

I wonder what happens on the second floor…

Cheers,

john

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Sally and I have been so busy this summer that we really haven’t taken/had time to appreciate the pleasures and opportunities that only summer can offer. Several weeks ago, we agreed we needed to make time to smell the roses. So… last Sunday we  went on a garden tour, visited the Sergeant House Museum in Gloucester and concluded the evening at the Rudder in Rocky Neck.

The tour offered access the several private homes’s gardens that one would normally never see. We chose the tour in Beverly because it was on the way to Gloucester and it touted 7 acres, much of which was restored to New England meadow. You arrived and parked in front of the main house, recently renovated/restored by the North Shore architectural firm, Carpenter & MacNeille, whose work we hold in high regard. Somewhat formal, but casual enough to not be intimidating. We immediately spotted several species plants we would love to have in our yard. (Uh-Oh…)

garden tour, Wilson Kelsey Design

The tall columnar Arborvitae in particular caught our eye.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Idealic walkway…

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

As you turned the corner of the house you came upon a lovely informal patio overlooking a casual rambling shade garden.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

LOVED the boat shape picnic table!!!

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Found several partial sun/shade loving plants to dream about.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

I think this is a variety of Milkweed.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

As you walked past the informal flower garden they landscape transitioned to a classic New England meadow. Tucked in it’s midst was a vegetable garden.

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

And as we completed the tour we came across this tub. We both found ourselves thinking, Montana ski lodge…

Garden Landscape, Wilson Kelsey Design

By then it was 3 PM and we hurried to Gloucester to pay a visit to the Sargent House/Museum, “built in 1782 for Judith Sargent Stevens Murray (1751-1820), a philosopher, writer and an early advocate of women’s equality”.

the home’s exterior is classic Georgian/Federal Period Architecture.

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

For such a diminutive structure, it is a powerhouse of classical details. The foyer stair, with its complicated turnings reminds me of the stair found in the now restored Shirley Eustis House in Roxbury, MA.

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

tour 17Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

Fabulous how the window lite brings daylight into the interior.

Sargent House, Wilson Kelsey Design

High Federal Style was carried through the front bedrooms.

Sargent house, Gloucester, Ma; Wilson Kelsey Design

Sargent house, Gloucester, Ma; Wilson Kelsey Design

Then it was on to dinner on Rocky Neck, home of one of America’s oldest art colonies.

Rocky Neck, Gloucester, MA; Wilson Kelsey Design

You can not go to Rocky Neck without stopping at The Rudder for dinner…

The Rudder, Gloucester, MA; Wilson Kelsey Design

And finally, sunset on Niles Beach overlooking Gloucester Harbor.

Niles Beach, Gloucester, MA; Wilson Kelsey Design

I wonder where we will go next Sunday?

Cheers,

John

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