My visit to the showhouse included the evening of the opening night party. And thanks to the beautiful weather, everyone congregated in the back on the terrace, lawn and by the pool.
The pool area was enhanced by designer Tara Seawright, who created a casually chic space with several sitting and lounging areas. In considering her project, Seawright knew she wanted to create an environment that a family could enjoy together, hence the giant blow up swans which were a major hit. Tara’s stylish orange Lela Rose coat, a favorite of mine from the spring collection, was actually part of the inspiration for her design.
The creative process of a showhouse is much more condensed, so before knowing what materials would ultimately be available to her, Seawright picked neutral Sunbrella fabrics for the streamlined Barlow Tyrie furniture, based on the stone and pebbles surrounding the pool. Once Schumacher was on board, Seawright incorporated their colorful Trina Turk outdoor fabrics, the Arches print in bamboo below, for pillows. She cites the bright neons from the spring fashion season as inspiration and tied it together with tailored orange piping. Using the more affordable Sunbrella fabric for the upholstery is a logical move, explained Seawright, considering that cushions are frequently left outside all summer. Better to apportion the more costly fabrics she says to the accessories that add the design punch and can be brought inside more easily.
Turk’s prints are perfectly suited to add visual interest to the elegant simplicity of the chaises’ upholstery. Here you can see how the Tangier Frame Print in ocean and Zebra in java below are unified by adding the same orange piping to all the pillows as on the seat cushions, a subtle but effective touch. And since the focus is on family, the bar is stocked with healthy choices from Organic Avenue, whose graphic orange logo fits the theme!
At the other end of the pool, Seawright had a pergola built for a cozy seating and entertaining area. The outdoor curtains really transform the area into a luxurious space that encourages relaxation. Seawright explained that sometimes it’s difficult to convince clients to go the extra mile, to include these types of supplementary items, but stressed that it’s these special touches that really elevate a space from everyday to exceptional.
The Laura Kirar woven collection for Barlow Tyrie gives this area a more proper patio feel.
I loved the vaguely 70’s vibe with the zebra and bright pops of mod color and pattern. The ceramic garden stools are from the local Mecox Gardens outpost.
Seawright had wanted to include this noteworthy wow moment that unfortunately didn’t make it into her vignette until later in the week. Happily, she kindly sent me a shot to include. The artwork, by her husband, painter Sam Seawright, adds a layered sense of place with its colorful organic movement. It’s an almost surrealistic vision, seeing the painting hanging suspended over the sofa in front of the actual landscape.
photo by Eric Striffler
It was a wonderful evening and I couldn’t help but end with this fun shot of publicist Elizabeth Blitzer, Traditional Home editor Tori Mellott and designer Alexa Hampton (who looked great wearing color!) – a trio of chic summer style!