There are some people who live in neutral, some who live in drive and some who live in overdrive. The same can be applied to living with color. Last week I was lucky enough to visit an amazing home belonging to people who definitely live in color overdrive. The owners of this beautiful house purchased it as construction was already underway by a local high end custom home builder. With substantial shingle style architectural and millwork details already in place they were able to customize and change some elements including all the hardware to bring the house up to their level of sophistication.
But the magic really began when they initiated the decorating phase. The wife, a lover of color and pattern and long time collector of everything from majolica and Meissen to country antiques, knew she had found kindred spirits when she discovered the work of William Diamond and Anthony Baratta through a friend. Although originally hired for an Adirondack vacation home she was planning, the team was ultimately assigned to this house.
Whether or not you share their all-American technicolor vision of the world, there is no denying the talent behind the design duo’s dazzling creations. Their mind boggling attention to detail and dedicated arsenal of skilled craftsmen who execute their version of traditional crafts are impressive. The front entry includes a collection of antique weather vanes and a custom needlepoint rug based on the wife’s love of Currier and Ives prints.
The designers and owners found the antique lantern in London on a buying trip and had an exact copy made for the adjoining entry hall. It is a testament to the designers’ stable of artisans that it is virtually impossible to tell the difference.
The living room includes another Currier and Ives inspired needlepoint as well as a mix of antiques and collectibles from the owners’ collection and items bought together with the designers.
Thoughtful vignettes in opposite corners include similar but not matching antiques. One of Diamond Baratta’s signature touches is lamps made from unexpected sources.
It leads to one of my favorite rooms in the house – the front powder room. Oozing with charm, the matching arched openings of the entry and barreled ceiling alcove with pattern covered surfaces fully envelop you in an appealing melange of provencal pattern and American accoutrements. These types of nook and cranny spaces are what so many builder’s boxes are missing.
We ate lunch in the pretty dining room and all agreed that this space, with its many windows, is equally lovely during the day as it would be at night,
with its sparkling collection of cranberry glass and custom mural by Andrew Tedesco, depicting the local train station (on left below) and the red barn from the owners’ previous house (below right). Within the painting are hidden the names of the family – parents and all five children. The wife admitted they still haven’t discovered them all!
The kitchen is classic Diamond Baratta. This all American version of red, white and blue is a tour de force of masterful coordination. The stenciled floor, red lava stone counters, checked ceiling and delft tiled backsplash are a perfect panoply of pattern!
The room is chock full of design details – high shelves around the room house collections of majolica, rabbit ware and vintage signs, alongside custom stained glass cabinet doors and tole lamp.
The wife’s antique copper collection is proudly displayed on an unusually long antique drop leaf table.
The kitchen opens to the family room, a rustic homage to the Adirondack house they never built.
Tartan and brights happily co-mingle as in this personalized wing chair. Each initial represents the first name of one of the five children.
Our next installment will take a look at the other floors in this amazing country retreat.