We continue with our look at the lovely Garden Rooms by Design showhouse at the Bartlett Arboretum, where the botanical theme of the event reminded visitors how connected we are to nature and the outdoor world. Merging exterior and interior spaces is an important direction in design these days with many companies producing beautiful fabrics and furniture that can be used in either venue.
In the small original foyer of the house, Liza Cousins created a lovely subtle decorative striae on the walls and pale lavender on the ceiling that segued perfectly from the grand foyer to other surrounding rooms.
Her Matisse-esque art added a fresh garden themed graphic appeal to the space.
Off this foyer was the main floor powder room. Encompassing two small spaces, designer Debbie Christman (below right) literally brought the outdoors in by incorporating her own teak garden bench. She then enlisted local artist Eileen Grace (below left), whose original painting hangs above, to paint the slats in a bright palette to compliment the colors in the Cowtan and Tout patterns on the pillows.
“Bringing the outdoors in, for the Bartlett Arboretum show house was such a fun and creative project. We decorated the powder room and bathroom to have a colorful and inviting warm atmosphere with soft yellows, bright pinks and greens, and antique picket fencing.” Flowers from Nielsens’, my local florist, and the beautiful new Manuel Canovas pattern on the sink skirt offered fresh natural inspiration.
The Formal Parlor was the largest and most stately room of the showhouse. Designer Steve Watson “imagined that the lady of the house often used the space to entertain friends while sharing the fabulous view of her gardens through the majestic picture window. SWID is proud to contribute to the beautiful restoration of this space through the use of period colors, wallpaper and furnishings that help transport visitors to a cherished, more simple time of the home’s heyday.”
Watson, below, explained “The theme of ‘Bringing the Outside In’ was left to each designer’s own interpretation. I wanted the living room to express the theme through the use of motifs, colors, textures and patterns that harken to the out-of-doors that are available in elements of design like toile, trellis and floral patterns, and Asian, floral and leaf motifs.”
“I wanted to show the flexibility of transitional design style in the space. I wanted to show how you can comfortably mix sentimental pieces and found objects with fabrics, colors and materials of today for a truly eclectic yet unified and homey look.” I think Watson accomplished this admirably. Even his floral vignettes, with plants from Gary Z, express the successful intermingling of styles and periods.
Agnes and Arek Chrzanoqska of Village Tiles generously donated a complete renovation of the kitchen. Agnes, below, shared, “The designer showcase at the Bartlett Homestead was a wonderful opportunity for my husband Arek and I to showcase the natural beauty of the arboretum’s surroundings – the gorgeous gardens, the tranquil woodlands, and the beautiful, majestic trees. Helping to return this beautiful home to its original glory has been a genuine pleasure and is our gift to the Bartlett, its wonderful staff and to the city of Stamford.”
From the rustic chic slate floor to the garden related accessories, the kitchen expresses the theme of “Country Charm,” with enough upscale appeal to “harmonize with the more formal entertainments spaces on the first floor.”
Off-white glazed cabinetry echoes the architectural details of the house and offers abundant storage, wonderful for functions and hopefully allowing the arboretum to increase its room rentals.
Do stop back on Friday as we move upstairs to finish our look at the arboretum’s lovely show house.