Out and About in Florida and Around the World

This past week I was happily out and about in Florida, visiting family and escaping the unseasonable weather. It was refreshing to see green and color in both nature

Florida palm trees and bougainvillea

and the tropical exteriors.

tropical Florida arched entry with bougainvillea

blue shutters against gray Florida exterior

And while I was away, there was also an abundance of inspiration online from some favorite publications, reinforcing an oft-favored theme in these parts of looking back to move forward. As Hanya Yanagihara espoused in her editor letter for this week’s inspiring T Magazine Design Issue, “None of us can resist announcing our presence, no matter how temporal or humble our dwelling might be; we write ourselves into walls as a way of protesting the relentlessness, the uncaringness, of time.” Tom Delvan’s wonderful piece on Schloss Hollenegg is a particularly striking example.

historic Schloss Hollenegg in Austria photo Simon Watson for T MagazineDating to the 12th century, the Austrian castle, as Tom so insightfully describes it, is “a palimpsest of a near-millennium of architectural trends.”

frescoed walls in Schloss Hollenegg ballroom photo Simon Watson for T MagazineNow occupied by Alfred Liechtenstein (whose family has lived there since the 19th century) and his Italian curator wife, Alice, Schloss Hollenegg has been updated by the couple who have restored their residence with historically appropriate materials, such as the plaster walls below, painted to resemble stone bricks.

Schloss Hollenegg in Austria with 17th c. door and faux stone plaster, photo Simon Watson for T magazineBut any additions have been decidedly modern, such as the Achille Castiglioni Arco lamp, below, with a chair from Alfred’s grandmother sitting in front of recently restored 18th c. Chinese wallpapering in the living room.

18th c. wallpaper and Achille Castiglioni Arco lamp at Schloss Hollenegg, photo by Simon Watson for T Magazine

Most recently, Alice, below, has partnered with modern artists, who each stay in the castle for several weeks collaborating with her to create site-specific art that “would remain in Hollenegg’s permanent collection,” such as silver objects by Stephanie Hornig. It’s the ultimate melding of old and new.

Alice Liechtenstein at Schloss Hollenegg, a historic castle in Austria, photo Simon Watson for T Magazinefive photos above by Simon Watson for T Magazine

More inspiration was found in the latest Architectural Digest, with Veere Greeney’s charming villa in Tangier, where he has effortlessly combined classic British style with Moroccan craftsmanship and Mongiardino-esque trompe l’oeil, as seen on the library walls below.

Veere Grenney Tangier library, photo by Simon Upton for ADIn the dining room, below, 19th century Royal Worcester dishes on the wall are flanked by Syrie Maugham inspired plaster palms, executed by local artisans

Veere Grenney Tangier dining room, photo by Simon Upton for ADand in the guest bedroom, antique English antiques, French fabric (Le Manach) and locally embroidered curtains make for a relaxed global chic.

Veere Grenney Tangier guest bedroom, photo by Simon Upton for AD

The temperate climate lends itself to indoor/outdoor living where gardens are as important as the house. Below, Veere’s enviable courtyard loggia includes overflowing flowering plants with antique Moroccan lanterns, rugs and wicker chairs.

Veere Grenney Tangier loggia, photo by Simon Upton for AD

And in the same issue, old and new is celebrated in designer Francis Sultana’s palace in Malta.

Francis Sultana Malta Palace, photo by Simon Upton for AD

Classic and contemporary live happily in tandem in the house, which hadn’t been inhabited since WWII. The courtyard entry sets the tone with a new marble floor, palm tree and original well with the Francesco de Torres’ coat of arms, the knight who built the palace.

Francis Sultana Malta Palace entry, photo by Simon Upton for AD

The stunning blue breakfast room brilliantly accomplishes Sultana’s goal of balancing “antique, contemporary, new and commissioned.” Here 19th c. Venetian chairs updated by Mattia Bonetti, Sultana designed consoles  and a Garouste and Bonetti table sit in front of a vibrant blue wall hung with Maltese crosses and towers.

Francis Sultana Malta Palace breakfast room, photo by Simon Upton for ADSeven photos above by Simon Upton for AD

All these project’s illustrate with beauty and distinction, not only, as Yanagihara says, our “instinct to mark the place one has occupied in the world,” but to do so with a respect for the past and an eye to the future.







6 thoughts on “Out and About in Florida and Around the World

  1. Overall, all these enchanting insights which You unselfishly tell us are nourishing the aesthetic soul. It is a precious thing in modern century to save the treasure of past times. I feel like Alice who drop through the hole into a wonderful world of visual&narrative plenty joy.

  2. Always on target and delightful!

    I’m Bostwick House & Garden on Instagram. After my husband had a stroke I closed down our bed and breakfast and started design projects and painting abstract landscapes!

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