The beautiful project by Thomas Pheasant on the cover of the May/June Veranda, hitting stands later this week, sums up much of what I have been seeing and writing about lately. Having just returned from High Point, I can affirm that the theme of this issue is especially appropriate. Glamour is definitely making a comeback. But it is indeed of a new relaxed sort, infused with a sense of freedom and variety, individualized and eclectic. I also featured last week the trend and appeal of indoor/outdoor living and after a weekend of spectacular spring weather, this issue hits the spot.
Thomas Pheasant is a proponent of modern classicism, of fusing past and present in fresh and elegant ways. When his client purchased the handsome turn of the century shingled cottage in Southampton, below, she was nervous that the inside wouldn’t live up to the classic charm of the exterior and gardens. With a legacy of former owners including Consuelo Vanderbilt, the house had become a pastiche of pieces that Pheasant sought to unify into a cohesive whole, creating neutral rooms with a gracious sense of calm and cultivation.
Pheasant believes “Good design does not begin with decorating. Defining the architectural vocabulary of a space is the first step in building a beautiful interior.” Taking his cues from the quintessential classic elements of the property, he crafted serene interior and transitional spaces. The terrace on the cover, overlooking the all white rose garden, melds indoors and out with with my favorite McKinnon & Harris table and chairs covered in a tonal DeLany & Long fabric.
And Pheasant continued the theme into the central dining room, installing lattice-work for the walls (which I’m sure inspired the choice of the McKinnon & Harris duVal dining chairs on the terrace) and a sculptural plaster bas-relief pattern of blossoming dogwood for the ceiling. Even the backs of the Kerry Joyce chairs feature a custom embroidered floral pattern. While a formal room, these elements imbue the space with a sense of relaxed refinement, linking it to the lush luxury of the outdoors beyond.
Upstairs, the master bedroom, wrapped in Donghia silk, is an oasis of tranquility. Pheasant’s philosophy that “neutral rooms reveal the sculptural qualities of furniture and objects” is seen here where the sinuous lines of the sofa contrast with the elegant fretwork and hint of gold on his own coffee table for Baker. The subtle detail of the floral embroidery on the bed skirt and curtains continues the garden theme that is carried throughout the house.
In fact, Thomas Pheasant is on a roll. Tapped to redesign Blair House, with a book coming out in the fall, as well as china, crystal and silver collections, he has projects in the works around the globe. His elegant, sophisticated pieces for Baker are always among my favorites. With streamlined shapes and and an updated classicism, they have a versatile timeless appeal. Last fall I featured several new introductions, including his Stack cocktail table, below, an instant modern classic.
And for this market, his new Bricks coffee table made my High Point style spotter list. With a textural finish achieved through lost-wax casting, it celebrates form with a sculptural essence.
I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of what bodes to be a fabulous issue celebrating the new relaxed glamour and every-increasing allure of indoor/outdoor living.