Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Inspiring: Syon House and Owens-Thomas House

We've started off the New Year with a burst of  more parties, and more design work- what a great day today was, private jets buzzed overhead, Ferraris tooled by, and boats of all sizes and kinds set out for the high seas- even some kayakers!  It was one of those awesome, sunny, breezy, slightly cool, but mostly warm days we get down here in the Winter.  I knew it was a great day when, I looked out from my pool, and saw a boat go by, with the name of LUCKY on the stern!  And, we had some black eyed peas today... the kind you EAT, not listen to!

The Great Hall at Syon House

In designing a new ceiling for our South Carolina residential project, which now comprises over 13,000 square feet, we found a great source of inspiration in this ceiling, above, from Syon House...the late decorator John Fowler chose the paint work here.  We are adapting and implementing this ceiling design for over seventy feet of hall ways in the east wing of the house.

The house above, in Atlanta, we've studied for the way the architrave-frieze-crown was handled on the columned porch.  Compare this one to the Owens-Thomas house, in Savannah, considered one of the finest examples extant of the English Regency style, by the then young English architect, William Jay, one of the first architects to work in the states.  (below)

I've always loved these important old houses, and use them frequently as a source of design inspiration for my projects, both here and out of town.  Still soaking up the visual extravaganza of the new book Santa brought me, "Ann Getty Interior Style" by the super talented and beautiful Diane Dorrans Saeks...

From Ann Getty Interior Style, Rizzoli
The chair, above, is from the Claus von Bulow collection, and the mantel and overmantel were designed and commissioned by Mrs. Getty. Stunning!

The Getty dining room, above, has a secret panel, behind the commode and mirror, which opens at the push of a button, to reveal the Music Room... sublime!  Enjoy the first week of the new year, wherever you may be.  DF ***** 


  1. Stay tuned for more on the fabulous Ann Getty!

  2. The current paint scheme at Syon House as shown in your first image was not the work
    of John Fowler, but is in fact a recent palette. Fowler's brilliant scheme of 8 different pale neutrals
    was sadly obliterated, for reasons impossible to fathom.

  3. Toby dear, I must be doing a good job, to have you commenting! We all respect your knowledge and scholarship. Like Suzanne Tucker, (Michael Taylors' protege') I too have known Mr. Peter Hood, of Bath, Avon, who was Mr. Fowlers' last assistant...while Suzanne actually worked for Peter, my relationship was more social, as I was introduced to him by Lord Fry, who roomed with Lord Snowdon at Eton...should I change my name to Hyacinth Bouquet? LOL BTW, do you know if Mr. Peter is still living? Lord Fry had moved to India the last I heard...and many years have passed since I was entertained by the Hoods, and we went touring the countryside, while I interned at the American Museum in Britain, at Claverton Manor, under Sir Ian MacCallum. DF*****


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