Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Home Office Tour 

Mr. GDC, like many, works from home.  His commute is simple, a few steps through the cottage to his office, where he sits atop  a tall stool, at a vintage drafting table. The small room features 12' ceilings, 9' tall windows, a gas fireplace most likely added in the 1930's, along with the only original closet in the cottage, finally original 10' tall working pocket doors adorned with porcelain knobs create the entry.  Because he spends so much time in the space, I wanted his office to reflect his personality, to be as comfortable also functional as possible, while working well with the other rooms in the cottage. 

Original pocket doors
Original porcelain knobs feature carved brass back plates and skeleton key plate

Original closet door intricately carved hinge

We chose a vintage drafting table to be used as his desk.  Found upon Craig's List, it was in poor condition.  Originally owned by an architect who passed, the last few years it was cast aside into a garage.  Here humidity is high, being stored in a garage it suffered quite a bit of moisture damage. It needed refurbishing. 

You may read about it's restoration by going here.

The height of the desk was a huge appeal, being able to sit atop a stool, or stand without leaning over a desk was ideal.  Previously a French farm table had been Mr. GDC's desk, he was accustom to space. The drafting table is a large; 6' by just over 3'.  Years before, I sat hours at the same model drafting table, as I made my way through design and architecture school. I knew, from experience, the table would be the right fit.

The room sits upon the corner of the cottage, small in footprint, fitting everything Mr. GDC needed into the office was a bit of a challenge. The windows posed a struggle with glare. He wanted to be able to enjoy his view, yet control the light, or glare upon multiple computer screens. 

We chose a combination of drapes, along with a pull shade that measures 12' in length.   The drapes are easily pulled closed, the pull shade being behind his desk allows height adjustments throughout the day without blocking the view.

A vintage jewelry cabinet holds office supplies; paperclips, staples, pens, etc...  It's small stature paired with height works well nestled into the corner.  Various small drawers work great for office supply organization. Atop the jewelry cabinet are a collection of blue and white porcelain jars used to organize receipts, etc...  A blue and white porcelain umbrella stand store blue prints.

A two drawer filing cabinet, holds files, also the printer, while balancing the opposite corner from the jewelry chest. An oval blue and white porcelain container holds mail.  I used blue and white porcelain throughout the space to give a little color.  Mr. GDC wanted a masculine, quiet space, the porcelain adds a little shine, color, pattern and interest to an otherwise boring neutral room.

A vintage French Provincial dresser dressed in an espresso finish provides additional storage.  A large TV screen for watching old movies when working late, does double duty as a computer screen.

Above the fireplace is a large metal framed starburst mirror, made in Portugal. The mirror has a rustic feel.  The small leaves surrounding the circular center mirror are a lovely detail. Mirror panels are etched for an aged patina. I adore mercury glass.  Layered atop the mirror a small portrait of a cow in a wide, carved frame suspended from satin ribbons, affixed to long horns.  Yes, Texas longhorns.

Upon the mantle is my grandmother's silver chest, used for holding a collection of business cards picked up at conventions, trade shows etc...  An inherited blue and white porcelain compote featuring a foo dog provides a dash of color, as well as pattern upon the mantel.  Clear glass cylinders hold King Palm seed fronds brought inside from the yard.  

About those horns, gifted to Mr. GDC from a dear friend of mine.  He treasures these horns, at over 6' in length, they are pretty.  However, first gifted they wore UT burnt orange leather. Shiver. I recovered the leather with a bit of grey velvet,  also grey paisley printed chenille, paired with extra wide flat gimp trim - to make them "pretty".  It's amazing what a little fabric will do. I know, bless his heart, he puts up with a lot from me.

With storage at a minimum, files rarely accessed are stored in basket trunks.  These trunks add texture to the room, as well as anchoring the desk. 

Our cottage is small, many of the rooms open from one to another.  The home office, is directly off the dining room.  From the foyer it is in direct view.  It was important to me for it to not only be functional, but pretty.  Using vintage pieces paired with modern provides a layered feel to the space, as though it's been collected over time, rather than a project completed in a few months. Living in a small Victorian cottage, with little storage creates it's own challenges.  Utilizing a vintage dresser, a jewelry cabinet, along with basket trunks, finally porcelain containers, creates interesting storage.  Sometimes using pieces in a new way can add a great deal of interest to a space.  I hope you enjoyed the Mr. GDC's home office tour. 

Until next time, wishing you all the best -

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Galveston Historic Homes Tour

This weekend the Galveston Historic Foundation, GHF begins hosting the annual Historic Homes Tour.  The tour begins Saturday May 6th, and 7th,  then continues the following weekend May 13th, and 14th.  This year's tour will feature eight homes, spotlight a preservation project, along with the National Bank Building.

Photo Credit, Galveston Historic Foundation

1868 Charles and Susan Hurly home at 1328 Ball Street
(corner of Ball at 14th)

Charles Hurly was a merchant,  who built and owned the home until 1880.  Unfortunately the original home was severely damaged during "The Storm" of 1900; the major hurricane that struck Galveston Island on September 8th of that year.  The home was rebuilt in 1910, including an addition.  The Hurly home is Greek Revival style; characteristics include a fluted Doric colonnade supporting the two level porch,  low pitch roof accented with large cornice, simple trimmed windows, also the fa├žade punctuated with an arch front doorway hilighted by carved moldings, and decorative sidelights. Greek Revival style became popular in the early 1800's largely due to Thomas Jefferson's interest in the style.  Many of our US Government buildings are built in the Greek Revival style.  

Patty Cakes
704 14th Street

A side note; one of my favorite bakeries on the island is located just behind the Hurly home, Patty Cakes.  After touring be sure and stop in for a delicious treat!  My personal favorite is their Almond Petit Four cakes; three layers of almond cake, drenched in confectionary sugar icing, topped with a rosette. Sigh.  Mr. GDC adores the Red Velvet Cake Bombs, while Jr. favors the sugar cookies.  Regardless of what you choose, truly a few bites of sweet heaven - 

Photo Credit, The Galveston Historic Foundation

  1916 Hans and Margaret Goldman Home

Hans Goldman was a local businessman and Danish Consul.  This impressive 5,500 square foot home was designed by Dallas architect C. D. Hill, in 1916.  The home's main influence is Craftsman style; characteristics include the low pitched roof, deep eve overhangs and covered porches, also decorative multi pane window over one single double hung window.   Accents of mission style can be noted in the square columns, hipped tile roof, as well as parapets (the low "wall" at the edge of roof), finally the arches along the lower porch.     

Photo Credit; Galveston Historic Foundation
1925 Joseph and Helen Swiff Home

Joseph Swiff, a Russian immigrant, also owner of Swiff & Company Cotton Gin and Lumber company, had the home built.  Czechoslovakian architect Rudolph Mudrak designed the Mission style single story.  Mission elements include the arch windows and entry, square columns, broad overhang eves, stucco siding, as well as the hipped roofline. 

The GHF references that the home has 19 closets!  I am intrigued by this fact, since closets on the island are an "endangered species".   Most homes on the island were built in the late 1800's to early 1900's, at that time property tax was based upon the number of rooms in a home.  Unfortunately, closets were considered rooms.  Therefore, only the very wealthy had closets.  This is a particularly interesting fact to me.  Our "Sybi" has one original closet.  Yes, one. I know, right?! More perplexing than having one closet, it is located in what would have been the parlor. I suppose to hang guest cloaks in?

Photo Credit; Galveston Historic Foundation

1899 William and Ella Dugery Home

William Dugery was a Cotton Pressman, an individual who pressed cotton into bales to be loaded upon ships for transport.  Mr. Dugery had the home originally built in 1899, just before "The Storm" of 1900.  The Victorian Townhome had to be rebuilt in 1901.  This home is fairly typical of many of Galveston Victorian Townhomes.  The Townhome is characterized by it's narrow build;  a center hall upon one side, here on the right, with rooms flowing off to the left , also the asymmetrical design is a classic townhome trait.  

This home is special to us, it belongs to two or our friends.  The interior is designed in a bright casual beachy style, with artful accents that will be sure to delight. Warm, and happy as our friends who call it home.  

If you are in the Houston area over the next couple of weekends, the Galveston Historic Homes Tour is a lovely way to spend a few hours.  The Galveston Historic Foundation is an intricate part of our island, the "stewards" of the island, you might say.  Preserving not only precious homes, but commercial buildings as well.  They do an amazing job, our island charm is greatly attributed to their undying devotion to Galveston.  For additional information, or ticket purchases go here. 

While wandering around the island on tour,  if you happen upon a little cottage; part blue, part white, with a women clad in paint splattered denim, hanging off a ladder painting, wave at me!      I'm not against you picking up a brush -

Until next time, wishing you all the best -