Friday, June 5, 2009

Favorites ...

... this time by Veere Grenney, a New Zealander living and working in London. The first photo, again from WOI,  is a view of his light suffused drawing room overlooking the Thames.  The room is centered on the large velvet covered ottoman that interestingly does not preclude using a coffee table in front of the sofa. The two chairs between the ottoman and the windows are by Robsjohn Gibbings and they stand either side of a wonderful Regency table.  Min Hogg, writer of this article and former editor of WOI says ... 

"This apartment, says Veere, is a culmination of his life so far, the expression of his vision, his colours, love of textiles and and importantly as a background for his growing painting collection, in particular his oils and drawings by late British artist Roger Hilton.

The building overlooks the Thames and was constructed originally in the 1880s as a town house for the countess of Wemyss by architect Richard Norman Shaw. It occupies a double plot, and having been converted into flats in the 1920s, its river frontage is as wide as an lateral conversion. Veere has an enfilade of three spacious rooms bathed in the sparkle and glitter of light reflected off the water."

Here, in this vignette of the bedroom, stands Mr. Grenney's desk, a beautiful Louis XV style, apparently made in the 1950s by Jansen for Billy Baldwin. This desk and the white chair, fittingly beautiful to my eyes, are examples of the two streams of design that made the the 20th century so fascinating - the white chair's construction using the latest technology of the 1950s , though in its buttoned back references the 19th century, and the desk reproduces a style of 18th century France. It is that dichotomy between using what is current technology and the nostalgia inherent in looking to history for prototypes that is well illustrated here. 

In fact it what I am talking about is the battle of two giants, Modernism and Tradition, and that battle continues. Sometimes as here in this flat there is a truce: no longer the need to be a hard-line polemicist, if its beautiful and it fits, why not use it? 

In honor of Janet who posted a beautiful photo of gooseberries on her blog JCB, this weeks cocktail ...

Elderflower and Gooseberry Martini

1 tablespoon Elderflower cordial
6 gooseberries
2 ounces gin.

Muddle gooseberries in shaker, add cordial and gin, shake over ice and pour. Elderflower cordial is available at IKEA.

1 comment:

  1. As soon as the gooseberries appear at the market...I am buying them out! I will drink a toast in your honor.