I have been thinking about that house lately and mostly because of the front entryway. The front to back hallway was one of my favorite parts of the house. The light, architectural features and unique floor sold me on the house back in 2006 when it was difficult to see much beyond the house’s poor condition.
Our oldest was barely three at the time and slipped down the wooden stairs shortly after moving in. We installed a stair runner shortly thereafter, and it was one I never tired of. So when it came time to choose a stair runner for our current house, I decided to go with something in the same family.
I am excited for the install as it will warm up our staircase and provide just that something special when you walk in through the front door. The stairs are the first thing that catches your eye.
My old front hallway was also on my mind as you see this gentleman at the podium? That is Gil Schafer. Gil Schafer wrote one and now two of my very favorite books, and I have gleaned loads of inspiration over the years. I remember opening his first book in a book store and turning to a page that looked remarkably similar to my country house.
This was the picture. I wish I had a picture of this vantage point looking from our old living room into the hallway but trust me it looks nearly identical. The staircase detailing is precisely the same and look at the green tonal stripes. The living room color, too! Of course his country house is far magnificent than ours ever hoped to be but clearly I like what Gil likes and so when I heard he was the keynote speaker at the Delaware Antiques Show this year, I made a point to buy my tickets immediately.
Gil Schafer was an incredible speaker and he took us first through his story of houses -the family houses, landscapes and environments that shaped his aesthetic. He eschewed the modern aesthetic that dominates architecture schools and stuck to what he knew and loved best: traditional. He said he found his niche in the Greek revival style but his new book clearly illustrates he does many styles well.
Schafer then walked us through a series of projects from his new book. The slides were of the befores and afters and what struck me is how thoughtful he is about not just the house but the site and the eventual landscape that can transform a house into a home. Schafer walked us through a Maine house he renovated for himself and it is clear from the interior pictures that he is just as talented in the decoration aspect as the architectural design aspect. Schafer understands that a house is equal parts architecture, decoration and landscape and for this reason his projects are just a little more special than the rest.
I have written about Gil Schafer on this blog in the past and will likely again as clearly I am smitten!