A Venetian Courtyard Shows Mastery from the Details

From the early 1960s architect Carlo Scarpa (1906–1978) helped transform the ground floor and courtyard of This 16th-century Palazzo Querini Stampalia to the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, a museum and cultural Association between St. Mark’s Basilica and the Rialto Bridge in the heart of Venice, Italy. In previous years the base had occupied the building, but flood of the earth floor meant the spaces that there could not be used to their entire scope. Scarpa’s interventions helped maintain the building usable and also an important cultural complex in town.

About three excursions to Venice, I have seen the building three times, but the latest trip was the first once the courtyard was available. This ideabook files my trip to the ground floor, the courtyard and other parts of the building. Scarpa has been a master of producing magnificent details, as you’ll see.

John Hill

Being in canal-rich Venice, the Querini Stampalia base is accessed by bridge. (In recent decades, the entry shifted from a Scarpa-designed bridge to a different one on the opposite side of the building). A glance from across the canal reveals the major spaces in Scarpa’s transformation: the entry space behind the gates, the exhibition hall outside and the courtyard in the rear.

John Hill

Access from the bridge means that people move through the entrance sequence differently now. The distance from where this picture was taken was formerly a dead end — an exhibition space that has been permitted to flood throughout the greatest waters. Now it is the primary access from the ticketing booth and the bookstore to Scarpa’s ground-floor spaces and the upstairs library and museum.

John Hill

Scarpa’s treatment of the room behind the two gates is genuinely remarkable. Does his layout nevertheless allow water within the building (not uncommon in Venice), but it celebrates the water by means of a succession of steps at several heights and also a cantilevered border on the raised walkway. The walkway’s surface actually contrasts with the high-water line.

John Hill

Marking the transition between the entry hall and the exhibition space beyond is a glass wall emphasized by an enclosure. The complex articulation of the stone panels makes the enclosure seem to be for something particular, but in fact it simply covers a radiator.

John Hill

A closer look in the enclosure — awaiting the courtyard in the distance — provides a glimpse of the black radiator that functions the exhibition space. The entry hall is an interior space, inside the confines of the building but available to the elements, so this transition is in fact very important. In this regard, giving a lot of attention to the radiator enclosure makes much sense; it marks an important change within the realm of the ground floor.

John Hill

The exhibition hall appears fairly simple, but it consists of concrete, stone, metal and glass in an asymmetrical grid. The lines on the floor and the glass bits in the wall give the distance a rhythm toward the courtyard.

John Hill

A detail view of the wall illustrates how much attention Scarpa gave to the materials. The elegant travertine stone panels on the wall comparison with the rough concrete on the floor. The brass railing separating the 2 groups of travertine was created as a service for lighting fixtures; it certainly doesn’t seem as pragmatic as its objective.

John Hill

At 1 corner of the exhibition hall, a door opens to a distance that leads to the staircase. The form of the door recalls the radiator enclosure, meaning that Scarpa produced a world of details that he repeated to give consistency to the project. As we will see, that does happen again, but the tactic did not limit his saying.

John Hill

The courtyard is a beautiful space characterized partially by two neighbors, a brick wall covered in ivy. In this space Scarpa added a concrete wall to help define smaller areas (behind it is what’s now a café) and also to install distinct components inside the grassy courtyard.

John Hill

One of these elements is a tiny square pool with lily pads. It may seem odd to add water attributes to a courtyard in Venice, but given how Scarpa celebrated the canal’s water, so it is not surprising that he created this aquatic anchor from the backyard.

John Hill

From the cement walls, Scarpa also added a receptacle that collects rainwater. I see it also as a vase for flowers or for carrying other things. The mosaic line that goes across the cement wall is just another detail that Scarpa reiterated; it is observable around the swimming pool in the previous photograph, and we are going to see it later back inside.

John Hill

Yet another water element is found in the courtyard: a linear trough that visitors experience immediately when walking outside. The fountain is perpendicular to the concrete stripes in the hallway, the canal and also the entry walkway. While the overall motion is from front to rear — canal to courtyard — these perpendicular pieces make the motion more meandering than direct. Like the square pool, the fountain is covered in lily pads, but instead of a metallic enclosure it is all concrete.

John Hill

The head of the fountain is a lovely carved stone piece that makes the water trace a circuitous path before it goes on its own way.

John Hill

In the opposite end of the fountain, a scupper deposits the water into a round basin. This detail recalls Japanese gardens with no derivative. While barely repeating design themes from other parts of the building, the dividing of the stone still seems to fit in with the whole.

I love to believe that the predominant motif is a L-shape profile — a balance of both different types of motion in the design — that are available regardless of formal details. Look at the first photograph in this ideabook to see an L-shape profile in the decorative patterning about the metal gates.

John Hill

One such L-shape profile occurs on a wall panel in what was traditionally the main entrance on the ground floor. Although this space has lost its importance in the general fluidity of the building’s promenade, details such as the board, the mosaic floor and the way the walkway is held back from the walls are still present and part of the encounter.

John Hill

The old principal entrance leads to the staircase and to access to the library and the museum upstairs.

The rebuilt portal exhibits Scarpa’s sensitivity together with older buildings. (He seemed to possess specialized in changing older buildings to new uses, given projects like this and Castelvecchio, a castle in Verona, Italy, transformed into a museum)

The architect did not mimic the old details, but he respected them in how he handled the finishes and the way he used the portal site as a transition to the upstairs areas.

John Hill

The last group of photographs focuses on details in the staircase. In this photo we can see three of them: the handrail supports, the opening for the light in the landing and the stairs.

The first two will be discussed soon, but notice the way the risers have a gap in the center. This may seem frivolous, but they draw attention to the fact that the treads and the risers sit on top of and facing the old stone staircase. The 20th-century stone pieces shield the 400-year-old steps.

John Hill

The steel handrail supports are still an intriguing detail, one that I believe is related to the treads. Instead of bringing down them, potentially landing on the new treads, Scarpa gave them a more Z shape (or can it be two L shapes?) To avert this. Hence the handrail is positioned over the tread, but the service is rooted in the old measure, calling attention to the gap between old and new. Similarly, the new wall panels stop short of the treads, revealing the older walls.

John Hill

In the landing, marking the entry to the library, is a round light fixture. Below it is a ceiling using a double-circle cutout, a layout that resembles a single mobile mutating, as though the light has begun to divide into 2.

John Hill

Halfway up to the library is just another light fixture, square rather than round yet picking up on an identical paired theme.

John Hill

This last detail is a view of the landing as the stair turns 90 degrees. This flip is celebrated via the round notch that occurs in the junction of the borders of the tread and the landing. The detail is a version on the square top found from the radiator enclosure. Many people probably wouldn’t notice this stair depth (I did not notice it before going back down the staircase), but it reveals how no detail was too small for Scarpa; they were significant.

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A Melbourne Gem Harnesses Feng Shui

When bed linen designer Tracie Ellis bought her home in Melbourne, she knew that it was special. The home immediately stuck out, a midcentury stone in a neighborhood filled with Victorians, Edwardians, California bungalows and recently developed constructions. Ellis also lists of a number of different features that endear her light-filled residence: “Unlike other houses on the block, our home faces our neighbors rather than the road. In addition, we have loads of outdoor space, a lovely kitchen and a small collection of art to which I’ve grown quite a attachment,” says Ellis.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Tracie and David Ellis and their dog, Max
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Size: 2,000 square feet
That’s interesting: The house’s first architects were John and Phyllis Murphy, known for designing the 1956 Melbourne Olympic pool, one of Australia’s most defining modernist structures.

Sharyn Cairns

Ellis eliminated two French doors from the living room space and replaced them with big sliding glass doors, bringing the living space and the outdoor deck space together as one big space.

“The leading deck contested us. The wisteria tree introduced a few problems, and we made sure to not damage any of its origins. It was planted in 1954, and that I still have this image of this being a tiny shrub,” she states.

Sharyn Cairns

The flooring, a mild wood out in the front deck and also a darker completed blot from the living room, makes a subtle differentiation and transition from indoor to outdoor space.

Although Ellis opened the front living areas, she and her husband requested for hidden sliding doors to close off rooms and make intimate areas throughout the home. “I enjoy a open floor plan, however that I also enjoy the ambiance of spaces that are defined,” she states.

Light pendant: Nelson Bubble Lamp, Y Lighting; chair: Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair with Seat Pad, Design Within Reach

Sharyn Cairns

Ellis and her husband met with a feng shui expert until they moved into their property. “She informed us that the place had a fantastic feeling, that it was a happy location. But she pointed out the changes we needed to create, such as changing door-opening directions and moving doorways, so that we can keep the fantastic energy,” says Ellis.

Sectional: Bosko, Jardan Sofa; pouf: Fez, Morroco

Sharyn Cairns

Any scratches on the floor are probably from Max’, as Ellis and her husband normally have a shoes-off policy in the home. The walls are clad in Aalto’s Inherent White, Ellis’ tried and trusted shade of inside white paint.

Coffee table: Barcelona by Harry Bertoia, Design Within Reach

Sharyn Cairns

Sharyn Cairns

The kitchen is your hardest-working room in the home. Ellis, a passionate cook, evaluations out various recipes and delights in entertaining her family in the heart center of the home.

“My husband and I spend hours and hours discussing new ideas for our home decoration company, Aura, in the kitchen. We are always reading through books and magazines, using the island as a location to house the clutter,” says Ellis.

A regret? Failing to install undersurface and built in electric outlets for their laptops.

Bar stool: Charles Ghost Stool by Philippe Starck, Space Furniture

Sharyn Cairns

“For good feng shui, we added the walnut wood cabinets and dining table so there’s a grounding, natural component in the kitchen and dining room. Our last home was very minimal and all white, so that I love that the kitchen is not totally white,” says Ellis.

Sharyn Cairns

Like many homeowners, Ellis admits that she cleaned up for the inside shots of her house. “Right now our home office is filled with tear sheets and disposition boards for our country house in Kyneton, Victoria, so we’ve had to relocate control fundamental to the kitchen,” she states.

The couple also stores their big group of magazines and travel books in the home office. “We are constantly dreaming of our next adventure,” says Ellis.

A abstract painting by Ellis’ mother, Robyn Donovan, gives the white and black space some color and feel.

Sharyn Cairns

One of the designer’s treasured pieces of artwork is by Mitjili Napurrula, a gorgeous red and white canvas with “amazing depth and rich red hues,” Ellis says. Her husband bought it on their first wedding anniversary.

Sharyn Cairns

Floating his and hers sinks create this master bath chic, functional and space efficient.

Sharyn Cairns

For someone who layouts bed linens for a dwelling, Ellis has an unexpectedly casual approach into the bedroom. Pendants dangle from the ceiling and take the area of desk lamps, drawing the eyes up. An Eames chair creates a fashionable substitute for a bedside table, because its mould has more depth for stacked novels, the day’s clothes and other loose items.

Sharyn Cairns

“I really like a mattress that is put together nicely and layered, but my own linens are not fitted or crisp. I relish in the lived-in look. I really don’t iron my linen,” says Ellis.

Here, the couple’s beloved pooch adds that lived-in appeal into a energizing ruby-red guest room.

Bed linens: Aura

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A Maine Beach Cottage Evokes the Sea

Interior designer Tyler Karu and her husband, Brendan, are year-rounders in a tiny coastal community peppered with summertime visitors — and Karu, a Maine native, would not have it any other way. “Our house seems really Maine to me. Believe it or not, walking across the beach by our house gets me feel Maine in my spirit,” she says. The designer expresses her connectedness to the place by sprinkling her home with components from her and her husband’s history — and of course, filling each room in the house with nautical tokens that evoke the rhythms of the sea.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Tyler Karu, Brendan Ready and their dog, Haddock
Location: Prouts Neck, Scarborough, Maine
Size: 1,700 square feet

Landing Design

A vintage life preserver and a fishing escape hang on a post by the dining area, a symbol of the way the homeowners’ lives are attached to the goings-on by the docks. Dinners are punctuated by the crashing of the waves surrounding.

“The brutal winters make the summer and drop that much more enjoyable for us year-rounders who live here,” says Karu.

Landing Design

In the living room, Karu tempered the formality of a gray tufted sectional by layering in splashy throws, pillow cloths and a striped custom-upholstered wingback chair. The bamboo dividers and chevron-pattern jute rug add heat into this light-filled location.

Sectional: Bludot; rug: Serena & Lily; lamps: Portland Architectural Salvage; wingback: Hudson’s Bay

Landing Design

The corner reading corner theme is Maine nautical matches ’70s glam — a fantastic example of Karu’s penchant for unique pairings. The designer uttered the rocking chair in the family home; the glass ball is a vintage fishing float, a nod to the house’s coastal context and her husband’s seafood enterprise.

Fishing float: Portland Architectural Salvage

Landing Design

A vintage cabinet in the dining room homes serving pieces. Some are family heirlooms; a few are collected from flea markets as well as from Target. The white skull, by artist John White, was a present from an aunt.

Landing Design

The kitchen island is made of an old railway cart. Karu added the pub extension after bringing the cart indoors, so the whole block no longer fits through some of the doors.

A look through the kitchen window reveals a garden within walking distance of the beach. “It’s always a wonderful sight to see friends and family relaxing in the living room or totally wiped out in the guest room after a complete day at the beach,” says Karu.

Landing Design

A portrait of the family’s beloved Brussels Griffon, Haddock, with a Maine Art College student hangs above the muse and version within an antique settee.

Art: Laura Alexander

Landing Design

The guest room, dubbed “Haddock’s Room,” strikes a nautical note using its navy blue partitions. “This chamber is where Haddock hangs out. He sits on the bed or side chair and watches folks come and go from the window,” says Karu.

Landing Design

Leon Levonstein, Karu’s great-uncle, was a urban photographer. “Some of these framed photographs are his, such as the small one of my father as a young boy,” says Karu.

Other framed photographs are from Karu and her husband’s wedding. The print is by illustrator Hugo Guinness.

Landing Design

The couple’s bed frame is a piece from Karu’s childhood; the wood detail on the bed resembles both a compass rose and a ship’s wheel. Even though the bed frame and the throw pillow evoke a nautical theme, plantation shutters, an antique Persian rug and vintage bedside tables lend the room an eclectic touch.

Art: Gary Copeland; seat: Calypso Home; side tables: eBay; wall paint: Ice Cube Silver, Benjamin Moore

Landing Design

A captain’s mirror above a refurbished vanity which has been abandoned in the garage pulls the eye — but look closer in the master bath and you’ll see a less obvious piece that conjures up that boat-on-the-dock texture: cleats from a marine supply shop that Karu utilizes to hold her bangles.

Wall paint: Smoke Embers, Benjamin Moore

Landing Design

The next guest room stays flexible with twin beds out of Karu’s husband’s childhood.

Wall paint: Steep Cliff Gray, Benjamin Moore

Landing Design

The designer called Manhattan home; she pays homage to the Big Apple with a framed subway map print by Triboro Design that leans against the wall. She dressed her home office table using an old Williams Sonoma duvet cover.

“Although I feel more productive in my Portland office [about 7 kilometers off], I am a lot more creative in this room in your home,” says Karu.

Landing Design

After Karu and her husband moved into their beach cottage, they set the goal of restoring its original appearance and texture. “We inherited a home that has been reeling from a few dated renovations, and we have been chipping away at it gradually ever since,” says Karu.

More:
Dip a Toe Into Modern Nautical Style

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Master Gold and Silver's Metallic Mix

Metallics are all the rage at the moment, which means silver and gold alike are topping the décor charts. If both hit your fancy and you’re worried you are going to have to select one or the other, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Gone is yesterday’s perception that silver and gold do not belong at the same ensemble; in actuality, mixing them is supported.

Metallics are dynamic by nature, and the mix of silver and gold in particular lends not just an intriguing contrast but also a feeling of visual measurement and feel. With the right balance of the two, your house can feel equally tasteful and eclectic.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by this venture, keep reading for several recommendations to begin making the look work for you. Happy mixing!

For People design

Don’t feel like you need to go wild off the bat. Rather, build your confidence by beginning small. It might be as simple as introducing a chair with silver elements into a space with gold accessories.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

Or pull gold accessories right into a room with silver hardware. By starting with smaller quantities of both gold and silver, you can get a sense for how the 2 metallics play off each other without worrying about too permanent a commitment.

Amoroso Design

Play with vignettes. Don’t feel like they have to be complicated: Transferring a silver chair under a gold-framed image will give you a feeling of how each component acts within the space.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

Add more silver and gold accessories for your vignette to see how different colors of every interact. Try many different objects until you get the balance right. Knowing how to attack equilibrium in smaller sections will give you more confidence to pull off the colors across the space, if that is what you’re aiming to ultimately do.

CIH Design

Instead of accessories or frames, see how gold or silver furnishings work inside a vignette. Being both silver and gold, this piece does double duty: it is silver backsplash produces a balanced contrast against the gold lamppost and image frame.

For People design

Once you’re feeling more sure of yourself, you can pull silver and gold further into the area. In case you have gold near the top of the area, such as in a light fixture, pull down the color by including a rug with gold accents. Pepper the space in between, for example table surfaces, with silver accessories to achieve that feeling of balance.

Nina Jizhar

Step away and look at the big image. Have you ever chosen curtains with a gold hue in your dining area? Center your desk in front of the chimney and hang on a silver ceiling fixture; even once you walk in the space, you are going to see just how one complements the other.

Heather Garrett Design

This is another case of looking at the big image. In case you’ve got several gold pieces in your walls, think about balancing the look with a silver coffee table or even silver accessories beneath your current coffee table.

Susan Jay Design

Be daring with your contrasts. Finish a silver vanity counter in the toilet with a gold sink and tap.

Sindahl

Consider how you see to your walls. 1 option is to pick wallpaper with metallic features, then fill the space with silver and gold accessories to play off the wallpaper.

Chic Decor & Design, Margarida Oliveira

Or think about translating among those colors into a relaxing shade with paint. Think buttery gold or silver grayish silver. These can mix with both silver and gold accents without stealing the show.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

In case you’ve got a large space, look at creating a separation of places by concentrating more gold in 1 space and more silver in a different. In this bedroom, the sitting area features more colors of silver while the mattress itself is heavier in golds, creating distinction in every space. On the other hand, the entire area as a whole feels cohesive as the drapes and paint pull in both colors.

Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc..

Look at going big with a single colour and settling for accents with the other. This set of Japanese silver screens invigorates this space with an eclectic punch; gold accessories onto the coffee table provide just the ideal subtle variation.

Panache Interiors

Or if gold is more your colour, make a splash with a ceiling painted in the shade. A mattress frame in silver complements the daring paint option so it will not seem overwhelming. Who could not help but feel glamorous beneath this stunning ceiling?

More:
With Metallics to Brighten Up Any Space
Adding Shine to Your Home With Metal and Metallics
Sparkly and Heating: Decorating With Gold

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5 Fragrant Mid-Century Modern Homes

The term Mid-century Modern tends to be pitched around aimlessly (I’ve been guilty of this myself), so we’re going to have a look at some dazzling houses that truly embody the style. The majority of the examples below are recently renovated, to undo 1970s or 1980s renovations, to add to the square footage, and/or to make them more energy efficient.

In every job, the designers admired the spirit of the first details and plans. And we’ve got full home tours of each, which you might link over to and research through the numbered titles.

The Office of Charles de Lisle

1. 1950s William Wurster ranch: Architect Charles Delisle respected the background of the home in California’s Portola Valley, keeping the spirit of this era living by means of a mixture of modern and custom pieces.

The Office of Charles de Lisle

This new custom built cupboard plays a classic mid-century color palette and blocky geometry, but includes a fresh appearance.

The Office of Charles de Lisle

A group of ceramics is a nod to the background of mid-century in California.

Watch the rest of the home

Hammer Architects

2. Mid-century Modern second home on Cape Cod: The first butterfly-roofed wing to the house on this site was designed by Henry Hebblin, who’d studied together with Eero Saarinen and functioned for Alvar Aalto.

When Mark Hammer was hired to winterize the home and layout an improvement, he kept Hebblin’s part of the home and gleaned inspiration from the butterfly roof.

Tour another modern Cape Cod renovation by Hammer Architects

Hammer Architects

The last renovation was designed with sustainability in mind. The once seasonal dwelling now functions as a yearlong home, with elements that can be shut off and save energy when there aren’t guests, also makes the most of natural light. Most importantly, Hammer has created continuity between the mid century and the new structure.

Watch the rest of the home | More about Cape Cod/Boston’s Regional Modernism

Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

3. Family-friendly Mid-century Modern: Pulp Style Studios was charged with developing a stylish nest for a young family. A gentle modern approach filled with vibrant color was the answer. The classicly open space is grounded with all the lively Missoni rug and includes a classic Bertoia Bird Chair.

Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

A child’s size Cherner table and chairs is perfect for small modernists. There are many classic child-sized pieces on the market these days that it’s easy to take a mid-century aesthetic into childrens’ bedrooms and playrooms.

Learn More About Cherner Chairs

Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

The artwork arrangement is a variation on the classic modern grid, alternating horizontal and vertical rectangular frames. It is a wonderful way to keep the family photos on screen in a tight, modern manner.

Watch the rest of the home

Jenny Mitchell

4. Atomic Flair from the Blue Ridge Mountains: For blogger and vintage maven Jenny Mitchell, the home was love at first sight.

Her attention for atomic style and talent for discovering thrifted treasures have caused a fun and cheerful home that combines old and new seamlessly.

While a self-described”minimalist-maximalist,” Mitchell knew that all this terrace needed was two bright butterfly chairs to provide it a big mid-century pop of design.

Watch the rest of the home

Gary Hutton Design

5. 1962 Custom Eichler House Renovation: Located on San Francisco Bay, the house’s original mid-century charm was wiped out by a misguided 1980s renovation. Designer Gary Hutton was able to get his hands to the first plans and bring this home back to its original glory.

Gary Hutton Design

Nothing brings out a mid century house’s best like among the best royal furniture and art collections around. Here we’re looking over a Nelson Marshmallow Sofa to a first Andy Warhol.

Gary Hutton Design

Saarinen Executive Chairs, a Florence Knoll table plus a PH Pendant create the ultimate mid-century area.

Gary Hutton Design

Ultimately, a rare Eames match table using a massive slice by Sarah Morris from the backdrop produces a vibrant corner. In terms of the head to the desk, I don’t have any idea. Does anybody know its history? Please discuss in the Comments section. See more of the home.

More:
Modern or Contemporary: What is the Difference?
Warm, Mid-Century Makeover
When MoMA Is The Next Door Neighbor

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