Sunday, October 27, 2013

Picking Gustavian Gray or White Paint


I found this Gustavian antique armoire with a Christian VIII top; covered in hot pink and white latex paint, and without a back. It went to Hyannis for proper stripping and I spent an afternoon sanding it, while Bill gave it a new back and then one coat of Benjamin Moore's "Seattle Gray" paint, which is a very pale warm gray since pieces in this style are mostly white. Luckily, this armoire comes apart in six pieces making it easy to work on and move. I used 120 sandpaper to distress the surface a bit after. (We are practicing for a few pieces at Old Farm to be painted next.)

The Gustavian cupboard below is in Christian's shed space in Hopewell and is one of only three built like this for three grandsons by the architect of the Danish National Parliament building "Folketinget". It is lovely to have here.


Some of the nicest antique Gustavian white and gray furniture can be found at "Cupboards and Roses" in Sheffield, MA or listed for them on "1stdibs". Here are just a few cupboards currently shown.





Photos from 1stdibs.com

Originally, Gustavian Period paints were made of linseed oil and turpentine in equal amounts, and applied directly on wood without filling surfaces. Dry pigments were added to the turpentine slowly, making a thick cream, to which the oil is blended in. This creates a thin; vibrant clear paint that allows the wood grain to be seen. My favorite Gustavian Gray paint of this type has 10% black and 5% red oxide added which is also "warm". 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tree Sculptures

Bill has been building big/tall sculptures lately which look like trees to me, and these seem to ironically be guarding the firewood now stacked on the Hopewell porch.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Visiting Nantucket Town



This time of year I feel lucky that Old Farm is a fast ferry from Nantucket town - which greets you with beautifully blooming flower boxes, less crowded streets, sultry/warm/relaxing sunshine, stores with sales, grasses turning wine color and skies honey-tinged. Across from these flower boxes is the First Congregational Church whose 120' bell tower is open from 10 AM to 4 PM with a spectacular view of the harbour and city surrounds.



Even the town "Starlight Theatre" has blooming boxes besides a select amount of old velvet seats which are allowed bar access inside. The Nantucket visitor's center is close-by for maps to places you can walk to like the oldest house in Nantucket...

 
The Jethro Coffin House was a wedding gift to him and Mary Gardner from their fathers in 1686. It was considered a mansion in it's time and built of imported wood since Nantucket had very little lumber to build from or burn to keep warm. Only one room was heated in the colder months and the salt box roof allowed cold northern winds to blow over it easily while the front faced south. It is a "First Period" house with a plank door and leaded windows built on-site. It suffered a serious fire, but remains in it's original footprint (like Old Farm). The chimney decoration is a Jacobean ornamentation, the opening next to it is for putting out roof fires, and the gardens behind it have raised beds with period plantings of herbs and vegetables.


Eight children were raised here by this first couple, and tours given by John Belash are remarkable.


Walking back to town you pass Cape houses still blooming...


And cool old cars...


The shops in town also have boxes blooming outside and the Hospital Thrift has fun old stuff inside.



The best part of visiting Nantucket for me is staying overnight in the Union Street Inn B & B (1770 whaling captain's home) at 7 Union Street, which booked my fast ferry a few blocks away and is in the historic district of town.


The garden patio.


Rooms have Frette linens, Matouk duvets, gourmet breakfasts to order and afternoon baked macadamia nut and white chocolate cookies or double chocolate brownies. Each room has been recently redecorated with lovely English/French designer wallpapers and fabrics with the impeccable taste of owners Deborah and Ken Withrow whose hospitality services and Inn win top awards always. Baths are marble, glass and polished chrome with cotton terry robes and MALIN GOETZ amenities. The outdoor patio is expanded with new gardens, and a private patio. My room this time of year was $159.00 which includes a full breakfast such as French toast made with Challah bread and served with strawberries, blueberries, Vermont maple syrup and sausages. A constant availability of coffees, teas, and water besides fireplaces, flat screen TV's, WIFI and full concierge services tailor visits to be most memorable to such a special island.  




The hard part is leaving (and this was Restaurant Week, which is a whole other post). Thanks to Deb and Ken for my stay, showing me their own house in the prettiest; preserved part of the island, and for their great company.