In 1965, Bunny and Paul Mellon built and decorated this incredible slice of French paradise designed by architect H. Page Cross in the heart of New York. The pair had a formidable sense of style and grace, owning several stunning estates, all of whom continue to exude the most enviable sense of warm and comfortable sophistication. The interiors of their Manhattan townhouse are the result of serious collaboration between several heavy weight designers, including [but not limited to] Paul Leonard, William Strom, John Fowler, Bruce Budd, and Bunny herself. The house is not only architecturally wonderful, but full of the character that years of collected art and furniture bring to a space. It really is a sight to be seen, and when I stumbled across the house via Architectural Digest and Sotherby's real estate (up for sale for the at once ludicrous and yet absolutely deserved and dignified $43M) I fell into the world of late 20C New York interior design, and to be honest I would rather never retreat... Ahh, if only!
I'm not sure why it's taken me quite so long to feature this colour; it is one of my personal favourites (you might recongnise it on this website!) and a wonderfully versatile shade. Eau de Nil is inherently restful and calming, evocative of the seaside, pristine springtime flowers, and fresh morning dew. It works with so many varying interior styles precisely because of this broad reference base. And despite its beautiful watery blue-green lustre, it really is almost a neutral, and so can sit comfortably as a backdrop to many interior settings. Furthermore, Eau de Nil is ractually more of a colour palette than an individual hue - ranging from fresh greens to watery blues - and can therefore be applied in any one of its incarnations as suited to your space.
Even the best of us architects are unable to defy the beguiling glances of rigorous, pure, geometric forms. Nor can we honestly turn away from the alluring lustre of robust, masculine, metallic things. And I do not believe for a moment that we are capable of retreating from shiny, wondrously lit objects...
In many ways then, it's not surprising that lighting is such a fascinating and delicious thing to all of us. It doesn't t simply come down to the form of the object itself either - as designers and live-rs in this world we know and want for the power of inviting, soul-warming light, and we know that there is no such thing a a meager substitute for a perfectly lit room.
Only recently did I discover Auhaus, a small Australian architecture firm with a focus on finely crafted detail and a meticulous approach to materiality. In fact, they are so fussed about the details that they seem to be gradually developing their own range of interior elements; including lighting and door hardware. This practice's interior spaces are so thoroughly thought through, and this is what fascinates me so about them.
Not that long ago I came across Studio John Irving Architect and was immediately impressed by their understated, yet somehow supremely confident design sensibilities. Waiheke Beach House is a great example of this - at once spacious, engaging, and subtle. Nothing about this space is boastful or showy, and yet I can't help but feel jealous of the lucky people who get to call it theirs!