Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cool Pool (House)

Pool houses are like little jewel boxes.  They can be a sculpture or exclamation point at the end of a pool. 
They serve as entertaining spaces that need to look good, feel good, function well, and are a breeze to maintain.

I am always enthralled by Reed and Delphine Krakoff's designs.  Their aesthetic, individually and as a design duo, is top notch.  The pool house in their Southampton home (above and below) get the same attention as their homes.  Great art and top tier designer pieces occupy indoor and outdoor real estate.  As it should be!

Free standing or literally an extension of the main home, most would say it should maintain the same aesthetic, keeping in mind cohesiveness and connectedness to the home and grounds.  I reside in that camp, but a strong argument could be made for having the look be complimentary rather than matchy, or have a distinct design flair of its own.

The living roof helps this pool house blend right into the landscape.  These "auxiliary" spaces have  evolved from changing rooms to in some cases  fully functioning guest homes with kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, gyms, theaters, gaming areas, etc.


If the construction, materials, fittings and fixtures are the same, you can include this very valuable extra space as added square footage to your home's footprint.

Commune Design, ph:Roger Davies

ph:Adrian Gaut

Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan's much published pool house in Shelter Island.  They talk about long lazy days spent relaxing with friends and watching the sunset.  These  moments, made more comfortable, improve one's quality of life and are priceless!

Tortorella Pools

Doric columns, stone, stucco, and bamboo transport you overseas.  That's the beauty of a pool house. ~ its possibilities are limitless.

ph:Oberto Gili

Greenhouse turned pool house ~ it just makes sense

Timothy Corrigan,

The inside or inside/out decor run the gamut from luxe to laid back.  Again, a reflection upon you, but by nature pool houses do tend to be a little more relaxed.  I think the most successful designs have a seamless look from inside out and vice versa.

A powder room and changing room look positively posh in this European inspired twin tower pool house in Lyme Connecticut.  A black bottom pool doubles the drama.

phs: Kindra Clineff

An artist studio is housed on the second floor of this pool house proving once again that you can use it for ANY activity when you need a little extra space.  I love the idea that this "outer house" becomes seasonless.

Tom O'Donoghue Assoc.

Some pool houses can be mistaken for the main house!

For those in the camp that a pool house can be what ever you want it to be; a fantasy, inspired by something you saw on a trip, of another time or place; go for it!  Inject a little of your personality into your property!

ph:Chris Meech

This rustic pool house was designed to co exist with the converted barn on the property, not compete.

Mala Sanders, ph:Michael Heller

There's no right or wrong, no dos or don'ts.  Statement making pool houses, no matter the style make a splash!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Tool for Living

As most of you now by now, I am not only an interior decorator, I am studying to be a life coach as well.  Honestly, I already do a fair amount of coaching, prodding, educating, consulting, hand holding, hopefully inspiring, and listening to my design clients daily.  You become fairly intimate with people when you are working in their homes.  It's not THAT MUCH of a stretch, right?

The trick will be for me to figure out how all the pieces fit together and how I will use them.  When to put on and take off each of my different hats, metaphorically speaking: designer vs. coach.  As a coach, I am learning so many tools.  Tools to help reframe thoughts, challenge us to see things from a different perspective, dig deeper than we thought possible, or just strive to be a better version of who we already are.

Metaphors are a big part of my new tool box, and one of my favorites (no surprise) is the Living Space Tool.  The theory behind it is that we each have an area in our home that is telling to the state of mind we may be in; a disorganized closet, a desk loaded with paperwork, a basement long overdue for an overhaul.  These spaces within our homes almost always parallel an area of least satisfaction in our lives.  In a non-threatening way, deeply embedded feelings may come to the surface using this and other metaphor tools.  It's really fascinating!

Think about it.  What area in your home do you feel least satisfied with?  It almost always corresponds to an area of your life that reflects unsatisfactory feelings or avoidance.  Can you find a similarity to an event or issue in your life reflective of this space?  This is obviously oversimplified for the sake of a short blog post but it's interesting exploration... Food for thought and as Mike Dooley says, "Thoughts become things, choose good ones!"

If you are interested in coaching, email me: carrie@carrieleskowitzinteriors.com.  I  am beginning to take on clients for a nominal fee while I hone my skills.  It's good stuff!

"Awaken to Awareness"  My new coaching motto ~ Like it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Creating Cashmere

A beautiful townhouse with great bones gets a makeover by the design firm Wells and & Fox that has me swooning!  As soon as the present owners bought this Victorian beauty, bringing it back to its grand majesty was their first priority.  It had been broken down into apartments.  It was neglected, shorn of its magnificent moldings, trim, and the original details that that made this home so special in the first place.

From the moment you walk through the vestibule, you know tradition and modernity create the perfect marriage of past and present.  I am captured by the juxtaposition of contemporary pieces resting comfortably next to and within the traditional elements.

The five stories revolve around a skylit atrium.  The dialogue between the old and the new leaves you questioning what was here and what was added?  The architect, Dell Mitchell, describes the challenges of renovating a 1861 home in the accompanying article in Architectural Digest.  It takes on an almost surreal quality if you study the moldings, stairway, and layout.  It's not exactly period perfect.  Liberties were taken when playing with scale and proportion.  Plenty of wall space for large ''robust" art was a  goal, as well as the desire to find a unique voice for all elements to co exist comfortably.

Warmth is exuded by the neutral, tactile palette throughout the home, but brights do make an appearance when least expected.  I am seriously attracted to everything about the house.  The lighting is especially captivating.  The antique oak floors throughout lend more authenticity to the space.  The Jean de Merry sunburst fixture in the foyer radiates excitement, the Lindsey Adelman branching globe in the library is absolutely one of my favorite fixtures of all time!  Seeing it (anywhere) puts me over the edge!  Not to be overlooked ~ the interplay of venetian glass chandeliers along side modern classics is designed with a delft hand.  The David Weeks fixture in the upstairs den is a marvelous choice also!

Taupe, tan, ivory, and touches of blue and black make up the color palette with art being the focal point.

A vintage Milo Baughman chaise and the Arne Jacobson egg chairs are iconic for  a reason, but never take attention away from other important players within each room.

The intricate scroll ironwork balustrade is a nice counterpart to the plain panes of encased glass that make up the railings above the first floor.  The dance between the formal and informal, ornate and plain is what has me transfixed!

The wife explained that she wanted an environment that she described, "like cashmere," meaning soft, refined, warm and beautiful.  I think she got what she was looking for and more, don't you?  Add this to the list of places I could be happy in!

Phs: Josuha McHugh for AD magazine