Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Building Stories

This weeks Columbus visit was to the beautiful Rosewood Manor owned by Mr. And Mrs. Dewitt and Gracie Hicks. It was built in 1836 by Richards Sykes a young Virginian and after 6 years of building he brought his young "Yankee" wife to the house. Something did not agree with her and she left after a short bit of time, but have no fear Mr. Sykes evidently found a lovely southern girl who happily took on marriage with him as well as the house. The house is organized as most houses are here with a wide center hall, doors at both end and a balance of rooms on either side. The center hall is key to ventilation and makes for a lovely plan that is clear and functional. Mrs.Hicks is a charmer and we spoke frankly about how her lovely interior decorating came to be. She and her husband had visited the Newport houses and at the first tour the house merely had the appropriate furnishings, but the next house The Breakers had all the objects from the life of the family. This made a huge impression on both the Hicks and the house benefits from a wonderful collection of french porcelein and cut glass. Mrs. Hicks subscribes to how I teach students about "roomaking" There are three layers to a room, the architectural layer, the furniture layer and the object layer. It is the object layer that finishes the room. My favorite thing is the color palette, I tried to sketch what I remembered but I think I will have to go back. All rooms had the ceiling painted and most in gold, very skilled choices. The chapel will go in my collection of small houses that I wish I had in my back yard, how lucky to find a chapel to bring home from an auction!

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