When I learned that there would be a design house coming to Richmond, my girlfriends and I began making plans for a weekend getaway filled with design inspiration and, of course, shopping.
Our getaway has come and gone yet there is so much to share. The Richmond Symphony Orchestra League's 2010 Designer Home and Garden Tour is one place we spent over 3 hours, taking in every nook and cranny of Rothesay, a home that was built in 1913 along the James River.
Many of the rooms included "before" photos where you can see how much the space has transformed at the hands of talented interior designers. And I intend to share my observations on many of their spaces in future posts.
Today, I will begin with Mary Douglas Drysdale. As a great admirer of Ms. Drysdale's design work for many years, I admit it was what drew me to the design house as I have never seen her projects in person (aside from her own home).
The space Ms. Drysdale designed at Rothesay is the living room.
In her own words, Ms. Drysdale describes with great detail, this project.
A Room Where Past meets Present
By Mary Douglas Drysdale
Mary Douglas Drysdale designed the space to reflect a room where traditional and modern sensibilities merge. It is a Living Room created to display the tenants of her well known “Neo-Traditionalist” design and reflects the style of a family with strong ties to the arts and the environment. The highly geometric and stained floor design is an extension of the architectural details of the room and sets the palette of wood tones found within the scheme. It also brings to the space the theme of geometric patterning which is expressed throughout the room in many details. For example, the chests at each end of the room reflect geometric carving and inlay. The beautiful embroidery executed by Michael Savoia on the curtains, as well as, the wall stencils, pillow and throws details displayed shown in this room, all have geometric patterning.
The art displayed emphasizes photography – a modern art expression and one that is now important enough, to hang in the house’s most important public room. These photographs, however, carry a far more important role. They represent aspects of our society. Ben Larrabee’s portraits represent the family, Max McKenzie’s homage to the American farmer and Max Hirschfeld’s “one shot” portraits which represent diversity. The full sized Great Dane mounted over the mantle, was carved by Mark Perry, who is a highly regarded American folk artist, William Christenberry, another Southern artist, represents a different modern vision. The piano stands in for the performing arts.
The curtains, and significant upholstery are fabricated of Sandra Jordan’s “French Vanilla” Alpaca which is clearly sustainable. The case pieces represent the use of antiques, which follows the “reuse and recycle” philosophy of green design. The expressive side tables found at each sofa, are made from stained pine, dredged from river beds in Maryland.
Any further questions should be directed to:
Mary Douglas Drysdale,
2026 R Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
Seeing this space in person was like seeing a Renoir in person. Ms. Drysdale is a such a talented designer. She has indeed left her mark at this home. Her use of Sandra Jordan's alpaca fabric, the Great Dane sculpture above the fireplace and many other elements in this living room bring sheer delight and harmony to my eyes.
There are numerous talented designers whose work you must see in person at Rothesay. No matter where you are, it is worth traveling to Richmond to see it for yourself. In fact, Michele from My Notting Hill visited as well and you can gain her perspective on Ms. Drysdale's space here.
I intend to share more on my visit in future posts. Please stay tuned.