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Oaks Cloister
Oaks Cloister

This photo is a 2004 shot of the house that I did in Germantown.  When I got the call from one of my designers that a client was having a party and needed Austrian shades for their ballroom, little did I know what this project would turn out to be, much less, be 5 years in the making!  As it was a busy time of the year for me, I told this designer I would squeeze these clients into my schedule and get their window treatments done before the party.  When I went to measure the windows and quote for fabric, I must tell you I could not believe the eye candy that awaited me!  It truly was a ballroom, in a house, and not just any house mind you.

 

This was the house of Joseph Miller Huston, architect of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.  It was in this very house that he designed the Capitol and his house reflects the  beauty and talent of the artisans that he used for the project.  There is an excellent brochure detailing the life of Joseph Huston and this house.   http://www.etown.edu/docs/InstitutionalAdvancement/OaksCloisterBrochureWeb.pdf and I highly encourage you to further your reading as there are photos of the house when he owned it.  You will then be able to compare those photos from the past with recent photos of how the house was restored.

Oaks Cloister Ballroom fireplace shotOaks Cloister Ballroom stairway These photos were taken of the ballroom after restorations were completed.  Note the ceiling in which 25,000 sheets of gold leaf were used to bring it back to its original glory.  It truly is breathtaking to look at!  The hand carved stone fireplace is from Caen, France and is thought to be a replica of the original one which calls its home in the Cluny Museum in Paris.  Word has it that the original was made for King Francis I and located in Rouen, France when Napoleon saw it and had it moved to Paris!

 

The next shot is taken of the stairway which leads up to the first floor of the house.  On the left wall at the bottom of the stairs, the owners discovered a hidden walk-in vault which was camoflauged by the revolving bookcase! 

 

Hanging in the windows are the Austrian shades I made which were installed the day before the party!  The floors were still being refinished as we were installing them!  Talk about tiptoeing around!

 

In my next post on this house we will move to the Sitting  Room and Music Room.  It’s important to note that these divine photos are courtesy of Peter Leach Photography.  Kudos to Peter for the fantastic job he did!  He is listed under my ‘Cool Things’  tab as the ‘Over the Top Photographer’ so look him up and see what he can do for you!

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