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 Sitting Room

This is going to be a longer post because there is more to this story with the Music Room and the Sitting Room.  Kick back, relax, get a glass of wine and enjoy!


After the completion of the Ballroom Austrian Shades, I was approached by the clients to come up with something for the next two rooms on the first floor, which was actually the second, because the Ballroom is the first floor.  These two rooms flanked either side of the front door.  In this picture, which was taken when Joseph Huston owned the house, we are standing at the entrance to the Ballroom looking into the Sitting Room, the Foyer and to the right the future Music Room and to the left the Dining Room.


My direction from the client was to come up with something “swaggy, elegant, different, over the top”.  Needless to say, I was the girl for him, my creative beast was unleashed and ready for the challenge!  I love these clients because they allowed me to be creative, spontaneous, indulgent and yes, ‘over the top’!  A designer and workroom’s wildest dream come true!


I measured the windows and studied the rooms carefully because these rooms in themselves are pieces of art.  From the wooden sculpture panel entitled “Boar’s Hunt”  over the fireplace  mantle that was made by Alexander Stirling Calder, to the elaborate ceiling of ornamental strap work motif  which is typical of Tudor elaboration, I had to match the grandeur of these spaces.    In fact, this ceiling work is similar to that of the Governor’s private office at the Capitol in Harrisburg.


Because my best thinking comes at night, it was during the night that I came up with the design.  It was a Eureka moment and I knew this was the design for these two rooms.  I presented the idea to the Designer coordinating the project and then to the client and was given the go ahead.  The fabric was a beautiful Robert Allen silk taffetta which had a very light hand but did everything I asked it to do!  We interlined it and self lined the cascades as well as the center jabot.  I chose to place bead trim only on the swags so that when the light shown through the window, the beads would capture the light and spread it throughout the room. 

 Music Rm




The Music Room





Sitting Rm



 The Sitting Room       




Again, like the two pictures previously posted, these two pictures were taken by the talented Peter Leach.


An interesting story about these window treatments:  several years ago, the clients had a visit from friends who wanted someone else to see the house.  It just so happened that the person they brought to see the house was  someone of interest especially to me because of the company he represents. 


During this time, we had moved on to other projects in the house which I will be discussing in a future post.  I was consulting with the client about these projects and was relating to him all the new and exciting things I had seen at one of my IWCE shows.  My memory escapes me at the moment, but I think it was the show before the Washington,DC show, Atlanta maybe?   If someone out there remembers, please correct me in a comment.  I was relating the experience of making my window treatment for the TrendSpot area of the Showfloor and how it all went.  I also told him I had a book I wanted him to see that I had just purchased.  I LOVED it and knew he would like it too!

Scalamandre book 003

It was at that time that he started telling me about the visitors he had entertained a couple weekends before.  He had the very same book I just bought because none other than Robert Bitter, then co-president of Scalamandré, now co-CEO,  was the visitor to his house!  He was given a signed copy by Robert himself! 


And…..the part that really got my attention?  He told me that Robert really liked these window treatments!  My client had just relayed this compliment to me from someone in the industry whose reputation will far outweigh anything that I do!  Scalamandré is world-renowned for their fabrics and trimmings and the walls and windows their work graces.  The White House, The Breakers, Mt Vernon…..I think you get the point.  I explained exactly who his visitor was, and then both our eyes got real BIG, like, pinch me now, am I dreaming?  But of course, this was my DREAM JOB, was it not?