Our first reader to guess that I was designing the space for Sir Winston Churchill was Chris! Congratulations Chris, you will soon receive your personalized copy of The Collected Tabletop. Thank you to all who participated in this guessing game!
I have long been a great fan of Sir Winston Churchill and have read numerous books about him in the past couple of years. So when asked to participate in the 2014 Inspiration Avenue, there was no question who I would choose for my client!
“Choose a historical person as a client and design a space for them reflecting current design concepts and incorporate antiques”
My inspiration was Churchill’s country home, Chartwell, located in Kent, England. Chartwell was the much-loved Churchill family home and the place from which Sir Winston drew inspiration from 1924 until the end of his life.
Just as I was reading the book, Dinner with Churchill by Cita Stelzer , I was ask to participate in Inspiration Avenue.
As I was also going to speak at the Cathedral Antiques Show, the chairperson suggested that I do my space as a dining room to tie in with The Collected Tabletop. Everything seemed to line up perfectly for me to design a dining room for my client, Sir Winston Churchill. My first inspiration was the dining room at Chartwell.
I continued to do my research on my client’s personal style and was delighted when a friend gave me another book on Churchill, Churchill Style-The Art of Being Winston Churchill!
I have designed my space for one of history’s greatest leaders! For Churchill, dinners were about more than good food, excellent champagne and Havana cigars. “Everything” included the opportunity to use the dinner table as both a stage on which to display his brilliant conversational talents, and an intimate setting in which to glean gossip and diplomatic insights, and to argue for the many policies he espoused over a long life.
In Dinner with Churchill , I learned that Mr. Churchill, gave a “Dissertation on Dining Room Chairs”, directed to his wife Clementine ,which among other things listed his strong preference for a round tables and comfortable chairs for dining, which needed to be all arm chairs (not sides)!
Thus, the start of my design concept for this space was a round table , with all arm chairs. I selected a 60 inch round English table from Village Antiques in Asheville, NC. This table is an antique reproduction made in England of lovely old reclaimed oak, that is exquisitely finished. An option with this table is a leaf, so I selected one with the option of a leaf, as this particular table will be residing permanently at Chestnut Cottage.
For the arm chairs, I was delighted to discover a new chair made by one of my favorite suppliers, Harden Furniture Company. Owner Greg Harden’s furniture is inspired by tradition…for today’s living and Harden Furniture is AMERICAN MADE! Recently Harden has done a new collection with Historic Mount Vernon, and I felt that one of the chairs in this new collection would be a perfect match for Churchill’s “dining chair dissertation”. A rich, soft green leather on these chairs will provide a comfortable, classic style.
I chose a green color scheme for the space , as the dining room at Chartwell is done in a green color scheme. A new Lee Jofa fabric, Montrose Linen Verde, which is a green and cream linen print seemed to be a classic , updated choice for the windows and a small kidney pillow for each arm chair.
A textured sisal type rug at Chartwell was my inspiration for the rug , placed under the round table. And my wonderful faux finisher, Anna Kraus, did a painted oil cloth to replicate a stone floor! As I always say…”the devil is in the details!”
Stay tuned tomorrow for more design elements, such as additional furniture and accessories!