Gil Schafer

dining rooms to die for

When Thanksgiving came and went it got me thinking about dining rooms. At one point, about 10 years ago they were a dying breed. Everyone was ripping out walls left right and centre, sacrificing dining rooms to make ginormous open plan kitchen/great rooms. Hmm, I love a great kitchen, but I also love a great dining room. What a luxury to have a separate space devoted to dining -- no dirty dishes or giant TV on view. I appreciate the ceremony of it all and love dining furniture. My favourite dining design idea of all is a dining room that does double duty as a library. The other interesting thing about dining rooms is that when I go through the exercise of sorting my favourites, the complete diversity of my personal design taste is laid bare. I'm going to start with my all time favourite -- I stray to different looks, but I always come back to this one dining room and I have never ever looked at it and felt anything other than -- that is gorgeous!

It's by Gil Schafer. The colour, the chairs, the symmetry, the greek key trim, the books, the fireplace, the carpet: perfection.

So, how is it possible, if that one is my favourite, that I also love every last one of these?

The architecture, lucite table, chairs, styling. So chic by Timothy Whealon.SJP's Hampton's place by Eric Hughes. The table, mismatched chairs all painted matte black - inspired idea!

Country home of House Beautiful ed in chief Newell Turner - I imagine he must have long leisurely weekend brunches here.

Everyone I know loves this room. I am no exception. Rough meets pretty by Amy Nuensinger. Dreamy.Ina's barn. Sigh.Victoria Hagan. Table, chairs and art - love. Pendant, not loving but love other elements enough to make up for it. More handsome formality from Gil Schafer. The perfect setting for the costume drama of my dreams. Black tie Christmas dinner complete with roast goose and Anthony Hopkins serving, natch. Leslie Klotz's light, bright, easy & breezy space. A dining room to serve summer produce and pass the salads family-style -- and keep the Pimms No. 1 cup coming.

Technically a breakfast room, but Barbara Barry really got me with this one. A wood burning fire and comb back Windors warm the cockles of my heart. A dining space for stew and artisanal breads and cheeses.Darryl Carter's mastery of old + new + restraint fills me with awe.More Darryl Carter. This time his own DC place and technically a breakfast room. My affection for this place stems partly from an excellent memory of a wine-soaked evening sitting around this table. I sat right in that chair in the foreground. Delicious food and company. Promises were made about return trips to DC after that meeting, and an open invitation to visit Toronto -- but it has only been Christmas cards and e-mails since. Still, I feel sure we will cross paths again and it will be as if no time has passed.sources: 1. Gil Schafer. 2. Timothy Whealon. 3. Eric Hughes/ELLE Decor. 4. Newell Turner/House Beautiful. 5. Amy Neunsinger/House Beautiful. 6. Ina Garten/House Beautiful. 7. Victoria Hagan. 8. Gil Schafer. 9. Leslie Klotz/House Beautiful. 10. Barbara Barry/Veranda. 11 & 12. Darryl Carter/ELLE Decor. 


easy breezy

A screened-in porch is just the perfect in-between place. This time of year where I live, north of the 49th, it's warm, but at night it's not quite warm enough to sit outside. And patio heaters are just kind of yucky. And then, when it does get warm enough, it's a crazy bug-o-rama. So you see, a screened-in porch gives you the best of both worlds. Lovely breezes, beautiful views, a place to curl up - even for your wee dog. This room is all ready for Scrabble, a great book and a long cool cocktail. Just heaven. This porch is by one of my design heros, Gil Schafer. What do I love? Well, everything: the painted floor, the painted ceiling, the French doors to the kitchen, the classic porch furniture, the gooseneck reading lamp. Is there anything better than sitting in a porch during a wicked downpour? Can't you hear the giant drops? Wish I was there.

fireplace design

I'm quite consumed with fireplace design at the moment. Got a little project on the go so I'm gathering inspiration here, there and everywhere. Some of the most beautiful ones I've seen are by the talented Gil Schafer. I have waxed on about him before here, so I'll spare you this time. His work, his site and the photography on his site are all totally beautiful. Imagine yourself curled up by one of these beauties:

ode to gil schafer

This man's work really and truly makes my heart skip a beat. He's an architect and master of the envelope. His new buildings have the character and integrity that usually comes with age. He's all about stone and columns and mullioned windows and shutters. He's a master of millwork, mantels and mudrooms. 


source: gil schafer



ode to autumn

Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds, and storms,
And falling leaves, and pastures lost to flowers;
A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,
More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours,
Who, in her blooming uniform of green,
Delights with samely and continued joy:
But give me, Autumn, where thy hand hath been,
For there is wildness that can never cloy, - 
The russet hue of fields left bare, and all
The tints of leaves and blossoms ere they fall.
In thy dull days of clouds a pleasure comes,
Wild music softens in thy hollow winds;
And in thy fading woods a beauty blooms,
That's more than dear to melancholy minds.

-John Clare

photo source: gil schafer