Living Zestfully!

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It’s been a beautiful and busy summer for Dujardin Design Associates: new projects, co-chairing the Nantucket Historical Association’s Nantucket by Design Week and creating a Pop-Up Lounge Design, sponsoring the Walk for Autism on Nantucket, and feature articles in Review and ONLY Nantucket, Nantucket Today, and Aspire Design and Home! We just had enough time to catch our breath and we’re off to a fabulous fall! Here’s a peek at all we did this summer:

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August 2-7 was the Nantucket Historical Association’s Nantucket by Design Week. Dujardin Design Associates was one of four designers asked to create a Pop-Up Lounge Design. Here’s ours–we mixed contemporary and vintage with a classic navy and white color scheme. Perfectly Nantucket!

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On August 20th, we once again sponsored an event near and dear to my heart: The Walk for Autism Speaks. The Walk was especially poignant this year as it recalled the life and contributions of Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright, a longtime client and friend, and beloved Nantucket resident. Suzanne used her time on earth to break the silence around a disorder that affects 70 million children, teens, and adults every day. In doing so, she not only gave a voice to Autism Speaks, but she encouraged everyone in her path to take compassionate action as well. That’s a legacy I admire.

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Also this summer we saw a compilation of beautiful outdoor spaces created by Dujardin Design Associates in Nantucket Today’s July issue, in their feature article Pretty Porches: A Private Pleasure.   I’ve always said that the joy of a summer cottage is partly to be found in fresh sea breezes and sunshine in a clear blue sky, which is why I love creating what I consider outdoor living rooms. There is nothing more relaxing than a sheltered spot that has all the best of the indoors and outdoors combined, including furniture designed for comfort and the weather, tables to hold an al fresco lunch, and beautiful blooming plants to make you feel like you’re on vacation, even with work in your lap.

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Review and ONLY Nantucket was home to three Dujardin Design articles. In July, readers enjoyed my favorite Dujardin-designed island homes that celebrate the natural world and engage all of our senses in It’s Only Natural. I often remind my clients that because we are part of nature, not separate from it, our homes enhance our health and wellness when we rely on nature’s beauty in our interiors.

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In August, an article in Review titled Bringing the Garden In shared my tips for adding beauty in color, texture, and form through fresh flowers. Flowers connect us to nature, and add a touch of grace to our rooms. I like to keep a small vase of flowers on my desk to brighten my day as I work. My favorite bouquets have always been white, in any combination of flowers, but truly any blooms work: snowdrops in teacups, peonies in pitchers, and anything at all in blue and white Chinese export porcelain.

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Before the summer season on the island was over, For Love of Whales appeared, a celebration of all things whale on Nantucket. Whether used as a subtle backdrop or a dramatic focal point in homes ranging from traditional to contemporary and everything in between, artwork celebrating the whale is one of my favorite elements of design, and many of my clients agree! Included in the article are facts about how to help whales, still under siege today from commercial whaling, drifting nets cut loose from large fishing vessels, toxic chemicals entering the ocean through run-off, and loud noises created by sonar testing.

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Trudy Dujardin

And with the beginning of fall, Aspire Design and Home published a Dujardin-designed Manhattan Park Avenue apartment, aptly named Orange Zest, for its sophisticated neutral color palette of grays and whites enlivened with accents of Hermes orange. Built in 1912, the 3,500 square foot apartment feels more like a house, with two living rooms–one for the parents and the other for their teenage children–that open together in a remarkable light-filled space in a 52 foot enfilade. Aspire Magazine is on stands now–don’t miss this one!

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Summer 2016 was fabulous, as are my wonderful memories of so many Nantucket summers. We were blessed with interesting projects, great clients, fun collaborations, and opportunities to give back to the island community we love. Now it’s back to life in Connecticut, ready for a new season. Thanks for coming along on our trip through June, July, and August. Happy Fall!

 

 

 

Time Travel: Antiques in Design

Using antiques to create distinctive interiors for my clients is a longtime signature of Dujardin Design Associates, Inc. Striking, original looks can be achieved by blending old and new, traveling across time to access the most beautiful furniture, accessories, objets d’art, paintings and rugs.I believe that every room has space for something old, a one-of-a-kind treasure that speaks of our shared past. Above, we used a wall hanging composed of 18th century Tibetan Buddhist prayers written on bamboo to bring Far Eastern calm to a contemporary space.


My favorite thing about using antiquesin my interiors? They’re the ultimate in green! Repeatedly recycled over decades, these pieces have been made from old-growth wood, protecting today’s forests, have long ago completed any off-gassing from the finishing process, and slow the resource intensive cycle of new production. Above, contemporary lamps, sconces and tables blend elegantly with an antique German Beidermeier armoire and mirror over the mantle.


There is beauty in contrasts. Rather than trying to achieve a single, monotone look, give your living spaces the dash and dazzle of opposites. In this Nantucket home, we paired a 19th century gilt mirror with 21st century whale art in hand-blown glass by Raven Skyriver.


Just as you might add a fabulous piece of vintage jewelry to complete an outfit, your room can use some jewelry too. The room above is bejeweled with the Tang Dynasty horse on the shelf near the window and the 18th century Chinese cocktail table, along with other priceless Asian artifacts.


I love the look of this marine-encrusted, glazed stoneware storage jar, dating from the 15th-17th centuries and found in the South China Sea.

One way to showcase old pieces is to use them in unusual ways . Here we took an antique rug and hung it on the wall as a stylish piece of art.

Juxtaposing a sleek white bedside table with an elaborately carved antique bed from the West Indies is a beautifully soothing contrast.

Don’t be afraid to use color to enliven an old piece. Unless it’s a priceless treasure, go ahead and paint it, refinish it, change the drawer pulls, and make it your own. Or let it keep its timeworn patina. Either way, it’s a fascinating addition to your living space.

Let your antique collections add fun and a little surprise. These small articulated artists’ models are the whimsical touch that brings this space to unexpected life. Another wonderful thing about antiques is that they add a completely unique look to your home. You won’t find these models available in catalogs or at mass market retail stores.

Ready to go shopping? Don’t miss the The Nantucket Historical Association’s annual Antiques and Design Show, this year from July 29th to August 3rd. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Five New Ideas about Old Things

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As a design advisor for this year’s Nantucket Historical Association’s annual Antiques and Design Show, I’m excited to both participate with a Dujardin Design tablescape created especially for the event, and to attend to see what the world of antique dealers and designers have to offer this year. I love using antiques in my interiors, both for my clients, and in my own home. These treasured parts of history are beautiful mixed into traditional or more contemporary designs, and as I tell my clients and friends, they are the ultimate in “green!”

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1) Antique furniture can be a beautiful addition to a sustainable lifestyle, as well as a link to the past. Not only do carefully selected pieces add artistry and the patina of age, they help to maintain your home’s indoor air quality. Created with less-toxic products years ago, antiques have long since completed any chemical off gassing.

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2) By restoring and repairing fine furniture, the resource-intensive cycle of endless new production is slowed, as is the fossil-fuel based packaging and delivery system.

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3) Beautiful and sturdy, wood pieces made before the 21st century were constructed with timber with tighter growth rings, which simply doesn’t exist today, enhancing its value as a treasured collectible.

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4) Antiques are recycling at its best. Beloved family pieces, delicate porcelain, fine china and the softly faded colors of aged Oriental rugs do not belong in a landfill. Treasures from another time can be loved and used again. An item that has been passed from home to home and hand to hand brings history to life, and honors the work of artisans who lived long ago.

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5) Antique collections are a very personal expression. I often find that a simple gesture, such as placing an antique tea caddy on a mantel, can inspire my clients to begin a collection of their own. Learning about the subtle differences between artisans, the period of time when an item was made, or the materials that were used to make it, gives us a greater appreciation for life. Whatever you collect, it is unique to you and your home, and cannot be duplicated.

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I encourage you to spend a summer weekend looking for old and rare treasures of your own. Being “green” has never been so much fun!

 

 

Decorating with Antiques: a Deeper Shade of Green

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The Nantucket Historical Association hosts its annual Antiques & Design Show from August 1 to August 5 this year.  Dujardin Design Associates, Inc. will present a Designer’s Room Vignette with beautiful examples of treasured antiques and a display that shows them artfully placed in a room.  If you’re on Nantucket, come visit us at Bartlett’s Farm, 33 Bartlett Farm Road.  Here are all the details.   

In celebration of the timeless beauty of long-cherished objects and our desire to live lightly on the earth, it’s time we think about antiques in a new way.  Antiques are a part of a sustainable lifestyle, as well as a link to the past.  Let’s take a look at how these enduring parts of history can elevate both your life and your home’s design!

I have always been an ardent collector of antiques, and the addition of carefully selected pieces to sophisticated interiors is a recognizable signature of my design style.  Sharing my love for classic pieces comes naturally to me.  I find that my clients quickly embrace the elegance of antique furniture, and often become collectors themselves.  Homes are brought to life when old paintings, pieces of porcelain, or folk art add their charming artistry.

As we learn more about how to assess the health of our built environments, and steps we can take to keep our homes clean and pristine, it’s important to recognize the ways that antiques can be an integral part of a green lifestyle.

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 This is a fabulous collection of treenware, dating from the 19th to the 20th Century.  Note the darning egg, and the antique stereoscope–the earliest form of television!  The book displayed is by British treenware expert Burt Marsh. Photo:  Durstan Saylor

No Chemical Vapors Are Brought into your Home

Your home’s interior should be a place of fresh air and health.  Yet any new piece of furniture, cabinetry, flooring or finished wood has some chemical overtones.  Many fine finishes release vapors in a process called off-gassing.  In a closed environment, such as an energy efficient, airtight home, off-gassing can increase indoor air pollution to levels several times higher than those detected outside.  Antiques are a healthier choice than modern furnishings because they were created with less toxic products years ago, and any off-gassing has long been complete.

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This living room is a showcase for beautiful antique accessories, including a 19th Century ship’s model behind the sofa, and a pair of lamps made from 18th Century Chinese Export porcelain.  A pair of 19th Century British hand carved candlesticks and a 19th Century ship’s captain’s lap desk are on the cocktail table.  Photo:  Durstan Saylor

No New Resources Are Used

Every beautiful piece of wooden furniture originated from a tree.  Whenever we purchase new wood furniture, unless we choose products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), we are contributing to the deforestation of our planet.  In contrast, wooden antiques are products of trees culled long ago from old-growth forests. Old pieces add a soothing mix of periods to a room, and since no new resources were used in their construction, their restoration and re-use is a green endeavor. 

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 This study reflects the long seafaring history of the coast, with a 19th Century ship’s telescope, and a 19th Century ship’s barometer hanging to the right of the window.  Framed antique prints are on the wall, and the mantle holds part of a collection of sea captain doorstops.  

No Negative Environmental Impact is Created

Beyond the health issues in our homes, we should consider the costs to our planet.  Even the very greenest furniture manufacturers distribute impurities into our air, waste systems and water.  New furniture requires the production of finishes, dyes and sealants.  Shipping them demands the creation of packing materials, and they arrive in retail stores via large vehicles powered by fossil fuel.  The EPA estimates that three million tons of furniture are taken to landfills every year, only to be replaced with brand new pieces that can carry a large environmental cost.

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An extremely rare 19th Century English scrimshaw tortoiseshell is displayed above the fireplace; on the mantle are several antique lighting devices:  a corkscrew pigtail candlestick complete with hook for hanging over a chair, a rush light holder and antique binoculars. Photo: Terry Pommett

Antiques Are Recycled Treasures

Beloved family pieces, original wooden floorboards and the softly faded colors of aged Oriental rugs do not belong in a landfill.  Treasures from another time can be loved and used again.  A federal mirror that has been passed from home to home and hand to hand brings history to life, and honors the work of long-ago artisans.

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This is a mint condition 18th Century British Woolie, The Ship of Bengal, unusual for the ship’s identification as part of the design, and for its display of the British flag. Photo: Terry Pommett

Antiques Respect the Work of Long-ago Craftsmen 

Rather than purchasing a mass-produced item, treat yourself to something created in a small workshop by a craftsman who made good use of few resources.  In previous centuries, home furnishings were made by hand before machine-assembled items flooded the marketplace.  Artisans from years gone by had knowledge that largely disappeared during the Industrial Revolution.  Old joining techniques were abandoned in favor of more rapid assembly using staples and nails.  Fiber board was created and the beauty of the wood itself was lost.  Take the time to consider the difference between a finely hand-wrought piece and one processed in a factory.  Even contemporary rooms can be striking when modern pieces are blended with well-placed antiques. 

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This Ionic columned fireplace, in the Captain Parker house on Nantucket which I painstakingly restored, still retains its Sandwich glass clothesline knobs; string was wound between them so clothes could be hung to dry. Not all antiques are furniture.

Antiques Have Stood the Test of Time

Classic pieces are sturdy and well-made, which is why they have lasted.  The quality of their wood is usually stronger, created from timber with tighter growth rings, making repair a simple task when necessary.  Furniture that is unworthy of a craftsman’s repair time adds to our cycle of wasteful consumption.  Instead, your rooms can be accented with vintage furniture that has been lavished with love and care, and that honors history and tradition. 

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An old set of nesting baskets, handmade by 19th Century basket weavers. Photo: Erik Rank

Antique Collections Are a Personal Expression

I often find that a simple gesture, such as placing an antique tea caddy on a mantel, can inspire my clients to begin collections. There is tremendous beauty in items preserved throughout the years, particularly if they illuminate another time and way of life.  Learning about the subtle differences among artisans, the period when an item was created, or the materials that were used to make it, gives us a greater appreciation for life.  

My personal collections include treenware (handcarved wooden items used in the home long ago), old hotel silver, blue and white porcelain, and things that speak to me of lives lived on the ocean, including whaling artifacts, scrimshaw carvings and sailor whirligigs.

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The foyer of the lovingly restored Captain Parker House on Nantucket, circa 1700’s.

Not All Antiques Are Furniture

You can find antique cabinetry, flooring, doors, beams, posts, mantels and other architectural pieces.  Consider a gorgeous 18th Century door to add punch and personality to your entry, or how about antique doorknobs and a doorknocker?  An old mantel delivers instant charm; remilled old timbers bring panache to the pantry.  Add the incredible details that your home may be missing.

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This Victorian milk glass doorknob was added to an old door to restore it to its 19th Century charm.

Antiques Add Beauty and Joy to Life

There is a thrill when you spot the perfect 19th Century French farm table, Georgian stand or double pedestal dining table.  You feel an immediate connection to the Italian walnut commode or a beautiful pair of small paintings.  Antique collectors know that old things have a soul, based on their authenticity.  Whether you fall in love with hand-embroidered vintage textiles or white ironstone pitchers, each well-chosen piece adds to the unique style that is yours alone.  

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Photo:  Durstan Saylor

Blending newly designed furnishings with antique collectibles is a wonderful way to express yourself.  Concrete work surfaces and stainless steel works beautifully when paired with your antique dining table and old wooden doors.  Don’t be afraid to mix periods and textures.  Contrast can be the spice of life, and add spice to your home as well!

The Timeless Elegance of Antiques

 

One of the most highly regarded antiques show on the east coast is taking place on Nantucket from August 3rd to 6th.  A benefit for the Nantucket Historical Association, the show is a highlight of the island’s summer season! This year, their 35th, will be a wonderful week of parties, lectures and activities. Read more about it here.

It all starts with the Preview on August 2nd, and continues through Monday, August 6th at Bartlett Farm, 33 Bartlett Farm Road.  Don’t miss it!

 

 

Mark Tercek of The Nature Conservancy to Speak at The Sconset Chapel

I hope you’ll join me on Sunday, August 5th at 7:30 p.m. when Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, makes a visit to Nantucket to speak at The Sconset Chapel as part of their Siasconset Chapel Sunday summer lecture and concert series..  Mr. Tercek will reflect on conservation in the 21st Century, and what it will take to protect nature in a rapidly changing world. 

This former managing director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. spent more than two decades on Wall Street before joining The Nature Conservancy.  Now, with the help of his board and the input of the Conservancy’s 600 scientists, he wants to remake the face of the American and global environmental movements.

Admission is free. I’ll be there–hope to see you there, too!

Read more about Mark Tercek here

To find out more about what the Nature Conservancy is doing to help the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, read their Spring/Summer 2012 newsletter here.