its milking parlor now a kitchen and dining room.
Weathered brick and oak strike a stately pose beneath
wisteria and hydrangea, and between the tasteful
pool and manicured lawn. The only glimpse of the
erstwhile milk factory is the history in every last brick.
Elsewhere, a small farmhouse and outlying stables
were reincarnated as a sizable manor. Black and white
marble checkerboard floor tiles exude timeless chic,
and an impressive collection of antiques tether the new
life of the stable to its former era. The use of reclaimed
materials—paepesteen brick, plank flooring and tile,
for example—gives newer or refurbished spaces the
effect of a time-worn estate. But these architectural
elements merely provide a shell for what is to come,
as the second half of Country Living is devoted to the
interior design of the quarters.
Immediately apparent is the restraint with color
and furnishings that is the signature of Low Country
design. Natural, humble wood is chosen over painted
or lacquered furnishings, upholstery appears in
soothing grays, blues and neutrals (though a bright
orange chair does pack a punch in one home). Surfaces
are intentionally sparse and linen is the favored texture.
Two candlesticks suffice on a dining room table, in
lieu of a grandiose ‘tablescape,’ and a single fresh
flower adds color to a sofa console. No unnecessary
lines, no unnecessary color, no unnecessary anything.
And the finesse with which these interiors mix various
styles (be it a modest refractory table or a mid-century
Danish stool by Poul Hundevad, a pre-Columbian
wall-hanging or a contemporary Christian Liaigre
piece) is flawless. Though finely edited, the interiors
maintain a vibrancy and life that will be savored for
decades to come.
The book embodies this same quiet ethos, and
captions alone are left to tell the stories. The full-page
photographs on nearly every one of Country Living’s
204 pages range from exterior to interior to detail
shots that open up each home; in some cases, multiple
angles of the same space offer a more thorough
understanding of the way light hits a certain wall,
how precisely the space flows and why an urbanite
might choose weekend affairs with such a free-spirited
mistress. Page after civilized page, Country Living
reminds us that elegance isn’t reserved for urban living.
Pare down and enjoy n Taylor Bowles ~Country Living,
Wim Pauwels, 204 pages, $95/hardcover, Beta-Plus
America’s inest Furniture
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