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This room has Gatewood’s palette - the white, the black accent, the red and the blue.These are practically the only colors seen throughout the estate. After this conversation with a friend, I sat down to read One Man’s Folly, the new book by Julia Reed about Furlow Gatewood.There are several outbuildings – a tiny temple, for one. To see it put together in one book, I realized how much I shared with Gatewood: his love of natural fabrics, of linens and cottons, his love of blue and white, his love of both dark and light furniture. I loved the clutter – the sets of dishes, the collections of porcelains, the masses of books. You can look and look and look and still not see it all. I love that he never used an architect, he just told his carpenter where to add a wing or a bedroom, or where to build a room around a set of antique shutters. The road to his property has been renamed Peacock Lane in honor of the many peacocks that live here, along with a number of beloved dogs and cats.Didn’t I know that big slipcovers were out of style? I can see moving on a bit and tweaking your aesthetic. I mean, my own living room was filled with variety of printed fabrics until just a few years ago. I like antique tables and consoles and chandeliers. What if you prefer accessories that were made over 100 years ago? And it is all fascinating and beautiful and so Furlow Gatewood. Where some walls were first yellow with red, the newer houses have white and gray walls, a nod to today’s look. He didn’t sell his old, antique dishes and buy new sets from Pottery Barn, not did he go to a thrift shop and pick up dishes from the 50s. He only started the building while in his 80s, which is amazing.Didn’t I want to try something new, like Belgian Design (well excuse me, but I’ve yet to see a Belgian house without a slipcover, but I digress.) Her point was, I was stuck in my own aesthetic. My bedroom is green, my library is dove, my guest room is blue. The first house was once the carriage house, now called The Barn.
And whoever degreed that a lone, tattered toy horse is prettier than a set of beautiful Mason or creamware? The back part of the living room with the fireplace and wall of French doors. It is interesting that the only change Gatewood has made through the years has really been in wall colors. Instead, it has now been turned into a guest house.
His zest for life is so infectious – to keep decorating and adding to his environment – even at his age – is amazing. Change your paint color if you discover you like the new lighter colors better – but don’t repaint just because everyone else is.
Resist that trendy Sputnik chandelier that is all over the magazines if it doesn’t speak to you!
A classic crystal chandelier will never go out of date – EVER.
"A Baltimore paper reported an auction sale included a pearl, once owned by a Florodora Girl.
It’s a visual feast – a cluttered design of accessories and oil paintings, interesting furniture and simple cottons and linens. Throughout the estate are oversized oil paintings, along with plates and vases. No, there isn’t a Sputnik chandelier, nor is there anything from this century – unless it is reproduced. It’s across from the Barn and next to the pond on the estate.