Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jacobean Revival in Memphis, TN

Carrier Hall, Memphis, Tennessee

This Spring I was fortunate enough to tour this iconic home in the heart of Central Gardens in Memphis, TN.  Currently, the home is FOR SALE, but was once the residence of famed Memphis Interior Designer, William R. Eubanks.  Hence, when the opportuntiy made itself available for me to take the grand tour I gladly accepted.  Below you will see pictures of various rooms in the house, each filled with remarkable detailing and the finest building elements.  Enjoy, as this home is simply magnificent!  Grandeur would be an understatement, as this is a rare gem. 

Circa 1926 Jacobean Revival in Central Gardens, Memphis, TN.

 When Robert M. Carrier moved his family from New York to Memphis in 1926, he sent his architect, Bryant Fleming, on a buying trip to England to gather elements for the house he was building here. Fleming had worked with W. J. Dodd, who designed the Hunter Raine house in 1904, just around the corner on Central. He also designed Cheekwood, built in Nashville in the early 1930s. It wasn't a pewter tankard or two, nor even Wedgwood service for 24 that he had in mind.

Early Tudor mantels ornamented with mythical beasts, rooms of fine wood paneling, and a museum-worthy collection of paintings on glass to be incorporated in the leaded casement windows are part of what Fleming acquired on his grand tour. The resulting house feels like it could have been built during the late 16th or early 17th century in East Anglia.

Fleming was an accomplished landscape architect, and he designed the site to provide a stunning milieu for the house, siting it on the mid-level of a three-tiered plot with its main entrance on the rear, off a central garden court. The street front has a magnificent brick and stone balustraded terrace looking west over a sunken lawn.

Lawn View

The interior details are as sumptuous as you could imagine and then some. The entry and living room are floored in a checkerboard of antique marble and slate. The ceilings are beamed with antique timbers. The formal rooms have plaster ceilings with ornate strapwork and decorative pendants. The great hall, library, and sitting rooms have walls of hand-carved paneling. These include full-relief figures and bas-relief masks on the over-mantels. Every surface is rich with historical detail.

Hand painted panels in the lead glass windows

Limestone Mantel,  Lead Glass Windows, 10" plank floors

The kitchen is a spacious room with recently redone glazed cabinetry. Granite tops, tumbled marble backsplashes, and a limestone floor with inset slate diamonds equal the quality of the original materials in other parts of the house. The kitchen is large enough to hold a comfortable seating area; a separate breakfast room and dining porch overlook the entry garden court.


The detailing isn't spared upstairs, with the same eight- and 10-inch-wide oak floors found in the great hall and the dining room. The master suite has a manorial bedroom, a morning room, two dressing rooms, and two baths. The other bedrooms aren't bad, either. There is a guest house across the garden court and a pool and tea house on the uppermost level.

Dining Room


Probably no other house in Memphis is built with such richness of architectural elements. One step inside this house and the elegant assemblage of historical relics will make you feel as if you're embarking on a grand tour of your own.

text by: John Griffin

Additional Photos:


Smoking Room with Relief Plaster work in Ceiling

Sleeping Quarters with Timber Detailing
Living Salon

Front Entrance Gate

Photos compliments of:  Trulia and The Commercial Appeal

Friday, August 20, 2010

Parisian Hotel Design

Centrally located near Place Vendome and across from the Tuileries, Jolly Hotel Lotti ranks at the top of my list of Parisian hotels.  Since 1910, the luxury NH Jolly Hotel Lotti in Paris has always been more than just a prestigious address. It is the embodiment of hospitality and a hotel in which luxury blends magnificently with discretion. Surrounded by the most famous names in fashion and jewelry, the Hotel Lotti is ideally situated between the place Vendôme and the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre Museum, the Opera House and the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, all of which are just a five-minute walk away. The Tuileries metro line 1 station is right around the corner, giving you easy access to major attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomph, Sacre Coeur and international railway stations. 

Each night during my Parisian stays I would sit in the Tuileries, ice cream in hand and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkeling in the distance...and dream, before heading back to my hotel suite to turn in for the night.  J'adore Paris! 

The hotel's decor boasts beautiful French design and I will leave you with some of its splendor...



View of Stained Glass Ceiling

Sitting Area adorned with traditional French Panels

More paneling and French Mantle with ormolu


Slip Covered Dining Chairs and beautiful table linens

I absolutely love this space, as its cozy and warm amidst grandeur

Photos compliments of:  NH Hotels, Hotel Jolli Lotti
Paris, France

Sunday, August 15, 2010

For the Love of Chandeliers

Italian Chandelier

Fireside Chandelier

Recently, I used this Chandelier in a client's dining room and it was spectacular!

Mumaw Chandelier

Genie Urn Chandelier

Each of these chandeliers is from the collection of Aidan Grey .  His collection boast the uniquity of French and Italian design with careful attention paid to the detail.  Each piece has a beautiful patina and adds a simplistic touch of understated elegance to any setting.  The price is also favorable when use of antique fixtures is cost prohibitive or a one of a kind fixture can not be found.