Happy St.Patrick’s Day! May your day be filled with laughter and tons of good luck! For this Friday’s post I have a special home to share with you. It is a Grecian getaway on the island of Patmos that is stunning in its simplicity. Pure shapes and old structures were imbued with new life by a thoughtful owner. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

A Paris fashion executive purchased a 17th-century stable in shambles after falling in love with Patmos and hired Greek architect Lilia Melissa to restore it to its original beauty. A skilled team of local craftsmen have transformed the ruins into a beautiful island getaway. The materials used throughout are simple – lime washed walls, barn-wood floors and poured concrete countertops in the kitchen create a no-fuss atmosphere. The rooms are decorated with furniture finds from all over the world: local antique iron beds serve as sofas in the living room, tables and chairs were found or built by island carpenters. Treasures collected over give the rooms an exotic traveler’s feel – Portuguese bedspreads, Anatolian carpets, an antique drop-leaf colonial table and a Romanian kilim purchased in New York – all work beautifully to create a sophisticated and collected home.


patmos outdoor

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Patrick Printy is a Northern-California based designer who established his firm after a successful career as art director and stylist in the fashion and design industry. He worked with Pottery Barn, RH, Levi’s and Williams-Sonoma.

His projects vary from rural midcentury abodes, wine country farmhouses, spanish colonials, to country barn studios and homes in the city, yet they all share a fine blend of traditional design elements mixed with vernacular textures and materials. His Oakland home he shares with David Holland was the highlight of my Elle Decor issue this weekend. Masculine without feeling too stern, it mixes patterns in a calming palette of warm grays and cool blues.

patrick garden

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Good design is comfortable and personal, great design is timeless. Happy Friday, friends! In the world of interiors there are trends that come and go, colors and design elements that are so ‘in’ one year and totally ‘out’ the next. Personally, I do not follow trends nor do I believe in them.  A great design has no age and will look as fresh now as it will in a decade or two. Needless to say, such timeless interiors are not easy to create or replicate. It takes talent, experience and a willingness to take risks. Constantly stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is what makes a good designer, great. That and the right clients to experiment on! 🙂

Case in point: this gorgeous home designed in 2005 by Binny Hudson is as beautiful and relevant today as it was back then. It looks as if time stood still, twelve years of design did nothing to diminish its appeal.  By the way, Binny Hudson is untraceable on the world wide web. She has no website or contact information, all I could find were bits and pieces from an old interview that accompanies a spread of her home in House & Garden UK.  We are told she is a florist and interior stylist (and a talented one for sure) living in the heart of London with her husband Graham.

Whenever I see a space like this, I do my best to study it carefully. I try to find out what is it that makes it stand the test of time. Is it a particular color palette? A choice of furnishings? Or is it the story this home tells? I think it’s a little bit of everything.

binny office

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Yesterday I wrote about a charming Cape Cod beach property designed by Kathryn M. Ireland and mentioned how it comes with a glorious past. I thought it would make a great post to delve into more detail and show you the property as it was in its previous life.

It used to belong to the late Rachel ”Bunny” Mellon and her banking heir husband, Paul Mellon. The couple, whose exceptional wealth was paired with remarkable good taste, used this as their summer retreat, entertaining famous friends like Jack and Jaqueline Kennedy, Hubert de Givenchy, Noel Coward to name just a few. Known for her impeccable style, Bunny Mellon however was not your typical heiress and socialite. She led a discrete, almost reclusive life, with minimal public exposure.

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Among the beautiful homes I so often write about, it is hard for me to play favorites because I’ve made it my mission to only blog about things that I love. I have and will always post about designers, home tours and architecture I feel a strong connection to. That being said, I will make an exception and say that this home, like no other, is my DREAM! I can’t believe I waited so long to write about this property, since I’ve posted bits of it six ways to Sunday on all of my social media outlets. If I had a nickel…

It’s clear to me that if I were to hire someone else to decorate my home, it would be Ireland! I adore her work, I adore her fabrics, I adore her fun and easy manner.

Some might say that with this home, she had her work cut out for her. It used to belong to Bunny Mellon and was built in incredibly good taste. Although the property is grand and lies on 26 acres of private Cape Cod waterfront, the rooms and the house itself have just the right proportions, feel cozy, intimate, unassuming. The Mellons used this as their vacay home with notable guests like Jack and Jackie Kennedy and Noel Coward. The current owners, Brigitte and Bill Koch (related to actresses Kate and Rooney Mara) bought the property for family entertaining and soon enlisted Ireland’s help to decorate its myriad of rooms.

This is where Ireland’s talent comes in. She managed to preserve Bunny Mellon’s touch while at the same time personalizing it to fit the current owner’s lifestyle and taste. Most of the furnishings in the home are either part of the Mellon estate or taken from the Koch’s family storage. The vision to unify it all, the charm, pattern and color are all Ireland!


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