I first discovered this room in a book I bought called "Easy Elegance", a compilation of elegant rooms from Traditional Home. I have looked at this book a thousand times and each time I sit and admire this room and its quiet elegance.
I'm not sure what quality it possesses that captures my heart most, but the combination seems to sum up my tastes. It's the creamy white walls, the pale blue-grey (?) drapes, the classic mahogany furniture, and the crisp slip-covered chairs. I love the perfect, simple and elegant chandelier, the hurricanes with their white candles, the exquisitely clean architecture (dentil moulding, be still my heart), and the beautiful landscape painting. On the walls, there are antique mercury glass candle sconces that are two of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I love the "H" monograms on the slipcovered chairs. I love the rug. I love everything! Looking at this room is like staring into heaven. Can you imagine a dinner party here?
This room speaks my language. It says that I'm a traditionalist and that I love simple elegance and lots of white and pale colours (but you knew that already).
So, you can imagine my surprise when I visited the website of James Michael Howard (after a tip from my friend at the lovely blog Things That Inspire) and discovered this room! My room! I was aware of the beautiful work of decorator and beauty purveyor Phoebe Howard (who owns the store "Mrs. Howard", among others), but did not realize that her husband, Jim Howard, was the accomplished interior designer behind the interior design company "James Michael Howard".
(I always considered myself a bright person, but sometimes it takes me a while).
When I realized that designer James Michael Howard was in fact Mr. Howard (the other half of the famous Mrs. Howard), and that it is their room I've been loving, I was gobsmacked. As I looked through his site (for about 2 hours whilst at the office supposedly working!), I came across several other favorite rooms I'd seen and loved before.
So, not only have I discovered that my favorite room (above) was designed by the Howards, but that it's in their own riverside home in Jacksonville, Florida. I'm terribly excited by this fact because I finally have a context for this beautiful room. And I think I have a new favorite designer, Mr. Howard, judging by the beautiful, quiet spaces on his website. It's like all the stars have aligned in the universe.
Now I have a major design crush.
I will post some of my favorite rooms by Mr. Howard this weekend. He is my new interior design icon. And do check out his wife's exquisite site Mrs. Howard, which features her amazing body of work, their combined projects, and various rooms from their now-famous shops.
Perhaps a trip to Jacksonville (or Atlanta) is in order? I might need an autograph!