If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I'm busily preparing for our wedding in (less than) 5 weeks.
I'm also taking an 8-week class at the Chronic Pain Clinic, so together with working and getting the garden into shape for spring (i.e. supervising David who does all the heavy lifting), I haven't had much time lately to think about decorating!
However, I was very sad to read this week (here) about the death of Betty Sherrill, at age 91. Mrs. Sherrill was the amazing traditionalist designer who headed McMillen (a NYC interior design firm said to be the oldest in the country) for over half a century. I have McMillens prominently in my family tree, so I always found it interesting to read about a namesake...
She sounded like quite a charming character, in addition to having (of course) exquisite taste and a very deep knowledge of traditional furniture and design...how interesting it would have been to have known her.
Architectural Digest has published a wonderful tribute here so I won't pretend to try to duplicate the effort.
Here is a photo from that article, showing Betty Sherrill with her daughter Ann Pyne (left) and granddaughter Elizabeth Pyne, both designers who work for the family firm.
I had read about her several times over the years and was doubly-shocked as I'd just finished re-reading (last week in fact!!!), the New York Social Diary article about her Manhattan apartment (here), posted in February 2007.
I had actually just emailed myself a link to her dining room, which I think is fabulous.
So I thought I'd share a few photos from that article with you.
Here is the wonderful dining room with leopard-spotted dining chair fabric and carpet. Perfection. This room is just so classic and chic - it feels very French to me, very Paris apartment. I love this look. The article lists the chairs as Louis VI.
Here is the living room - very, very traditional - but such beautiful things never go out of style. I love everything here, including the sunny yellow walls and that abstract painting that adds whimsy and just tips the balance so it doesn't get too serious:
The library - I love the deep coral walls and the taxidermy impala head (I'm not really up on my wild game so I could be wrong, and don't ask me how I knew it was an impala) on the wall above a charmingly romantic impressionistic floral painting. I also love that cane desk chair and another animal print on the little armchair. All of these elements are like reading a list of traditional classics...all combined so perfectly.
The other end of the living room and a passageway - more classics - the treillage, the portraits, the chevron floors, a skirted (velvet?) table, a bouillotte lamp, that gorgeous floral flatweave rug...such density of design, but the cheery colour scheme keeps it light and pretty.
I hope you can read a bit more about this amazing lady for yourself.
Sometimes (oftentimes!) I wish I were in the Who's Who world and could meet some of these fascinating people. I find people like Mrs. Sherrill just endlessly fascinating and I love their old-fashioned traditional ways of keeping house and decorating one's house. I learned a lot from my grandmother, but sadly nothing about French Furniture. Haha. It is a lost art form, really - this resolute dedication to pure traditional decor.
Luckily she has passed down her wisdom to the next generation. They are so blessed to have known her!
With my regards, Terri