I love to cruise the real estate listings in old school summer resort places (ie: Rhode Island, the Berkshires, coastal Maine) because that's where you find some eye-popping decorating. I'm not talking things you'd see in House Beautiful, I'm talking stuff that hasn't been touched in years -- things that are so un-trendy you can still hear Grandmama yelling at you through them. Which brings us to this nutso c1935 French manse in Newport. So let's just dig right in --
Oh yeah baby - some La Lantern inspired goodness. (I blogged about another La Lantern-inspired house in Lake Bluff, IL last year). Love the crisp whiteness of the home and those perfectly manicured topiaries. And I am all about pea gravel, so chic.
You like some decorative porcelain? Who doesn't?
Crazy french opulence (in a good way!) in the living room. Parquet de Versailles floors? Check. Hand painted Chinoiserie paper? Check. Aubusson rug? Check. Yep, we're getting it all here.
Floofy balloon romans are a delight. Symmetry is pleasing but not perfect enough to be oppressive. Beyond classic.
I am obsessed with hanging paintings on big, ol' ribbons. We can put nail holes in the paper!
Yes, even MORE hand-painted paper in the dining room. That breakfront is fabulous.
A darkly paneled library is brightened by an array of blue and white fabrics. I love when a rich paneled room is done up in bright, light fabrics. Its an interesting juxtaposition and it just makes the space so friendly.
Can I just pick this whole thing up and put it in my next house? Thanks.
This little sitting room is seriously decorated with its paintings and rich fabrics, but the white walls and tons of light make the space approachable and relaxing.
The staircase is old school elegance and still light, bright, and happy.
This guest bedroom is a floral explosion. You didn't expect anything less, did you?
I couldn't love the dollhouse more. This must be the "visiting granddaughters" guest room.
Another bedroom (maybe the master?) features one of my favorite elements in french provincial revival homes: the framed trim around the windows, behind which you can tuck the drapes. I'm 100% there is a french term for this and clearly art school has failed me that I don't know it.
Another tidy guest room balances boisterous floral upholstery and gently striped walls.
This charming and slightly haphazard bedroom is my favorite. Wallpaper all the way up and over the ceiling, mixed floral upholstery, much more casual bedding -- this is an actual example of that "thrown together" look that people try so hard to achieve. This is that look in the wild.
Obviously a "summer cottage" in Newport is going to have stunning outdoor space.
And a Versailles inspired house has to have formal gardens!
The rear facade of the home faces out over the pool.
And more formal gardens extend out in the back of the property.
I love seeing houses like this in their natural state. Which I why I almost always prefer real estate listings to magazine features -- you get a much much better sense of how the home actually lives, as opposed to it being fluffed and buffed to perfection. I'm definitely more of an English (well, Anglo-American if we're nit picking) decorating devotee, but this La Lantern-inspired pile has such joie de vivre that you can't help but love it.