Welcome to our new parlor
May 22, 2018
Spring is the time to renew and refresh. Inside and outside, we typically want to throw off the heaviness of winter and move to a lighter and brighter season.
That desire explains in part why we decided it was time to redecorate our Farmhouse’s front parlor, which hadn’t been touched in more than 15 years. Gone are the blue damask walls and the heavier furnishings, replaced with pretty pastels that focus on our new Patisserie furniture collection.
The new look is the start of an effort to reinvigorate the interior and exterior of the Farmhouse, which was built around 1870 and is the centerpiece of our 65-acre campus in Aurora, New York.
Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer, wanted to enhance the parlor’s advantages, which include lots of natural light and a great view of nearby Cayuga Lake. She also wanted to highlight the room’s dominant feature, a ceramic fireplace designed by one of our founders in the late 1980s. The fireplace includes many of our historic ceramic patterns, which inspired the new colors in the room.
It took several months to plan the new parlor and about six weeks to execute the plans. Overseeing that part was Felicia Rocker, our Farmhouse coordinator, who worked with Rebecca to create the design.
The first step? Getting yards of blue damask fabric off the walls to ready them for a fresh floral stripe that was hand-painted by Corey Field, our visual manager, with assistance from visual trimmer Aubrey Ellis. After the fabric was gone, the walls were sanded and primed with Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Next, Corey used a three-inch brush to paint alternating stripes of Spun Wool (a subtle gray by Behr) and Puffball (a neutral cream from Pratt & Lambert). Corey also added highlights to the stripes, including some accents of Pearl White (from Modern Masters), which glow when light fills the room. On top of the stripes, Corey painted the crowning touch: Large, lush peonies, sweet forget-me-nots, and trailing vines.
The new furniture in the room includes the Patisserie Wing Chair, the Patisserie Parlor Chair, and the Patisserie Setting Seat. The pieces’ pastel colors and patterns coordinate and play off each other and just might make you think of a plate of petit fours.
Rebecca couldn’t be more pleased with the results. “It’s light, pastel, and feminine,” she says. “The whole thing is really harmonious. There are surprises and delights from the patterns.”
One of the surprises that Rebecca speaks of is a seafoam green velvet sofa that’s between two Truffle Top Tables. It’s a prototype from an upcoming collection of furniture, Bespoke, which should be available in fall 2019. The choice to include the sofa is in keeping with the mission of the Farmhouse, which is to serve as a design laboratory of sorts and display pieces that are current, retired or one of a kind.
Says Rebecca, “I like to say the Farmhouse is always a work in progress.”
We invite you to tour the Farmhouse and see the new parlor. Free tours are available year-round. Individual reservations are recommended but not required; reservations are required for groups of 15 or more (call 315-364-7123, ext. 1282). Labor Day through June 5, tours are given daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.; June 6 through Labor Day, tours are given daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. The tours are about 40 minutes long. For more information, go to our website.
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