The tour started at the historic Brown Memorial Church, with its incredible Tiffany windows. These windows make up the largest collection of Tiffany windows still in their original setting.In 2000, the church undertook a massive renovation of the windows, clearing nearly 100 years of grime from them, reinforcing the lead and restoring them to their original glory. In looking at these massive windows closely, you can see Tiffany’s artistry, like in this star with its beam shining down, all done in the shading of the glass. Tiffany accomplished the varying shades and colourations through the texture and thickness of the glass, so that in this window, it looks like light playing on water, but it’s really the texture of the glass.The detail in the windows is incredible, down to the catch-lights in the eyes of this shepherd.
Our next stop was a late 1800’s brownstone house, with much of the original tile and woodwork intact.We were all charmed by this terrific bench, which looked like had been purpose-built for this curved wall.If that wasn’t wonderful enough, the woodwork on the original wood floor was fabulous.This house had a delightful garden in the back, which was a perfect respite from the 100* afternoon.I was quite taken with this vent in the kitchen, which has elevated a utilitarian piece into a work of art.
From there, we walked a block or two to a cottage that would have been at home in a small village, complete with a picket fence, a rambling garden and a small koi pond. Our fearless leader, David, is showing everyone the way in!The owner of this house had a few passions that were easy to identify… textiles, china and travel. There were wonderful middle-eastern rugs, pillows, blankets and runners all through the house. There were also maps and myriad travel posters indicating the the owner might have picked up some of the textiles on her travels.Here are a few more pieces of the china collection.And I love how she’s used some of the pieces of china for the candle sconces.There was a tray of fresh apricots on the patio, which was a huge treat on such a hot day, and when I walked around the corner of the house, I saw the source for this bounty!I loved the front garden of this house with its huge hydrangeas and boxwood lining the path.
Finally we visited a house that someone told me had been decorated in “80’s gay disco” style, but is now in the final stages of a complete restoration.All of the woodwork had been covered with a black lacquer, and has now been stripped down to its original state.
One of the most interesting features in this house was the windows and their curious woodwork. After looking for a few minutes, we concluded that there were once interior shutters that folded into the wood frames. Since the original shutters are missing, we couldn’t test our theory, but I’ve been in dozens of houses in this neighbourhood, and will soon be spending lots more time there, and have never, ever seen this before.
The owners have used a lot of William Morris-style printed wallpapers in the main rooms, and they went perfectly with the period.And amazingly, some of the hardware remained on the old doors, although it’s been cleaned and polished.
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