February 20, 2017

Modernism Discovered

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am on a quest to search out parts of Baltimore where I’ve never been. So, I am taking the back way home, turning left instead of right and carrying around the Guide to Baltimore Architecture in my car. But with all of that, I still make unexpected discoveries.

As I was returning from a Sunday brunch overlooking Baltimore’s harbour, I decided to take an alternate route back to my house. I wound my way through one of Baltimore’s many parks and came out on the other side. In the near distance, something caught my eye, so I took a couple of turns and came across a mid-century modern church that was such an anomaly in the area that it made me gasp!IMG_5585

I hated that there were phone lines across the view, so I drove around the block to check out the other side of the building. On this side, it’s about one level higher than on the other side. And there’s a building attached to the side which was originally separate, but is now connected.Processed with Snapseed.

Luckily, church was just getting out, and when the pastor saw me taking pictures, he beckoned me over. I asked him about the history, but he only knew that it had been built in the early 1960’s. Allegedly, an “Indian” woman who lived in the area gave the funds to build the church, but wanted it in the shape of a teepee. Hard to believe that’s true.IMG_5592

The pastor kindly invited me in to see the interior of the church, and I was completely shocked!Processed with Snapseed.

The interior is wood, with sweeping vertical beams. The interior is amazingly intact, which was a surprise, since many buildings of this era have been sliced and diced, and all of the original details have been destroyed. There are some windows that have been filled in, but that’s easily corrected. The skills needed to build a structure like this are incredible, especially with the ribbing and the wood cladding. IMG_5598

The pastor told me that the church could hold 1,500 people, but I am a bit doubtful of that claim. Maybe 500, if people squish together…

The odd thing about this church is that I can’t find ANY information about it. I know it was constructed in the early 1960’s, but can find nothing about the architect, or the original congregation. Someone told me that their dentist had an office in the adjacent building. Someone else said that it might have been a Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the original pastor came from Kansas where Frank Lloyd Wright designed a church which was supposed to look like this, but which was never built. I’ve asked all of my architect and architecture-groupie friends, and no one seems to have any information about it. Do you???

February 13, 2017

Flowers for Valentine’s Day

My friend, Andrea is one of the most talented people I know. She started as a floral designer and while she’s moved on to other ventures, she still takes on a few events for private clients. When a friend asked her to do the flowers for an important dinner later this week, Andrea said yes, and off to the flower wholesalers we went!IMG_5427

I’d never been to a place like this before, so it was a wonderful adventure! Of course, I couldn’t resist snapping tons of images. The warehouse is huge! There are several huge walk-in cold-boxes and this time of year, they’re filled with thousands of roses.
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The roses ran the full spectrum, from the deepest reds to the most gorgeous pale pink David Austin-style ones. IMG_5429

But the warehouse had a lot of other flowers as well like these yummy yellow Ranunculus,IMG_5396

stunning purple orchids,IMG_5413

chrysanthemums which look like something from Dr. Seuss,IMG_5399

hundreds of branches of about-to-bloom forsythia,IMG_5402

and the teeniest, tiniest “pineapples”.IMG_5436

It was so hard to focus on finding a special treat for myself because there was so much to choose from – and this was just one room!IMG_5435

But in the end, I picked out some of my favourite freesias with their peppery sweet fragrance. IMG_5439

Thanks so much to Robin and Potomac Floral Wholesale for patiently answering all of my questions!

February 6, 2017

Mad About the House Blog

It’s really a small world, you know. Kate Watson-Smyth, the god-mother of the children of a friend of mine in London (follow that?) writes the most gorgeous blog called Mad About the House. She is based in the UK and sources most of her images and items from that side of the pond. image

She writes several rotating features including 10 Beautiful Rooms, The Househunter: Room by Room, 10 Best and others. If you read British design magazines regularly, you will notice that the houses and rooms that they feature are not styled to within an inch of their lives like the rooms in American magazines. They have that lived-in look, with stacks of books on the floor, faded chintzes and a dog lazing on the sofa. I find this rather comforting.

Here are some of my recent favourites that Kate has featured.

Georgian details in the boot room.Perfection!image

Beadboard walls, pinkish plaster, great stove… yep, I’ll take it!image

Honestly, I am not wild about the furniture, but wow, those windows!!!!image

Lightness, brightness and lots of cheer!image

Simplicityimage

Holy cow! That wall is AMAZING!ab_ebury_mews_07

That sofa is a killer!image

I hope you’ll pop over and take a look at Mad About the House. I am mad about it!