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MY LYFORD TROPICAL VILLA

My fantasy Lyford Villa

My fantasy Lyford Villa

Some may say I am jumping the gun just a bit, seeing as how I don’t actually own my favorite Lyford tropical villa yet, but there IS something to be said for living as if. So much of life is related to the stories we tell ourselves, and that can range from topics of health and well-being to financial issues as well. Telling ourselves a better story may seem delusional, but the fact is, one might just need that shift in attitude to actually accomplish one’s goals. As our WIJW readership probably knows by now, I like to tell myself some pretty fabulous tales — my reasoning (other than being a whole lot of fun) is that if one’s dreams don’t scare one a little, then they aren’t big enough — and truth be told, one often does make more progress when those dreams are big!

Places like Lyford put me completely at ease, and it didn’t take much deliberation for me to locate my tropical fantasy villa here in this corner of paradise. As imagined, my design would have a stunningly exotic orientalist-in-the-tropics sort of vibe — think: Doris Duke’s Islamic-style Hawaiian Shangri La. Not satisfied to leave this as a simple daydream, I’ve actually taken this design to the point where I have folders on my desktop overflowing with images of art and antiques to fill my Lyford villa. Whether I realize my dreams or not, I’ve been having a blast fleshing out ideas, and who knows, these things do start to gather momentum beyond mere thought!

For a visit to my lovely Lyford Villa (I do think this semi-ruin is well worth saving – kickstarter anyone?), I’m sporting another look inspired by my friend Amanda Strong Boalt’s take on Palm Beach style. I’m wearing a Tom Ford era Gucci white linen jacket and linen madras shirt, Strong Boalt Hybrid “Seafoam” shorts, Tom Ford ivory suede loafers, lavender glen plaid cotton pocket square, “Dimitry” sunglasses, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino.

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A WEEKEND AT WYNKOOP

James Andrew (and Emma) at Wynkoop

James Andrew (and Emma) at Wynkoop

After our fabulous visit to DIA:Beacon we were off to Wynkoop House – I’ve been eagerly anticipating seeing my friends’ house for some years, and boy was it worth the wait. Wynkoop is a stately 18th century stone manor house filled with period treasures and is incredibly well preserved, with practically all of the original paint intact. Apparently the last owner was born there and lived in the house until she died – she was sadly lacking in resources, but as it turned out, her somewhat limited state of affairs kept the place virtually unchanged for nearly 90 years.

wynkoop_bedMy friends are incredibly stylish and they just get everything right. The property is perfection, from the incredible interiors to the glorious gardens (where we had the most elegant garden tea, made all the more so by the very elegant greyhound, Emma). Wynkoop is a glimpse into the 18th century without sacrificing any of the modern conveniences one could possibly want. There are also some good dining out options nearby, and I was treated to a rather delicious dinner at Cucina Restaurant in Woodstock. They serve innovative Italian cuisine in a really stunning setting, including a porch for al fresco dining. Nothing could be better than to enjoy a few lush and languid days surrounded by friends, nature, and beauty – all this being said, it won’t surprise you when I say that I’m already planning a return to Wynkoop in the autumn!

Incidentally, Wynkoop House is available for photo shoots, weddings, parties, or simply as a private escape destination.

Wynkoop

At Wynkoop

Photographed in one of the Wynkoop gardens with Emma (top), I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci chartreuse suede safari jacket, Gucci retro floral print cotton voile shirt, silk and hemp shorts by Our Legacy, Adriano Meneghetti “Military” belt in olive braided waxed cotton and leather with silver buckle, Tom Ford brown leather sandals, vintage Rolex watch and my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.

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A TRANSITIONAL TREILLAGE

James Andrew - Katherine Hepburn Garden

James Andrew – Katherine Hepburn Garden

I totally have a thing for treillage – I just cannot get enough of it! Emerging in the 12th century as a mostly utilitarian latticework for gardners to support climbing vines, it wasn’t until the 17th century when Louis XIV hired Le Notre to design the gardens at Versailles that the art of treillage really reached outrageous heights. For a good read on the subject see here.

Katherine Hepburn Garden

Katherine Hepburn Garden

Whether I’m designing an interior treillage (in the round or as a classic print) to give the feeling of a garden pavilion, or I’m in the garden creating fantasies and follies, I am of course beyond elated whenever I can employ treillage. In fact, I currently have clients with a fabulous outdoor space that has sadly been a bit neglected, and I’ve been looking to design an element for them that can be enjoyed from both interior and exterior perspectives. The environment is a bit modern, so the design has to be somewhat minimal – a transitional work that can bridge both classic and modern aesthetics. While pondering this, a serendipitous walk home through the Katherine Hepburn Garden (located in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza) has provided me with just the inspiration I need. It’s a marvelous stretch that pays homage to Hepburn for her work with the Turtle Bay Association (which she had been active in since 50s), and it is replete with a fabulous series of follies and a splendid demilune colonnade. I think it has just the right balance of old and new for my client’s aesthetic!

Taking time to study this tremendous use of treillage, I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci black linen denim jacket, Michael Kors off white cotton knit top with crocheted placket, Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply black paisley print linen canvas shorts, KJP woven white cotton belt, Tom Ford black and white silk pocket square and “Marco” sunglasses, vintage Rolex, Louboutin black leather sandal espadrilles, Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a bit of a sun kissed glow, and my fragrance is a mix of Tom Ford Wood Oud and Oud Fleur.

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