Isn't there something so intriguing and so very enchanting about follies? These architectural gems are such unique examples of fantasy, creativity, whimsy, and well, folly. I recently read about one that captured my attention: Swiss Cottage near Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland. The structure is considered to be an ornamental cottage, and frankly I don't know what the difference is between an ornamental cottage and folly. Perhaps there isn't one.
Built around 1810 by Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Glengall, the cottage was used for entertaining guests, although some websites mention that it was used as a hunting and fishing lodge. (One book claims it was a romantic hideaway for Butler and his mistress. This cottage must have seen many different types of recreational pursuits.) The man responsible for the cottage's design is believed to be John Nash, one of the foremost architects of the Regency period.
What caught my eye was not the thatched roof, though it is charming. Rather, I'm taken with the trellis type ornamentation on the exterior. I can't tell if it's actual trellis, or if the design is painted. The scale of the decoration is quite large; it's very early 19th c. Dorothy Draper. This type of ornamentation would be a great way to perk up a garage, a potting shed, or a child's playhouse. Or, what about painting trellis on an exterior wall that adjoins a terrace or patio? Very chic indeed.
Sybil Connolly set this table outside of Swiss Cottage, a structure near and dear to her heart. She helped to raise funds for the cottage's refurbishment back in the 1980s. You also get a good view of the charming rustic woodwork.
The dining room of the cottage still has its original Dufour wallpaper, "Scenes from the Banks of the Bosphoros". Some believe that this paper is some of Dufour's earliest printed paper. I wish I could find a photograph of the entire dining room. I'm sure the rest of the paper is just as beautiful as this glimpse.
All of this reminds me of a present day take on trellis: a Dallas entryway designed by Michelle Nussbaumer. Trellis from a garden center was painted glossy black and was affixed to the entry's white walls.
(Images 2 and 3 courtesy of Tiffany Gourmet Cookbook. Nussbaumer photo from the Dallas Morning News, Terri Glanger photographer.)