Friday, August 16, 2013
A Blue Ribbon Winner
I never cease to find inspiration from old interiors. It doesn't matter if a room was decorated thirty years ago or one hundred thirty years ago. As long as it was designed with style, taste, and authority, an old room can provide one with decorating ideas and even spark one's imagination.
It's rare, though, that I find an entire home that I would consider move-in ready, but such was the case when I stumbled upon these photos of Ferris Megarity's Manhattan apartment. This has to be my new favorite home. It's perfection, or at least, my idea of perfection. The color scheme might be predominately neutral, but it's not snoozeworthy. Those chocolate brown walls with crisp white trim help to wake up close-by beiges and caramels. And can we talk about those snappy chairs covered in one of my all-time favorite fabrics, Brunschwig & Fils Les Touches? Sublime. I also spy bamboo shades, a tortoise-finish drinks tray, blue and white porcelain, needlepoint, silver-leaf wallpaper, books, and mirrored walls and screens. Those too are like a hit parade of my favorites. I'm getting heart palpitations just writing about them!
The late Megarity was publicity director and one-time home furnishings division director for B. Altman, so presumably he had access to the best of the best. But access alone didn't guarantee such a beautiful apartment. It also took a trained eye to achieve such a tasteful balance. Megarity, who hailed from Waco, Texas, credited his University of Texas education in fine arts and art history with informing both his career and his style of decorating. Of his education, he said, "It's held me in marvelous stead. Every step of the way it has been a continual boon, especially when I traveled. I found my training let me function as an editor when I had to coordinate the efforts of a number of people. It gave me a sense of the past and also put the present into perspective." Yet another argument for the importance of an art and design history education.
Oh, and by the way, these photographs were taken in 1975. Thirty-eight years later, and I can't find a thing about this home that needs updating. Too bad we can't all age as gracefully.
Photos from Architectural Digest, March/April 1975, Richard Champion photographer.