Biennially, The Women’s Association Morristown Medical Center holds a Mansion in May Showcase as a fundraiser for the medical center. Designers volunteer their services to decorate portions of the home as a way to showcase their work. In May of 2014, the featured home was the Blairsden Mansion, a grandiose Beaux-Arts design built over 5 years from 1898-1903. This magnificent feat of architecture and landscape design was designed by the influential New York architecture firm of Carrère and Hastings. Other works of theirs include the New York Public Library and the Frick mansion, which now operates as a museum.
The sprawling estate was the country home of C. Ledyard Blair, a New York City financier, sportsman, and commodore of the New York Yacht Club. During the Gilded Age, it served as an entertaining hot spot for New York City’s elite. It was a landmark of luxury and opulence. Blair occupied Blairsden until his death in 1949. The 600-acre estate was then divided and eventually auctioned off in 1960 to the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist. They operated it as a retreat center until the 1990s. Eventually, a private investor purchased the property and donated the space for the charity event.
2014’s event was a massive success, exceeding all previous attendance records and earning a a record-breaking profit of $2 million to benefit the Joan and Edward Foley Pediatric Intensive Care Unit expansion and a new Autism Center.
The talented Maria Bevill of Maria Bevill Interiors was tasked with transforming an upstairs bedroom into a stylish and enticing sitting room. With a theme of “Afternoons of Wine and Chocolate”, she set about the task while adhering to show house restrictions. She wanted to create a space which was luxurious, yet livable. It should be a multifunctional room full of color and light. The theme lends itself to beautiful hues of merlot and chocolate. An accent color of white gives contrast and elegance to the space.
Each detail was carefully determined by Maria, who clearly conveyed her design goals to create an intimate space to make memories with family and friends. Traditional and modern styles blend beautifully to enhance the space while also minimizing awkward architectural details. Four doors were overpowering in the space so she used stock molding, medallions, and door mirrors to create Trumeau mirrors on two of the doors, thus reinventing the problem areas. She added a tall velvet screen which was adorned with tufting and nail heads to the entrance of an unfinished bath.
One of Maria’s favorite design elements were some items she purchased from GO Home. She chose a linear foot of books from our custom book line. Created from discarded library books, they are then re-bound and decorated in a variety of colors and styles! The books Maria chose were placed upon a desk which was recreated from a desk owned by famed 20th century Interior designer Dorothy Draper. When asked why Maria chose to use the products she did from GO Home, she cheerfully exclaimed “Who WOULDN’T want to use items from GO Home? Everyone loved that they were made from old library books and you could actually read and look through them!”. We wholeheartedly agree, Maria!
Guests who toured Blairsden weren’t the only ones impressed with the work Maria put into the exquisite sitting area! The New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers were so impressed by the space that they presented Maria with the 2016 Gold Design Excellence Award for Residential Show House Space(s). The Design Excellence Awards are given every other year so it is quite an honor for Maria to be recognized by her esteemed colleagues.
We love to see how our products are incorporated into the spaces our customers create – whether it’s a small studio apartment or a regal mansion. Our hope is that each of our pieces helps you tell a story that you love to live. Thank you, Maria, for using our products to add another dimension of style and function to your creation!