Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hampton Designer Showhouse: Screened Porch by Brad Ford

This year's Hampton Designer Showhouse was very impressive and inspiring! We kept declaring each room we visited our favorite and the screened porch designed by my friend and fellow blogger and designer Brad Ford was declared a favorite by everyone who has seen it according to the ladies in charge. I spoke to Brad and he said that when they were walking through the house looking at the rooms before they were assigned, he knew right away that he wanted the screened porch since it reminded him of his home in Arkansas. He said, "I've always been influenced by nature and natural resources and the room really resonated with me."

After he officially had the room, he began to think about what classic ideas are associated with a porch and his first thought was a porch swing. But of course since it was not only for a showhouse but a showhouse in the Hamptons, he had to take it to the next level. He custom designed the upholstered swings and even though the concept is very strong, it's also very simple and elegant. Brad also said, "I didn't want to take away from the amazing view." The soothing neutral colors definitely don't interfere with the view outside and along with the gentle movement of the swings, they make the room very relaxing. Exactly how you want a house in the Hamptons to feel!

The second idea that came to Brad's mind when he was thinking about a summer porch was wind chimes. And again, not just any old wind chimes, they needed to make a statement! He remembered an artist, Jennifer Prichard, who worked in porcelain and contacted her to see if she would be interested in working on his idea and she immediately jumped on board. She agreed to make about 800-1000 cones that would be hung from simple twine. If you visit the house and look at Brad's original concept in the program, he designed the wind chimes to hang from the ceiling but once the swings were in place, he didn't want to take away from them so he decided to move the chimes to the back wall. They were to be assembled on site so it was easy to make the switch although it took them a day and a half to actually install them all. They look like a fabulous art installation and do actually chime if the wind blows.

Brad added a lot of thoughtful details throughout the room that he said really came together at the end. The mirror which is wrapped with rope was designed by Christian Astuguvielle and is available through Holly Hunt and the sea grass area rug add more natural elements, as do the wooden tables from Tucker Robbins. He had also seen the photo of the Tribesman (below) at the Clic Gallery in New York and knew he wanted it for his room. The photo and the Tucker Robbins tables that were made in Africa, started to lend a primitive feel to the room but all of the elements work perfectly together. A couple of other designers have African pieces and great art in their rooms so this year's house has a really great flow and I can't wait to post more of the rooms!

Brad Ford is not only a wonderful designer but a really wonderful person who has stayed true to his Southern upbringing and he will also be featured in the September issue of Country Living! Look for it on newsstands soon and please stop by the Hampton Designer Showhouse and see his beautiful room!

Hampton Designer Showhouse
179 David's Lane
Water Mill, NY
July 26- September 6, 2009
11:00am - 5:00pm daily

Photos by Heather Clawson

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