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Earlier Blog


Greetings from the Big Apple: NYC Architecture

Glass Houses

Meaningful Things

Winter Gardens

Hayslip Design Associates and the Crystal Charity Ball: Another Celebration, Another Creation

Winter in Dallas á la Peyton Hayslip

What We Are Thankful For…

New York City in November

Greetings from the Big Apple: Dogs on Parade (in costumes)

Black: Going Gothic

Dwell with Dignity – We are all Butterflies

Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio – October 2013

Bountiful Botanicals

Greetings from the Big Apple: Be A 20-Something

Gilding the Lily: the Tôle Flowers of Tommy Mitchell

Greetings from the Big Apple: I. Love. My. Apartment.

Summer in Dallas

America Loves...

Accent Color Choices and an article on WGSN.com

Making a Memorial of Memorial Day

Greetings from the Big Apple: It. Is. Spring!

Sherry Hayslip Talks Coffee Tables with Park Cities People

2013 ASID Design Ovation Awards: It was Our Night!

Greetings from the Big Apple: The Importance of Culinary Aesthetics

Friday Flowers - Tulipmania

The Spring Fling Continues

Spring Has Sprung...

Greetings from the Big Apple: Or in this Case, Los Angeles

Color Essay: I've Got the Blues

For Your Valentines Pleasure: A Fantasy Dinner for Two…

Dallas… Modern… Luxury…

New York State of Mind

Greetings from the Big Apple: Ghosts of Christmas Past

Welcome 2013

Peace at Christmas and Throughout the Year

If Life were a Color...

While the Cat’s Away, the Mice will Play

Design Dialog: Dressing Room Reveal

Design Dialog: Watch for the Big Reveal

Hayslip Design Associates and The Crystal Charity Ball

Happy Thanksgiving

Design Dialog: Peyton’s Closet is Almost Done

Design Dialog: A Sneak Peek in Park Cities People

Design Dialog: Room Envy

Greetings from the Big Apple: Frankenstorm

Greetings from the Big Apple: How I spend My Days in Class

Design Dialog: Color

Greetings from the Big Apple: Coffee Talk and Baby-Doll Heads

Design Dialog: Confessions of a Lapsed Decorating Mother

Greetings from the Big Apple: How a College Kid Eats in the New Millennium

Design Dialog: What About Fabrics

Design Dialog: Words, Words, Words...

The Painted Desert: The Enduring Appeal of Santa Fe

Bienvenue à Dallas: This Style Scout May Have Found Her Calling

Design Dialog: The Duchess is a Diva

Design Dialog: The Chair has Arrived!

Greetings from the Big Apple: NYU Redux

Design Dialog: First, Step Lightly…

Hayslip Design Associates Visits Les Mettaliers Champenois: Why Cross the Pond When You Can Just Cross a Bridge

Design Dialog: Anxiety Over a Chair

Hayslip Design Associates visits Nanz Hardware: Classic and Well Made Always Fit

Design Dialog: It's All in the Planning

Revisiting Marrakech

Design Dialog: Converting a Room to a Closet

Hayslip Design Associates visits Remains Lighting: or What Beautiful Things Come from Dumpster Diving in Brooklyn, NY

Design Dialog: My mother has a new client... And it’s me!

Hayslip Design Associates visits P.E. Guerin: A Treasure Chest in Greenwich Village

Design Dialog: Taking on a New Client

Coming Soon: A New Blog Series

Let the Games Begin

Summer in the City - Hayslip Design Associates hits New York

Happy Fourth of July

Martha Says "It's a Good Thing"

Ode to Summertime

Million Dollar Furniture

Memories of Morocco: A Day Trip to Fes

Memories of Morocco: Le Jardin Majorelle

Memories of Morocco: The Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Treasures of Marrakech

Obscenely Beautiful Things – A Small Update

Home Again... Dallas in Bloom

The Family who Wanders Together...

Marrakech Express

Trend Setting: All Aboard the Marrakech Express

Obscenely Beautiful Things

21st Century Homes

The Enduring Appeal of Chinoiserie

The Art of the Room

The Color of Love...

Love is the Answer...

Living Large in Small Spaces

Greetings from the Big Apple (and farewell Big D): Beginning a Collection

La Mode de Gaultier

Casa View Elementary School

Welcome 2012

Out with the old (soon enough)...

My Christmas Wish to You

Greetings from the Big Apple: Window Shopping in a Winter Wonderland

Greetings from the Big Apple: I confess... I’m a Pack Rat

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings from the Big Apple: The Blank Canvas of a Dorm Room

Bienvenue à Paris: Shakespeare & Company

Spooktacular Skulls: The Trend of Skulls in Fashion and Design

Bienvenue a Paris: Lost in Paris

What a Girl Wants: Or Are Great Closets Better than Sex?

Bienvenue a Dallas: The Latest from Kitty Stuart

Bienvenue a Paris and Life without A/C

Introducing Our Style Scouts

Black is the New Black

Thighs and Other Thoughts

Collecting

How to Turn Your Home into a Piggy Bank... or at Least a Star!

A little love from our friends at D Home...

Born to the Purple

A Glimpse of Things to Come

My Talented Staff II

Happiness on Any Scale

Sherry's Blog featured on DG's Online Editorial

2011 TX ASID Design Ovation Awards

The Meaning of Love...

Blanc des Blancs

Georg Jensen

Farvel Danmark!

Royal Copenhagen

Denmark Awaits

Happy Easter

The Moon and Other Jewels

New things are blooming on Armstrong Pkwy.

Dwell with Dignity

Another Dip in the Gene Pool

A Little Link-Love

Mudejar en vogue

Spain Part 2 - Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, and Avila

The Artistry of Daniel Ost

Happy Valentine's Day

Jamaica Has Never Been Lovelier

Working in a Winter Wonderland

Sliding Doors

Imagine my Surprise...

Tested: How Twelve Wrongly Imprisoned Men Held onto Hope

In New York for Antiques Week

D Home - Best Designers 2011

Welcome 2011

My Christmas Wish to You

My talented staff

New Classical in Dallas

Kudos for the Gene Pool

Bough-Wow!

Our winning kitchen is featured on DesignGuide's blog!

John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center

Trip Wrap Up

Sagrada Familia

Barcelona Pavilion

A Winning Week

We won

How to Vacation in Architectural Bliss

Ode to Thatch

Destination Weddings

Smith, Ekblad and Associates: Architects and Engineers

Still More Design Riches (Part IV)

The Design Riches Continue (Part III)

Feminine and Fanciful

So the week ended

A Week of Wonders

Sherry is featured in Dallas Modern Luxury

A Little Touch of the Doge's Palace

More Design Riches (Part II)

A Year of Design Riches

Sherry Hayslip quoted in the Dallas Morning News

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Asian Jazz and Friendship

Follow us on Facebook!

It's Coming Together

2010 Legacy of Design Awards

The House as Mirror of Self

Jamaica Project

A Weekend in Three Acts: Act 3

A Weekend in Three Acts: Act 2

a la Michelangelo...

A Weekend, in Three Acts

Sonoma, California

The Joy of Mindless Reverie

A Passion for Paper Art

Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera

Rubbing Shoulders with History

It all began with Cole

Un Petit Symposium

Hayslip Design Associates - Sherry's  Blog


Celestial Architecture

“In his right hand a figure of Victory made from ivory and gold. In his left hand, his scepter inlaid with all metals, and an eagle perched on the sceptre. The sandals of the god are made of gold, as is his robe.”
Pausanias the Greek (2nd century AD) 
 

 

Having missed learning much about Greek and Roman mythology way back in high school and college, I have enjoyed reading about it for the past few years.  Understanding western literature and art seems almost predicated on familiarity with mythology in much the same way as understanding early Renaissance Italian art requires knowledge of the Old and New Testaments.  Although I have studied James Joyce, I doubt I will ever understand Ulysses, (never mind Finnegans Wake) without a much deeper knowledge of classical mythology among many other allusions in that great book.

Sometimes I think my classical and biblical knowledge is mostly gleaned from art history classes.   Studying the symbols and iconography of great artists such as Fra Angelico, Giotto, Michelangelo, and so many early masters has really taught me the bits I know about some of these subjects; but what I am missing, through ignorance, must be huge. 

Jupiter and Io
Corregio’s Jupiter and Io 

Leda and the Swan
Michaelangelo’s Leda and the Swan 

My understanding of mythological subjects and references being limited, I have undertaken a pleasant, self led study to review the basics, hoping to fill in some gaps (reviewing a short myth while soaking in a long hot bath is pretty painless).

One thing that has struck me is the rich image of Olympus that several writers describe.  Quite specific, the architecture of the celestial home of Zeus and his family is described in great detail, from the layout of the grounds to the thrones on which they all sit.  I gather that these descriptions are only hinted at in classical sources and were developed further by later writers but the pictures they suggest put our late date, robber baron houses to shame. 

The Apotheosis of Hercule
The Apotheosis of Hercule from the ceiling at Versailles. 


Pretty fancy!
 


These are the beautiful people, who, befitting their rank as gods and goddesses of a powerful modern mythology, lead beautiful lives in beautiful houses, attired in beautiful clothes and, ostensibly, thinking only beautiful thoughts.
 - Helen Laurenson
 

I have to say, those Olympian gods understood the power of presentation!  Obviously precious and rare materials and a certain grandiosity have intrigued humans throughout history – a great show has always signified power for gods and man.  This trait reaches back to the Titans.

Having recently visited Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte, two stunning examples of architecture as purveyor of power and grandeur, I was struck again by the role of the grand display in establishing and affirming the social pecking order.  

Fontainebleau
Chateau du Fontainebleau 

Vaux le Vicomte
Vaux le Vicomte


Icons of industry maintain the importance of residence as showplace through today. 
 In 1901 coal baron, Edward Berwind, unveiled his “summer cottage” The Elms in Newport, Rhode Island.  Its design was copied from the Château d'Asnières in France.  His was one of several massive summer homes in Newport, built by the industrial giants of America’s gilded age. 

The Elms
The Elms
 
Whitehall, in Palm Beach, Florida, was built in 1902 for Henry Flagler, cofounder of Standard Oil.  Palm Beach soon became winter’s equivalent of Newport.
 

Whitehall
Whitehall



Across the globe are other examples…

Hala
Hala, the Aspen retreat of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, is reputed to be the most expensive home in the United States. 

Belgrave Square
10 Belgrave Square is London’s priciest property. 

Even in Dallas (fabled home of big oil, big hair, and big showplaces) magazines come out with annual lists of the most expensive homes.  It’s always fun to see which homes make the list.  As I’ve said before, Cole and I are fortunate that we are able to work on some pretty amazing projects (together and separately).  This extraordinary estate was a joint collaboration between Cole and myself (with Cole’s son, owner of Crow Bar Constructors) acting as general contractor.   

5323 Park Lane
In 2009 our clients sold the property in what was reported to be the “most expensive Dallas real estate transaction to date.” 


But these palatial homes pale when compared to La Leopolda (reputed to be the most expensive home in the world). 


La Leopolda

Constructed in 1902 (apparently a spectacular year for residential architecture), the estate in the French town of Villefranche-sur-Mer, was commissioned by King Leopold II of Belgium as a present for his mistress.   

To be sure the powerful people behind these splendid homes could rightly be called masters of the universe.  They have made ample use of the opportunities they find in front of them to elevate their abodes to those bordering on the celestial. 


The Divine Architecture of the Olympians

According to Thomas Bullfinch, “The abode of the gods was on the summit of Mount Olympus, in Thessaly.  A gate of clouds, kept by the goddesses named the Seasons, opened to permit the passage of the Celestials to earth, and to receive them on their return. The gods had their separate dwellings; but all, when summoned, repaired to the palace of Jupiter, as did also those deities whose usual abode was the earth, the waters, or the under-world.  It was also in the great hall of the palace of the Olympian king that the gods feasted each day on ambrosia and nectar, their food and drink, the latter being handed round by the lovely goddess Hebe.  Here they conversed of the affairs of heaven and earth; and as they quaffed their nectar, Apollo, the god of music, delighted them with the tones of his lyre, to which the Muses sang in responsive strains. When the sun was set, the gods retired to sleep in their respective dwellings. 

Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus


“Vulcan was architect, smith, armourer, chariot builder, and artist of all work in Olympus.  He built of brass the houses of the gods.” 

Vulcan
Is it coincidence that my husband Cole is a fine amateur blacksmith as well as an architect AND prefers red socks?  I think not… judging from this painting, red seems to be the preferred color for the “architect of the gods.”  


"I have come from heaven to stay your anger...Three times as many glorious gifts shall be yours on account of the king's arrogance. But refrain, and obey me."
-Athena to Achilles 

Zeus supposedly held court at Olympus seated on an enormous throne of polished black marble, adorned with gold.  Each of the seven steps leading up to it was enameled with one of the colors of the rainbow. A bright blue covering above symbolized that the whole sky belonged to Zeus alone.

Zeus 

Queen Hera's throne was alleged to be made of ivory, with three crystal steps leading up to it.  Willow leaves and golden cuckoos decorated the back, and a full moon hung above it.  Hera's seat cushion was a white cow skin, which she used to make rain when Zeus was too busy or couldn't be bothered to end droughts.

Hera 

Recently Christie’s auction house featured a stylized peacock chair that immediately made me think of Hera’s throne.

Christie's Peacock Throne
 

Can’t you just picture the queen of the Olympian gods holding court from this magnificent throne?  It’s late 19th century Italian and stands 3’ 4” high. 

Perfect for a diminutive goddess.
 


The Divine Architecture of my Clients

When I read the description of Zeus and Hera’s thrones a project we completed last summer immediately sprung to mind.  This client certainly fits the “master of the universe” description.  You’ll remember his home from my earlier blog here.Fittingly enough, our “masterful” client is married to a “goddess” of a woman.  Her private bathing chamber and dressing room may rightly be called “celestial.” 

A divine ceiling...
In the vestibule outside her bath, a domed ceiling is artfully painted with heavenly beings, by artist Jane Athey.

Made up of several rooms, the dressing area includes abundant shoe shelving, fitted glass and mirror fronted cupboards for hanging clothes, and a grand center island with drawers specifically designed to hold all her baubles and bangles, not to mention a spacious sitting room.   

 
image: Hayslip Design Associates

A special fur closet is hidden behind an ornate antique mirror acquired at auction and refitted to serve as a door and three-way mirror. 

mirror, mirror...
image: Hayslip Design Associates

Her sublime bathroom continues the delicious palette of pearly whites and blushing pinks. 

   
images: Hayslip Design Associates

The ceiling in the bathroom is particularly heavenly.  It is richly carved and dressed with softly gleaming gold gilding and antiqued mirrors. 


Appropriately, above her elaborately carved mantle hangs a painting (actually a reproduction that rolls up to reveal a hidden flat-screen TV) by François Boucher depicting a goddess bathing with her nymphs. 


image: Hayslip Design Associates 


Other Divinely Inspired Spaces

In other projects I’ve incorporated god and goddess imagery, figuratively and literally.  Here’s a smattering of recent projects that incorporate the divine.In this elegant living room we incorporated a touch of contemporary with the otherwise traditional furnishings. 

Above a stunning antique marble mantle hangs a painting by emerging artist Jason Stallings titled Passion and Reason.  
 

Passion and Reason by Jason Stallings
image: Hayslip Design Associates

The soft tones are perfect for the palette of the room and the goddess imagery subtly embedded in the work (elements from the Greek alphabet, Diana, the goddess of the hunt, and the laurel branch) beautifully represents the home’s owner (a goddess in her own right). 


This masculine library incorporated elements of classical divinity in its art.   

Library
image: Hayslip Design Associates

Above the sofa hang six hand-colored 18th century engravings of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities attributed to Giovanni Battista Passieri.  Extending the homeowner’s antiquities collection are an assortment of mid-5th century b.c. vessels, each is adorned with ancient images of gods, goddesses, and heroes. 

Library Detail
image: Hayslip Design Associates 


Clients of ours who live in a beautiful Regency-inspired high rise building in the arts district of Dallas have a small but lovely collection of Wedgewood jasperware.  On their dining table is a beautiful black and white bowl which features the intricate Dancing Hours frieze.   

Dancing Hours
Image: Hayslip Design Associates 
Dancing Hours
Image: Hayslip Design Associates







The Dancing Hours depicts the classical Horae, Greek goddesses presiding over the
seasons and the personifications of the hours of the day whom, legend says, keep the
gate of clouds on Mt. Olympus. 

Dancing Hours 
detail of the Dancing Hours.
 
 
My Divine Inspiration

 
Literature has always inspired my design ideas.  From the cottages of the Cotswold’s 
to the palaces of the Tudor and Stuart royalty, reading descriptions of charming, cozy
homes and great castles has always been a guilty pleasure.

Bulfinch Elizabeth Pride and Prejudice
 
But all this conversation about celestial abodes makes me think…  



When can we create a rock crystal staircase?
 
"So saying, Minerva, goddess azure-eyed,
Rose to Olympus, the reputed seat
Eternal of the gods, which never storms
Disturb, rains drench, or snow invades, but calm
The expanse and cloudless shines with purest day.
There the inhabitants divine rejoice
For ever."
-         Homer
 
I hope you find some divine inspiration in your life!
Love,
Sherry
Posted:  Dec. 5, 2011

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