Every now and then, I run across something so good that I yearn to use it –right then. And this is one of them:
Last summer I was working on my plans for the Hillsboro Club (such a sweet place ((people-wise)) and yet so hip and old-fashioned at the same time) and I was trying to solve the problems of a place that gets tremendous use in certain areas.
In my scheme for the Ocean Dining Room, which opens to the outside decks and the sea, itself, I wanted to keep the look of a wooden floor and yet have something that would be impervious to sandy feet. I also wanted to keep the old-fashioned look of the club and have furniture that was both practical and comfortable and, of course, great looking. The picture at the top is the feeling I wanted. But most wood-looking products are just awful!
So I called my friend, Bill Proctor, who is the manager for Paris Ceramics here in Palm Beach and told him about what I wanted—a stone that looked like wood. He, as always, said he would look into it. (I moved away from Paris Ceramics a few years ago, because I didn’t really like their “attitude” about decorators, but after getting to know Bill, whom I absolutely adore and who is the most decorator-friendly person I have almost ever met, I am back in their camp.) I first started working with Paris Ceramics back in the 80’s when, under the management of London-based Steve Charles, they brought over from France a whole house of 18th century limestone for me, but I have to tell you that if I spend many a day, including Saturdays, working on a floor or any product, and then the company sells it to my client wholesale behind my back, that company is muerto to me. By the way, that was not done under Steve Charles.) At any rate, Bill Proctor makes everything easy and fun—his enthusiasm is infectious and keeps the client happy and happy to be involved.
Time passed, and meanwhile, I was working on another project where I needed a floor like this. Bill Proctor showed me a ceramic tile from Spain which I would defy you to know is not wood.
And to top it off, Paris Ceramics has the wooden floor to go with it, which, on this second project, I hopefully will use for the stair treads on the staircase rising out of the tile floor, and then also, as the wooden floor on the second story.
I am so excited about this, I had to show it to all of my readers. And FYI, I thought you might want to see the chairs I am going to use with it—the ones in the first picture above. They are from Janus et Cie and they are called the Arbor Dining Arm Chairs. The beauty of them is that they are practical (they are made on an electrostatically coated aluminum frames, and the wicker is actually Janusfibre, which is a resin outdoor fibre. I will be using them in the colour you see below which is called seashell.
I am such a Luddite that I usually hate the new products, but when something is as good or better than the original, I have to go with it. As in both of these cases.