Thursday, October 1, 2009

Post Pink - 2009

Each year, Patricia of Mrs. Blandings fame, asks fellow bloggers to post PINK on October 1st to increase awareness about breast cancer and screening.   For more information on this important health issue for both women AND men,  go HERE and HERE.   Be sure to visit Mrs. Blandings HERE and all the other bloggers who joined her in this worthwhile endeavor.  Thanks Patricia for all you do for the cause.  You’re the best!

In choosing a PINK topic to blog about – what would be better than to revisit Martha Stewart’s beautiful guest house on her Maine estate, Skylands, which is painted and decorated entirely in – you guessed it pink!


Here in the living room of the four room guest house, Martha put sisal on the floor and painted everything – the walls and the trim -    this same luscious shade of pink.  Copper accessories are used as an accent throughout.   Be sure to notice how the window opens.   Charming!


At Skylands, Martha Stewart’s coastal Maine estate built for Edsel and Eleanor Ford, the guest house is a vision in pink.   The chosen shade of pink is warm and welcoming, closer in color to a coral than the cooler magenta.  The fact that pink was used is no mere accident: instead it is a rather obvious sentimental and romantic choice since Skyland’s main house was constructed entirely of pink granite that was quarried on the property.  Even the winding driveways are laid with a fine crushed pink granite. 

Skylands is located on Mount  Desert Island, high atop Ox Hill at 384 feet above sea level.    The property, with its 63 wooded acres and views of Seal Harbor, was built in 1925 by architect Duncan Candler.   Comprised of three stories with 12 bedrooms,  formal public rooms, expansive kitchen and laundry facilities,  it is the house that Martha calls her favorite.   There are numerous outbuildings on the estate including a greenhouse, stables, an indoor squash court, and even a large Catholic church!  Stewart purchased the house from its second owner fully furnished and once moved in, she discovered many treasures stored away, including a fully stocked wine cellar.  

Skylands spectacular  landscaping with its rocky and hilly terrain, was designed by Jens Jensen who used pine needles to create winding footpaths throughout the woods,  adding reflecting pools and moss gardens along the way.   Deep within the forest, a large circle was constructed out of rocks around a fire pit for late night gatherings. 

Martha’s restoration of Skylands, both inside and out,  has been meticulous of course.  But her annual grounds keeping rituals are truly awe inspiring.  At the end of each summer vacation season, in a routine devised by Jensen, the staff picks up from the numerous footpaths the top layer of pine needles, along with assorted fallen bark and leaves,  thereby exposing a cleaner layer of pine needles.  And even more back breaking work is left for the driveways – all the crushed pink granite is removed, where it is then cleaned and stored until the next summer season. 


In the dining room, a painting of a Venetian lagoon, by Stewart’s friend Kevin Burger, hangs on the wall.



Stewart poses in the dining room with its table made of gray terrazzo.  The color gray is found throughout the guest house – including on the ceilings which are all painted that soft hue to complement the pink.



Gorgeous flowers in all shades of pink are found throughout the guest house.




The bedroom is filled with vintage wicker furniture all painted a unifying gray.  The sconces came from Martha’s grandmother.



The view from the desk in the bedroom looks out over the water.



A chaise is placed in front of the fireplace – much needed in chilly Maine.  The large mirror reflects the harbor.



The soft pinks continue into the bathroom.  The wicker table acts as a linen closet.   Martha found the pink Venetian mirror at a consignment shop.



The bathroom is the one place in the guest house where white is used to pop all the pink.   The free standing sink has white porcelain knobs.


 [skylandsdriveway.jpg]The driveway into the wooded Skylands is made of pink granite – which at the end of each summer vacation season, is all picked up, professionally cleaned, then stored until the next summer.



Skylands is surrounded by a series of stone terraces.  Here you can plainly see the pink granite that the house was built of.  Notice the gorgeous leaded windows found throughout and the beautiful slate roof. 



Throughout the woodlands there are a series of footpaths, mostly made of pine needles and slabs of stone steps, where needed.



The circle made of rock surrounds a fire pit – the site of many late night activities.


As it was in the 1920s – shortly after it was constructed out of pink granite for Edsel Ford.  Martha Stewart is only the third owner of this majestic estate.



Be sure to go HERE and HERE to read more about breast cancer awareness and screening.