"This master bedroom suite feels like 'a yacht fitted out by Hermes'"

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  1. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080808.rehermes0808/BNStory/RealEstate

    Homage to Hermes

    This master bedroom suite feels like 'a yacht fitted out by Hermes'

    From Friday's Globe and Mail
    August 8, 2008 at 12:00 AM EDT

    If some women wait up to two years and spend $75,000 for a Hermes Birkin handbag, imagine what they might do for a luxurious master suite fashioned after the famous French retailer's posh boutiques.
    For Georgia Sievwright, remodelling the 630-square-foot bed-and-bath suite in her North Toronto home with handsome woods and bright orange accents was simply the latest chapter in her 30-year relationship with Hermes.
    "I purchased my first Hermes scarf when I was 16," says Ms. Sievwright, general counsel for a technology company. "I think it was $62 and I still own it.
    "I just love the quality, the colours, the artistry."
    Enlarge Image The master suite in Georgia Sievwright's Toronto home is accented with orange, the hallmark colour of the famed French retailer, Hermes. (Tela Rood Photography)


    That's why interior designer Timothy Mather of TM Design Ltd. proposed transforming the traditional yellow-and-French blue master suite she shares with husband J.M. Irving, a telecommunications executive, into what Mr. Mather calls "a yacht fitted out by Hermes."
    Mr. Mather says he married his client's "very strong sort of personal style and fashion sense" with the design of the third-storey suite, whose sloping ceilings reminded him of a ship's interior.
    The under-eave ceilings were charming but they restricted full use of the space. A lack of storage meant Ms. Sievwright did what she calls "the wardrobe switch" every few months, moving out-of-season clothes to a closet on the second floor.
    And given that the master suite wasn't air conditioned, "it wasn't a space where you wanted to go and hang out," she recalls.
    Mr. Mather's design remedy began with stripping the rooms down to their wood framing. That allowed for the accommodation of recessed halogen lighting and air conditioning.
    To open up things visually, a spindled baluster was replaced with a sheet of clear glass set in a stainless-steel channel, and a stainless-steel railing added.
    "You know that you're entering a special kind of space as you walk up the stairs," he says. "You can see the whole length of the space."
    What you won't see is the new air-conditioning unit; too large to fit in the attic crawl space, it was cleverly concealed behind removable mirrored panels in the walk-in closet, above banks of drawers that store Ms. Sievwright's scarves and accessories.
    "We all kind of cried when we saw the size of this monster thing," Mr. Mather recalls. "But ... it was something that had to be there. So you have to be creative and design around it."
    The suite's stateroom-like feel is enhanced with walnut panelling and paper-backed, taupe linen wall coverings that wrap up the walls onto the ceilings.
    Storage space abounds with co-ordinating built-in walnut furniture, embellished with brushed-metal cabinet pulls wrapped in tan leather, similar in feel, Mr. Mather says, to an Hermes bracelet or belt.
    Tone-on-tone, leopard-print wool carpeting, an Adrienne Landau fur throw and Irish linen roman blinds provide warmth and texture.
    The space is enlivened with vibrant bursts of Hermes-style orange, most notably on an antique chair and the tailored headboard, both upholstered in microfibre and finished with gleaming nickel nail-head detailing.
    The colour theme continues in the walk-in closet/dressing room, which was covered in orange, faux ostrich-skin wallpaper.
    The adjoining ship-shape bathroom was enlarged to accommodate a shower and statuesque oval soaking tub. The room is enlarged by the use of mirrors, such as the one presiding over the walnut vanity (complete with frosted lighting panels of the kind found in boutique hotels).
    Ms. Sievwright, who says orange has become her "signature colour," was initially wary about using it in her decor. When Mr. Mather redecorated the home's family room in the spring of 2007, he chose an orange from the curtains as the wall-paint colour.
    When the two moved on to planning the master suite renovation last summer, orange was a given.
    The designer says the colour is "definitely on the radar in fashion and interiors as a fashion-forward colour," noting that it works well with taupe, navy, beige, white and grey. "Orange is rich, warm, happy and it makes a great accent."
    Orange has been the Hermes hallmark colour since the Second World War, when the company's packaging supplier ran out of its traditional brown-trimmed beige box. Moving to orange was a "pretty bold" move in the 1940s, says Jennifer Carter, president and chief executive of Hermes Canada, but there's been no turning back for the company, which began in Thiery Hermes's saddle shop in Paris in 1837.
    "A lot of the history of Hermes is not just equestrian, but mariner," Ms. Carter notes, as shown by the company's collection of nautical-inspired ties and jewellery over the years.
    Ms. Carter is a long-time friend of Ms. Sievwright and describes her redesigned master suite as beautiful and true to Hermes style — though the company's stores use cherry wood, rather than walnut.
    With its clean, calm lines and few decorations, the master suite embodies the idea of living simply but well. Mr. Mather says that as he and his clients grow older, they're simplifying their lives, focusing not so much on acquiring things but being free to do other things such as travel. "Possessions can sometimes pull you down and dictate the way one has to live," he notes.
    Yacht-like interiors have a place for everything, and evoke feelings of serene, luxurious comfort. For Ms. Sievwright and her husband, their ship has come in.
    "We used to just get up in the morning, go to work, come home and go to bed," she says. "Now we watch movies and have spa nights. I just want to get up there."
    Special to The Globe and Mail

  2. Thank you, beaumonde for a lovely article once again.

    This caught my eye ...

  3. That's for this article!
    It's beautifully serene. :yes:

  4. Nice article. The room looks tranquil.

    It also reminded me that vernilover wants to have her car upholstered by Hermes. I wonder what happened with that.
  5. I like the simple serene elegance.

    "Possessions can sometimes pull you down and dictate the way one has to live," he notes.
    ...............I've always believed that.
  6. very much in the spirit of hermes except maybe that leopard blanket. WHat is that doing there?

    Thanks or posting! :heart:
  7. Nice article and a beutiful room.