A National Treasure from the Gilded Age – Vizcaya
Vizcaya was completed in 1916 during a remarkable period in American architecture, when multimillionaires built palatial country retreats in fanciful emulation of the European past. Two other celebrated houses Vanderbilt’s Biltmore, constructed in the mid-1890’s and Hearst’s San Simeon which was completed in 1925 produced some of the most striking examples of conspicuous architectural consumption that the United States has ever seen – or is likely to see.
The Gilded Age was obsessed with the Renaissance period of European history. These great houses were works of intense collaboration, not only between architects and garden designers, but also between decorators and small armies of skilled craftsmen – plasterers, artists, stonemasons, ironworkers, sculptors, cabinetmakers and upholsterers. The result is a work of art that endures to this day filled with inspiration for today. Like the ornamentation design of this door in the Entrance Hall along with the geometrical pattern of the black and creamy white marble floor which is repeated in the flat coffered ceiling.
Here is a suggestion for a version of this header. This would be perfect for a 30″ door. Style 9252 from Decorators Supply measures 31″ x 13″ x 1/4″ relief. (Note: The reason I use Decorators Supply is that it is very easy for me to grab pictures from their website. We do not receive any commission if you were to purchase ornament from them.)
I love the combination of faux finishes in this room.
The panel designs in this Entrance Hall are so handsome. The combination of aged mirrors surrounded with great ornament and headers that continue the symmetry of the room are spectacular. Why do we just trim our doors with molding and not add the headers. I am collecting great images for a future blog just on door headers.
A closer look at the ceiling in the Entrance Hall.
This Empire design would make a wonderful coffer ornament. Style 5543 measures 15″ x 15″. It is also available 11″ x 11″.
The Tea Room – Love the combination of grotesques, mural, faux finishes and different marbles used.
Some images taken from Vizcaya An American Villa and Its makers by Witold Rybczynski and Laurie Olin