Friday, November 20, 2009

all in the details

last month, mitchell and i were lucky enough to be treated to a weekend celebrating our second anniversary up at emerson resort, our wedding location, just outside of woodstock. one of the things i love most about our trips up there is that they're the only times i pack light. woodstock is such a casual place, and i generally feel so comfortable there, that i don't feel the same need to be "prepared for anything" (read: overpack) that i often do.

like last year, i was totally smitten with the decor of the inn, the section in which we stayed. what i really took from our trip last year was the confidence with which the design mixed and matched woods, metals and textiles, and it was an awakening for me in terms of my own personal style. this year, i was particularly moved by many of the tiny details that come together to create an extraordinarily comfortable and luxe experience. i really believe in taking notice of these kinds of details and how they make you feel, and when possible, taking inspiration from them to enhance your own home. in this way, our homes can be places which combine not only artifacts and "stuff" from our travels, but also concepts and ideas.

one of the things i loved was their use of rugs, in sometimes unexpected ways. throughout the lobby and in the country store (which is a good enough reason on its own to visit emerson) large oriental rugs are layered over the slate and brick floors.

in the phoenix restaurant, a similar rug is used in a doorway, and is combined with strings of beads, making a very interesting hanging doorway.

but the piece de resistance - the sheepskin pelt next to the bed in our room. oh. my. god. i can't even tell you how amazing it was to step onto it from the bed. mitchell and i were taking turns standing on it and swirling our feet around.

obviously, i had to ask for the details on this piece because we WILL be acquiring one at some point soon. they are from hudson home by way of new zealand and are $109 each. they're washed six times and come in natural (shown), truffle (light cocoa), silver and black.

one of my favorite times of day at the emerson is first thing in the morning. slid under the door is a sheet with the day's weather forecast and a quotation of ralph waldo emerson's. when we were there, the quote was "if i have lost confidence in myself, i have the universe against me."

really good coffee is delivered to your room with a copy of the times or you can take a quick walk into the lobby and get it at a simple coffee bar set up there.

it's not that other hotels don't have coffee in the mornings, i guess it just feels really easy there, and you can enjoy your coffee on your balcony looking at the catskill mountains, or next to your room's gas fireplace.

that's probably my number one favorite moment at the emerson every time. after sitting outside on the balcony reading and sipping coffee, coming inside and warming up next to the fireplace and looking around at all the beautiful textiles and furniture in my room, wishing i would never have to leave.

and speaking of those details, upon asking, i found out that their bedding is custom-made for them by bramson house, and the pillows are custom from american hotel. both the duvet and the mattress are the most comfortable i've ever slept on. the mattress and box spring are sealy posturepedic palatial crest plush euro top (not exactly a catchy name) and are available at a discounted $1404 at adirondack supply. oh mattress, you will be mine one day.

another thing i love is all the carved wood details. used in many different spaces, i find that in each spot, it adds interest and significance to the space. pictured below are the carved wood window covers in each guest room, an embellishment to the bar in the phoenix restaurant and the huge, gorgeous sliding doors to the spa boutique from the main lobby.

it reminds me of the ankara chair i covet from crate and barrel - drool over it in this post. this high-polished, tailored woodwork stands in contrast to the more ancient, gothic looking wood doors, headboards and other features they also use throughout, often in the very same rooms.

this mix is one of those ways that they blissfully blend different looks. the gothic wood features remind me of the incredible corbel pieces from restoration hardware that i'm sort of obsessed with which would be a pretty easy way to use the look in any home.

in addition to all the woods and textiles, they also manage to use many reflective materials which just make the whole space vibrate with a certain swankiness that is unexpected both geographically and because it's a spa resort that has a very zen feeling underlying everything else. here, you can see examples - crackled mirror tiles which line the bar and restaurant walls, irridescent mosaic tile walls found here and there throughout the resort, and a gold lame-esque mesh ceiling hanging in the phoenix restaurant.

in the context of the fabulous mix in each space of the emerson, i even really liked this hammered flatware which i've seen a million times and never found to be anything special. it shows how the context in which things are used makes such a huge difference in how they strike you. i found this similar set at neiman marcus and will definitely consider it as a very versatile and beautiful set next time i'm in the market for flatware.

obviously our dessert was good too.

i have to say, though, one thing that bugged me was the lack of coordination of hardware in the bathroom. although it's a minor detail, it's a detail all the same, and they are so attentive to details that i find it shocking that this didn't bother them. i do applaud and aspire to their bold mixing of metals and materials, but in the case of hardware, i think they should have stuck with all silver, instead of creating a "which of these things is not like the other" situation. they're too close together, and frankly, too easy to match for them not to.


what i do like about the bathrooms, though, is their dreamy wall color, a wonderfully serene blue-gray (benjamin moore wickham gray), and the use of both marble and a river-rock tile. it looks almost as if the pieces naturally came together and very much contributes to the spa-feeling of the bathroom.

and the most unexpected detail of all -- i noticed this basket of woven and botanical balls on the entry table in our room, and am very certain that they are remnants of our own fall wedding there two years ago. purchased for our friday night dinner, we left these and some other decor items behind when we left and they've made their way into the design of the place we love so much. i know how much i have taken from the emerson and incorporated into my own life and taste and memories, and it's a nice little feeling to know that i have left my own little mark there.

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