The Vesta Designer Home Showcase in Memphis, TN is awaited each year by many to see the latest products and features in interiors and home building. Over the past 25 years or so, I have attended designer showcases on both coasts and in the middle. I love visiting showcases whether new structures or old homes with a new lease on life. The 2010 Vesta Showcase had five new homes but I am only going to show you one. Adult admission was $12. This home built by Eddie Kircher and Marc Belz called the Cottage Garden is 4,225 square feet, not at all a McMansion but a very livable family home. The interior decorator is listed as David Anderson of the architect's office, T. Douglas Enoch Architects & Associates. The home is nearly entirely filled with furniture from Memphis furniture maker Amy Howard. Website is www.amyhowardcollection.com. This is an English Arts & Crafts style home and it shows how versatile Amy Howard furniture is to go just as well in these cottage interiors as a more formal home. Normally only sold to the trade, the public can now obtain pieces from her line at her outlet opened last October at 420 Perkins Extended, Memphis, TN 38117, phone: 901-682-2558. If you have the opportunity to visit the outlet, ask for sales associate Madeleine, a lovely and helpful lady. I believe the Madeleine chairs are named for her. Most of the pieces shown in this home are from the Amy Howard Outlet and carry the outlet price tags. Having been an Amy Howard fan for many years, I stumbled upon the outlet while going to David Kidd bookstore across the street. I purchased two Louis XVI sea-foam painted oval-back bergeres which I will show in a separate post.
Click on any photo to enlarge.
The Garden Cottage home is located at 7634 Neshoba Road in Germantown, TN. Walled brick courtyards are a favorite of mine.
This was home number one on the tour.
I knew I was in for a treat when I entered the front courtyard and saw a large French pot with a very familiar price tag hanging from it. Since all the furniture in the home was for sale, you will see price tags hanging everywhere.
Let's go inside.
Here is the staircase. Understanding this is an Arts & Crafts cottage, my heart is still with metal staircases, so I would have chosen differently here using an iron one in the A&C style.
White walls are used throughout.
Notice the double silvered closet doors to the right of the front door? Just love those. On Amy Howard's blog Amy Howard Daily she discusses making mirrored glass in their shop. I'm sure this must be hers. Here's another photo. Also like the cocoa-colored paint on the doors.
The mirror is heavily antiqued.
From the foyer you go through the archway into the dining room. For this showcase the dining table was covered with a burlap cloth and used for brochures with the dining chairs pulled back to the corners of the room. Do notice the beautiful chairs though.
Flagstone foyer and dark wood floors. Amy's light fixture hangs over the dining table.
Wood ceiling beams are stained dark. I love the tone-on-tone drapery fabric.
The table in front of the window is too small. Amy's Mimi Console would look great here, but alas, it was sold. Here is another look at the drapery fabric.
There is only one gathering room in this home which is the living room between the dining room and the kitchen.
Acrylic side table and Madeleine chairs on sea-grass rug. Painting over the fireplace must be by Nancy Stephenson as her card was on the table. Here is another painting in the foyer that is of similar style. Most families would add a sofa to go with the four chairs.
Contact Nancy Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are more detail views of the living room.
Fabric on the chair has a burlap appearance. I love gold trim on furniture and the neutral colors.
Above you see two wing chairs from Amy Howard Collection and wood-toned occasional tables. Not all of her product line is shown on her website. I do like the artwork placed above the arch opening.
Below you are looking from the kitchen into the living room.
The glass wall looks out onto the covered porch. In front of the window is an acrylic console table with Amy's metal mesh benches underneath.
Black painted coffee table from her line.
Above is a sleek acrylic table with Amy's metal mesh upholstered stools.
While we're here, let's step outside onto the covered porch.
The corner drapery panels are made of beige canvas painter's drop cloths from Lowe's sewn together.
Flagstone patio. Amy Howard Collection table has a zinc top.
Going back inside, let's look at the kitchen.
It is a surprise to not have a kitchen island built to the floor with storage cabinets underneath. Here a wood-based table is used for a more open look. There is a small pantry off the hall. I would need a lot more storage. The refrigerator door, not shown, blended in very well with the cabinets on another wall.
Here is one of Amy's mirrors over the stove. I am a strong advocate of industrial-sized vent hoods vented to the outside. Should be a requirement for all kitchens. Here the cabinets are white. I love light colored cabinetry and am happy to see less dark stained wood in the new homes.
A vestibule with bookshelves connects the dining room and kitchen to the master bedroom,
laundry and study.
Here you can see those lovely silvered glass coat closet doors. Notice for the cottage look the walls are covered with 1x4 white painted wood boards. From what I could tell they did not appear to be tongue and groove. I noticed how nicely they were mitered on the corners.
Down the hallway is a small bath and the laundry.
Now lets go visit the master bedroom and bath.
Here we see Amy's St. Regis stools at the foot of the Acanthus bed which is painted cocoa brown. You can also see framed intaglios which are available at the Outlet. A line of luxury linens is also available at Amy's Outlet.
Across from the foot of the bed is Amy's Selznick dining room server topped with her Grossetto Torches. Don't tell anyone, but I put Grandma Edith's dining buffet in our master bedroom also to hold my collection of table linens.
This is Amy's Serpentine Commode painted in aqua tones. There was another unfinished one in the study. Notice the sconces. Salvage iron lamp.
More Madeleine chairs and metal table in the master sitting area. Notice the shape of the ceiling with the board trim again.
Split double sinks, pretty tile floor, and wood trim on the ceiling again. Large shower.
The master closet had a desk. It would be too dark there for me to use it. I do like the carpet though.
The study next door can be used as a guest room as well by adding a bed or placing a Murphy bed on the wall.
Amy's two wing chairs again and drink tables. Just when I think Zebra rugs have come and gone, I see another one. Joni Webb has discussed Zebra rugs many times on her blog Cote de Texas.
I have this metal acanthus sculpture and painted it gold. I like objects with metal leaves. Here it has been made into a lamp. I do not know what the art piece is on the wall.
This piece of art is at the top of the stairs.
The doors into the home theater are barn doors. Notice the 1x4 wood on the walls again. Inside the theater room are four bunk beds which was a great idea for guests of children to stay after watching movies. It was too dark in there to get a good photo.
This room is called an office but would make a great computer study area for kids. It acts as a hallway to two more bedrooms.
Outside of the two bedrooms is this vestibule. Notice the 1x4 wood boards on the walls again.
Here is one of the bedrooms.
There was another bedroom used as a home gym and then this bedroom done in brown for toddlers. I did not understand the plaid brown fabric wrapped around the frames of these low beds. I don't think they are part of Amy's line.
I hope you have enjoyed your tour and seeing the Amy Howard furniture pieces in this style of home.
All the best wishes, Summer.
Photo Credits: All photos by Swede