As I mentioned in my last post, I was away this past weekend. We went to visit good friends at this amazing (and I don't use that word lightly) place. I went to Thousand Island Park on Wellesley Island, located on the St. Lawrence main shipping channel in upstate New York.
This description from www.thousandislands.com talks about the island we stayed at better than I can: "The charm of Thousand Island Park derives from many things: its splendid setting, its sense of detachment, and its special social history, but not the least from its delightful buildings. The Thousand Island Park Historic District is a unique collection of late 19th and early 20th century structures, and the only surviving example of the late 19th-century summer religious colonies found in the Thousand Islands region. The architecture of the buildings derives its characteristics from the prominent styles of the 19th century: Queen Anne, Eastlake, Stick style, Shingle style and later Bungalow. A more precise architectural description of the cottages in the Park may be found in the Thousand Park Landmark Society office. This is a 19th century town, which has changed very little from a century ago. There is a strong sense of community here and the happy quality of the buildings in the Park is a natural expression of the people who built them and continue to use them."
I felt as if I stepped back in time. The yards all blend into one another. There is one main, central, grassy commons area with an outdoor pavilion for community events situated at the waterfront. This place is about community, and as noted above, the architecture is just rich in its Victorian spendor and charm. The community is on the National Register of Historic Places because of its many Victorian houses. It is a place of simple pleasures, as our hosts described.
Designing The Kitchen - Purist or Not?
How would you design a kitchen in these homes? So far, I have seen a few. Our hosts, just having renovated their kitchen, chose a style totally appropriate to the architecture of the home. It just fits. Beadboard cabinet doors in white, original woodwork all around the kitchen, original windows stayed with the wonderful wavy glass. It feels right.
I think it bears mentioning that one can stay true to the historic nature of a home, design a kitchen in a traditional manner, but use a fresh interpretation of materials such as slate countertops, or wood tops for that matter, an apron sink, perhaps in concrete or a matte fireclay, wide plank floors, in their natural or bleached coloring, among many other opportunities for a new point of view. Think fresh, think natural, think simple, just....think, and the ideas will begin to flow, I promise!
Oh, take a look (trust me, it's worth it) at these flikr photos of 1000 island homes, and dream of an island of your own. I know I do...