Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nieuw Neo Georgian! Ruard Veltman's Mountain Masterpiece

House Beautiful has a fantastic spread on this beautiful mountain retreat in the April issue. We posted this article in August of 2010 and thought you would enjoy our thoughts on the subject as well.

Ruard Veltman collaborated with my friend "Mrs. G.," creating a spectacular home for her family of 6 in the English country vernacular of Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens:  "Sir Edwin, father of  neo-Georgian architecture, please meet Dutch born, Ruard Veltman, of nieuw-neo-Georgian architecture!"

This detail from the rear of the house illustrates the fusion of both schools: The Arts and Crafts ethic of combining hand crafted regional materials with swooping rooflines, deep eaves with Lutyens exaggerated Georgian windows, mullions, and transoms. From the inspirations of the pre-Raphaelite ideals,  Lutyens interpretations evolve and thrive in the ateliers of Bobby McAlpine where Ruard Veltman collaborated for many years. 

Nieuw (Dutch for new)-neo Georgian, interpreted by Mrs. G and Ruard Veltman, recombined from Atelier McAlpine, Fitz--meaning bastard son of--Lutyens, Fitz-Georgian, Fitz Pre Raphaelites, and Fitz Louis XIII , in an au courant grisaille color pallette, is all I have to say! Lets go through the bastards--shall we? 

Candida Lutyens, works within the legacy of her Grandfathers vision. Here we see the Georgian geometric paneling, windows, stone fire surround with the mixed geometry of arches and circles within the space that were the play things of her ancestor. 

Bobby McAlpine: Beautiful Homes: Late Summer edition 2009

These ancestral Elements also echo within the Mrs G./Mr. V. living room--Tall Georgian style windows, concrete or stone fire surround, naturally shaded palettes. Recombinant McAlpine, well bred DNA, marries provincial Regency Louis XIII Os de Mouton chairs (sheep horn stretchers), with a new aesthetic. New solvents react, mixing the French regency design period (1560-1643) with the Lutyens Arts and Crafts innovation (1810-1910). Both periods express changes in style, united by economic forces. The meteoric prosperity rise of the middle class, launched a Queen's wave to the past. Both visions unite as economic cusps.  Stately declines--nieuw rises, often with economic shifts,  often with enduring stylistic effects. Lets look around again. Grand takes on modern era--edge, tempered by soft velvets and palette. 

Edwin Lutyens struggled with his aristocratic wife, who immersed herself in the Spiritual Theocratic, schools of the era. Lutyens loved mixing geometrics, and Mrs. G. has had a contemporary seance in this vignette--triangles, on x's, on squares, upon rectangles,  within circles--the woman is all harmonious, oxymoronish, symmetry and complication. Welcome to Mr. G.'s world! 

Ultra modern lighting in the foreground gets invited to the party. The best parties, like interiors include all ages and types.  Mrs. G. explained that the gray palette throughout the house was inspired by the Jasper John's exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Mrs. G. wanted the architectural interplay of Geometry and curve to dominate the conversation. The neutrality of tone creates intimacy, and comfort. According to the Met's Johns catalogue, the grisaille application was: "to evoke a mood, at other times to evoke an intellectual rigor that results from his purging most color from his works." 

The rhythmic curves, of the nail head trim, break up the right angles in the geometry of the furnishings and architecture. They echo the swooshy Lutyens curves that are so characteristic of his work and relate to the counterpoint of the curvy Os de Mouton chairs. The dining area is raised above the living room adding visual dimension and depth to the large space. It creates a theatrical mood, where I for one, would have spent my childhood creating plays. The landscape, a reflection of the mountain environment, was painted by Mrs. G.'s father. 

The kitchen is very nieuw, and forgive our struggles with the light! Veltman's theory of kitchens is that as the contemporary center of entertaining, the refrigerators, dishwashers, coffee makers, and televisions should disappear. At a recent cocktail party, I was delighted to walk into a kitchen full of brightly clad guests set off by the chic aura of an upscale eatery in Soho. It is so very Lutyens, Veltman, Mrs. G. to plant a completely new space, that is united to the house in the color scheme. The accoutrement are cleverly disguised behind the paneling.

The nieuw countertop is in the cupboard or just off stage, in the pantry. Ruard is a fan of pantries, as lately, so is the entire blogosphere. Mrs. G. reports that it functions very well for a large family. 

Moving upstairs, I had to do a little detective work to discover the meaning of the head boards, and all the little hints Mr. Veltman planted all over the house, as little swooshy motifs, or footnote references. 

The eponymous Lutyens Napoleon chair was designed by Sir Edwin in 1910, supposedly after a Jacques-Louis David painting of Napoleon sitting in an asymmetric chair. I think it is because they resemble his hat. Little swooshes are repeated throughout the house. Let me know what you think!

Veltman designed this headboard, in the guest room, and I see the DNA recombined; characteristic Lutyens swoosh meets a glamourous Hollywood starlet. According to the Lutyens Furniture website: "Rhythmical symmetry.... is typical of Lutyens's love of form." I think Sir Edwin would love the nail head trim.  Evan Wood of Chandelier and Light in Charlotte, N.C. crafted the sconces throughout the house.

The  Thakeham bench has become the archetypal image associated with Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens. 

I know, I know the clutter? This house is a completely new installation and has not acquired the layers and perfect additions that only time can provide.  Here, we have a Napoleon hat divided by a semi-circle. Another genuflect to the master's delight of interplay of rythmic line, geometry and the occasional symmetry.

Sir Edwin Lutyens jokingly called his neo-Georgian work, his: "Wrennaissance style." I think Mrs. G. and Ruard Veltman can add to the discussion as a Nieuw Wrennaissance style. As always, I like to leave you with a quote. Mr. Lutyens in a famous apology to his wife:

"I will wash your feet with my tears and dry them with my hair. True, I have very little hair but then you have very little feet.’


  1. Lovely and quite interesting. I adore the color palette. Soft hues make me feel very relaxed. Those kind of joined twin beds are interesting. I like everything tucked away in the kitchen and oddly, I really like those bunk beds!

  2. wow....everything so beautiful...i LOVE this so much.....
    LOVE the kitchen

    thanks for the artichoke idea...i am adding that to my list of ways to make artichokes...sounds so late is HOT here today in SLO...100 ++++ whewwwwww

    happy to see you at friend

  3. I am loving Mrs. G. "Complicated Symmetry" is a woman after my own heart. I must say I get that! And Regency anything is music to my eyes. Just like this lustful post!

  4. Amazing architecture! And so beautifully decorated to boot, you are so fortunate to get to see these places! XX!

  5. Stunning! The exterior architecture and all of the unique details throughout the interior make this house one of the more interesting ones I've seen in a long different! Very refreshing!
    I never knew those were called Napoleon chairs...they're great!

    Thanks so much for inviting me over...I thoroughly enjoyed the tour!

  6. There is something interesting and creative in every picture! I can't decide if I love the headboards or not, but they certainly are imaginative in their design. This post is full of great ideas!
    Thanks for stopping by DD today! Go check out what I found!

  7. I love the way Mrs. G carved up her space in the large, open living area. Her home is simply stunning!!

  8. Excellent post. I love to see the blend of design styles and I adore all of the curves!

    Art by Karena

  9. That has to be one of the most unusual homes we've seen in the blogosphere - so creative and different! From the headboards, to the staircase to the windows - wow!

  10. what an absolutely beautiful home! thank you for sharing :)

  11. I would be rather happy in that home. I love the simplicity, the use of minimal color and the design flourishes in the headboards and have long wanted one of those benches outside in black.

  12. We have a new Give Away page for all our commenters and followers! See the Carrier Dove on the top right corner. PVE has a beautiful bag and some more surprises await! If anyone has a Give Away that I have overlooked e-mail us!
    Hope one of us wins!
    Liz, Viive, Benji

  13. Mrs G has got to be loving this sensational home. That kitchen is divine...and I love the modern, hip details throughout. What a treat to get to visit with you as our tour guide!

    xo Elizabeth

  14. Gorgeous photos! Gray is so elegant and it really is the new neutral - replacing beige - thank goodness! I've done a couple of really cool gray spaces lately and my clients love it! I'm sure Mrs. G loves her home.

  15. This home is beautiful and filled with wonderful inspiration.
    Mrs. G and Ruard Veltman did a fantastic job with this collaboration.
    Thank you for sharing!


  16. This is a Mrs. G that would like to live your Mrs. G's House!!! Georgeous! The twin headboard(s) is such a great idea. The palette is so calming. Thanks so much for sharing, and I can't wait to see what awaits! --Gretchen O.

  17. well I am so glad you stopped by! Your blog is fantastic!

  18. Thanks for stopping my blog.
    This house is fantastic. Iove the microwave behind the door! Your store is really cool too. LOVE.


  19. Wow - what a treat to get a behind the scenes look into this beautiful house. I am going to go back and analyze every picture! I have had my eye on Ruard Veltman for a few months now...what a talent.

  20. Amazing! I am loving each and every one of these places. That chandelier at McAlpine's place is stunning!

  21. What a well written and interesting post. Thank you for the lovely house tour. And I also agree that the best parties, like interiors include all ages and types. Well stated!

    ox, Mon

  22. Great post! That house is amazing. It also has a great balance of traditional with contemporary living.

  23. Gorgeous and
    interesting post!
    I love historic
    properties and this
    new one definitely
    brings in the historic.
    A lot of work went
    into this lovely tale ~
    thank you!
    xx Suzanne

  24. What an absolutely breathtaking home! I love all the Napoleon hat details (ha ha)throughout the house, very interesting and so well done. Even the bunk bed is spectacular! Also I can't get over the fantastic chandelier in the BH image, so quirky and interesting with the tilted "candles".

    BTW I'm adding your blog link to my blog love section =) Thank you so much for this post, so beautiful and interesting!!

    xo Linda

  25. What a gorgeous space! Love the twin beds combined with a headboard! Great idea.

  26. what beautiful spaces....and all that gray. the textures are so rich and the monotone colors allow the house to shine, don't you think? what's not to love?

  27. Love this post!! So excited to hear that Dovecote Decor be coming btw!


  28. Fabulous post dear! Information and style - love it.

  29. This is a gorgeous home, very dramatic and full of beautiful architectural details. Love the wood paneling in the photo of the first dining room, as well as modern touches to the kitchen. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Wow - what a fabulous house matched only by your intelligent and clever comments. I love design that marries beauty with a bit of an intellectual challenge. And I ADORE the quote at the end - hysterical!

  31. Ok, I seriously want this house! He is a genius. Thanks for visiting and have a nice day.

  32. Ruard Veltman via e-mail said:

    My apologies for the delay in my response.
    I have been out of the office too much lately but now that school is starting, I plan to get back on top of things.

    Many thanks to the blog and I think it reads very well.
    I find it very interesting and can honestly say that you may be the first to blog us with such insight.
    Please do come by our office if you are ever in town and of course, we hope to do more work in .
    It's a magical place.

    Great to meet you and thanks again,

  33. I love the house, and dream of having that kind of design someday. I find the harmony of the modern discount seat cushions and the Nieuw-neo Georgian designs to be perfect. It is very hard to maintain the design that your family is known for throughout the years but Lutyens made it look easy. The neutrality and the geometrical interplay creates a mood for comfort and intimacy, it feels like you are one with the home itself. I also agree with your observation that, “Veltman’s theory of kitchens is that as the contemporary center of entertaining, the refrigerators, dishwashers, coffee makers, and televisions should disappear.” Because they serves as a distraction and will ruined the entire design.

  34. I have a question for you. I saw your guest post on Velvet and Linen and love the cane bed that was in one of your pictures. Do you know a place where they can be found? Please email me and let me know! Thanks! Erin

  35. Liz, Viive and Benji- Thank you for the amazing tour. The details in the woodwork of this house just astound me.

    And I am just in awe of those banks of windows! Beautiful post!


  36. I would recommend reading the Houses and Gardens of E L Lutyens published by the Antique Collectors Club to see the full spectrum of Mr. Lutyens complex vocabulary. Many do not see his mastery and expansion of the Classical language or his ability to infuse new dialects (see the Viceroy's House, New Delhi India). His combinations of extreme vernacular and high-brow baroque are amazingly fresh. Modern architects can only lust after such compositions, since their on language is void of the repertoire.

    Lew Oliver

  37. There are lots of things I like, but what I especially, especially like is the quote at the end.
    Fitz-Pimp x

  38. What a lovely home. The dining room with its soaring windows is my favorite.

  39. Liz a great post. Your images say it all the form, function, lush fabrics. Adore the Master, the Napoleonic Chair, the ever unique Lutgens Bench.
    Art by Karena

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