Editor’s Miscellany: Revisiting Blue and White

June 23, 2011

By Kyle Hoepner

My editor’s letter in our July/August 2010 issue elicited more comment than any other I’ve written so far. In it, I had the temerity to express a certain…impatience…with the automatic use of blue and white as a seaside color palette. Worse, I owned up to a certain irritation with the 1,001 versions of the house from Something’s Gotta Give that have sprung up coast to coast. Did I really dare question such beloved orthodoxy?

Consider, though, another sentence from that same letter. “Now don’t get me wrong: blue and white can be done incredibly beautifully, and I myself have admired many blue-and-white rooms over the years.†My objection wasn’t to blue and white per se; it was just to the unthinking and unimaginative way in which it is often executed.

Well, this year New England Home is publishing two houses that do blue and white with a notably different spin. The first appeared recently in our May/June 2011 issue. In this house in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, architect Michael T. Gray of Carpenter & MacNeille and interior designer John De Bastiani combined classic elements with assertive, globally inspired patterns, to fresh effect.

From the May/June 2011 issue of New England Home. Photos by Sam Gray; click to see the full story.

This lakeside house in western Connecticut is just about to appear in the Summer 2011 issue of New England Home’s Connecticut. Architect Robert Dean and interior designer Anne Miller created a somewhat chalet-like dwelling that invests blue and white with notable sheen and elegance, while still keeping things quirky and light.

From the Summer 2011 issue of New England Home’s Connecticut. Photos by Michael Partenio; a clickable link to the story will be added as soon as it’s available.

Do you have any interestingly non-typical examples of blue and white design you’d like to share?


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