designs of distinction
O H, H O L Y Nights
ALEIGH SERIES,” an abstract
painting by artist Joseph M.
DiGiulio, is the inspiration for this
mantelpiece design. The primal,
bold canvas gathers homeowners Dr. and Mrs.
Walter Gajewski and their family and friends
’round the hearth at all times of the year, but
especially during their celebrations of Hanuk-kah
“With the painting as a backdrop, we were
able to incorporate blue delphinium and
monstera leaves, paired with longleaf pine
boughs and red ilex berries,” says Dana Cook
of Julia’s Florist. Shiny black pots marry the
hearth’s black granite floor, bringing the color
up to mantel height. Filled with red roses
spiked with pine needles, the aromatic blend
stirs the sense of smell. The arrangements
enliven the all-white mantelpiece, detailed
with dentil molding and painted brick
surround, and echo the sharp contrasts found
in DiGiulio’s painting.
The Design Challenge: Julia’s Florist design
manager Wendi Fayad met with Mrs. Gajew-ski
and discussed the colors and textures that
would be incorporated into the design. The
result? Fayad felt “less was more” and mirrored
the homeowners’ personal design aesthetic.
Fayad carried her impressions back to Cook
and together they rose to the occasion.
“It was fun to work with the tall space on
either side of the mantel,” Cook says.
Because the Gajewskis celebrate both
Hanukkah and Christmas, the traditional
Hanukkah palette of silver, blue and white is
reflected in the choice of tall, linear silver vases
and silver and white ornaments. The home-owner
added her collection of holiday trees on
the built-in bookshelves.
“The homeowner was agreeable to any
design ideas, which made the project more
exciting,” Cook says. “The colors created by
the wood-burning fireplace matched perfectly
with the overall look.”