Home of Distinction: Enchanted Woodland

BY Marimar McNaughton

At home driftwood is the term Jane Marquard coined to describe the crisp white trim that outlines four shades of gray pigment that tint the walls of her pied–terre a wee cottage in the tree-lined buffer wedged between Landfalls white-walled boundary and the rest of the world.

From this parkland setting Janes husband and business partner Richard Marquard sets out on foot accompanied by Emma the familys Chesapeake Bay retriever to their interior design boutique at Lumina Station.

With their livelihoods fashioned from designing interiors for others it is small wonder that the Marquards find peace within the relaxed monochromatic palette Janes exuberant decorating style notwithstanding or what she calls “big things in a little space.”

Providing the right measure of tension the scale of the oversized furnishings nestled into tiny rooms is balanced with subtle textures woven into textiles: tone on tone ivory crewel-stitched pillow covers blue and white ticking raw linens and upholstery the rustic finish of antique artifacts and the delicate webbing of dried sea fans and traditional exposed oak floors.

Jane has incorporated her love of Juliska tableware and decorative pottery with Chinese antiques acquired from her world travels to create a tableau that is at first glance easy on the eyes; second inviting; and third worldly and sophisticated.

“Its like an old soft shoe ” Jane says “simple uncomplicated.”

Hedged by sea corals framed between double-paned plates of glass the oversized white sofa in the living room is accessorized with the addition of blue and white ticking and pale plaid throw pillows casually tossed about.

Jane says “Plaid makes things comfortable evokes more relaxed feelings.”

Opposite the sofa an antique Chinese day bed upholstered in linen grey; and above the mantel an antique Chinese screen. An oversized wooden sun ray mirror hangs juxtaposed above a delicate nosegay arrangement of fresh peach roses posed in a bed of fresh pine with pearl clusters and a shimmering rhinestone pendant.

At holiday time Jane forages amid the wooded veil surrounding the cottage. Among the bower of native pine pecan cedar and magnolia she searches for nuts seed pods pine twigs and magnolia leaves carefully selecting the bounty that ushers the freshness of the winter harvest indoors for the holidays. Her home decorating scheme blends seacoast charms elegant Old World Victorian traditions and natural plant materials.

On the oversized mahogany dining table covered in heavy spun linen a footed porcelain vase is filled with fresh evergreens pine and cedar twigs cut from the yard adorned with pale pink rose buds purple hyacinth fresh rosemary baby cabbage and spiked apples tied with sateen ribbons.

Arranged beneath a pearly white shell chandelier atop each stacked place setting a confection of velvety brown curio boxes with sequined lids adorned with faceted glass clusters and tied with velveteen ribbons might cradle treasured solstice gifts or if lined with moss may make the perfect place card holder for an intimate dinner party.

The sideboard is an antique Chinese tea table paired with a rococo mirror contemporary white table lamps inspired by Depression milk glass with sea grass beige linen shades. Meals are prepared in the open kitchen where the existing granite countertops were paired with a new backsplash design combining round ceramic tiles interspersed with brushed aluminum tiles to create a subliminal flower pattern. Cocktails and hors doeuvres may be passed through a service counter into the living area where a magnolia tree takes the place of a traditional conifer beside the hearth. Grape vines spiral from top to bottom and the tree roots are covered in a heavy burlap and silk sack. Handmade shell pink florets and golden pears weight the branches.

Assembled from the winters crop of cut greens bark browns and iced crystals crowned with aromatic rosebuds Jane dusts each room with a bit of this enchanted woodland holiday dcor.

Mini wreaths are placed throughout the cottage. Simple white pine wreaths with cones crown the master bedroom a small space draped with sheer white panels that span the width of the wall furnished with an oversized headboard and the bed fluffed with overstuffed pillows. Embroidered crowns dignify his and her reading pillows and tiny moss-covered wreaths hung with gold sateen ribbons are draped over a gilded mirror.

The adjoining hall bath is an elegant understatement finished with chocolate marble vanity sink surrounds. A powder room is equipped with a Bombay chest plumbed with a sink and the burnished walls are hung with zoological turtle prints.

Upstairs a guest room is furnished with a line of Somerset Bay furnishings. The Savannah twin beds finished with cotton-candy teal inspired by south Atlantic seacoast destinations and Low Country plantations are manufactured in North Carolina.

The bed linens are a study in white coverlets and black and white striped overstuffed pillows. The black and white combination is reiterated in the upholstery on a slipper chair a small snow leopard print and accented with red-on-white botanical prints paired with a yellow and white awning-striped kilim rug. Barn doors mask the closets dark tortoise shell bamboo shades cover the windows and an Oly Henry plank bench provides a place to park the overnight bag.

The guest room color scheme traces a path over hickory floors into the guest bath at the top of the stairs. Its shared by overnighters with Richard whose home office is appointed with a tan and black hide carpet wall-mounted tortoise shells and is furnished with warm ochre upholstery on footed sofa with red accents and an Occidental armoire. His lair occupies a second-floor loft overlooking the living area where a suede easy chair and rough-textured ottoman are reserved for him beside Janes custom-made tufted nest.

At the end of the day the Marquards with Emma at their side put up their feet their minds at ease showered by starlight and moonbeams traveling from the galaxy to Earth through rooftop skylights.