It’s no secret that I am obsessed with Mario Buatta, and when I discover previously unseen work I get positively giddy. Surrounded by 16 acres of terraced Italianate gardens on the Connecticut River, “Blendon Hall” was designed in 1902 by Charles Adam Platt and named after a cottage in Newport, Rhode Island. One of the most renowned American architects of the 20th century, Platt was known for using nature as his guide to design, always letting landscape surroundings inspire his plans for the house and garden.
Lily and Bill O’Boyle had just purchased their New York City apartment when they found this Connecticut home, so Buatta was busy decorating both homes at the same time. Whenever he didn’t like something in the Manhattan home, he would laughingly say, “Take it to Connecticut!” So furniture from past houses ended up there along with treasured collections that were deemed “too country” for the city, Lily explained.
“We wanted it to have an English country house sensibility incorporating things we loved like chintzes, porcelain, books and art that would not only reflect our passions and interest but stand the test of time, children, and pets,” said Lily who is the author of several books on the Philippines. Comfortably English with a French sophistication and a definite Asian twist was the mandate.
Buatta likes to say that houses aren’t done overnight. A house should be a continuing work in progress. It should “grow like a garden.” Purchased in 1986, Blendon Hall evolved with the O’Boyles – remaining faithful to Platt’s original design – until they listed the home in 2012… Click below to view a fabulous virtual tour!
To read this entire feature as it appeared in Lifestyle Asia click here. A huge thank you to photographer Ava Pessina who graciously provided the images. And if you would like to see the O’Boyles’ New York apartment, it is featured on pages 192 – 200 in Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration.