Features

ELEISH VAN BREEMS VISITS THIS OLD HOUSE

On this season of PBSThis Old House, DH Designers Edie van Breems and Rhonda Eleish of Eleish van Breems lend their Scandinavian style expertise to the makeover of an 1887 Queen Anne house in Cambridge, Massachusetts.   Built originally as a two-family residence and later adapted to accommodate a family on each of its three floors, the house is being converted to a single-family residence.   While local laws limit changes to the exterior, the inside is undergoing a significant update as the owners have chosen to go with a modern Scandinavian interior.  And that is where the Connecticut-based duo of Eleish Van Breems come in.  Appearing in the October 25 episode, Rhonda and Edie show host Kevin O’Connor and viewers how design elements such as light, functionality, and quality of native materials are key to the aesthetic of modern Scandinavian style.

1. Clear Band Pendant by John Pomp Studio. “Glass is revered as an art form in Scandinavia.  Made by a true artisan workshop, these hand blown Glass Pendants are stunning and a must have!”

2. Swedish Antique Dropleaf Table by Eleish van Breems. “The Swedish ‘slagbord’ or drop leaf table is famous among those familiar with Scandinavian furniture for its versatility and good looks. Folding down to often under a foot in width, the table may be pulled out and extended to make a work desk.  Totally functional and the soulful worn patina on this example is amazing.  We would get it out of the kitchen and into the library.”

3. Sunburst Mirror by Eleish van Breems. “Light & Reflection.  Gilding and Mirrors.  The need for more light is why mirrors are used so much in traditional Swedish design.  Our handcrafted 32 ray mirror in verre eglomise white gold is handcrafted and inspired by the northern sun as it hangs in a winter sky.”

4. Gudinna Barrel Tall Wing Chair by Bjork Studio. “Gudinna means goddess and that is how you would feel sitting in this glamorous wingchair!”

5. Sugar Press Stool/ Side Table by Tucker Robbins. “We love this stool to bring the experience of raw wood into a room. Repurposing is important and this is a great example of materials and function being celebrated and transformed into something far from its agrarian roots.”

6. Historic Canvas by Stockholm Artist Eva Badenhorst from Eleish Van Breems.“The words we think of for these canvases are romance and whimsy. The essence of period Swedish wall canvases is captured here and the antique sailcloth used for the canvas adds a special dimension and connection to another time.”

7. The Dyrham Chimneypiece by Jamb Limited.  ”Swedes are the first to acknowledge that the element of fire feeds the soul and the body. This 18th c. English mantle is the perfect fire alter – it incorporates many of the elements found in Classical Gustavian form, from the greek key to the garland of oak and acorns tied with ribbons.”

8. Frasier Chair by Giannetti Home. “Inspired by a mid-century Swedish chair, the Frasier has the simple lines we look for and a rich waxed brown leather upholstery that is practical as well as handsome.”

9. El Monte Lamp by Lawson-Fenning. “This walnut lamp is like a sleek sculpture.  We are very attracted to the almost organic form and the melding of Scandinavian and midcentury Californian influences.”

10. Rug N10210 from Doris Leslie Blau. “The browns and greens of this rug bring a bit of the outside in and make you feel as if you are walking on a forest floor.  The pattern is classic midcentury Swedish.”

11. Bookcase by Lars Bolander. “Shelving in Swedish homes is practical and out in the open. This double size bookcase is a collector’s dream whether housing books or a pottery collection.”

12. The Klismos BenchJamb Limited. “The Greek Klismos form has been revered in Scandinavia as well as all of Europe for centuries. The Klismos definitely reaches a new level of chic in this window bench made of teak and woven leather.”

The This Old House Cambridge Project, featuring 15 brand-new episodes, premieres nationally on PBS in October 2012 (check www.thisoldhouse.com/tvschedule for your local listings).

All Interior Photography by Neil Landino.