10 June 2012

READER’S KITCHEN SERIES: INSPIRED BY A MOVIE

 

I’m back!  After a few days without internet or TV (pure torture) we finally got that fixed only to have computer issues.  I hate technology!!

 

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The gates to Tidalholm Mansion, Beaufort, South Carolina.

 

This Reader’s Kitchen was inspired by a movie.  I bet you are thinking Something’s Gotta Give, right?  Most every kitchen inspired by a movie IS from that movie.  But this reader surprised me.  Her new kitchen was inspired by the white kitchen from the 1983 movie The Big Chill.  What?   I could barely remember that movie, much less its kitchen. 

 

 

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Tidalholm Mansion in Beaufort, South Carolina.  The private residence, said to be over 7,000 sq. ft. was used in two movies - The Big Chill and The Great Santini.

 

The Big Chill was an ensemble movie – with major stars from the 80s:  Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, JoBeth Williams, Tom Berenger, Meg Tilly, Mary Kay Place, William Hurt and Glenn Close.  Only Close is still a big star today.  The others seem lost to that era.  The movie was a huge hit – but watching it today, it seems dated.  It is filled with scenes of pot smoking and cigarette smoking – everywhere – in offices and even at the dinner table.  Boy, times have changed, when was the last time you saw someone smoking inside a house, much less while sitting down to meal????  The movie was filmed in Beaufort, South Carolina, mostly in a beautiful, white antebellum mansion that was built in 1853 by Edgar Fripp.  Named Tidalholm, the Italianate styled house built as a summer house, is located on a large lot filled with centuries old moss draped oak trees. 

The history of Tidalholm Mansion would make a good movie itself.  Destruction came to  Beaufort during the Civil War when Union naval ships and 12,000 Union soldiers arrived to the area.  Land owners fled, abandoning their homes, leaving their slaves to fend for themselves.  Starving, the slaves broke into the cellars of the area’s mansions – including Tidalhom – desperately looking for food.  When no food was found, the slaves, along with the Union soldiers, stripped houses bare, hoping to sell the goods.   By 1862, Tidalhom was practically emptied – its mantels were cracked, mahogany woodwork was hacked to pieces and the house was said to have an odor of spilled wine and rotten eggs.  For a while, the religious sect Gideonites used the mansion as their headquarters.   Later during the war, it became a Union hospital.   When the Civil War finally ended, the Fripp family was allowed back into their house.  Tidalholm was later almost destroyed during a hurricane in 1893.  During the 1930s until the mid 70s, the house was used a guest house for wealthy paying visitors.   Finally in 1975, the house once again became a private residence which it remains today.

 

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While known as “The Big Chill House” in 1979 the house was a central part of another movie, The Great Santini.  In fact, the director of The Big Chill had so loved the Great Santini house that he was insistent he be allowed to use the same location.   Two great movies in the same house?   I had no idea!  While The Big Chill hasn’t aged all the well, The Great Santini is every bit as good as it was when it was first released.   Based on the semi autobiographic book by Pat Conroy, it is the heartbreaking tale of an abusive Marine fighter pilot and how his teenage age (Pat Conroy) coped with living under the shadows of such a man.   Both Robert Duvall and Michael O’Keefe were nominated for Oscars.   Although I think The Big Chill is an over rated movie – it was also nominated for Oscars – including Best Movie, Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Glenn Close.)  Today Tidalholm, where these two movies were filmed, is locked behind tall iron gates that keep out thousands of prying visitors who come just to see a glimpse of famous movie house.

 

 

While the same house is used in both films, it is almost impossible to tell this when watching the movies.  The grand mansion retains some of its elegance in The Great Santini, but in The Big Chill, the house is filled with bland, Santa Fe inspired color schemes and contemporary furniture.  The Big Chill’s set decoration is a travesty.  It is beyond bad, which is such a shame because the house is so grand, so beautiful, its sets could have rivaled any Nancy Meyers’ movie.   The only decently decorated room in The Big Chill is the white kitchen – a room before it’s time.  The kitchen looks like one you might find today – and indeed our Reader used this very one as her inspiration.  She loved the white cabinets and rustic pieces mixed in which created a farmhouse look.   She wanted to recreate this space where friends and family could congregate around a huge island – just like in The Big Chill. 

As luck would have it, I found pictures of what the house really looks like when it’s not starring in a movie.  So, today, we’ll first look at the house in The Big Chill, then The Great Santini, and then how it now looks.  After that, I’ll show the reader’s kitchen and let you decide if you can see the influence of The Big Chill!!   Please note:  The images from the two movies were taken directly from the DVDs.  The movies have never been updated or rereleased, so the images are quite blurry and in need of digital cleanup.   I wish the pictures were crisp and clear – but they aren’t.  So, I apologize for that!

 

 

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THE BIG CHILL:

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Jobeth Williams, Jeff Goldblum, Mary Kay Place, Tom Berenger, William Hurt, Meg Tilly, Kevin Kline, and Glenn Close pose in front of Tidalholm Mansion. Of all these 1980s stars, only Glenn Close remains a big name today. 

 

 

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The Big Chill:  The beautiful Tidalhom Mansion is seen here – the set decorator had the shutters and doors repainted.  They are black in real life, but here they seem a shade of reddish brown.  Not sure why they would do that!

 

 

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Today there is an iron rail up the stairs that was either removed for the movie or it hadn’t yet been installed.  The wide porches that surround the house are used like extra rooms.

 

 

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There is a wide central hallway that leads from the front door.  On the left is the living room and on the right is the dining room.  Past these rooms are the stairs and a small sitting area.  This area is used in the movie as a den.  To the left of this area is another small sitting room where they all watched TV.  The kitchen is at the end of this central hallway.  Notice the décor – 80s style contemporary upholstery in Santa Fe pastels.   In real life, Tidalholm has gorgeous crystal chandeliers that were all removed for The  Big Chill.   The wood floor is original to the house.

 

 

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A close up of the small sitting area next to the stairs.  Celadon green table and mauve sofa with yellow walls.  Yum!

 

 

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The living room.  To the left is the front door which has been painted white.  In real life there are gorgeous double wood doors leading into the living room and dining room that have been removed for the movie.  Now – does this look like a house built in 1853?  NO!  And I can’t understand why the set decorator (under the advice of the director) chose to modernize this wonderful house in this way?  It would have given it so much more character if they would have kept in the charming details.  Again, the furniture is contemporary in soft, muted pinks and grays.  Even the walls are pink, which I do like.  I like the shades too.  Check out that lamp – so 80s!

 

 

 

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The living room fireplace.  The door at the left leads into the small sitting room.  Those chairs!  I swear, I know people who had furniture exactly like this. 

 

 

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I don’t think there is a scene in the movie where they aren’t either smoking pot or smoking a cigarette – all in the house, in the office, at the dinner table, in the kitchen – it’s amazing to see today.  

 

 

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Believe it or not – in real life the dining room is stunning.  You can’t see the beautiful crown molding, which I am sure is intentional.  This room is painted a dark green with brown painted woodwork.  Atrocious.   Over the short door you can see the center rosette molding piece found throughout Tidalholm.  And notice the beautiful base molding and fluted molding around the doorway leading into the dining room.    The gorgeous crystal chandelier was removed to put in this contemporary piece and uplit bowl sconces were added.  Again, the double doors were removed to make it seem more contemporary.  Check out the custom rug – cream with a matching green border.   

 

 

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The table looks like it’s red lacquer – with the green walls.  Merry Christmas!   The chairs are trimmed in black lacquer.

 

 

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Here you can see the side entrance lobby which leads into the kitchen. Today that room is used as a wet bar.

 

 

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Behind Glenn you can see the original mantel - black marble flecked with gold. 

 

 

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Across from the stairhall and next to the small sitting area is the study.  This is where they all watched TV and smoked pot.  Yes.  That’s all they do in this movie – smoke pot!!!  So 80s!  The wood paneling was left alone.  Beautiful lamp.   Why can’t all the décor be like this lamp?

 

 

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The kitchen was totally remodeled from the kitchen seen in The Great Santini which was filmed a few years before.  Here, you can see the side entrance off the porch that leads into the kitchen.  The dining room also leads into this room.  In real life this foyer doubles as a wet bar.  Louvered doors from this space were removed for the movie. 

 

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New wood floors were added for The Big Chill.  In The Great Santini, there were vinyl tiles instead.  Also, the sink was added under the window.  Before, this space under the window was empty.  The sink was located in an island that stood in the middle of the room.  By removing the sink island – the room is now opened up for the large kitchen table.  This is without a doubt the best room in the house in The Big Chill.  The glass cabinets and wood countertops give it a rustic country feel.   There is a tile backsplash and a large stove hood.  The appliances were also replaced, and a new built in refrigerator was added.  The walls are a sunny yellow. 

 

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The table looks like an antique, as do these great chairs.  The kitchen is so much more in keeping with the style and age of the house as opposed to the contemporary look found in the other rooms.

 

 

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Some of the best scenes of The Big Chill take place in the kitchen – morning, noon, night and late night – they all gathered in the kitchen to talk and smoke.   

 

 

 

 

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Here you can see the original fireplace in the kitchen!  How great would that be to have a fireplace in the kitchen! 

 

 

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And looking the other direction.  Against the back wall there is a large collection of hanging brass pots.  The Big Chill kitchen inspired our reader to recreate the look and feel of it.  I think she probably relates to all the good times spent here by the group of friends reuniting together after many years spent apart following their college days. 

 

 

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On the landing upstairs, there are these beautiful original doors that lead to the upper porch.  This décor is also what you would expect in an older home.  Aren’t these doors just beautiful?

 

 

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The master bedroom was decorated nicely for the 80s era.  The walls are heavily sponged.

 

 

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Nice curtains with matching shades. 

 

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Master bedroom has a cute tufted headboard.  And yes, there are some musical bed partners as you can see!

 

 

 

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They also spend the weekend using the latest high tech gadget – a video camera.  Remember when we all had these monstrosities????  Look how HUGE that thing is.  You could get a hernia from holding it.  Today if we want to take a video, we use our tiny Iphones!  

 

 

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The back door – notice the reddish brown shutters.  In the Great Santini, this is the famous basketball court.  It looks like the concrete was removed after the Great Santini because today it’s all shell gravel.

 

 

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The second story porch from The Big Chill – so beautiful with all the moss draped oak trees.

 

 

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The front driveway – you can see the iron gates here.  These are still used today – along with a sign that says “Private Residence.”  I love the gravel driveway.

 

 

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The dock from the house.  This was used in a scene in The Big Chill.

 

THE GREAT SANTINI:

 

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The Great Santini – the fictionalized account of Pat Conroy’s teen years spent living with his abusive marine fighter pilot father – played by Robert Duvall.  His mother is played by Blythe Danner – a very young Blythe.  She was actually only 12 years older than the actor that played her 18 year old son.  Blythe is of course the mother of Gwen Paltrow. 

 

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The Great Santini rents this house for his family.   Of course, it’s Tidalholm Mansion.  Here the shutters and doors are their usual black.

 

 

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The great front porch – prom night with brother and sister.   Though filmed at the end of the 70s, the movie is set in the early 60s.

 

 

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The beautiful stairs and overhead, curved landing.  The family is not rich, so the house is never furnished as it should be.  All the walls are papered in this movie.  But in real life, the walls are painted.  Gorgeous original wood planks.

 

 

 

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The stairs – in this movie, there is no carpet on the stairs – but in real life and in The Big Chill there are carpet runners on these stairs.

 

 

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Here is a closeup of the damask wallpaper that is in the large central entrance hall and up to the second floor landing.

 

 

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The central hall – and, in the dark is the living room. 

 

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One of the only scenes in the living room.  The room is furnished with a wood framed sofa and the arm chair has a thick quilted fabric on it.  No curtains.  Again a beautiful room not shown at its best.

 

 

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The first day in the new house.  The wife is so happy to be living in this gorgeous house – she can’t believe her husband actually picked it out for her.  Here the dining room is seen.  Remember how in The Big Chill this was dark green with brown molding?   And here, you can just see a little bit of the crown molding.  At least there is a crystal chandelier.

 

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A quick look at the dining room as furnished.  The black fireplace is behind Mrs. Meechum.

 

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The kitchen – so different!  First notice there is no sink under the window.  The appliances are all different – on the right is the freezer which is not there in The Big Chill.  And Blythe is standing at the island sink!!

 

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Here you can see the sink island.  Her back is to the window.  The room is wallpapered – as are most rooms in this movie.  Notice the tile floor that was changed for wood planks in The Big Chill.  The paneled doors and white porcelain doorknobs remain the same here and in The Big Chill.

 

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Another view – the arrangement in The Big Chill, with the center table and sink under the window is so much better.  The room is opened up without that sink counter in the middle of it.  And notice – no tiled backsplash, no glass cabinets, no wood countertops  - all that was added in The Big Chill.

 

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How many of you had a wall telephone just like that – with a dial rotary?  We did!

 

 

 

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Upstairs, there is a Victorian styled armoire and an oriental runner.  The yellow damask wallpaper runs up through the second floor landing.  Here are those beautiful doors/windows to the front upper porch. 

 

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The black and white wallpapered room is never seen except for this fleeting glimpse.

 

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Here the master bedroom is papered in a pretty flower print.  The décor of The Great Santini is much more in keeping with the style of the Tidalholm Mansion.  The contemporary furnishing and colors used The Big Chill take away from the charm and elegance of the house. 

 

 

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Remember this back entrance from The Big Chill with the shell driveway?  Here it is all concrete.  Even the brick walk looks brand new.  This must have been removed after The Great Santini.  This scene is one of the best scenes in the movie where the son beats the father at basketball for the first time.  Father is not happy about that!!!  Both these two actors were nominated for Oscars. 

 

The Great Santini had many scenes that did not take place in the house – so you don’t see nearly as much of the house as you do in the Big Chill.  In The Big Chill – almost the entire movie takes place at Tidalholm Mansion. 

Now, take a look at Tidalholm Mansion as it is in real life.  I’m not sure how old these pictures are, but it is so interesting to compare them to the movies!

TIDALHOLM MANSION:

 

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In the spring – with the azaleas blooming. 

 

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Or, are those dogwoods?

 

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These pictures are really bad – they were pasted together – but here is the front porch with all black rockers and black shutters and doors.  The floor is a gray blue as is the ceiling.  Love, love the lantern.

 

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The side porch – with its paned window that blocks the wind.  A scene from The Big Chill was set here.

 

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Looking from the front door to the stairs.  Here you can see the dining room to the right.  Straight ahead is the small sitting room that was the scene of so much action in The Big Chill.  Gorgeous chandelier. 

 

 

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Looking from the landing to the entry hall. 

 

 

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Finally you can see the gorgeous paneled double doors that open into the dining room with its beautiful crystal chandelier.   Across the hall is the living room.

 

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Again, this picture is pieced together – but here you can see the black marble mantel with its flecks of gold.  Notice the crown molding!  Isn’t it amazing!  I would give anything to be able to redecorate this house.  The ceilings are so tall and elegant.  In the corner is an oriental screen.  Remember how this room was painted a dark green with brown painted molding in The Big Chill?  So awful!  This is so much more beautiful and elegant. 

 

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The living room – looking towards the front door. Notice again the double wood doors that were removed during The Big Chill.  This was the room in The Big Chill with all the pink and gray leather contemporary furniture!!! 

 

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And looking straight into the living room from the entry hall.  Beautiful rug.  Notice the rosettes in the window moldings.

 

 

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And on the right side is the fireplace – the same one seen in The Big Chill.  Through the door is the sitting room where they watched TV in The  Big Chill.

 

 

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In the entry hall – there is a piano and a tall clock.  In The Big Chill this was where the mauve furniture was.  Oh, if I could only redecorate this house!!!!!!   Wouldn’t you love to redecorate this????  The owners should hire Amelia Handegan or Jacquelynne Lanham to redo this house. 

 

 

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A look at the beautiful staircase.

 

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The side entrance off the dining room that leads into the kitchen.  This area is used as a wet bar.  The doors were removed during The Big Chill.

 

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The remodeled kitchen that was updated before The Big Chill.  It’s not known if the owners remodeled the kitchen themselves or if The Big Chill did it for them.  I would love to know!

 

 

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The view of the stove and ovens and the original fireplace.  I like the table and chairs from The Big Chill better than these – but these are nice too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The upstairs landing –decorated with a runner and desk and lamp.  You can just barely see the crystal chandelier here.  Notice there is no wallpaper in this house.  Did the set decorators for The Big Chill remove it or did the owner?.  OR did The Great Santini wallpaper the house just for the movie and then remove it????   I would love to paint these walls a beautiful soft white.

 

 

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The master bedroom – with its American and English styled furniture.

 

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Another bedroom – with an original fireplace – I would love that!!  A fireplace in the bedroom.  I think this was Ben Meechum’s bedroom in The Great Santini.

 

 

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The view from the second floor porch.

 

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The deck – in real life.  Exactly the same as during The Big Chill.

 

Isn’t the house so very different looking in real life than in the movies?  I still don’t understand why The Big Chill went so contemporary in the living rooms.  Oh well, we will never know.

Now, let’s take a look at the Reader’s Kitchen who was inspired by the white, family friendly and cozy kitchen in The Big Chill.

 

READER’S KITCHEN:

 

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Today’s Reader is named Lee – she writes the lovely blog Lee’s Hideaway HERE about her house and garden and family.   Lee lives in Pennsylvania on four acres of land.  It was a long time dream of hers to live where she could garden – she grew up in an apartment in Bronx, New York, and never imagined she could be surrounded by flowers and fruit she had grown herself!   Lee’s kitchen was added on to when they renovated it, creating a large breakfast area and sun room that overlooks her expansive yard.  When designing the new kitchen, she kept the kitchen from The Big Chill in her mind – she wanted to recreate the feel of that kitchen where family and friends could congregate around a big island.  She also liked the white cabinets mixed with the rustic pieces that created the farmhouse feel. 

 

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The elements Lee used were beadboard cabinets, silver bin pulls, and a country styled hutch with crystal knobs.  It’s her favorite room in her house.   I love the way she styled the granite counters.

 

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Notice the great stainless hood over her large range.  Plus, she has another wall oven.  The refrigerator is built in.  And in the center is a giant island.  In The Big Chill, the table was in the center of the room – but it also acted like an island where everyone stood around it.  And just like in The Big Chill, some of the cabinets have glass fronts.  You can see where the addition starts – where the ceiling gets higher.

 

 

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Here you can see the wood hutch that adds a farmhouse feel to the kitchen. 

 

 

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Looking out towards the breakfast area.  French doors open onto the new back deck. 

 

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The table matches the hutch’s honey color.  Cream wicker chairs surround it, and there is a lilac check chair  next to the table.  All the flowers come directly from Lee’s gardens.

 

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In this picture you can see the new sunroom that leads off the bar in the kitchen. 

 

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Let’s glance back at The Big Chill kitchen – Lee does capture the colors – the white and the honey colored woods.  The glass white cabinets are the same, and both have large range hoods and built in refrigerators.   The center table and center island are similar.  And yes, I do think she accomplished the feel of the kitchen – a friendly, warm place where friends and family can sit around together and make memories.

 

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Hydrangeas – from Lee’s garden sit on the island.  Aren’t these gorgeous?

 

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Of course, I wanted to see more of Lee’s house – and it’s grounds.  Her gardens are truly impressive.  I can’t imagine living on four acres and having all that space to plant flowers.  Here is how the house looked a few years ago – today a stone addition that houses a study sits on the right side of the house – balancing it out with the left addition.   The house was built in the 60s and when Lee bought it – it didn’t have a front porch.  Now it is hard to imagine the house without it.  Notice the metal seam roof of the porch.  Besides the new porch, kitchen and stone study, they also added a media room in the garage along with a carport and a sunroom, and there’s a new the back deck and patio.   And last, they built a picturesque barn. 

 

 

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I was stunned to see how much the front porch reminded me of the front porch of Tidalholm Mansion – where The Big Chill and the Great Santini were filmed!  The dark shutters and rockers seem identical, as do the lanterns.

 

 

 

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Here is what Lee wrote about her porch and her home on her blog:

Many writers have written about porches and their love for them. I know why I love them.  I have always felt that I was not meant to live in the city or any busy place. I have always bonded to the quiet, the free air and the simpleness of the country. I never did get to Tennessee to live or to the Carolinas or somewhere in the deepest of the south but I did find a taste of what I longed for. It is here where I will grow old, it is here where I will retire to rest. This is my home and I have marked my footprints in the ground and in my garden and along the paved path that I traveled so many a time. I have made myself known to my trees that hover over my house, vigilant and always protecting. I have seen trees die and I have planted two in their place. They now tower over me like my sons showing that time and love have nurtured them and helped them to grow strong.  My roses fill the air with a sweet fragrance that with their combination and variation emit a fragrance that is exclusive to my home. No other place will have the exact combinations of lilacs, peonies, viburnum, hydrangeas, honeysuckle, magnolias and roses.  It is home, where I put my head down at night at the end of a long day. It is where I feel the safest and most myself.

 

 

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The trees are amazing!

 

 

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Here is the back of the house showing the deck off the breakfast room.  This picture was taken during early spring.  You can see where the breakfast room and sunroom were added on to the house by looking at the roofline. 

 

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Off to the right of the deck is a stone terrace with a stone fireplace for colder evenings.  A pergola covers the sitting area of the terrace.

 

 

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The lattice surrounds the perennial garden located in the back of the house. 

 

 

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The barn sits to the right of the perennial garden.  Notice the barn doors and stone trim on the barn.

 

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Another view of the new barn with its cupola.  So cute!!!

 

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It’s interesting to see how different the garden looks from month to month.  Same view as above and below!

 

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You can barely see the barn when the wisteria is blooming.

 

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And looking from the opposite direction in the perennial garden.

 

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The flowers change with the season.  So beautiful.

 

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Off the back deck are hydrangeas.  I’ve died and gone to heaven!!!

 

 

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This climbing rose is on the left side of the porch.  It was damaged during a storm and Lee is nursing it back to health now.

 

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More climbing roses – on a arch.

 

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Peonies!  People can really grow their own peonies????  Really????

 

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Lee has so many rose bushes she can’t even count them! 

 

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Clemantis growing up one of the bird houses.  You can see the barn in the background.

 

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Even in winter, the grounds are gorgeous!!!  I wish there was a picture of the house with the stone study on the right so we could see it!

 

 

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The barn in the dead of winter.

 

 

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And snow laden trees on the property.  I just can’t imagine this!  It’s so gorgeous!!!

 

 

 

 

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I did find this one picture during construction of the stone study going up!  Isn’t this charming!  I wish there was a picture that shows it finished.

 

One of Lee’s most poignant stories on her blog is about the Joni Mitchell song, The River.  Here is a photograph of the apartment building in the Bronx where she grew up, dreaming of one day having a yard:

 

I remember growing up and looking out my bedroom window constantly, wondering how my life would some day be.  Never dreaming that I would have my own home away from the only home I knew, and actually have land and a barn?  Crazy huh.  Was obsessed with Amy Grant and her life, growing up on a farm outside of Nashville TNN.  I wondered what it would be like living away from the Bronx.  Life is strange, and unpredictable.  Here I am, 46 years old, still staring out windows.  My scenery is different now.  My concerns, needs and wishes have all changed.  And life goes on.  I lost my father almost 2 years ago.  My mom has grown older, her mind is not well and it can be difficult.  I think of that young girl, without a care in the world, wondering, thinking, worrying.  And I laugh to think of what I thought was important and worrisome back then.  I look in the mirror and still see her or a glimpse of her, still looking out.  Still wishing, wondering, dreaming, worrying.  There is a song, called The river.  I've often mentioned to people how that song always tugs at my heartstrings.  Don't know why, it's a strange song, but I always listen to it around Christmas time.  Joni Mitchel sings about wanting to skate away on that river.   I have often fantasized about doing that very thing.

To read the rest of her post, go HERE.

 

 

 

And finally, I hope you enjoyed learning about Tidalhom Mansion – and how it came to star in The Great Santini and The Big Chill.  And a huge thank you to Lee – for providing the inspiration for today’s story about her kitchen which she modeled after The Big Chill.   

Sometimes, I get a idea for a story and I don’t know where it’s going to lead or what it’s going to teach us.  This story was like that.    But, that’s the most fun of it all. 

79 comments:

  1. Yippee, a CDT post! Your reader's house and kitchen are gorgeous. Going to check her blog now. LMAO with regards to your comments to the Big Chill, great soundtrack and although it seems dated and full of horrible things like smoking dope....it was a pretty accurate reflection of the times....

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  2. This was a great post, particularly Lee in her own words. She has indeed made a beautiful and peaceful environment to nurture family and friends. Loved her kitchen, but loved even more the garden and grounds around her home. Dreams can come true and it looks like one certainly did for Lee.

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  3. The background story about the movies was fascinating. What a lot of research you do for your readers to enjoy!
    And brava to Lee for an exquisite kitchen in a wonderful setting. It was helpful to see the setting since that often dictates the sense of place a kitchen creates.

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  4. What a fabulous post. What I remember most from The Big Chill was Glenn Closes' Perry Ellis wardrobe. I had those clothes!! It was his first season and the everyday look was fabulous. 3/4 sleeve oxford cloth shirts with banded collars, the best fitting khakis ever. I still have and wear his oatmeal tweak wrap jacket. Your right the look was exceptional. I loved all the scenes from the film and the history of the house--I could move in tomorrow. THanks!!

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  5. A gorgeous house and Lee's new kitchen is perfect. (As I have had two cups of coffee reading your post, Joni) Ha!! I will go ahead and visit Lee!

    The images and references to The Big Chill and The Great Santini are amazing; how the rooms were butchered up in so many scenes!! Yes so 80's!!

    So well researched as always!

    Anita's Parisian Party
    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  6. Joni thanks as always for giving us such a great post. Oh the 80's!! Unfortunately taste wasn't neccessarily at the forfront of interior design back then. Pink and Green!! That was so in back then. Horrible for sure-but so in. As for preserving the "history" of the interior-well that was so NOT in back then. Today we can take such pains to preserve a classical look-but not then. No it seems that austentaciousness was deemed better then preserving something that was historically in keeping with a room. A shame for sure. Thank goodness times have changed, well at least they have for me. I remember back then as a teenager I so wanted pale pink walls with white and grey, furniture that was slightly modern. I was NOT looking to preserve anything.
    Thanks for going into such depths- always educational and entertaining!

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  7. Until I saw The Great Santini I had no idea there was a 'light' version of my father.

    Escaped into my head to survive.

    I credit it for having a happy adulthood, everyday. And depths of creativity.

    XO T

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    1. really? wow. i hope he was a LOt lighter than this father!! look how successful pat conroy turned out. in real life, his parents divorced but in the movie he had his father died. when the oscars were announced, bull called pat and said, you and me got the oscar nomination and your mother didn't get squat. lovely man. my own father is a very disciplined person - the most disciplined and honest person i have ever known. he's a hard act to follow. he ALWAYS does the RIGHT thing. I think maybe that's why I've always been a rebellious. I never do the "right" thing. haha! I really wish I was only 1/2 as disciplined as my father. I wouldn't be overweight, i would be in perfect health and i would have been great businessperson. three things i'm not.

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  8. Joni. Loved this post. Brought back many wonderful memories of the "Big Chill" weekends my friends and I would have in a series of rented vacation houses along the CA coast. We'd all cook until we couldn't cook any more - the prerequisite for the rental was always a big terrific kitchen. As always, loved and appreciated all of the research you did for this story. Lee's kitchen is so gorgeous - what a wonderful vision she had. I know her friends and family have had many, many good times there. This was a great way to start my morning. Thank you! And, many thanks to Lee as well (I would love to see more of her house!) I think I will go put on the Big Chill Soundtrack....

    Beth

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  9. Joni, as I read about the movie making at Tidalhom, I have to share what friends of ours have experienced having films made in their homes. Where we live, the state has offered tax credits to the movie industry to lure business to the state, and it has worked!! Great for the economy, etc. We have many historically intact neighborhoods with gigantic trees, etc. ...a movie director's dream! Many friends of ours have allowed movies to be filmed in their homes. The movie makers wine you, dine you, pay you what you need to be paid to be inconvenienced and then, it's move over....they're here! The paint your house disastrous colors (oh, but remember, they're going to paint it all back!), take down your chandeliers, remove your belongings and "store" them, take down your art and do the same thing, and the list goes on. Once they're in your house, they do as they please. I had one friend who had LIVE reindeer brought into her living room for a Christmas movie! Let's just say this too...they are there to make a movie, not be BFFs. One friend of mine had to BEG the director to BEG Sandra Bullock to get a picture made with her children. I would say that if you have opened your home, the star should be expected to take a 1 second picture with the children who live there.
    So, when the movie is finished, and the crew comes back to put your house back together, the common thread is this: items are lost or broken. The crew that paints your house again is subpar. Your floors are completely ruined. Your ceilings where they put cameras will never be the same, and the list goes on.
    Every once in a while you hear that they want to paint the exterior of a home a more historically accurate color, and this a is wonderful gift to an elderly woman in an old neighborhood who cannot afford this luxury. Yes, there are a few good stories. I wonder if the owners of Tidalhom agreed to the movie being shot there for "The Big Chill" so they could have their kitchen remodeled.
    After hearing from my friends, I wish that the movie industry would respect an owner's home just like they would want a crew to respect their own IF they allowed a movie to be shot there....which I'm sure they wouldn't.....

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    1. Great comment! I think people offer their homes for the bragging rights. It sounds like there is not much brag about once the filming is done.

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    2. sounds like a nightmare. cameras in ceilings? ugh. i bet they did get a new kitchen out of the deal. or at least it paid for a new kitchen. it's been so long since those films so i guess the new owners don't want their house used in a movie again? I would never allow that. Is Sandra Bullock not a nice person in real life?

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    3. We had a measly political commercial filmed in our house for a few hours, and the carnage after it wasn't worth EVER allowing a film crew in again...for anything...and this was a favor for a friend! They don't see you house as a home. It's a set.

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    4. Anonymous, you must live in Virginia!
      Joni, I recently watched "The Big Chill" and like you, found it to be slow-moving, and yes, gag, everyone smoked! I have to say the modern decor was used to illustrate the movie star character (Tom B)-he lived in 2 worlds: Hollywood and his home town, heart in both places, modern and traditional, movie star and also home town boy. With that being said, my impression of the kitchen was it was small, cramped and I felt it did not lend itself to good filming. I really don't like the kitchen layout at all, and the rest of the house was bachelor all the way, with some feeble attempts at trying to make it look like a lounge for picking up ladies! Joni, I am in 100% agreement that the house could use some new decor, as lovely as it is.

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  10. I have just discovered your blog and love almost everything you have posted and am completely smitten with your decorating style. I am currently redoing my living room with a seagrass rug and white drapes, trying to reproduce the "Houston Look" Love it.
    But, I have to take issue with your opening remarks about "The Big Chill......it's a shame you aren't old enough to really appreciate it. Because you focused on the regrettable decor of the times, you have really missed the point of a truly great movie. First, the decor was purposefully muted and modernized to showcase the actors and the times. We were a whiny bunch, and really didn't appreciate the history and architectural beauty of the area. We loved our mauves and teals and it was the height of fashion at the time. The movie didn't want to accentuate the structure of the house, just the feel of old friends trying to cope with the loss of a friend and the loss of their sheltered existence in college. And the juxtaposition of those educated in Michigan at a huge progressive college and the slower pace of life in the coastal South
    And there were certainly more successful stars than just Glenn Close. Jeff Goldblum is still very active as a character actor, most recently, Rachel's dad in Glee. William Hurt has been nominated for 4 Oscars and was cast in the TV series Damages with Glenn Close. Kevin Kline won 2 Tony awards and won an Oscar for A Fish Named Wanda. And in a note of trivia, Kevin Costner played the friend named Alex who committed suicide, but his scenes were cut. All are still working with very successful careers.
    Of course, the house is much more beautiful than either movie showed...but it is a shame to look down on a great film because they chose a decor that was very much in keeping with it's story and time.
    Loved seeing all the changes in the house.......you do a wonderful job for a "youngster" Those of us who were in college in the 60's loved the movie and especially the soundtrack which was one of the first times that a compilation soundtrack was as popular as it was.
    I look forward to all your posts.......
    Pam Bustamante

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    1. um, Pam, I'm 57, soon to be 58 and I LIVED that life, trust me.

      I hadn't seen the Big Chill in years and was disappointed in it = seeing it again. It just seemed really dated. I found it boring. I did like way back then when I first saw it - but have you seen it lately? You should rent it - you can watch it on your computer asap via amazon. I don't know- it was just kind of boring. I didn't get that feeling from the Great Santini. I was sitting on pins and needles watching it. I was really involved, but with The Big chill - I wasn't. And I disagree about the decor. when someone buys a house that is over 100 years old,, they should try to preserve the decor not just whitewash it. I think the Glenn and Kevin's characters would have been believable if they had more classic furniture mixed with antiques - living in that house. But instead the set decorator went with what was in vogue at the time. '

      anyway - glad you are enjoying the blog! I hope you stick around and leave more interesting comments like this one! much appreciated.

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    2. Hilarious.......you will be flattered to know that I totally pictured you as much younger.......I still love The Big Chill, icky furniture and colors and all. I guess it is mainly the soundtrack that still pulls me in. It's one of those movies that I get stuck on whenever I stumble on it if I am bored and on a Channel Surfing Safari. (My husband is Top Gun, Braveheart, and My Cousin Vinnie)
      I grew up in Waco......wish I still lived close enough to have you "do" my living room. Am trying to settle on a source for a sea-grass rug here in Tennessee.
      I absolutely love the rooms on your blog. I will definitely be a long-time visitor.
      P

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    3. Oh, and have been e-mailing the Lone Ranger re. a secretary. Hoping he cans end me a sample of the finish, but I think he might be in Europe. Another great site you referred me to. Thanks.
      P

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  11. I've been wondering where you were! Thanks for another great post, but I think this may be one of the few times I disagree with you, Joni. I loved The Big Chill! It spoke to me of my group of close college friends and the difficulty some can have making the transition to "real life." And when it was released, I loved the way the house was decorated. I even copied it -- bought love seats in that pinky color! You've inspired me to pop in the DVD tonight. Thanks again.

    Anne

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    1. glad you liked it! I don't know, I was kind of bored watching it. I loved it when it first came out = but found I didn't like it this week. I did love the Great Santini though. OH well. And yes - my living room at that time was pink and teal. ahah!!!!

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  12. Welcome back to the land of the living! Thanks for the road trip down memory lane. Still play the Big Chill CD to clean by! Jerimiah was bullfrog, anyone? Always love when a home has a story...and this one pulls at the heart. Lee's best work is her garden. Absolutely love it and love knowing how much it is cherished.

    ps I love red and green together. I think since I don't do Christmas it does not carry that burden for me. The are "complementary" after all.

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  13. What a kickass post Joni! You're back with renewed determination.
    I loathed The Big Chill, Glenn Close, and the interiors of the movie. It had to be the begining of the "mauving of America". The Great Santini was great! The interiors better. I prefer the present day design oddly enough.
    Lee's kitchen is wonderful. It is truly a dream kitchen! And such a beautiful garden for eye candy.
    Awesome post!

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    1. Thanks Rick! you are the only one who agrees with me! thanks for sticking with me. i found it sooooo boring this week when i watched it.

      and yes - lee's gardens made me green with envy!!! gorgeous.

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  14. I forgot i own the CD also! It was one of those rare movies where the music was another character! Joni, you could have just showed us a reader's home, but you didn't and for that I am grateful. Love the journey you take us on. But...I will admit, I was in high school when I saw the Big Chill. It left an impression and made me think of how my friends and I would meet again someday and see if our dreams came true or not. Really love both movies. Thank you!!!

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  15. OH My Gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't get over the fact that you did this post with our house. YOu are incredible. I am so honored and actually speechless. Yes the Big Chill was my inspiration. So much that I have just almost completed working on the editing part of my second novel with my incredible editor. It is a modern day Big Chill type story. Oh Joni, thank you so much. I am so flattered. Your blog is huge and your taste is perfection and I am humbled that you would pick our home to post about. Love the post, love you. Thank you thank you thank you. Lisa

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    1. Thanks so much Lisa!!!!!!! I called you "lee" because I didn't know if you wanted your real name used. I had so much fun stalking your blog and looking at all your pictures! I'm so envious of your garden! It's a dream of mine to live on a lot of land - I have just a small courtyard, which I love, but I would love to have a view!!!!!! and i love the winter shots of your gardens and house. wow. incredible.

      thanks again for sharing your house with us!
      Joni

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    2. So true. Lovely winter scenes. Such a beautiful home for all seasons. Lisa has done a great job.

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    3. Lisa has modestly refrained from mentioning that the novel she's writing contains scenes set in all of these parts of her home---the kitchen, the garden, the porch---so vividly that when I look at her photos they're exactly the way I've pictured them from her descriptions. The way she's created her story the house is the single unifying theme that brings together the characters as they go through their changes. . .just a lovely, resonant novel.

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  16. A great post Joni... The BIg Chill was a wonderful movie... and the soundtrack one of my very favourites... I can see why Lee modelled her beautiful kitchen on this house... it had all the right ingredients... Lee's home is gorgeous... and those snow shots.... unbelievable... xv

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  17. Great post.. wonderful tribute to Lee and her beautiful home and blog. hugs ~lynne~

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  18. Wow, can't wait to immerse myself in the images on Lee's Hideaway. What a perfect example of architecture + interior design + garden design flowing smoothly from space to space.

    As for the decor in The Big Chill - I agree with you! Ugh. The hideous 80's and 90's pink-and-gray followed by the muted "Santa Fe Colors" are prime examples of why people should NOT slavishly follow the latest design fads. I lived through those times and could never stand those color combinations. Can't believe that one can still find fabrics from the 80's in fabrics stores.

    Anyway, the mansion. What a perfect show home for CDT followers to re-design. I would take my cue from the grounds and the architecture. There is too much red on the interior. White to match the exterior, clear blues and celadon (or light, clear blue green) would be my starting point. Black accents that refer back to the shutters are already in the marble surrounds, mirrors and some decorative pieces. According to Mario Buatta (the Prince of Chintz) red is like lipstick on a woman, you always need a little. I would bring in VERY small accents of the reddish pink from the Azaleas (or perhaps they are rhododendrons). If the homeowners celebrate Christmas, during that season they could ramp up the reds and greens. I would choose a rosey red rather than Christmas red which would be too harsh.

    The Chippendale furniture is perfect for a Southern home. However, the Federal pieces (oh dear, those are things that Yankees like), especially the couches and chairs, are too severe and need to go. This is a residence so the seating must be comfortable! French or Italian chairs and sofas would compliment the Italianate architecture, especially the beautiful, ornate crown molding. I would choose couches with a single cushion (to create a smooth line)and with a skirt. Key City Furniture Company makes a couch called "Deanna" that would be lovely. The reason for the skirt is to keep the room from having too much furniture with legs showing.

    In spite of the wonderful woodwork around the windows, they definately need long, luxurious silk drapes in white, a soft clear blue or celadon (or light, clear blue-green). Finally I would add some crystal sconces to harmonize with the chandeliers and to bring more light to the walls. Most of the table lamps are too low and too small for the scale of the rooms.

    Not saying that the current owners of the mansion need or want a make-over, but it is fun to imagine. And, isn't what we do here?


    Welcome back. Nearly a week between posts is a long time for us CDT addicts!

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    1. it was only five days - wasn't it?

      anyway, i would love to see handegan bring that house back to its heyday. it really needs redoing and she would be the one to do it. i like black as accents, not reds. but to each their own!!! it has such beautiful bones - especially the stairs and the public rooms. would love to see them redone.

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    2. I did not mean to suggest that there would be any more than a very light touch of red. Except for Christmas time, I was thinking perhaps just a few live flower arrangments from their yard.

      On the other hand, if one is going to do a red room, don't pussy foot around. Go for it!

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    3. OMG, I thought we were using haint blue to ward off "certain spirits". Guess it's not working.

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    4. Can she ever shut up - NO

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  19. Great post!! I am speechless! Beautiful!

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  20. Your comments about The Big Chill are unwarranted. It's a good movie and a commentary on the times. I think you missed the value of the interaction of the characters, as you were so focused on the color of the wall.s While you may only know Glen Close, the remaining actors in the ensemble are all working regularly today. Like interior decorators, some actors don't require national acclaim to enjoy and excel at their craft.
    BTW, you neglected to mention Kevin Costner's on-screen debut in The Big Chill. He played the corpse, Alex.

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    1. Kevin C's part was cut out - they should rerelease it and add those scenes! that would be so interesting.

      I grew up in that era and I liked it back then, but I just was bored watching it last week. the script - all that droning talk about nothing, it seemed so egotistical.

      if you haven't seen it lately - watch it again. i would be interested if you are like me - and used to love it, but now = don't. if not, well, that's fine. i'm sure i love movies that you don't.

      thanks for the comment!
      Joni

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  21. Joni, What a wonderful post. I would love to have that barn and garden, and how about that porch-gorgeous.
    Thank you for the wonderful inspirations.
    xo, Lissy Parker

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  22. Fabulous post Jonie. Lee has done a fabulous job with her home and gardens and deserves the recognition. She has a lot of hours in that project. My favorite part is that it is beautiful and feels like home. Nothing trendy or cookie cutter about the design and furnishings... Just filled with the things that she and her family obviously love. Bravo.

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  23. Isn't this house also in True Blood?

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    1. There is a similar home used as Maryann's home, but that was a home filmed in Pasadena, CA.

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  24. Lee's kitchen is beautiful (and I love the garden). A wonderful interpretation of the original. I remember thinking the home in The Big Chill was wonderful when I saw the movie and couldn't understand your reaction to the furnishings until I saw the pictures--ugh! Still, I wonder if the next generation will someday say oh that mauve lacquered furniture is so wonderful. I sure wish I had kept some of that 70's stuff that I bought with my ex, Mr. Architect. Arch lamps, Barcelona chairs, Eames loungers, even a Frank Gehry wiggle chair--wish I had it now to sell.

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    1. the decor would have been SO much better if there were a Eames longue, Barcelona chairs, etc. There were no classic mid century pieces - it was all junk, imo. can you imagine the lounge in front of the fireplace? that would be gorgeous.

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  25. Well, it may be because I am much older than you, Jpni, but I loved the Big Chill. It spoke of people I knew and understood. Furthermore, I loved the soundtrack. One commenter was right, it was a central character in the film. I agree, the decor was hideous. I have made some design decisions in the past that, upon reflection, I regret, but I never did the mauvey Santa Fe thing, thank goodness.
    Having grown up in the Bronx myself, I understand Lee's yearning to get out. She made a lovely refuge for herself and her family in Pennsylvania. All the additions were tastefully done. Her kitchen is charming and her gardens inspire serious envy. I am not surprised she is an author. Her writing you excerpted here is truly touching. Please thank her for generously offering her home for our perusal.
    All the best...Victoria

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    1. and believe me - i lived through that era where all anyone did was smoke pot in every room! haha!!!!! i graduated high school in 1972 and college 1976, so I was right there in the thick of all that. it's just so funny to see today = people smoking at the dinner table. does that happen anymore anywhere? everyone goes outside to smoke.

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  26. Sorry for the typo Joni, definitely not Jpni.
    Victoria

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  27. just a note = tomorrow we are interviewing Dara Caponigo, the editor of Veranda for the Skirted Roundtable!!! I am so excited and can't wait to see how it turns out. she has had such an interesting career!!!

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    1. Hi Joni, When will the interview be available? I alerted several of my friends who also follow Veranda. We are all looking forward to it!

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  28. Are you kidding? I still think of Jeff Goldblum, Tom Bergenger and William Hurt as big names! I remember seeing this as a child in the 80's but haven't seen it since. Don't be so harsh on the 1980's decor. At the time I'm sure we all thought it looked great. It's just a pity it was in a different class and scale to that magnificent house. The Big Chill soundtrack is still one of my all time favourites. I've never seen the Great Santini and now I'm going to rent it.

    I've got huge garden veranda and garden envy of Lee's home. The snow shots are like something out of a movie.

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  29. Dear Joni, yet another example of thought provoking, heart tugging and nostalgic story telling, as well as a decor lesson! LOVED this post...and Lee, I could instantly relate to ! Off to read her blog....thank you, Joni. N.xo

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  30. Oh and can't wait to hear Dara Caponigro on the Skirted Round Table. Veranda has now leapfrogged to second position (after House Beautiful) in my list of favourite magazines, overtaking Elle Decor. I know that you are a Southerner and have strong feelings about Veranda but it is now an unmissable publication for me whereas a few years ago I used to pick and choose which issue to buy, these days I buy them all. Architectural Digest has also come on leaps and bounds under Margaret Russell and I never miss an issue.

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  31. Lee's home is as beautiful as she is...both inside and out!

    Wonderful post as usual Joni...
    xo J~

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  32. Joni, When I first read the post I thought "she didn't like the Big Chill? HUH?" But after reading all the comments and your responses to them, I am wondering if I would still cherish it the way I do in my memory. I loved it when it came out and for many years afterwards. But I haven't watched it in years, so I don't know if I would love it still. And, honestly, until I looked at the still photos, I had no idea the decor was so ugly. It was U-G-L-Y. But, then, I was completely captivated by the cast and their connection(s), so I wasn't tuned into the interior. I do think that the characters played by Glenn Close and Kevin Kline would have decorated the house more in line with it's heritage. They weren't the mauve/seafoam types.

    At any rate, your reader's kitchen is lovely. A large kitchen but not so large it's not welcoming. I could see it as a perfect gathering spot.

    Jenny C.

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  33. Yet another interesting post, dearest Joni! Southern houses just get in your craw and it's over! I agree, Amelia Handegan would be the perfect designer to get her hands on this house!

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  34. I think Lee's kitchen resembles The Big Chill in layout and glass-fronted cabinets, but has some key differences. The Big Chill kitchen is very warm-toned: wood countertops, table, hardwood flooring, and yellow walls. Lee's is cool-toned: granite, tile flooring, steel appliances, and lilac paint. The former feels warm and cozy; the latter cool and modern. I'm not saying one is better than the other, I just think they're different in feeling. The addition of the honey-colored hutch and table in Lee's doesn't change the color dynamics of the room. On the contrary, I think it calls more attention to each one's properties (i.e. the honey furniture looks even warmer, the granite even cooler in comparison). Thus I'd want to "cool" down the furniture somewhat -- more walnut, brown-colored (as opposed to yellow) wood, or paint the hutch a green or similar casual, farmhouse color.

    A few of the elements I especially like in Lee's kitchen are the over-stove backsplash tiles, the upper cabinets to the left of the stove, and the beadboard cupboard doors. It's probably too late to do this now (may block kitchen drawers), but I liked Joni's countertop "trickery" of gluing an extra thickness to the edges of her countertops (double or triple thickness) so the granite looks thicker/richer.

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  35. Thank you for a fun post! I do have to agree with your reader PB, though; The Big Chill takes place during a weekend only after the funeral of a college friend, and you totally missed the point of a wonderful Lawrence Kasden film. They only smoke pot during one scene actually, and their behavior is relevant to the times and the scope of the movie. And to add to PB's remarks re: success of the stars, both Kevin Costner (an Oscar winner; in Big Chill his scenes were eventually cut) and Tom Berenger just produced and/or starred in the fabulously successful mini-series Hatfields and McCoys on History Channel. Of course, your wonderful blog is about interiors, so this doesn't matter too much. I'm just a great fan of the movie and love its stars. What a great house – I've always admired it.

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  36. I love The Big Chill. I watched it about three or four months ago and still loved it. The whole thing about Mary Kay Place wanting to have a baby was a bit tiring, but watching the relationships between the characters was still very entertaining and true to life. I loved the exterior of the house and the kitchen, but the rest was certainly unattractive. I didn’t even know it was such a beautiful house. Didn’t watch the Great Santini. Can’t bear to watch movies with physically and psychologically abusive parents.

    This is what I love about your posts, Joni. You give us so much history behind the photos you show us.

    That crown molding is gorgeous! Looks like tatted lace. I, too, would love to see the house professionally redecorated. So much needs to be culled.

    Lee’s kitchen is beautiful! Her home is lovely. And The River is my favorite Christmas song. Paul Bryom sings it on his Christmas CD and I listen to it year- round.

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  37. Lee's home and grounds are fabulous!

    Like Denise and several other commenters, I loved The Big Chill. I agree with PB--The Big Chill showed old friends trying to cope with the loss of their friend and the loss of their sheltered existence in college. Their lives and careers have not turned out exactly as they had envisioned them when they were in college. They are realizing that life is more difficult and less inspiring than what they thought it would be. The Big Chill became a sort of 'anthem' for a generation trying to accept the fact that their present was not the future they had hoped it would be. Even though it was filmed thirty years ago, The Big Chill's themes of friendship, change and the sting of emotional isolation still ring true today-!

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  38. Living in Southern Texas you would know about blue ceiling on porches! Haint Blue is suppose to keep evil spirits out of the homes(that is just one of the many old wives tales about blue porch ceilings) + there is no particular Haint color just any blue you like + Nothing like a porch swing or rocking chairs to sit in, then watch the world go by! Adore your blog. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Wonder if the "blue keeps away evil spirits" came from the French settlers in the area? Shutters and doors in southern France were often painted blue for supposedly the same reason. Copper Sulfate was added to paint as a fungicide and algicide. It makes a beautiful blue color and preserves the wood.

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    2. Please paint your computer monitor. It may help all of us.

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    3. only an anonymous person would make a snotty remark like that. shame on you......

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  39. We just did the entire ceiling of the new boathouse and sun deck in "haint blue." We've gotten so many compliments! It's "supposed" to keep out carpenter bees, wasps, etc. so we'll see if they let us be. franki

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  40. For the inquisitive out there, Sherwin Williams has a very detailed article about the history of Haint Blue. It is supposed to keep the "Haints" or Haunts (aka ghosts) away. If you simply like the look, they give you suggestions for specific blue colors.

    http://www.swstir.com/color-smarts/article/the-whys-behind-the-blue-porch-ceiling/

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  41. Lee's garden in fabulous! Makes mine look like a sandbox. Thanks for sharing.

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  42. Hi Joni~Gorgeous kitchen and I would die for a wrap around porch like that! I sent a little message to you in todays blog post! :) Hope you check it out!

    http://www.mysweetsavannah.blogspot.com/2012/06/farm-chicks-purchases-and-our-new.html

    Have a great day! xoxo, Melaine

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  43. The radiance of this Tidalholm Mansion is priceless. Imagine the privilege of being depicted in two different motion pictures! Maybe its All-American spirit is the main reason why it has been used in different films. And looking at it now, I can still say it has that effervescent magic that, even though its outskirts look deserted during winter, it makes me feel like going there and getting cozy in its fireplace. Kudos to the family who owns and maintains this!

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  44. More pictures of the Tidalholm kitchen in its "Big Chill" incarnation can be seen on architect Benjamin Marcus's blog:

    "Great Kitchens in Film."
    http://greatkitchensinfilm.blogspot.com/2010/11/big-chill-1983.html

    I wonder if "Big Chill" set designer George Gaines created the decor to show that owners Sarah and Harold Cooper were people who gave little thought to aesthetics and decor. Perhaps the Coopers were deliberately presented as the types who go to the local department store to buy a suite of furniture - whatever the sales person said was the going thing or whatever they'd seen in friends houses. Just regular people.

    It's too bad great old houses have owners who have no sense of what they have or don't know what to do with it. In life, that's the fate of most good old houses, I've found.

    KO

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  45. Many times people purchase or inherit great old homes then discover they do not have the money to furnish them properly. Imagine the maintenance required by a home built so long ago!

    It is not always a lack of taste. Sometimes, it is merely the lack of money. While we may critique the decor, we should not critque the people. We have no idea what their financial circumstances might be.

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  46. You are so right. It is most often about money. Older homes require a major financial investment to bring them into the current building code and modernity. One such person who has the resources to restore historical properties is Richard Jenrette of the banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He has restored fourteen homes, both in the north and south and often opens portions of them for tours to help raise money for charitable causes. If you read up on his works and the homes he has restored, you will find he has spent millions of dollars to preserve a part of our history. No, it's not always about taste. You will not see seagrass or slip covers in any of them, but you will see acquisitions of the finest period antiques to be found to bring the property back to its original beauty.

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  47. Glenn close is the only one still well known today?????? i think not.....

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  48. Peonies are easy to grow as long as you get a nice hard freeze every year. So...probably not in Houston!

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  49. That mansion looked brilliant up until the cars appeared in front of it.

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  50. Wow. Lisa your home is incredible. The winter pictures make me ache (wish it got cold here in Queensland, Australia) and the kitchen is to die for! Thanks Joni for sharing. Cheree

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  51. I love your designs and think you have excellent taste! I also absolutely love The Big Chill. William Hurt, Kevin Kline, in fact the entire cast is brilliantly funny... I think its one of the best films of its time. True, the decor is hideous, but so was our hair in the 80's. No doubt we may look back on all the greige of today as so dated and 2010.... and as for pot smoking, uh, its hardly gone away, can you say prescription?
    You are so right about the kitchen though... its perfect!

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  52. I loved this entire article! I have seen the BIG CHILL, loved the movie. The house just came on the market this last week in Beaufort. My partner and I are looking to possibly buy the home to keep the history and the integrity of the house intact. I love all the oak trees dripping with the spanish moss and all the azaleas. Keep your fingers crossed that it works and we can keep it for our grandkids to enjoy and get a little piece of history.

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