Sunday, 7 September 2014

Seasonal Denial: Tom Scheerer's Bahamian Idylls

My denial is not absolute - I actually love this time of year - but while every other child in the world seems to have started the new school year (which I know because of Instagram) Sholto's school still hasn't finished being built, so my usual 'ooh it's September' excitement and drive hasn't had a chance.  Days are still consumed with building his lego with one hand, preventing Esmeralda from destroying it with the other, playing Sylvanian Families with her at the same time as expressing an interest in his drawings of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ("Gosh darling - is that Leonardo or Michelangelo?") while all the time wondering how I can disguise broccoli as chicken gujons.  So forgive me when I tell you that my children don't currently figure particularly largely in my dreams of escapism - speaking of which, it's a toss up between being a cow girl in Colorado (based at Ralph Lauren's ranch, obviously) and wanting to move to the Bahamas.  And the main inspiration behind the longing for an island life is this:

The Lyford Cay Club, decorated by Tom Scheerer.  Those palm trees are hand-painted.

I mean, those walls!  The New York Times described the room as setting "a new standard for the vitality and relevance of American aristocratic decorating," while adding that  "Slim Aarons didn't live long enough to shoot this one, but he would have deemed it worthy."  All I know is I want to live in it because, in spite of the grandeur and scale of those trees, it looks supremely comfortable, does it not? "Elegance," Scheerer has been quoted as saying "is really about economy."  

And then I found another house in the Bahamas that Scheerer has decorated - I could so live here.  And India Hicks makes Bahamian life look so especially idyllic . . . .  Which is actually totally relevant because while Scheerer studied architecture at Cooper Union, when it comes to interior design he credits David Hicks, India's father, as a mentor, naming him a master of "fresh, civilised, beautiful, unpretentious spaces."  Which basically describes Scheerer's own style:

To finish, here's another view of those palm trees. 

(Were I a more patient mother I would doubtlessly get the children to paint approximations on the walls at home - in a Matisse cut-out kind of way.  But the Chelsea Textiles cushions still haven't entirely recovered from my "Let's paint Carnival!" idea, enthusiasm born of two days worth of steel bands and sound systems directly outside our house . . .  The paints have been definitively hidden.) FMJ.

All photographs throughout are by Pieter Estersohn