Merriman Park has undergone a lot of changes since I first conceived it in its first, crude sketches as a Palladian mansion inspired by the architecture of Thomas Jefferson. But that's OK. After all --it's my house! I can't imagine if it were a commissioned piece for some client and I wasn't free to make any last-minute alterations to the plan as I worked along. I have decided to implement yet another change: this time to the Entrance Hall, which is the first room inside the house that I plan to decorate.
Thomas Jefferson was not fond of staircases. He felt they were a waste of space. When he traveled to France, classical, one-story houses were de rigueur at the time in Paris and staircases were tucked discreetly in out-of-the-way spaces. Jefferson brought this idea back home with him when he designed Monticello and many of his other American works also feature a "suppressed" stair. My Jefferson-designed, inspiration house also lacks a grand stair, and so I opted to leave a staircase out of Merriman Park.
But I want a stair!
I mean, do I really want to explain the the whole story above every single time someone sees the finished Merriman Park and inevitably asks, "Where's the staircase?"
So I am going to put a stair where a staircase ought to go in my Entrance Hall. Jefferson may not approve, but again --it's my house.
Joan Crawford (Faye Dunway) on a "Hollywood Regency" staircase, showing how classical design is adapted to contemporary styles --in this case, the Art Deco.