The gracious, passionate & inspiring Cynthia Frank in the loggia of her exquisite Southampton home. Designed and decorated by Cynthia with the help of Designers Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts. The sculpture is by Almond Zigmund and the painting is by Russell Christoffersen
For many of us, when we were children our idols were Superman, Wonder Woman and the latest Sports hero du-jour… yet for SOME of us early “Design developers” we adored Diana Vreeland, Mary Jane Pool and Cynthia Frank. I remember the first time I noticed the editor credits under the gorgeous photographs of the rooms that I adored (in which I would loose myself for hours devouring every object, line and colour) that they in fact didn’t just happen into the pages of the home magazines I adored of their own accord, but had been produced by an Editor who cultivated the story (and the rooms) to unfold their magic for the reader. In effect, this editorial Pied Piper would scour homes from coast to coast and globally, according to the zeitgeist and then stage them for their triumphant photo-shoot. The Editor would always ensure each home was showcased and photographed to show their unique personality and the Gesamtkunstwerk of each home. Every feature would have a main story (The tapestry) into which the Editor would weave elements of the unexpected, personal connections and the magic of its culmination, with the end result being the story of the home and how it came to be. Often the story would begin with the home owner/s on one path and then circumstance would take them down another entirely unexpected route… that was always my favourite part of the feature aside from the photographs themselves.
I can recall from an early age that I have been an AVID devotee to the brilliant work of Cynthia Frank, whose illustrious career in a plethora of the best Design magazines (including the Designer ESSENTIAL Elle Decor, Town and Country, and the now shuttered but spectacular House & Garden Magazine) spans over 5 decades. The unusual aspect of the Elle Decor feature on Cynthia’s Southampton home is that she FINALLY allowed one of her own homes to be photographed. Being the center of the story is entirely new territory for the delightful Cynthia (whose interview on Design staples, trends and tips will be featured in our online magazine). Cynthia, while arguably one of the best Design Editors in the business has always safeguarded her own homes in an envelope of privacy, so for her to allow us this view into her own creation is truly delightful. Cynthia has always reminded me of a brilliant quote from Diana Vreeland … ” I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. GIVE ‘EM WHAT THEY NEVER KNEW THEY WANTED.”
One of my favourite spaces in the wonderfully proportioned home is the sun drenched loggia with its calming view of the pool and garden. Filled with antique arm-chairs (an obsession of Cynthia’s) , a vintage daybed/bench (all upholstered in Pierre Frey fabrics) and a stunning vintage Lucite-and- metal cocktail table, the space could have read heavy, but with the usage of the BOLD and sexy modern Art and “whited out” Architectural envelope, the space feels fresh and tactile.
The Dining room is a beautiful mixture of elegance, simplicity and freshness. I adore how the space feels tactile and approachable with its beautiful mixture of antique and modern elements nestled within the “whited out” Architectural envelope. The chandelier is from a Paris flea-market and the exquisite photograph is by Nathaniel Kramer.
Living Room Seating
Spare and airy, the Living room feels almost like a daydream with its Belgian linen covered sofa, white glazed porcelains and glazed linen upholstered bergères. I especially ADORE the vintage plaster lamps (originally made for Miami Beach’s Eden Roc hotel).
The Living Room
Continuing with the airy and fresh sensibility the Living room is both welcoming and usable, while being elegant and graceful at the same time. Of special note are the brilliant 1930’s armchairs by Frances Elkins (again gorgeous chairs are Catnip for Cynthia).
This is NO Sunset Boulevard pool …. this is a graceful and functional space used by all generations of the Frank family. The modern yet classic sensibility is continued in the garden setting as well.
The Sitting Room
The warm pop of the vintage Italian armchairs make this space the perfect place to perch oneself and read the latest tome… I ESPECIALLY love the painting by Artist Virginia Wylie. The “white” walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Pointing”.