Cover House Beautiful Oct 2011

Meet Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber.
This distinguished designer both admires and contributes to, classic American style.

October 1, 2011
By Shax Riegler for house beautiful

Link: House Beautiful, October, 2011


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Meet Jeffrey

Decorating is about the the big picture. If you say, 'I'd like a pink lamp,' and I just go get a pink glazed ceramic lamp, you should fire me. What a decorator does is bring you a blue-and-white Delft lamp and say, 'This would look perfect in a pink room.’

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His design Philosophy

I approach houses as a historian. You learn so much at places like Mount Vernon and Monticello. This window-backed cupboard was inspired by the ones at Beauport, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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Designer tips: His books

In his newest book, The Way Home, Bilhuber gives us an intimate look at 12 of his interiors, each defining "American Beauty" in its particular way."Say 'French,' 'English,' or 'Swedish' style, and you immediately picture a room," he says. "But what's 'American'? We mix it up so much — from neoclassical to modern — in the same space."
His other books include Design Basics and Defining Luxury.

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Signature room

Bilhuber mixes furniture styles and colors with confidence and an unerring eye. He turned the entrance hall at his Locust Valley, New York, house into a welcoming reception room with a happy combination of skirted chairs, a plush eggplant sofa, robin's egg blue walls, and cherry red curtains. Other decorative touches include a painted cupboard interior and floor, Delft tiles around the Delft tiles around the fireplace, and a bust of George Washington atop a stately column. To see more of Jeffrey Bilhuber's designs, watch our compilation of his 5 most memorable rooms.

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His favorite sofa

You can do anything to a Bridgewater sofa. Cover it in chintz, tweed, or a cabana stripe. Put a skirt on it, or not. It's a classic shape that fits in anywhere.

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His favorite wallpaper

In old houses I love to use antique wallpapers or vintage designs like Klover, an early-20th-century Swedish print from Belfry Historic.

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His favorite vacuum cleaner

Vacuum Cleaners need a stiff, brushing roller head, like Hoover's WindTunnel. It's the next best thing to taking the rug outside to beat it clean. So much better than vacuums that just suck.

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His favorite time of year

My favorite season is fall: apples, fires in the fireplace, Thanksgiving.                                                         

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