Isn't it lovely? If it was owned by your maiden aunt Martha, it would probably be up for demolition.....but, the peeling wallpaper--genius!
House Tour: John Derian's Cape Cod Home
by Laura Fenton, Posted Sep 1st 2010 5:01PM
The decoupage artist and retailer's Provincetown, Massachusetts home lets its history show.
This 1789 home once belonged to a sea captain. Photo: Julia Cumes.
Is it possible to have a crush on someone's house? If so, I must confess to being hopelessly in love with John Derian's home. Ever since we had our first glimpse into Mr. Derian's interior world in a feature of his home in ELLE Decorin 2006, we've been admiring his style from afar.
Several years back, Derian expanded beyond his New York City apartment and purchased an 18th century home in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It hadn't been renovated in decades. While many would have gutted the old house, Derian left much of what he found unchanged, and it's served as a perfect backdrop for his timeless designs and eclectic collection of antique furnishings. We caught up with Derian and asked him to tell us about this handsome home.
This photo reveals several of the vintage wallpapers that remain in the house form the 1930s and 40s. Photo: Julia Cumes.
The home features several sitting rooms, including the casual living space seen above. Derian says he believes the house was renovated in the 1830's, and the cabinet to the left of the fireplace was likely part of that renovation. The perfectly simple white wingback chair is the Butterfly Chair, one of Derian's own designs.
Old and new mix seamlessly in Derian's home. Photo: Julia Crumes.
The living room is furnished with a pair of Derian's Cove Sofas (the corner of which can be seen above); they are adorned with John Robshaw's printed pillows. The rustic wooden stool is an item from Derian's shop. Of the old beams that have been cut and shaved to size, Derian says: "I use them everywhere -- outside too!"
Vintage drawings of crows are a unique display above the couch. Photo: Julia Cumes.
The lines of the couch in this seating area echo the house's 18th century era; the Geranium Sofa is yet another of Derian's own designs.
Photo: Julia Cumes.
Throughout the house, Derian kept some of the existing wallpapers that date from the 1930s and 40s despite their faded -- and sometimes crumbling -- condition. In this upstairs hallway, he chose to leave the actual wallpaper fragments hanging. "They seem to tell a story -- I couldn't resist. Plus, the wallpaper is beautiful," says Derian. "It has an amazing patina on it, the perfect yellow." Paired with his pitch-perfect furnishing style, these antique papers don't look shabby but rather create a unique backdrop for the home.
A pair of mismatched bedside tables and quirky wall art are examples of Derian's eclectic style. Photo: Julia Cumes.
While Derian says he is drawn to furnishings from the 18th and 19th centuries, he gravitates toward texture, color and shape, not an object's lineage. Says Derian, "I am user-friendly and could not be worrying about something too fine."
This bright bedspread shines in an otherwise subdued space. Photo: Julia Cumes.
The beautiful bedspread above is by Jeanette Farrier, a former costume designer who creates bedding and pillow covers from recycled cotton saris. A vintage paper lantern covers an existing overhead light.
Even the bathrooms exude vintage charm. Photos: Julia Cumes.
In Derian's home, even the bathrooms have his touch. We love the way he uses an antique table to hold bath products in one bathroom and how a 19th century portrait hangs above the sink where you would expect a mirror in another. When asked about these surprising looks, he says that to him it "seemed natural."
Derian resting on his porch. Photo: Julia Cumes.
While the house may look like it hasn't been touched in nearly a century, Derian has put a lot of work into it. You'd never know it, but the house has all new plumbing and electric throughout. Derian says he couldn't have accomplished this balance of old and new without the help of someone who was sympathetic to his desire to preserve the house. "I was lucky to have a contractor like Deb Paine that was willing to let me leave a lot of the things the way they were," says Derian. And we're certainly glad he did -- the results are stunning.
House Tour: John Derian's Cape Cod Home - Shelterpop