Last week I wrote about the Ringling Museum and Estate in Sarasota Florida, and this week I'd like to share my wonderful visit to the Vizcaya Estate on Biscayne Bay, in Miami Florida. It was the luxurious winter residence of American industrialist James Deering (VP of Intl Harvester) from 1916 to 1925.
The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a historic estate built in the 1910's, during a decade known as the Gilded Age and the Jazz Age. It was supposed to look like a 400 year old Italian villa, but was loaded with all the modern conveniences available at the time. Hey, why not have it all? *grin*
Tropical and Florida-themed motifs were mixed into the Italian theme, so the resulting gardens and interior design elements are a unique blend of Miami and Mediterranean influences. My favorite room had Deco-style gilded palm trees on the wall, with opulent French and Italian furnishings and chandeliers!
I also loved the Breakfast Room, with large glass doors that folded back to convert the room into a loggia overlooking the incredible gardens...with European furnishings and a hand-painted screen depicting Ponce de Leon, flamingos and alligators!
As much as we loved the villa and the interior decor, the formal gardens just blew our mind. The kids and I were there for 3 hours and we could hardly tear ourselves away to get to the airport on time for our flight! I am posting several photos taken out in the gardens, but to peek inside the Vizcaya Villa you'll have to look at their website.
After experiencing this beautiful historic estate, and all the art and eclectic embellishments inside and outside, I got to thinking about how in quilting, and interior design, and many other creative visual expressions, there are often "rules" about not combining different styles or different historic influences into one space or one piece. However I think these ideas are more personal taste, than rules. Moreover, I think they often are limiting to a truly creative artist or designer. This estate is a perfect example!
Do you have two favorite design themes or elements that you've hesitated to combine? Perhaps if you remove the idea that they can't be mixed together, you'll come up with something truly unique and wonderful?