Saturday, January 25, 2014

Prairie Home

Give me a home where the buffalo once roamed. This was the task set out for designer Dayna Rosencutter - furnish a Prairie style home near Towanda, Kansas Make it something contemporary and comfortable, but suitable for life on the prairie.

The background

In 1858, an unsuccessful gold prospector returning from California along the Santa Fe Trail entered Kansas Territory and heard tales from the Osage Indians of a place on the Whitewater River. The Osage, who had hunted the area for buffalo, spoke of green fields of lush blue-stem grass, clear-flowing streams, tall oak and walnut trees along the river bank, and an abundance of deer, elk, antelope, and buffalo. The prospector was C.L. Chandler, a native of Ohio. Mesmerized by the tale, he headed south and followed the Whitewater to its source. There he found a spring of cool water flowing from the ground. 

field near Towanda, Kansas

On that spot he built his cabin, the future location of Towanda, Kansas. The following year he briefly returned to Ohio where he collected his wife and children and returned to Kansas. In 1863, Chandler sold his cabin and land to James R. Mead, hunter and trader on the Great Plains. Mead chose the site because of its natural beauty, and because of the opportunities to trade with others including Jesse Chisholm. 

In 1870, James R. Mead would go on to become one of the founding fathers of Wichita.

Butler County, Kansas

When designer Dayna Rosencutter was given the opportunity to help furnish a Prairie style home near Towanda, Kansas, she jumped at the chance. Not only because the area is part of Kansas history, but because Towanda still possesses the native charm that it did in 1858 when C.L. Chandler first set eyes on it. 

The living area

Dayna and her clients immediately settled on Stickley for the furnishings. The sofa is the Club Arm sofa, custom made in a combination earth-tone fabric and rich brown leather.

Stickley Club Arm sofa
To keep with the contemporary setting, the Cohiba chair was chosen.

Available in both fabric and leather, the clients selected a fabric pattern to complement the sofa. The choice of fabric or leather involves several considerations. Leather is more durable, while fabric is soft to the touch. Fabric also allows for a wider range of texture and pattern.

The Cohiba is also available as a swivel glider.

Cohiba swivel glider

Additional comfort is supplied with the choice of the Bustle Back Bow Arm Morris recliner, in leather. This legendary chair was designed by Leopold Stickley in 1910 as a tribute to dBritish designer William Morris. The chair is a part of furniture history and has been lionized by the likes of Marilyn Monroe in an Irving Berlin song, You'd be Surprised.

More to come...

One experiences serenity when leaving the city for the country. The creeks run clear, the grass grows high, and the trees stand tall against a blue sky. Along the dirt roads, drivers still raise a hand or a finger in passing as if to say hello. In the evening, the deer still appear at the edge of the forest to look for corn left over from last year’s crop. And as the sun sets, the sky is a visual display of every shade of blue, red, and yellow.

Sunset in Butler County