The Solstice Collection
This is a continuation of Susan Kime's article 'Vacation Visions: Exceptional Exterior and Interior Designs of Residence and Destination Clubs'. The first part is available here or you can skip directly to a specific company by clicking on their name below:
One of the most substantially architecturally significant destination clubs to date is The Solstice collection, as its founder, Graham Kos, has collected some of the most architecturally significant homes in the Destination Club industry. Contemporary architects, like Scott Lindenau, designed one of their Aspen properties, and Al Beadle, a great architect of the 50-s and 60’s, built their new Arizona residence, and Michaelanagelo himself built the façade of their Florence residence, on the Piazza Signoria, near the Uffizi gallery. Shay Kos, was assigned to create interiors at that would rival the grand exteriors, a daunting task.
“Because I was fortunate enough to help sculpt the Solstice vision: one that encapsulates discovering the most significant homes in the best locations, the interiors had to be done with the same exacting standards from which the vision was created.” Shay comments, “ These interiors were not designed in a day! It has taken a LONG time, because we do not settle. Although granted, it would be easier!!”
“ For example, our Paris residence has some of my favorite objects, many of which were purchased in the Paris Flea Market. I love the iron piece that hangs above the La Cornu Stove ( we have an image of this). I believe it was the decorative part of a gate at a French country home. There are three other architectural pieces that work so well within this eclectic context: dormer windows that I had made into mirrors for the dining room that work so well; the pair of 18th century Chinese cabinets flanking the fireplace., and the antique mannequin arms and hands that I have wrapped around some old books and a candle stick! The large wall clock in Paris office had to be bolted and hung from a ceiling beam as it was too heavy to hang directly on the wall! They are all so different, yet all work well together – creating a diverse, comfortable environment for our members.”
Carolynn Rockafellow, a Solstice member, agrees with Shay, especially about the Paris residence. “ Because of its location – on the Isle St. Louis, right across the street from a large church, in such an exclusive area, along with understated, neutral yet elegant furnishings, along with the best cooking utensils available --- because of all these things, the Paris residence, for me, exudes a certain magic. Whenever I go there, it feels as if I am coming home, and I always feel, when I leave, that I can’t wait to come back. And really, in the Paris residence and in all other Solstice locations my family and I have visited, there is not a chair or sofa that is not comfortable”.
Shay understands the meaning of comfort, and how necessary it is for the members to feel at home. “The design of the Napa property was inspired largely by some very comfortable furnishings I found in the Paris Flea Market. It was funny because I bought the furniture, then Graham designed a house around it! What he started with was an idea for a typical Tuscan wine country home. What we are finalizing is more of an industrial contemporary, yet very clean and comfortable home. The materials for the residence are from a historic Texas stone fort, reclaimed wood floors, metal window & doors, and concrete floors.”
“The more I travel, the more I see, the more sources I come across and the more inspiration I have. Everywhere I go I find inspiration. Design is everywhere. It never stops and never gets old. There are always new and exciting things if you pay attention. With every home comes a lesson of what worked and what could have been better.”