Fall in Step
Inspired by The Rockettes? That’s me! Most of my efforts so far on our Carriage House extension of Stonehurst Place have been labour-intensive design work. As lead designer, I work with the principal architect as well as our innkeepers (thankfully Paul is a talented architect as well as incredible innkeeper!) to create what will be an inspiring and breathtaking use of space. We want these new suites to fall in step with the design aesthetic of Stonehurst Place, where our guests are truly comfortable in our elegant-but-not-fussy mansion house. Almost every day, I pour over the architectural plans that litter my desk, wearing reading glasses and still using a magnifying glass because the print on the drawings is font size 2. Although it’s a labour of love, that love can sometimes be left behind while I measure out minute distances, calculating the exact size of a toilet or plotting comfortable walking widths and paths through the suites. One thing that always lifts my spirits, though, is crawling through hundreds and hundreds (thousands?) of listings on the internet to find perfect pieces of art to compliment the new décor.
The Rockettes Perfectly Fall In Step
The other day, I found a terrific piece to use in one of the new suites. This slightly tattered but still amazing picture is an original 1937 newspaper photo, labeled “Radio City Music Hall Leggy Pin-Up Rockettes.” The piece is a large format, silver gelatin photograph that highlights the precision and glamour of the dancing troupe as they line the stage and brandish their show-stopping legs and precise uniformity. Dramatic, enchanting, and absolutely glamorous, this Radio City Music Hall artifact is truly exquisite, and just the kind of piece I love sharing with Stonehurst Place guests. We already have a collection of vintage photographs, most of which are in our “Hollywood Glamour” Piedmont and Farnsworth rooms. Those vintage photographs feature classic Hollywood designers and stars, notably Edith Head, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, and Joan Crawford.
The Rockettes are a source of fascination for me. This group of women, trained to control their bodies so well that they are in perfect unison, are an awesome sight. Of course, the rounds and rounds of auditions to become a Rockette are incredibly difficult to make it through, but the end goal is worth it. They seem like a community of women perfectly attuned to each other’s body movements. Although their schedules are incredibly harsh, especially during the Christmas Season when The Rockettes present five shows a day, seven days a week, I see it as a true team sport. Their best known routine is an “eye-high leg kick in perfect unison in a chorus line,” which they are preparing to do in this image … which is why I had to purchase it. It shows these women about to deliver their daily dose of perfection, just as we strive to do daily at Stonehurst Place. They are hovering on the brink, about to complete their performance. Their genuine smiles brighten up the image. They are ready to show off their skills.
I am in awe of their excitement.