." A most beautiful house, totally welcoming, totally easy." Penelope Tree said of her parents Barbados home in VOGUE, 1968- the July issue.
What more could you ask of a house? In today's world, the description seems apt- more than ever a house should be complete and total haven. The Tree house, called Heron Bay, was built in 1947 by her parents Ronald & Marietta Tree, designed by architect Geoffrey Jellicoe and modeled on Palladio’s Villa Maser in the Veneto.
The Dining Room- located along the front steps of the house -the steps leading to the Living Room. The Living Room is the only room on the upper level of the house. From the Dining Room, the bedrooms stretch out along arching arcades.
this photograph from Country Life here
"The house looks like it has been there forever, since before time began. It is my dream house, the most beautiful place I have ever seen."Penelope Tree
The house like most houses in Barbados was built of coral- and since it weathers differently over time- Penelope Tree felt the house seemed eternal-"as though if a tidal wave were to cover it, it would be at rest again."
Penelope and her father Ronald Tree
Another view of the open air Dining Room with flowers, leaves and berries scattered over the table
The Living Room with its coral walls- in patches of blue, pink and white is in all white with a few vibrant accents of yellow, pink and blue. This is the room where the family & visiting friends congregated most often. The Italian painted pieces were all copies of furniture in the Palazzo Rezzonico- a museum of 17th century furniture in Venice. The screen- a stage set found in Venice by Lord Litchfield. Many of the other pieces of furniture in the house were made on the island.
The Living Room
The Morning Room
for reading and writing letters
The Morning Room,again, is in mostly all white, with accents of powerful pink, the furniture is all slipcovers- a pair of chairs in the iconic Fern print one of Elsie de Wolfe's favorites, still available. Scalamandre makes the document in a printed linen and a versatile solution dyed acrylic.
Penelope on the beach
Marietta Tree in the courtyard with her constant companion-the parasol.
The Main Bedroom, at left & another view of the courtyard with the arcade leading to one of the wings of the house.
photographs of Penelope Tree & the house by Patrick Litchfield- She was just 18 at the time.
a Portuguese chandelier hangs in the trees above chairs made on the island
In 1961, Ronald Tree opened the Sandy Lane Hotel ( more here) and his friends descended on & loved the island- making it the most celebrated destination of the 60's and the 70's. Tree also established the National Trust in Barbados.
Today's TREE here
Today Barbados, read more here & here