Now that summer is almost here, I asked Ruggiero to show me more lessons from Laurelton Hall that the rest of us could adopt as we try to connect our indoors to our outdoors:
• Landscape first. Tiffany designed the landscape on his property first, then built the house.
• Bring water indoors. A waterway ran all through the house and the 5,000-acre grounds, creating outdoor fountains and an indoor stream, which visitors had to step over in the entryway.
• Rough up the edges. Cantilevered — as opposed to straight — exterior walls allowed the house's structure to intrude into nature, making overhangs that formed outdoor rooms, porches and patios.
• Invite the light. Large windows with no drapes or blinds and skylights made Laurelton Hall feel open on all sides. Views spilled onto gardens and terraces that extended the interior.
• Add seasonal greens. Tiffany kept large greenhouses and rotated an abundance of plants and flowers throughout the mansion with the seasons.
• Connect the dots. Putting the same foliage on both sides of a window was another way Tiffany merged the inside and out. “If he planted tulips outside the window, he would also have tulips lining the window inside,” said Ruggieri.
Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through www.marnijameson.com.