We played hooky from work on Monday – a perfect Indian summer day – to finally tour Philip Johnson’s Glass House. And yes, we’re embarrassed to say that we haven’t had the chance to visit this iconic home since it opened as a museum in 2007. For anyone who’s seen the house first hand knows that it sits on a beautiful piece of property in New Canaan and is accompanied by 13 other Modernist structures so we highly recommend the extended tour which takes you into some of these. But the Glass House is the most famous and the one we enjoyed viewing the most. It’s stark, almost monastic, decor was enhanced by the stunning views of the landscaped 47-acre property. Johnson believed in minimalism so you won’t see much furniture cluttering the loft-like spaces. The kitchen was sparse (no Sub-Zero fridges or Viking stoves) and even the bathroom was built into the circular chimney so you wouldn’t know it was there unless you opened a custom curved door.
In addition to several pieces of Mies van der Rohe furniture, the only decorative accessories we saw were two lamps, two works of art, a couple of vases with orchids, a malachite cigarette holder and a circular ashtray. Naturally, we thought Johnson could have added a bit more to the decor so once we got back to the visitor’s center, we picked out some of our favorite things to spruce up the place!
The good news is that these items are for sale online so you, too, can tap into your inner mid-century modern soul and help support the Glass House.
P.S. Have you seen The Glass House? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Photo of house by yours truly, the others can be found here.