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Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

Posted by mtnrdredux (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 17:44

Ok, first off, two points if you know what a "borne settee" is. I did not. Now my 10yo daughter just *has* to have one for her beachhouse BR! If you do not know what one is, see if you can guess; it appears in one of the photos below.

We recently traveled out of town and needed a place to stay. We opted to rent a house, since it was the five of us, another relative, and our dog. When looking for something, we came across one with a funny provenance; it has been built by the old film star Bette Davis when she fell in love her NH hotel manager, LOL.

It was apparently built in the 40s from old barns. I have to say it was pretty avant garde for that time, in the open floorplan and use of windows. Oddly, it was built with one bedroom and an upstairs living room, Couldn't quite figure that out. Anyway it was an interesting place so I thought I'd post some shots. ( bit musty and dusty and rundown for a stay, however)

Exterior (note the silo, which has stairs to the MBR):
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Downstairs - entirely open for the entire footprint; large two sided fireplace separates DR/K and LR.
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The MBR, and its adjoining sleeping porch. The sleeping porch was my favorite.
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Bathroom - I would have loved to get my hands on this one and restore it.
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These panels/screens came out of boxes in the ceilings, to enclose two queen beds and make "pesudo rooms". Never seen that before! This room had no separate door and was clearly another living room, even though it was on the second floor.
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Each silo level had seating and uhh, decor. (a lot of it!)
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Hope you enjoyed this unusual home with an interesting history for fans of old movies. So, where do i get a borne?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

At a wedding we attended a this summer, many bornes were used during the cocktail hour at the reception. So they are out there to find.


RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

I love Bette Davis! How cool that you stayed in one of her former houses. The interiors are beautiful. Makes me want to wallpaper a room and paint the trim.
I'll bet after she built it, she did NOT say, What a dump!

Bette Davis lived in Westport in her later years. See link below.

The borne identity: is it the round piece in the bedroom?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bette Davis' Connecticut home

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

Windsor Smith makes one. I think through Century Furniture. It has an MSRP of $9000. It would be cheaper to show a picture to a good upholsterer and have them make one I think.

But they are kind of designed for strangers to be able to sit on the same sofa and not interact. If she likes it for its unique factor why not a tete-a-tete, which is more intimate?

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

Ineffable - DD does not like the lines of that one, thank goodness. Too rococo or somesuch. I will have to show here a tete a tete. You also make a good point about function; this is they you think of a hotel lobby when you see them.

Maddie, that sounds cool.

AWM, LOL. I didn't know she had a house in Fairfield Cty once, but it seems every other house here has a celebrity link of somesort ....

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

don't let her watch A Room With A View, or she might want the fancy one in the Pensione.

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

Takes after her Mom with form over function, eh?

How about a kissing chair instead? At least then she can sit and talk with her friends....

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

I saw this the other day and didn't have time to respond, but I did spot the Borne settee in the living room.... We used to call them "sit arounds," and usually saw them in fancier hotel lobbies in the sixties and seventies. I even remember a literary (well, not that literary, iykwim) reference to one in a book I loved as a teenager, by Margery Sharp. The book was Britannia Mews, and the settee was a large leather monstrosity that a dad had spotted in a secondhand store or something and brought it home for his children, who loved it. They called it "the redan," either from its appearance or its function in their nursery war games, and it was designed so a child could climb atop it and slide down. I always thought what a good dad he must had been to bring that thing home over his wife's objection.

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

Mtn - check out the first page of the Mansions section of the WSJ today. Borne settee front and center!

RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

The funniest play I've ever seen was an ACT production of Charley's Aunt starring Rene Auberjonois. A Borne was part of the furniture on the set, and extreme acrobatics and hilarity ensued. I saw the play more than 40 years ago and still feel the giggles coming on whenever I see one. What a fun memory!


RE: Bette Davis and the Borne Settee

Marina, love that fringe! Yowza.

Sara without an "h", there is just something whimsical about them.

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