Trade Secrets 2016 ~ Michael Trapp
On a Sharon road bordered by old farmsteads and rolling pastures where cows still graze, Michael Trapp’s place stands out. His house, dating in part from the eighteenth century, and the great barn alongside it are strikingly painted—their doors, windows, and trim colored a black-green against cream-colored clapboards.
Around the house, there’s a flavor of Italianate formality, with tall columnar evergreens marshaled in straight lines, yew and thuja, not your typical New England farmyard planting. And if you happen to glance at the series of windows in the barn, a jumble of furnishings and architectural fragments are the contents hinted at, not cows. It all makes sense when you know that the owner is a designer and antique dealer with an extraordinary flair for creating vignettes of theater.
This is Michael’s private garden, a place to relax, entertain, and revel in the countryside. The doors of his living room and bedroom open onto a stone terrace, with 17th c. columns supporting a grape arbor, and a picturesque view of hayfields beyond. Geometric pools of water offer reflection and a series of ‘Donald Wyman’ crabs, underplanted with variegated liriope and ‘Tide Hill’ box, lend an air of grace to the house entrance. A sense of striking simplicity pervades this garden, in essence a dramatic, unexpected frame for the setting of farmland and homestead.