House of Your (Vivid) Dreams - Kips Bay 2013

Hey There . . .

It's a lazy Memorial Day - my day to catch up on my reading and thoughts.  Been super busy with designing new jobs and a few installs (coming next week) so it is nice to chill at home.  Keith is painting on the deck and I am propped in my lounge chair being a sideline, unsolicited critic.  Need these two painting for my install next week . . . I am loving pulling together all my memories and pictures from our recent trip to New York and I want to kick it off with the Kips Bay Designer House !

It is the 41st year for the Kips Bay Designer House in Manhattan and once again the interior talent is impressive.  There is nothing I love more than wandering room to room soaking up every detail.  The one thing, of many, I noticed was the use of major color and texture.  I have loved using high gloss finishes lately and painting all my trims a variety of colors on various installs.  This show house did the same in so many fabulous ways.

From the moment you walked into the 5,640 square foot, five-floor, Federal Style mansion on the Upper East Side you were greeted by Andrew Suvalsky's high gloss entryway.  Gorgeous, dramatic and vivid.  I was clutching my lottery ticket in hand just knowing I would be the winner and could just write a check to Richard Sharp, the owner when the home goes on the market June 4th  - $16 million - no problem.

Last year I had the privilege of viewing the show house guided by the likes of Thom Filicia and Margaret Russell, it was a high rise on the West Side, took my own pics - but this year it was pretty rainy and dark - no such luck with my own shots, so I grabbed a few from Heather Clawson's site Habitually Chic and Amy Schellenbaum's write up on Curbed .com, as well as Rikki Snyder, freelance photographer whose images are always gorgeous.  I want you to really see ALL the details I saw if you didn't get a chance to go.

Take a look at my favorites . . . Starting right at the front door !

Andrew Suvalsky.   So Andrew Suvalsky, Wisconsin born, NY resident has been featured in The New York Times and was named "One of the Top Hot Designer's To Watch" by New York Spaces.  Working in New York of course, Chicago, Palm Beach, Miami and Puerto Rico . . his use of color and texture, both with high shine and dyed, pattern animal hide all combined to set the tone. Right from the moment you walked in, the runner, designed by Kyle Bunting, gives you an introduction of the intense colors awaiting you from this designer.

The foyer and the powder room he created had the most delicious peacock blue lacquer covering the walls and as pops in furniture and lamps.  I noticed the Phillip Jeffries wall covering immediately and the cool grey with the blue was a perfect combination.  The scale of the artwork was also perfection and the whimsy of it all was right up my alley. 

A closer look at the art . . . check out Adrien Broom's piece . . .

showing at Diane Birdsall Gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut

Little side note on Adrien Broom . . . she's amazing - self taught - check out a few of her other pieces in her "Story Board Series" . . . can you imagine the set up on these shoots ..... wow...

Then there is Suvalsky's killer powder room . . . notice the painted trim.  I have never been a fan of black or grey potties BUT can you image a white one in here . . not so good.  This is all perfect !

Robert Brown.  This receiving lounge, also as you enter, is what we all need, right !  Kind of really love and it's all about the walls, the walls! . . Groundwork's (Lee Jofa) Serpent Natural Fabric in linen - yowza !  Not paper - but fabric, upholstered with a high gloss gold ceiling.  Simple furnishings and again - amazing art.

Here's a close up for you . . . Ms. Kelly Wearstler's "serpentine" collection (remember the rug I showed you a while back).  Walls too much for you, be happy to make a pillow or cover a chair for you - we can order the yardage and have made.

I love a good floor screen as well, it makes for a nice divider or helps with an odd window.

Robert Brown's award winning firm is Atlanta based !  Classic proportions, clean lines.  Frequently featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles as well as national publications - Traditional Home and House Beautiful where he received the Designer of the Year award.

Christopher Peacock.  Walking straight back you hit the kitchen in the center of the first floor.  Large and warm with wood cabinetry.  Every room of cabinetry is made to order and specifically detailed for the individual client when you hire Christopher Peacock.  This large kitchen is filled with every chef detail your could imagine, want or pretend you need.  My favorite detail in this room was the mirror back splash virtually doubling the size of the room.  Now get out the Windex or go out to dinner a lot . . . won't stain, but then again, if you live here you will probably have your own chef, so no worries.

James Huniford.   Off the kitchen and on the back of the house, a "stop-dead-in-your-tracks" two-story glass filled atrium family room.  Yep...  floor to ceiling windows all the way up including the second floor.  Out those sun filled windows a private yard garden.  This tall, shimmering space was pretty amazing and the #1 reason just get out your checkbook and snap up this house !  James "Ford" Huniford is the founder of Huniford Design Studio and lives in Manhattan.  To quote Ford . . . "Interiors should be tailored to how people live.  Rooms should flow from one area to another and not have themes.  Most importantly, they should reflect the spirit of the people who inhabit them."  A self-taught designer was selected by Architectural Digest as one of the "Top 100 Designers" and his signature is the use of calming wall colors to highlight the importance of objects, art and furniture, as a canvas does for a painter!

The perfect piece of art, brought to you by Pat Steir.  Born in Jersey (1940), lives in New York.  Her studio is located on 26th Street and is large enough for these massive masterpieces.  Someday, maybe, or better yet I will just go take a look at her work at the Museum of Modern Art, next time I am there.

Take a look at some of her other works - just the type a wall like this calls for... big art for big walls - always.

Nievera Williams.   One of the leading landscape architectural firms in the country, founders Mario Nievera and Keith Williams have created the perfect outdoor space to compliment the interior look.  This space feels like an extension of the family room.  It's simple, clean and just works perfectly with the wall of windows just behind it.  Dividing their time between New York, Palm Beach and East Hampton they have some 39 years of collective experience expanding to include projects in Shanghai China, the Caribbean and the Island of the Bahamas, but of course.

Get your copy of Forever Green to see all their beautiful installations, here a few. . 

Time to head upstairs.
Sara Story Design.  Sara founded her design firm in 2003.  With extensive world travels and love of contemporary art and fashion her look I was immediately drawn to.  Crisp, elegant, artistic, very polished.  Named "Top 5 to Watch in 2011's" Elle Decor.  She's dramatic and I loved this room for so many reasons.

Her walls are covered in the black and white rendition of the "bamboo" pattern from Sara's recently launched wallpaper collection... bamboo in Asian symbolism, is the sign of strength.  Lilac ceiling polished to a mirror finish.  The painted gloss trim sets off the color and frames the room.  For those of you who always ask how you can hang art on such busy wall paper . . . take a look.  It works with the right pieces, I'm telling you.

Eve Robinson & Associates.  Eve studied art history at Vassar and brought her talent to Ralph Lauren.  After completing her studies at Parsons School of Design, she founded her firm design firm in 1990 and has since been featured in House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Met Home and New York Spaces.  She has been part of the Kip's Bay Designer Homes since the late 90's.  This space, on the fifth floor, with 3 sets of french doors leading to a secluded terrace was filled with natural light. Luxurious and elegant.  The lacquered lilac ceiling - gorgeous with touches of throughout the room.  It was calming, yet a bit whimsical.  The ombre curtains were the perfect touch, and the large grey hide rug also by Kyle Bunting was to die for.  I loved this room.

West Chin .  WCA Architecture took this secluded outdoor terrace to a whole new, sleek, clean, calm, and zen like level.  I met West Chin that day and he was just as calm and easy . . . he explained all the details of his thought process including the custom bird feeder, flooring and big soaking tub. Take a look at my kind of outdoor bath and terrace !

Ok . . . so I am going off on another side note . . . since we are talking about a House of Your Dreams . . this is the house of mine.  Design by West Chin Architecture . . . this beach house is more than amazing.  Located on Long Island, this 6,000 square foot home has retractable walls and ceilings in true "garage door" style for an amazing view of the ocean.

Simplicity at its finest !!!! Bravo and sign me up.

 . . . sorry - just got carried away with each image I came across . . are you kidding me!

 Barbara Ostrom Associates.  Established in 1977 and working extensively in the New York Metropolitan area with ongoing projects in Europe, St. Barts and Sun Valley, Idaho for nearly 30 years, Barbara has a wide range of clients and is well known in the design community.  Her impressive client list includes both President and Mrs. Richard Nixon as well as Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons.

The one thing I noticed when I studied her portfolio was her ceiling treatments.  I have always thought both the ceiling and floors were your 5th and 6th walls . . she paid great attention to both.  This room is no exception and my favorite element, along with the standing screen.

While this is hand painted of course - achieve the look with wall paper and molding . . . it is a gorgeous touch.  

How about using one of these on your ceiling.

Screens are a great way to fill a dead corner, add as a back drop behind a bed, create a nook or just be used as a beautiful "art" piece.  Love this one in particular.

Louis J. Garcia.  With 18 years of experience, it shows.  This was my favorite space in the house.  It's a guest room, it's a lounge, it's a studio.  Of all the beautiful things I noticed . . . take a look at the best . . . (1) leather paneled walls in a grid pattern (2) queen size bed, turned to side with low arm - a comfortable sofa you don't have to pull out for company (3) origami Donghia coffee table (4) large art hung at the perfect height (5) this vent less fireplace warm, yet no mess (5) it's color palette  (6) it's overall perfect use of space (7) an amazing bath attached.  This "Lounge Suite" is just that.. sweet.

Native New Yorker, Louis Garcia attended NY Institute of Tech for Architecture and realized  his passion was interiors.  This room was originally very dark with it's wood paneling, now it is filled with light, patterns, textures .. the kind of room you could lounge in for hours (or days).

Kristen McGinnis.  This dining space was by far one of the most dramatic rooms in the house.  Having recently complete my own navy - floor to crown gloss - dining room I really enjoyed this space.  It was moody, artistic, glamorous and enveloping. The ceiling is gold leaf by Maya Romanoff with a custom chandelier and steel sideboard - every image, every pieces was artfully enchanting, unique and breathtaking.

Elliott Hudley's neon chandelier

The steel sideboard is a piece by Vincent Dubourgh

A gorgeous view from the end of the table into the glass atrium.

Joan Dineen and Alyson Liss-Pobiner.  Creating this bar, wine tasting room and sitting room off the dining room was a collaboration between Joan Dineen and Alyson Liss-Pobiner.  The colors off the dining room transitioned so beautifully.  Opening the sheers in the small sitting room to look down into the window filled family room would be an early evening little piece of heaven.  I briefly spoke with Joan and she explained the leather upholstered bar with custom ceramic plate sitting under a captivating art pieces by Margeaux Walter.  She also explained just how they managed to get the steel console into the adjoining dining room pictured above (8 men and a boom).

Jack Levy Designs.  How about these walls - Lee Jofa's Fornasetti.  This is a perfect example of picking a crazy cool paper and trusting your designer that it will look amazing as a finished product.  Black windows, black crown, black base.... important and reads elegant as oppose to whimsical kid.  His bio speaks of his knowledge of art, fashion and architecture and I believe it.  He does bend the rules of traditional design.  Each space he designs is multi-dimensional with a complex web of elements.  For sure.  Love this study and fish... why not, I just papered a powder room in them myself . . . (stay tuned, I'll show you).

Designers of course want you to hire them, they put their ideas out there to lure you and this years home is jam packed with ideas, ripe for the picking, but pick up the phone, pulling off all these details is daunting...

It was another spectacular Kips Bay Designer Home and if you take anything away from this it's painted trim, gloss finishes, lighting and art -  it makes a room !

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