After two weeks of waiting to get into this year's Kips Bay Show House, the stars finally aligned (and by that I mean I found childcare) and I was off to see what has been touted as the "best one yet". And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
If you are not familiar with the KB Show House, it is the primo, A-list, be-all and end-all show house of the year. Each year it takes place in a different townhouse in the city and a sea of the worlds greatest interior designers take it over, completely transforming every surface they touch.
This year it was at The Carlton House Townhouse on 61st Street, on sale now for a cool $49.5 million.
Enough talk...let's start the tour.
The David Collins-designed foyer makes for a very grand entrance. A wall of mirrors and the striped marble floor expand the space and the custom color 'Lutyens Blue' is both soothing and invigorating. Like jumping into a cool swimming pool.
One detail I really loved in this space was the gold leaf mirror by Callidus Guild in the back of the space which reflected warm light (and the gorgeous tangle of roses). I see a DIY project in my future.
From here I headed up to the rooftop garden to work my way down through the house. The rooftop patio was designed by Hollander Design and was an ideal city outdoors space. Low maintenance bamboo softened the neighboring buildings and a dynamic mirrored sculpture by David Harber reflected city views and blue skies. The space was divided into a lounge area and a covered dining area outfitted with a graphic dining set by Walters. Being a fan of plants that are hard to kill, I loved the use of air plants, tucked in the vines and the grapevine chandelier.
Moving down to the 5th floor (thankfully that $50mil price tag does come with some square footage...) we come to the hallway designed by Benjamin Vandiver. The walls were upholstered in a to-die-for graphic silk by Fortuny. I loved the pairing of this fabric with the modern fiber art piece and that crazy brass tripod lamp. It made for a great mix!
The 5th floor had some of the most talked about spaces of this year's house, Olasky & Sinsteden, Phillip Thomas, Garrow Kedigian and Eve Robinson all shared this floor.
Let's start with O & S. Their room, enveloped in Claremont fabrics, was a stunner. Very traditional for sure, but with enough modern elements and beautiful details to make it timeless.
My favorites included the pair of vinyl art pieces mounted about the beds (I loved the interplay between these pieces and the leafy Claremont fabric), the large-scale abstract piece (you would have thought the scale would be overwhelming for the space but it gave the eye a rest from the patterned walls), and the beds themselves, covered in another Claremont fabric, which had simple clean lines and lovely details like the scalloped edges and the lime-washed trim.
I loved the petite chair covered in a chintz by Schumacher!
Next up, the Lady Lair by Phillip Thomas Design. POW! This was a fun space! When the first thing you see upon entering a room is a purple and pink sheep you know it will be interesting. The design team upholstered the walls in white linen and then had an artist come through and spray paint the whole space. (Yes, I will be attempting this soon...). The walls gave the room that show house "wow" moment, but the room itself, even stripped of this would have still been a winner. They started the design with Clarence House's Les Oiseux Exotique fabric which was reissued in a bright and happy colorway. They used this to upholster a pair of custom chairs (check out those feet!).
There was a leather wrapped daybed by Jacques Adnet in the nook outfitted with more beautiful textiles.
The two elements which really captured my attention though were the curved green lacquered Maison Jansen desk from Maison Gerard and the blush pink ceiling which the designer told me was a highly polished plaster. A pink ceiling will always make everything look fantastic, and being lit by a frothy Murano chandelier isn't going to hurt.
Eve Robinson Associates' room 'The Art of Modern Living' had a magical ceiling, a digital print of the surface of Mars. The light fixture (the designers' own) set against this was perfection.
There was also a wonderful gallery wall and another DIY opportunity I will be trying. You could create a similar look by taping off the interior of a plexiglass box frame and simply spray painting!
The last room was designed by Garrow Kedigian. I was very excited to see this space after reading about the designer's latest project in Montreal where he employed the same technique. The entire room was painted in black chalkboard paint and then masterfully decorated by artist Rajiv Surendra. Head over to Quintessence for a wonderful write up on Rajiv (he was in Mean Girls!): http://quintessenceblog.com/rajiv-surendra-letters-in-ink/
This space, Napoleon's Sitting Room, was so cocooning it made you want to pour yourself a glass of bourbon and tuck in. Against the black walls, bold colors like the yellow velvet on the seating and the glossy turquoise blue of the lamp shades, really popped. And I always love the way Kedigian uses large-scale photo canvases of traditional subjects. This is another idea you can steal for your own space.
That ends the first installment of my Kips Bay 2016 recap! Check back soon as we descend down through design heaven.