Friday, May 25, 2012

Kips Bay Showhouse: 2012

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the opening night party of the Kips Bay showhouse. I've been so busy packing in preparation for my big move that I haven't had time to share it with you. I wanted to be sure to share my favorite rooms while the show house was still open! I have to say this was the best show house I've seen. In so many ways, the house (actually an apartment) summed up the best of New York design and living with a surplus of talent. My favorites were too many to count on one hand. The entry hall, decorated by Bryant Keller, was a dramatic start to the series of rooms, done up in quintessential New York style with Scalamandre fabrics and wallpaper. One of the trends which was found throughout the showhouse was the use of fur. I know many people hate the cruel stuff, but nothing says luxury to me like a soft fur throw. The room above by David Scott was delightfully cozy.One of my dearest friends I'm proud to say, Raji Radhakrishnan (who actually invited me to the party, thanks Raji!) was the belle of the ball. She is seen here in front of a beautiful leather desk from Ralph Lauren Home. Her room has been widely published and for good reason -it simply was one of the most beautiful, detail laden and creative rooms in the show house (how's that for bias?).She always includes a sophisticated blend of intriguing object d'art and books into any of her spaces, much like her own house - can you see why I'm hooked? Raji created a focal point in a room lacking any architectural features by adding a mantel by Chesneys. The copy of a Sir John Soane mantel has long been on my wishlist for my dreamhouse and I was so happy to see her using it. Raji included works of art by herself as well, such as the photograph of the chapel at Versailles she took years ago while dreaming of including it in her Kips Bay showroom (dreams do come true!). The composition of the pieces, each one delightful by itself, is only enhanced by their juxtaposition. And against those beautiful Venetian plaster finished walls AND ceiling by Judy Mulligan, what wouldn't look marvelous? One of the trends I was happy to see was the attention paid to ceilings throughout the showhouse -Raji didn't leave it at Venetian plaster, this gilded squiggle made for Raji by Christianson Lee Studios was really fun!Speaking of fun, Jamie Drake's room was a riot of color, as expected from the king of color! I loved this chrome lamp used in a corner of his room. He didn't forget the ceiling either, it was silverleafed!Another colorful space was the room decorated by Thom Filicia, seen here in front of his console designed for Vanguard.The ceiling was lacquered in the same beautiful kelly green as the walls. I loved the Kravet curtains.Another room with a touch of whimsy was by Shawn Henderson. What better way to celebrate the city views than with a swing!Multi-talented artist Chuck Fischer decorated a room that was awe-inspiring for his shear talent. Even the entry sign was awesome! The chinoiserie murals surrounding the space were incredibly detailed and beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, the designer Alexander Doherty decorated my 2nd favorite room, a bedroom for a collector. Here again was a soft and cozy enormous fur throw, surrounded by cerused oak paneling; I don't know which feature I enjoyed more. Color was injected into the space with a painted dresser and numerous lamps creating glamorous pools of light. Someone who knows glamour is Alexa Hampton. Her room was the epitome of a classic New York bedroom, so well developed by her father, Mark Hampton. Grand tour items from the past lined a desk facing a very modern city skyline. This bench in the corner of the bedroom sums up both the room and the show house with a simple book title "Luxury Living New York". Notice the fur throw on the bed in the foreground.Be sure to visit this very fitting and special Kips Bay show house before it closes on June 14th!


Parnassus said...

A very high-quality show. I especially liked the chrome lamp, and the desk with the Grand Tour souvenirs, which by coincidence I had briefly referenced in my last posting.

I am envious of so much creativity. I sometimes acquire interesting objects, but don;t have the knack for arranging them together.
--Road to Parnassus

lostpastremembered said...

How funny, the very reason I didn't want to go was that it was in a new box building. Your enthusiasm is infectious.

Many of the "critics" were not wild about it... but then, critics love to criticize and damn good work.
Your friends room looks like great fun and love all the ceiling work... often an overlooked expanse but with those views... nice to see all the reflections

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Parnassus - I suppose a fair amount of trial and error would come into play with arranging your collections!
lostremembered - I think so often in the past, kips bay showhouse was gilding the lily. They were in gorgeous townhouses that didn't reflect the creativity of the designers. Also, I thought this apartment was very representative of REAL new york style and how new yorkers live (albeit on a grand scale). For that reason, it is the most interesting showhouse in years, in my humble opinion.

Linda Merrill said...

Thanks for the tour Stefan. Am bummed I'm missing it this year, so will be living vicariously! Love Thom's lacquered ceiling with the plaid curtains!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Linda, he proved that plaid can be glamorous!

The Devoted Classicist said...

Stefan, I am not able to attend this year so I particularly enjoyed your snapshots and comments.

Karena said...

Stefan I have really enjoyed your tour and the creativity of this A List of Interior Designers!

Art by Karena said...

So good to have you back!!

Very creative and shows what talent can do with a big box building.

Ann said...

Lovely. Raji picked some beautiful florals and accessories - so unique. Especially those bells of Ireland, gorgeous and sculptural! I love Alexa Hampton's blend of textures and fabrics. Thanks for sharing such awesome frontline photos!