Friday, May 10, 2019

Highlights from the Kips Bay showhouse 2019

This past week I had the pleasure of touring this year's Kips Bay Showhouse,  the most venerated of showhouses, where the best of the best get together to raise funds for after-school programs in New York City through what may best be described as a celebration of design. I toured the house from the top down, always a good idea, and so these pictures are in that order.
The first room I visited was that of talented designer Matthew Monroe Bees who created a sitting room straight out of Charleston which spoke to my classicist collector. This is a cozy room for LIVING and I could spend all day here.
The most fun room of the house had to be that of designer Young Huh where she created a lively and exuberant artist's loft. While I hadn't fully appreciated the room in photographs before my visit, in person it really blew me away with its witty details and lovely scents (most designers spend as much time on fragrance in these rooms as they do on the look!).
On the other end of the color spectrum was the room of Sarah Bartholomew. Her quiet room whispered elegance and fine detailing with a lot less color than we have come to expect from her. This was hands down the most beautiful room in the house I think, but one that has to be seen in person to fully appreciate.  The ribbed plaster walls were show stopping.
This mirror from Cox London would have come home with me had I been prone to stealing; I'm rather obsessed with it now.  Readers may remember her more colorful but no-less-sophisticated room from the 2017 Atlanta Showhouse which I covered HERE.
 The painted floors warmed my heart - casual yet elegant in shades of warm grey.
While not technically a room, one of the vast improvements (to the rather rough house) had to be the stair decorated by Brian Gluckstein. His sophisticated treatment of the lovely round stair made traversing the crowded showhouse a pleasure.
The cherry blossom mobile was an inspired addition that tied all of the floors together. The lovely architectural molding you see on the walls is actually painted onto grasscloth with the punches of gallery-wall art featuring paintings by artist Jeremiah Goodman.
Robert Passal has created a stunning sitting room with modern details that is pure comfort with an edge. I was a bit obsessed with the rock crystal box on the coffee table above (and it wasn't even the only one in the house!). 
Very much following my own maxim of taking what you have and making it better, the team at Pappas Miron inherited a room with amazing terrazzo floors and fireplace and used them as the basis for a room rich in detail. This dark and stylish room is straight out of Milan.
However it was the marble vanity and mirror in the adjoining bathroom that took my breathe away. Stunning! Quick design house question though - why so few bedrooms, designers?  Are sitting rooms inherently more interesting or easier than bedrooms? When I think back to prior showhouses it is always the bedrooms which stick out in my mind. Remember Mark Sikes room at last year's Kips Bay (Video HERE)? Probably my favorite Kips Bay room of all time.  Just a thought....
Lovely designer J Cohler Mason won for best wall covering in the small vestibule leading to her exquisite space. The handpainted wallpaper covering the walls and ceiling appeared to be cast bronze - and the painted bees swarming the ceiling stole my heart.
I'm not sure if designer Eve Robinson installed this amazing mid-century glass doorknob outside of her fun room or elected to keep it -but either way it was a winning decision!
One room getting the most buzz has to be the room done for Peter Pennoyer architects by their designer Alice Engel. I wanted each and every item in this room. While the pieces themselves are exquisite they were tied together by the upholstered walls and bed.  Just google her name to see myriad detailed images of the Greek key tape on the retro blinds (which I adore).
Details matter - doorknobs, electrical outlets, mechanical covers. Don't believe me? How special is this light switch? Every night one would appreciate the brass switch on a glass cover....rather than the standard gross plastic.  Details matter and this room is full of them. Don't get me started on ugly mechanical vents you see in projects littering magazines, straight out of home depot.
 The yellow lining to the canopy bed is a surprise and makes the room.
Seriously good guys - congrats to Alice Engel.  Why do I repeat her name? Well I always feel when one works for a firm ones name can get lost in the mix. I know. But teamwork and identity is a good thing.
Moving on - the dining room by Cullman & Kravis was as stunning as one would expect from this team that continually knocks projects out of the park. The mix of modern and antique is very real world, if your world is picture perfect!
The depth to these walls was impossible to photograph and the gilt specs and then applied gilt plaster medallions are just stunning. Also notice the unlaquered brass light switches.
Kitchens and built-ins always interest me most and Christopher Peacock is known for the best kitchens around. The details here did not disappoint.  I loved the brass detailing around the walnut shelves.
The inset door's sticking was a little chunky but obviously intentional.  Notice the fascinating marble backsplash and the shiplap walnut hood cover:2 thumbs up. Stained wood interiors to a painted glass front cabinet is going into my mental idea book.
These are not a comprehensive look at the entire showhouse but rather what caught my eye  (it is my blog afterall!).  Everyone involved put forth tremendous effort and every single designer is to be applauded; talk to me privately about my more negative feedback! KIDDING (mostly) although I admittedly had a few "WHAT" moments! Visit the house for yourself now, daily through May 30, 2019.


Thombeau said...

So much to love!

Parnassus said...

I noticed that, as so often happens, the hardware steals the show. I always admire the handsomeness of the hardware in old houses, and in those palatial museums, the bronze gratings and hardware often capture more attention than the pictures on the walls.

That bee wallpaper is exquisite, the workmanship unbelievable, but it reminds me of the time when I came home from a trip to London and bees were swarming my house for real!

Perhaps my favorite detail of all was the ribbed plaster walls. Plaster is such a great material when used well.

Penelope Bianchi said...

Beautiful tour from your viewpoint! It was as though I were there! I wish I could! But I adore all the things you did.....and I also wonder about bedrooms!?! They are important....and people need help with them!
Thank you for such a brilliant post! Yet again!!!

alice said...

Thank you so much and please come again! Much appreciated. - Alice Engel

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Gorgeous! Lots of fabulous ideas. I love the painted floors!
Thanks for the tour, Stefan.

Deets said...

Love your focus on details here; it's something a lot of other blogs have missed.

Will agree that the Pennoyer design was a show-stopper. Beautiful execution.

I thought there were a few rooms this year that were very pedestrian, one especially by a newer designer who has been greeted with much acclaim (book, product lines) for not much output. Their room was a mishmash of items that represented shopping more than actual design.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Deets, I will just say as much thought went into what I included here as to what I excluded ;-)

Hill Country House Girl said...

Loved your perspective! I was there last Friday and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I agree, the room designed by Young Huh was way better in person and so bright and fun! I started on the bottom floor and worked my way up, so you can imagine my delight to walk up that tiny,winding last flight of stairs and into that fun room! I also really loved the room created by Sheila Bridges and had a lovely conversation with her. Overall, I thought the house to be beautiful, interesting and a treat to visit!

Uwalls said...

Just amazing! Everything is so perfect. i really love the overall designs.

Deana Sidney said...

I want all the hardware -- oh those glass light switches!