Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017 Kips Bay Decorators Show House Tour: 4th Floor

Last Friday afternoon I got a chance to take a leisurely tour through the 2017 Kips Bay Decorators Show House here in Manhattan.  I always liken this event to the Oscars but for the design community. It is THE event of the year, and if you are picked decorate one of the rooms in the house it really is an extreme honor.  The Show House opens today to the public and is located at 125 E 65th Street.  It's open from 11 am to 5 pm weekdays and 11 to 8 pm on Thursdays, and the admission cost is $40.  Proceeds from ticket sales benefit The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.  If you are a designer or a design enthusiast, you HAVE to go.  I recommend going to see the house around 4 pm and then stopping afterwards next door for a glass of rosé outside on the patio at The East Pole.  Since the house is so large and there are so many gorgeous details to discuss, I figured I'd break the house down by floor and do a different post for each floor (there's a total of 4 floors and 1 garden level floor).  Just to the left of the stairs to the fourth floor is this dark, mirrored vestibule by the fab Nick Olsen:

{Photo via Quintessence blog, my image of this vestibule was such poor quality}

The drama of Olsen's vestibule is juxtaposed by his light and bright Salon du Beau Monde sitting room:

How great are these butterfly-inspired cornices on the windows?

{Photo via Quintessence blog, my image of this angle was such poor quality!}

I can't get enough of the graphic fabric Nick used on the Liz O'Brien Frances desk chair:

Cocktails, anyone?  

This floral club chair was my favorite piece in Nick's room.  The skirt and the cherry red piping make it feel a bit sassy, and I love that it's paired with a brass pharmacy lamp and a colorful silk velvet pillow.  It's a perfect vignette that represents the characteristic "Nick Olsen" mix we've come to know and love.

One quality I love about the KB Showhouse is that each room takes on a very unique personality.  Often times a designer or architect will use the opportunity to create their room in a very different spirit than their normal aesthetic.  It allows them to show the industry and the general public that you shouldn't box their firm in to a particular "style." Another approach is to use the room to tell a specific story and to design for a particular client in mind, as designer Billy Cotton did in his 4th floor bedroom and adjoining bath.   Billy explained the inspiration behind his room to the NY Times:

"This shadowy bedroom... was the final home of a woman who had seen all sorts of tragedy, some self-inflicted. “She loved too much, and all the wrong men; there was definitely addiction and financial ruin,” [Billy] said. In her last stage of life, he said, she is holed up in the top floor of an S.R.O. hotel, once a grand townhouse, surrounded by donated finery and decoration — a spangly pillow on a chair with a tropical print, a leopard-print carpet, the novels of Graham Greene — the largess of her decorator friends. “This has long been a profession of gay men,” he said, and this room celebrates the relationship “between the decorator and his female patron.” 

There is definitely a disheveled look to the bedroom- the lampshade on the desk sits cock-eyed, dishes of various pills are placed throughout the room, and books are stacked in crooked piles:

Even in an effort to make the room feel haphazard, it still feels extremely luxurious to me, and chic in a moody way. 

The bathroom is completely tiled in a standard white tile that reminds me of an asylum (albeit, a seriously chic asylum).  I'm not sure if this was what Billy was going for to further play up the mental instability of his fictitious client, but I did love the array of cosmetics and jewels on her vanity:

On the other side of the 4th floor is Dineen Architecture's modern bedroom.  I love the Art Deco feel of the fabric used inside the bed hangings:

Hanging between the room's two windows is a white swing on rope arms.  The walls are covered in a soft, mural-like paper from Eva Buchmuller:

Opposite the bed is a Christian Liagre sofa flanked by woven chairs with relaxed backs:

Another view of the wallcovering and sofa- and how cozy does that fur throw look?

Just off the bedroom is a sitting room designed by Neal Beckstedt. This was one of my favorite spaces in the entire home- it's a small room but Neal utilized the square footage well and created a beautiful haven:

{photo via NY Times}

The vibe of the room was decided after Neal came across this stunning photo by Pieter Hugo of a South African woman:

A curved sofa in a vibrant orange sits opposite the fireplace.  The welt is a fuzzy white that gives the piece a boost of personality:

I also loved this engraved plaque in Neal's room:

Stay tuned for my next post coming this week covering the 3rd floor of the Kips Bay Show House!



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