Friday, May 31, 2013

Kips Bay Show House: #Blogfest2013 part 3

Kate Moss photographed by Russell Young
Lounge designed by Luis J. Garcia-Maldonado 

As part of #Blogfest2013, attendees were given an entire morning to visit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club 41st Annual Decorator Show House in New York City. We had the Upper East Side multi-story luxury townhouse – owned by NY lawyer Richard Sharp, its valued at over $16 million – completely to ourselves. We were encouraged to take as many photos as we would like to later share with our readers and followers. Typically, photography is not allowed when visiting a show house, so this was a real treat for all of us design bloggers! The show house runs through June 4th so schedule a visit if you are able – it’s certainly worth the trip! All proceeds go towards supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Kips Bay mission:

To improve and enhance the quality of life for all young people 6 – 18 so they can realize and achieve their potential for growth, development and attain skills necessary to succeed. 

As I am currently working on a couple of spaces for a show house myself, I was thrilled to see how NY designers pull it off. They had just one month to transform their rooms and the results were incredibly glamorous!  

More from the gray and ginger lounge by Luis J. Garcia-Maldonado: Fabulous art, rich textures and come hither seating.

Avant garde photographs graced most rooms including the entry area by Andrew Sulvalsky. Paired with a turquoise ceramic lion that is by comparison quite demure.

More turquoise in a highly lacquered powder room also by Sulvalsky. Brass fixtures and ebony bowl make for a striking combination. 

Lacquered walls were a common thread throughout the show house. This dining room by Kristin McGinnis was eye catching in so many ways from the uniquely organic light fixture to the artist battered side boards to the silver leaf ceiling. So stunning!

“Your boyfriend is hot” reads a concert goer’s T in this well chosen art installation for the hidden bar off the dining area. Space by Joan Dineen.

The second floor drawing room by the mother-daughter team of Mariette and Brooke Gomez is Upper East Side elegant. How I would love to host book club in this dedicated-to-entertaining space that easily seats over a dozen guests.

Show stopping seating areas like this golden velvet sofa in the atrium, designed by James Huniford, invite curl up and get comfortable conversation. Just outside this room, the courtyard provides an additional stop and sit for a spell incentive. This is one designed space that many of us in the suburbs or city could probably achieve: boxwood border, pea stone floor, one great statement piece of outdoor furniture.

Back inside, an underwater story is told via pitch black wallpaper from Kravet patterned with sea-life illustrations by Fornasetti paired with coral colored silk damask from Fortuni and liquid blue drapery panels. The feeling in this fourth floor sitting room by Jack Levy is one of being pleasantly ensconced in the deep, dark abyss of the ocean. I could spend some serious time in this room!

Another favorite space of mine was the Modern Family Room by Eve Robinson. I am a real fan of Modern Family interpretations, but this sophisticated game room is a little outside of my comfort zone as far as young family livability. Even so, it would be a nice place to play pretend.

Sparkling amethyst bar: yes, please!

The Kips Bay kitchen was designed by Christopher Peacock. I wasn’t able to get a really good picture of the full space since this central location is where all of us Blogfest bloggers gathered to enjoy a lovely brunch set by Doodle Home. Doodle Home is an online resource that helps designers by handling the ordering and tracking and large amounts of paper trails that are associated with the completion of design projects. While the company started out geared toward the general consumer, they quickly discovered that they could be of great value to the independent designer who knows what they want, but could use a more streamlined method of project management. The end result is more time to design. Sign me up!     

Another view of the jewel-toned entryway by Andrew Sulvalski.

The golden stairway serves as a photo gallery, arranged with black and white images of Boys and Girls Club guests paired with their thoughts on what Kips Bay means to them: “It is home one exclaims. Photos taken by Monica Rich Kosann. Stairway designed by Judy King.

A lady’s writing room by Stephen Mooney was the closest to traditional New England style design that I saw at the show. 

Bravos “Million Dollar Decorator” Kathryn M. Ireland designed the master bedroom incorporating traditional-meets-bohemian fabrics from her new collection for Scalamandre.

This whirlpool tub is obviously part of the original decor of the home, however the artwork and color palette were quite beautiful. Lounge bath by Luis J. Garcia Maldonado.

This soaking tub is more my style. When you work at a bath showroom, these are the types of images one falls in love with! Can you imagine having a roof-top deck with this installation? Across from the tub was a koi pond. Everything about the space was breath-taking (or perhaps “meditation inducing is a better way to describe it?) Kudos goes to West Chin Architects.

Designer show houses are a great resource for window treatment ideas. Sitting room above by Barbara Ostrom. Tasting room below by Dineen Architecture and Design.  

There are a wide variety of online reviews of the current Kips Bay Decorator Show House (from my fellow #Blogfest2013 bloggers and otherwise), but I particularly liked the perspective of this article from The New York Times ...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jonathan Adler Studio #Blogfest2013 part 2

Our first night of Blogfest 2013 in New York started with a cocktail party at the Jonathan Adler retail location on Madison Avenue. I have always been a fan of Jonathan Adler designs. Graphic patterns, happy colors, and spirited style with a sense of humour. Surrounded by a showroom of his artistic expression was a real treat, and a fab way to kick off our “we love to blog about pretty things field trip.

photo credit: Linda Holt

As I mentioned in my last post, Linda and I dressed in JA-inspired cocktail attire. Traveling with a former portrait photographer has its advantages (Linda’s specialty was head shots for models and celebs in the Boston area). 

Jonathan Adler cozy throws in my
favorite patterns and colorways.

Pops of color combine effortlessly with black and brass accents. 

Smiles all around. A happy place.

Tobi Fairley Design Campers meet again at Blogfest 2013:
Leslie Hassler, Linda Holt, Ann McDonald

Brass lovelies from the hard glamour collection.

With Mindy Miles Greenberg, Colleen Carney, Linda Holt and Lisa Ehrlich
(I met Lisa at the International Gift Fair a couple years ago)

Simply mahvelous: white porcelain Muse vessels.

Southern charm: Kevin Wild, Brandy Scott and Shay Geyer
(I met Shay in the Nate Day blogger audience in 2010)

Adoring these agate coasters!

Boston bloggers: with Linda Holt and Laurie Gorelick

Our cocktail party surroundings were quite distracting what with all the shiny objects and bright baubles (including furnishings AND blogger fashions!) Being the first evening of our three-day design adventure, we were all excited about our Blogfest agenda. Meeting up with aquaintances from past design related events and twitter chats made the evening feel oddly familiar.

A couple of designers in the crowd were also from the Boston area, and a large number of the attending bloggers were Brizo alum like myself, so we will be seeing each other again in Memphis come July for the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion. Woo hoo! I think I am finally starting to enjoy traveling (okay, I admit it’s a little easier to unwind when I’m not responsible for the packing and entertaining of an energetic family of six, with myself the only girl!)

Pick-a-card networking: Jeffrey Johnson chooses his favorite color
from Linda’s selection of newly printed business cards.

The Leo in me loves this guy.

Thank you, Jonathan, for welcoming us! After the Adler team closed up shop, a group of us headed out to enjoy a late dinner.  

Laurie Gorelick, Courtney Price, Linda Holt, Vicki Bolick

With Manvi Hildago Drona and Mindy Miles Greenberg
photo credit: Courtney Price

Sharing a meal together is the best way to really get to know each other. We found out who has pets, who has children, who has a daughter living in the city, who loves photography, and who used to be a regular on HGTV (that would be Mindy!) While we were enjoying our girl talk, there was a long table next to us seated with New York pre-teens enjoying the birthday celebration of one of their girlfriends. They were adorable! One of them said she liked my dress as I walked by. I hope it was a sincere compliment – too many episodes of Gossip Girl makes me wonder : )  

Quick cab ride back to Yotel for one more drink before calling it a night.

Next up: Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse!

Friday, May 24, 2013

NY Hotel Design: Yotel // #Blogfest2013 part 1

For our first evening in New York, Linda Holt and I put on our most colorful outfits from our suitcases to attend the #Blogfest2013 kick-off party at the Jonathan Adler showroom on Madison Avenue. We asked a lobby attendant at our lodging, Yotel on 10th, to snap our photo before we went back out into the rain (we had just trekked from our Manhattan bus stop to our hotel in a not-so-welcoming downpour). We weren’t sure why the guy taking our photo insisted on standing so far away from us when recording the moment on my iPhone, but after seeing his framed point of view we realized the bike hanging over our heads certainly deserved to be part of our scenery shot.

The bathroom in our hotel room, or pod as we called it, with a large Electric Mirror
(we sell them at Designer Bath) that lights up around the bordered edge.

I am fascinated with hotel design lately. Since I rarely travel, just staying away from home is an experience in itself. A trip to a concept hotel, however, is a valuable lesson in public and private space planning. Yotel was designed to be uber-efficient, making the most of every inch of space. There are no extras at Yotel, like room service and mini-bars, but it is clean and neat, and if we had watched the 2-minute video on their website we may have had more of a clue on what to expect from our hotel stay. As it was, we didn’t even realize that we had drawers for our clothing in our room, as they were tucked away near the cabin door, which we noticed as we wheeled our luggage out on the last day.

Amenities like towel warmers were a nice touch,
although ours was not heated for some reason.

For me, I prefer a warmer environment, with more textures and personality, plus design that is a little more intuitive. When you only have a short amount of time to get to know a space, the last thing you want to do is spend 15 minutes at the end of the night trying to figure out how to make the head of the bed go down flat (one of our Blogfest friends actually slept sitting up!)

Linda’s pashmina was about the size of the room.

Automated luggage storage in the lobby.

An orchid that I saw on our visit to the ICFF (I liked the lucite rods)
vaguely reminded me of our Yotel lobby luggage bot. 

I sent this photo home to my lego-loving boys. 

No concierge in our lobby. Just touch screens. Although a couple of
actual humans were on-hand for those of us who looked bewildered.

Saint Germaine with muddled cucumber and vodka at the lounge

The Yotel terrace is the largest outdoor hotel space in New York

I can’t show you one of the most interesting design elements that we discovered at Yotel. On the first night we heard a lot of noise coming from the lounge area. It sounded like we were in a market place or staying at a youth hostel! We were tired after our first night out meeting the other design bloggers (more on that later) and didn’t want to deal with hotel crowds, so we skipped the lounge and went to our room. The next morning we woke up and we heard chirping when we entered the lobby. No birds in sight. In the afternoon, we heard relaxing caribbean-like music. They were piping in ambient music at different times of day to set the mood! Genius!

For more on the Yotel experience click here.

More from #Blogfest2013 to come ...