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Handsome Showhouse Rooms

Masculine style that's nothing short of heart-throbbing

Written by Krissa Rossbund
  • Well-groomed furniture, fashion-forward colors, and dashing dark wood deliver masculine style that's nothing short of heart-throbbing.

  • Philip Harvey

    San Francisco Decorator Showcase House
    San Francisco, California

    Borrow interior designer Matt Murphy's master bedroom as inspiration for a man's suit, and you'll create a well-constructed garment that merits a spot anywhere from a fashion runway to a boardroom where business deals are struck. His fashionable assemblage of midcentury modern furnishings atop a black-and-white rug patterned with concentric rectangles, plus shots of bold color, show that a self-assured man spends his nights here.

    "I have a consistent personal style that rides the fence between traditional and modern," Murphy explains. "I like rooms with classic lines and contemporary forms, but with a level of formality."

    Murphy designed the bold, slick rug to fit the long space. Its graphic and architectural motif complements the sharp lines of the modern furniture.

    Design: Matt Murphy, Matt Murphy Studio, 550 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94133; 415/277-7224,
    Photography: Philip Harvey
    Produced by Heather Lobdell

  • Philip Harvey

    The long-and-narrow proportions of the bedroom suite provided a space that was easily divided into two areas: a sleeping area defined by a four-poster and a sitting area, shown here, anchored by a pair of wheat-colored chaise longues.

  • Philip Harvey

    A fan of Tommi Parzinger-the well-known designer of furniture, lighting, and porcelain in the 1930s-Murphy punctuated the bedroom with Parzinger pieces, including the low-slung bed as well as the vanity and chair shown above.

    Wall covering (fine hemp): Kneedler-Fauchère, 310/855-1313.
    Door and trim paint ("Bleeker Beige" #HC-80): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667,
    Paint on panel moulding (1st coat, "Warm Silver" #ME221; 2nd coat (thin), "Platinum" #ME591; 3rd coat, "Flash Gold" #ME164): Modern Masters, 800/942-3166,
    Area rug (designed by Matt Murphy): fabricated by Aubry Angelo Ltd., 612/288-0898,
    Bed (vintage Tommi Parzinger); nightstands (custom); bedside lamps (custom); dresser (vintage Jens Risom); mirror over bed; art to right of bed (by John Grillo); lamp on dresser (vintage, by Piero Fornasetti); painting over dresser (by Clara Mairs, c. 1920s): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Bed coverlet ("Arlington Weave"/Bisque #2008150.16): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563,
    Bed blanket: Sandra Jordan Collection, 707/836-9240, Green chair (custom): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224, Chair fabric ("Moire"/Chartreuse #8707-231): Mokum, 866/523-4437,
    Gray chair (vintage, by Edward Wormley for Dunbar): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Gray chair fabric ("Jipijapa"/Black, White #JIPI03): Malabar, 203/791-1355,
    Tea tray (vintage, Italian by Aldo Tura); china on tea tray (vintage); drapery ("Ogee"/Black): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,

    Seating area and vanity area:
    Chaises (custom): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Chaise fabric ("Sophia Silk"/Sand #ED85099.116): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563,
    Red patterned pillow on sofa ("Ophelia Linen"/Red #F3614-03): Cowtan & Tout, 212/647-6900,
    Black diamond-patterned pillow on sofa ("Rick Rack Diamond"/Tuxedo #3487000): Schumacher, 800/523-1200,
    Coffee table (vintage Tommi Parzinger); round vase with red flowers on coffee table (French Art Deco): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Bookcase (vintage Tommi Parzinger); abstract art in bookcase (by G.L.K. Morris, c. 1958); green chair (custom): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Green chair fabric ("Moire"/Chartreuse #8707-231): Mokum, 866/523-4437,
    Floor lamp beside bookcase (vintage Tommi Parzinger); woman's portrait by bookcase (by Clement Haupers, c. 1930s): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Drop-front Biedermeier secretary (antique); art over secretary (by Paul Wonner, c. 1953); iron floor lamp (vintage Tommi Parzinger): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Wooden sculpture to left of secretary (by Bruno Groth, c. 1958); ladderback chair by bookcase (vintage Italian): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Chair-seat fabric ("Athene"/Limone #50-23): Cortina Leathers, 800/338-6229,
    Art over ladderback chair (by Emerson Woelffer, c. 1961): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Vanity and chair (vintage Tommi Parzinger); vanity mirror (custom): Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,
    Lamps on vanity (vintage Tommi Parzinger); drawings over vanity (1930s lithographs, by Salvatore Pinto); wooden sculpture on vanity (by Chaim Gross, c. 1950s); accessories on vanity: Matt Murphy Studio, 415/277-7224,

  • Tria Giovan

    Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse
    New York, New York

    To paint or not to paint-that's always the question when extraordinary wood paneling and moldings shape the perimeters of a room. When designer Noel Jeffrey was asked to create this showhouse living room, he chose to utilize the gorgeous woodwork, tempering its appeal with decorative elements that pull in the light.

    "In the '80s, it was stylish to add dark colors to dark wood," says Jeffrey. "But now, clients are open to painting wood to lighten a space, or contrasting it with light-colored fabrics and furniture."

    Design: Noel Jeffrey, The Jeffrey Design Group, 215 E. 58th St., New York, NY 10022; 212/935-7775,
    Photography: Tria Giovan
    Produced by Bonnie Maharam

  • Tria Giovan

    An ethereal palette of cream and beige highlights the room's architectural details. At the windows, billowing silk drapery panels edged with amber-colored beads are gathered like a ballgown.

  • Tria Giovan

    The primary seating arrangement in this living room consists of a silk damask sofa, a Louis XVI chair with gilded frame and chenille upholstery, and matching Art Deco-style armchairs in solid ivory silk arranged around a modern marble-and-iron coffee table from the 1950s.

    "In a large room, multiple seating groups are essential," says Jeffrey, "but one must dominate. When all are the same scale, the room can look like a hotel lobby. Use a large seating area with other, intimate groupings."

    Sofa ("Monte Carlo Sofa"): Jonas Furniture, 212/691-2777,
    Sofa fabric; lumbar pillow on sofa ("Puget," discontinued); drapery: Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,
    Mirror over sofa (antique, giltwood Empire mirror): Bernd Goeckler Antiques, 212/777-8209,
    Drapery hardware: Wainland's Inc., 212/243-7717.
    Coffee table (product line varies): Primavera Gallery, 212/924-6600,
    Table to right of sofa: antique.
    Table lamp ("Rock Crystal Lamp" #03-02 C.C.1, by Erika Brunson Couture Living): through John Rosselli & Assoc., 212/593-2060.
    Table to left of sofa ("Square Gaming Table," by Dominique c.1930): L'Art de Vivre, 212/734-3510.
    Table lamp (carved and gilded standing lamp c.1940): Bernd Goeckler Antiques, 212/777-8209,
    Lampshades: Oriental Lampshade Co., 212/832-8190.
    Screen (mahogany and glass, William IV c. 1835): Kentshire Galleries Ltd., 212/673-6644.
    Chandelier ("Consulate" c.1804): Marvin Alexander Inc., 212/838-2320,
    Swing-arm sconces: designer's collection.
    Bergère (Louis XVI Giltwood bergère): Florian Papp Inc., 212/288-6770.
    Bergère fabric: Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,
    Pair of chairs by sofa (French, c. 1940): Bernd Goeckler Antiques, 212/777-8209,
    Chair fabric ("Tulsi"/Ivory, discontinued): Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,
    Area rug: Stark Carpet Corp., 212/752-9000,
    Ottoman (designed by Noel Jeffery): fabricated by Jonas Furniture, 212/691-2777,
    Ottoman fabric: Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,

    Fireplace area:
    Mantel: original to house.
    Swing-arm sconces: designer's collection.
    Art over mantel (Untitled, c. 1932 by Burgoyne Diller): Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, 212/247-0082,
    Fireplace accessories: William H. Jackson Co., 212/753-9400,
    Slipper chair: Jonas Furniture, 212/691-2777,
    Slipper-chair fabric: Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,
    Chair and ottoman; pillow on chair: Jonas Furniture, 212/691-2777,
    Chair and ottoman fabric (Inka"/Camel, discontinued): Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,
    Table to left of chair and ottoman: The Han Horse, 212/988-4558.
    Vase on table; table to right of chair and ottoman H.M. Luther Antiques, 212/505-1485.
    Table lamp (brass and glass French table lamp): Noel Jeffrey Collection, 212/935-7775.

    Corner with secretary:
    Secretary (Directoire, walnut): James Grafstein, 212/754-1290.
    Desk lamp (giltwood): Bernd Goeckler Antiques, 212/777-8209.
    Desk chair (Louis XVI painted desk chair): James Grafstein, 212/754-1290.
    Table covering ("Zebulon"/Champagne, discontinued): Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,
    X-stools (Swedish, Neoclassical): H.M. Luther Antiques, 212/439-7919,
    Stool fabric ("Luchon"/Sand, discontinued): Old World Weavers, 212/355-7186,

  • Werner Straube

    Lake Forest Showhouse
    Lake Forest, Illinois

    Libraries are well known for the serious and cerebral atmosphere they create. They are, after all, places where intellect and imagination can be nurtured.

    Designer Frank Ponterio wanted this library to look refined and debonair but with a comfortable and laid-back attitude that embraces new technology as well as the timeless magic of print.

    "This library exudes a soft masculinity without being stuffy with heavy accessories and staid colors," says Ponterio. "Modern libraries are not always quiet, with electronic devices now adding to the information retrieval process. I showed that if you aren't hung up on design rules, you will be able to create a space that is multifunctional and comfortable, too."

    Before furniture was placed, Ponterio bathed the walls of the large room in a creamy ivory color that radiates a pervasive glow. A gray-and-white marble fireplace surround creates a robust presence in the room, serving as an anchor that keeps the luminous space from feeling too expansive. Matching sofas-perfect for curling up with a laptop-are covered in a textural, cream-colored fabric. They are topped by pillows in an edgy combination of deep rust and flannel gray.

    Design: Frank Ponterio, Frank Ponterio Interior Design, 1450 W. Old Elm Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045; 847/234-5704,
    Photography: Werner Straube
    Produced by Hilary Rose and Mara Boo

  • Werner Straube

    Bookshelves in warm and rich wood tones highlight the reading area, where comfortable contemporary armchairs are arranged.

    Sofas (custom, "Spencer"); sconces (custom, "Salon"): Frank Ponterio Furniture Collection, 847/234-5704,
    Sofa fabric ("Rani"/Sand #U06520): Coraggio Textiles, 800/624-2420,
    Pillow fabric ("Angora Mohair"/Bittersweet #31872-7): Clarence House, 212/752-2890,
    Pillow fabric ("Baroque"/Earth #BAQ6, by De Le Cuona): Summer Hill Ltd., 312/467-6860,
    Pillow fabric: antique.
    Trim for pillows: Samuel & Sons, 212/704-8000,
    Coffee table ("Sparta," by Girard #93024); side table ("Canterbury," by Kerry Joyce #KJ4000); mirror ("Graham Giltwood Mirror" #607); leather loveseat ("Baines" #907): Dessin Fournir, 785/434-2777,
    Pillow on loveseat ("Marietta"); pillow trim: Ebanista, 800/570-1087,
    Bench ("Nesbit"): Roman Thomas, 212/473-6774,
    Bench fabric ("Sevilla"/Espana #6005/03, by Hunt Leather): Holly Hunt, 312/661-1900,
    Drapery ("Duchess Paisley Classic" #DU2, by De Le Cuona): Summer Hill Ltd., 312/467-6860,
    Art over mantel (Blackbird, by Adam Thomas): Adam Thomas, 602/549-0405, Through Daniel Kinkade Art Consultation, 312/519-9252,
    Art flanking mantel: Richard Norton Inc., 312/644-9359.
    Stone and fireplace restoration: Tithof Tile & Marble, 847/831-3444,
    Andirons: Country House Antiques, 847/234-0244.
    Rug (Egyptian Oushak): Matt Cameron Rugs, 312/836-0500.
    Wall and trim paint: custom strié, mixed on site.
    Ceiling paint: custom.
    Table in corner (antique): designer's collection.

    View to bookcase:
    Club chairs ("Cee Chair," by Kerry Joyce #KJ2001): Dessin Fournir, 785/434-2777,
    Club-chair fabric ("Royal Silk Mohair Velvet"/Llama #U13011): Coraggio Textiles, 800/624-2420,
    Leather ("Sevilla"/Espana #6005/03, by Hunt Leather): Holly Hunt, 312/661-1900,
    Table between chairs (antique): designer's collection.
    Floor lamp ("University Articulated Floor Lamp"/Brass, by Gallerie Des Lampes): Summer Hill Ltd., 312/467-6860,
    Books: Kurt Gippert Bookseller, 773/583-7613,
    Rug (Egyptian Oushak): Matt Cameron Rugs, 312/836-0500.
    Bookcases: original to house.