Tour the 2009 Hampton Designer Showhouse
Creativity plus carte blanche equals showhouse. Without the usual homeowner restrictions to rein them in, designers are free to have fun as they see fit--aka, to shine--when they decorate a showhouse space sans "real" clients. At the 2009 Hampton Designer Showhouse, 25 New York designers did just that.
Photography: John Bessler and Squire Fox
Architect: James McDonough and Michael Conroy, McDonough and Conroy Architects, 3760 Expressway Dr. South, Suite 200, Islandia, NY 11749; 631/491-6400.
Builder: Joe Farrell, Farrell Building Company, 2317 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY 11932; 631/537-1068, farrellbuilding.com.
For Robert Stilin, designing the living room was akin to experimenting in a lab. He tested lavender on the walls. Results were relaxing. Reviews: rave.
Design: Robert Stilin, Robert Stilin LLC, Red Horse Plaza, 74 Montauk Hwy, East Hampton, NY 11937; 631/329-7141, robertstilin.com.
A pair of '50s-vintage French chairs by the fireplace hug the ground like campers hunkered by a bonfire. A vintage Boujad kilim rug adds extra softness atop Tamarian's Tuskden lamb striped carpet. Bold contemporary art floats unexpectedly from the chair rail. Furniture is sculptural, but padded. Monochromatic upholsteries allow the lavender walls--"which clients won't commit to"--to soothe.
Every design of Stilin's--ultra-trad or way mod--is about creating a lifestyle. "At the end of the day, I want to provide a sanctuary that's comfortable and relaxing," explains the Montauk designer. He redoubled his comfort impulse in this living room, going for "a little bit of a loungy look" to contrast with the architecture's formality.
The two-story foyer's dramatic scale refused to dwarf designer Greg Lanza. "Because of this economy, the only opulence I wanted to display was in scale," says the designer.
Design: Greg Lanza, Greg Lanza Design, 641 Lexington Ave., 14th Floor, New York, NY 10022; 212/537-9090; and 75 Highland Rd., Glen Cove, NY 11542; 516/656-9848, greglanzainteriors.com.
On a custom hexagonal tray table skirted with Duralee fabric, Robert Kuo's larger-than-life copper rabbit holds its own in the immense space. Lanza likewise conquered vertical space with a low-hanging wooden chandelier from Donna Parker Habitat Ltd. "I also wanted an appropriate nature theme, but something other than seashells." Thus the great blue heron painting from Dutch Touch Art surmounts a classic Eames chair; driftwood floor lamps from Greg Lanza Design Home Collection subtly suggest the shore.
In the dining room, Marshall Watson characteristically mixed old and new.
Design: Marshall Watson, Marshall Watson Interiors, 105 W. 72nd St., Suite 9B, New York, NY 10023; 212/595-5995.
"Take it down a notch" was Marshall Watson's prescription for easing the dining room's formal architecture. His "meds" included a renewably resourced aloe Rug & Kilim carpet --"a roughly elegant platform for Judy Mulligan's English oiled walls and graphic ceiling in a toasted caramel finish," Watson explains. The hand-painted designs feature Benjamin Moore paints.
One additional showstopper is the lighting. Known for adaptive reuse, Watson chose bee skeps-turned-fixtures by lighting designer Mark Figueredo as an alternative to more expected chandeliers. To create tension, he paired a crisply modern walnut Sylvester & Co. at Home table with early-1900s Louis XIII-style French dining chairs, then upped the informality by dressing the chairs in Stroheim & Romann linen slipcovers.
Above the fireplace, a circa-1880 Italian mirror is flanked by 1920s French sconces; in front of it stand a focal-point pair of new iron topiaries from Aidan Gray. Deco chairs flank an old Belgian commode.
As an established bibliophile, Kristen McGinnis read the library's knotty pine paneling as a plus. "I loved it and knew immediately what the room wanted to be--a space that had evolved over time and that featured elements of nature like the knotty pine paneling," she says.
Design: Kristen McGinnis, Kristen McGinnis Design, 41 Union Square W., Suite 809, New York, NY 10003; 212/488-6820, kristenmcginnis.com.
An antique William IV library table and 19th-century wing chair covered in an Old World Weavers fabric created the collected look, which McGinnis brought up to date with leafy bronze Claude Lalanne chairs flanking the fireplace, a Michele Oka Doner candelabra, and the Herve Van Der Straeten chandelier. Chista's organically shaped "Bronze Volcano" coffee table stands on a Stark rug.
Sandwiched between a Phillip Jeffries grasscloth ceiling and a velvety wool Stark carpet, the great room takes a turn for the textural with its varied natural materials. Designers Kenneth Alpert and Andrew Petronio of KA Design Group cocooned the room in a toasty brown hue, then provided contrast with lighter Ralph Lauren fabrics on the Walters Wicker sofa and chair and on the pair of cube bench seats from Lorin Marsh. "The hot-pink Kravet drapery added a playful twist," notes Alpert. Photography on the walls is by Bing Wright.
Design: Kenneth Alpert and Andrew Petronio, KA Design Group, 595 Madison Ave., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10022; 212/223-0314, kennethalpert.com.
What she calls "pinchy" spaces are a favorite challenge for designer Carole Reed. Both the hallway and adjacent powder room fit the term. "Tight spaces require a few good moves," she says. An 1880 Chinese console and a Mecox Gardens head sculpture brought "soul and vibration" to the hallway, which she flatteringly illuminated through mango-hued silken shades on iron lamps.
Design: Carole Reed, Carole Reed Interior Design, 485 Magee St., Southampton, NY 11968; 631/204-0060, and 400 Chambers St., New York, NY 10282; 631/875-7366, carolereeddesign.com.
In the powder room, Reed warmed up the chilly marble and granite by covering walls with "the amazing texture of Crezana's hand-dyed Madagascar cloth, which features a subtle damask pattern for an extra layer of warmth." Helen Gifford blown-glass sconces are from HelenBilt Lighting.
All-white kitchens can be "antiseptic," bemoans Manhasset-based designer Denyse Rinfret. "I love them, but I like to spark them up with color and warm them up with style."
Interior design: Denyse Rinfret, Rinfret Interiors LLC, 99 Bourndale Rd. N., Manhasset, NY 11030; 516/365-7234, rinfretinteriors.com.
Kitchen and pantry design: Christopher Peacock Home, 222 Merchandise Mart #148, Chicago, IL 60654; 312/321-9500, peacockhome.com.
Fuchsia-colored Lee Jofa fabric on the windows and doors created the spark, which Rinfret repeated on the contemporary dinnerware, augmenting the hot pink with bold turquoise. Scale, too, was important in bringing the room to life. "I love the high, fanciful French garden chairs," she says of the curvy iron chairs from Old Town Crossing. (The table and host and hostess chairs are also from that company.) "I sometimes walk into spaces with high ceilings and have to talk the clients out of wanting low furniture. Furniture for this room was substantial and filled the space both horizontally and vertically." Cases in point: the large antique lantern chandelier and big convex mirror, which "give the room another dimension."
Designer Katie Ridder featured her new wallpaper, "Seaweed," in the butler's pantry.
Design: Katie Ridder, Katie Ridder Inc., 432 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016; 212/779-9080, katieridder.com.
It was love at first sight. "When I laid eyes on this charming porch, I knew I had to design it," says Manhattan designer Brad Ford. Achieving drama that didn't detract from the view was a constant concern. "I wanted the room to be a bit dramatic, but I didn't want to take away from the view of the lush landscape. I hoped for balance."
Design: Brad Ford, Brad Ford I.D. Inc., 315 7th Ave., Suite 16B, New York, NY 10001; 212/352-9616, bradfordid.com.
Known for tightly edited spaces that still create a splash, Ford decided to "take classic pieces associated with a screened-in porch to the next level." Thus a pair of custom porch swings upholstered in Silver State Fabrics have all the crisp tailoring of sofas.
The rope mirror by Christian Astuguevieille adds texture.
Wind chimes morphed into wind-chime art, installed by J. Prichard Design. "Each chime was handmade using porcelain. I knew if we layered them and had them at different levels, it would present lots of texture," explains Ford.
Designer Elizabeth Bailey designed an elegant and comfortable bedroom using primarily sustainable materials, from fabric to furniture to floor coverings.
Design: Elizabeth Bailey, 917/532-9220, elizabethbaileydesign.com.
A haven of restful grays and pretty pinks, the bedroom is outfitted with a fresh melding of antiques and modern pieces. Lizzie started her search at ABC Home, which specializes in sustainable and fair-trade products. There she found organic fabrics colored with nontoxic dyes, furniture made with sustainable and reclaimed wood and natural upholstery options, tables made from recycled metal, and everything she needed to make an eco bed, including the mattress.
French ephemera--from metro tickets to opera scores--are folded and mounted in frames by artist Robert Biggs.
Timeless, tailored, and architecturally appropriate sums up the style of Carrier and Company. Designers Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller stayed true to form in the showhouse game room.
Design: Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, Carrier & Co. Interiors Ltd., 530 E. 90th St., New York, NY 10128; 212/706-1025, carrierandcompany.com.
Neither man cave nor glam slam, the game room is "a sanctuary the entire family can enjoy all year long," says Miller. An inviting nutmeg grasscloth from Twenty2 warms walls, and the same hue covers the 1920s pool table, integrating it into the design. Kilim-covered George Smith club chairs hint at exoticism while a Schumacher linen-covered Old Town Crossing ottoman exudes comfort.
Warm layering includes an antique table with a red Treillage lamp and an old Oushak atop Stark's seagrass rug.
Marjorie Sobiloff and Cathy Yohay of SY Interior Design "wanted to change the dynamics of a boring home office into an exciting environment that would stimulate creativity," says Yohay.
Design: Cathy Yohay and Marjorie Sobiloff, SY Interior Designs Inc., 145 Station Rd., Great Neck, NY 11023; 516/770-5044 and 516/729-3143, syinteriordesigns.com.
They prominently showcased art from East Hampton's Vered Gallery and teamed vintage classics like the doughnut phone and mid-century orange pottery with contemporary pieces, including a Niedermaier silver desk chair, white lacquer desk from Ligne Roset, and Lle-Dom art glass. A Baker étagère displays Lladro animals. Softening the floors is a rug from Odegard.
A modern take on a mah-jongg room was Brendan Kwinter-Schwartz's vehicle for bringing "a sense of style and sophistication with a sprinkle of fun" to a windowless room on the lower level.
Design: Brendan Kwinter-Schwartz, Kwinter & Co., 424 E. 52nd St., Suite 1B, New York, NY 10022; 212/371-6400, kwinterdesign.com.
"I transformed what felt like a large walk-in closet with no natural light into an avant-garde games room for the lady of the house," Kwinter-Schwartz says. A combination of natural elements and glossy finishes--especially a high-gloss lavender Benjamin Moore paint on the ceiling juxtaposed with a wall of reclaimed barnwood--exemplifies the designer's special forte: "I am all about texture, and this project shows that." A circa-1940 "Vintage Kilim Composition" rug from FJ Hakimian anchors the room. Its geometric grid is playfully opposed by "Bangalore Paisley" wallpaper from China Seas. The upholstered daybed is Avery Boardman.
"Our design philosophy always pairs the glamorous and exotic with the comfortable and inviting," says Jennifer Garrigues, who has offices in London and Palm Beach as well as Manhattan.
Design: Jennifer Garrigues with Diana el Daher, Jennifer Garrigues Inc., 308 Peruvian Ave., Palm Beach, FL 33480; 561/659-7085, and 954 Lexington Ave., Suite 225, New York, NY 10021; 212/249-2516, jennifergarrigues.com.
"A sexy room you and your partner may never want to leave" was the response Jennifer Garrigues desired for her and Diana el Daher's master bedroom design. A grand antique Anglo-Indian bed launched them into a good start. A more delicate touch of exoticism appears as a custom Indian paisley stencil that finishes the walls in place of crown moldings. For max comfort, they offered several seating options, starting with slipper chairs covered in a Rogers & Goffigon velvet in front of the fireplace.
There's no mistaking the English country house character of Ellen Hamilton's sitting room. The Brooklyn-based designer says it all began with her first impression of the showhouse property as a "country house by the sea. That evoked the memory of legendary British designer Nancy Lancaster of Colefax and Fowler fame. She loved stately houses and knew how to make them comfortable and happy," Hamilton explains.
Design: Ellen Hamilton, Hamilton Design Associates Inc., One Union Square W., Suite 709, New York, NY 10003; 212/620-0800, hdanyc.com.
Hamilton's own version of happy is a cheerful palette of complementary colors, green and rose, with accents of sunny yellow and a few other garden-variety hues thrown in for a multifarious mix. Green is expressed mainly through an Osborne & Little wallpaper that's "a dizzy contemporary version of papers from the period between the wars in Britain," says the designer, while rose is articulated by the Hazelton House chintz draperies and the China Seas tufted fabric on a Phoenix Custom Furniture chair.
Antique Colonial Dutch ebony furniture, including a daybed, large pedestal table, desk, and cane-back chair from Ceylon, cements the Lancaster look.
The daybed wears a Carolina Irving fabric; the chevron pillow fabric is Bergamo.
With simplicity and elegance as trademarks, Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi wanted to "accentuate the master bathroom's grandeur and glamour, while keeping it warm and serene," says Brady.
Design: Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi, Brady Design Inc., 22 Main St., Southampton, NY 11968; 631/283-3111, bbradydesign.com.
Always, the Brady Design team stresses what's apt for the location. Here, that meant a palette of blues and grays to evoke the sea. "The rich geometric blue-gray Holland & Sherry wallpaper and the opalescent antique Murano chandelier depict it perfectly."
Glass tiles from Walker Zanger and Odegard tables in the shower enhance the lightness.
A comfortable multipurpose space that can function as a guest bedroom, office, and sitting room was third-generation interior designer Jeff Lincoln's vision for his assigned space. His approach was back to basics--Billy Baldwin basics.
Design: Jeff Lincoln, Jeff Lincoln Interiors, 315 E. 62nd St., New York, NY 10021; 212/588-9500. Billy Baldwin Studio at Jeff Lincoln Interiors Inc., 212/253-5673.
"Billy Baldwin's classic daybed and [armless] chairs join an eclectic array of new and antique pieces to provide an inviting and relaxing environment," Lincoln says. The well-cushioned space also reflects Lincoln's personal design code of comfort first and style second, with "visual connections between disparate items essential. I go for a total cohesive look, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts," he explains. Thus a grid-pattern wall covering from Lulu DK teams with striped shades from Romo, and a large Rose Tarlow console brushes up to an antique screen. Tamarian's Tigris rug adds depth and drama atop a natural sisal.
A contented "aaah" is the response Kate Singer hoped to evoke with her soothing and semi-glam showhouse bedroom.
Design: Kate Singer, Kate Singer Home Ltd., One Huntington Bay Rd., Huntington, NY 11743; 631/271-8376, katesingerhome.com.
Pale gray, lilac, and chartreuse--the colors in one of her favorite Vera Wang blouses--determined the palette. "I'm always inspired by fashion," Singer affirms. Silk taffeta from Lee Jofa at the windows, along with additional chartreuse accents such as Silk Trading Company's lampshades, keep the softer lilacs and grays on their toes and timely. Still, the effect is "elegant, serene, and somewhat romantic," says the designer. A Louis XVI-style armchair from Nella Vetrina must take at least part of the rap for romance, especially wearing a shimmering Kravet amethyst silk. Singer's custom Lucite bench and mirrored chests from George Smith ensure the right "touch of city sophistication and Hollywood glamour amidst this beautiful country landscape of the Hamptons," says Singer.
The straight lines of a Bolier & Company desk are softened by the tufted custom ottoman.
A tufted custom bed that recalls the style of an old English Knole sofa delivers Benjamin Bradley and David Thiergartner's guest room safely from the doldrums that ever threaten boxy spaces.
Design: Benjamin W. Bradley and David Thiergartner, Bradley Thiergartner Interiors, 183 Madison Ave., Suite 904, New York, NY 10016; 212/779-1717, bradleythiergartnerinteriors.com.
Covered in Ralph Lauren Home ticking, Yves Delorme linens, and an orange Hermès blanket, the bed was designed for "you to feel very cosseted and safe when lying there," explains Bradley. The room's momentum builds with the shaggy rope chair from Holly Hunt, a globe collection, and, displayed on the easel, art by Michael Allen Lowe. In lieu of architecture, the tailored traditionalists glazed the walls and rimmed the perimeters (even along baseboards) in a darker 1-inch band.
The adjoining bath incorporates art with a little bit of attitude.
In the showhouse dressing room, designer Kat Burki trumped two questions that often inhibit creativity: Doesn't bold color make a room look smaller? And shouldn't decorating funds be concentrated on the house's public spaces? Her answers: No and No.
Design: Kat Burki, Kat Burki Inc., 35 Old Post Rd., Southport, CT 06890; 203/256-5817, katburki.com.
Kat infused the sunny room with a profusion of greens--chartreuse, Kelly, and apple--that helped her create a cheery dressing area. Painted in a strié pattern of cream, green, and yellow, the walls and brightly colored furniture echo the fresh Hamptons landscape. "Strong colors supply meaning and definition that give these areas special significance," says Kat.
A pair of Chinese dressing tables offer spots for his-and-her primping from comfortable French armchairs--painted black and covered in a striped silk. Linen sheers with an interlocking circle pattern were fabricated into window treatments in contrasting scale: a simple Roman shade and a pleated drapery. Both exude tranquility.
Friends' adoption of an Ethiopian baby inspired Wayne Nathan's concept of the Hamptons bedroom he designed with Carol Egan.
Design: Wayne Nathan and Carol Egan, Nathan Egan Interiors, 270 Lafayette St., Suite 904, New York, NY 10012; 212/414-1313, nathanegan.com.
The only overt signs are the African mud chandelier and African textiles from Melet Mercantile Montauk. The vibrant palette also alludes to an ethnic heritage while multinational pieces invoke a more global spirit. The Japanese bed "gives the room an organic, rustic, but elegant look," says Nathan. To encourage viewers to "look at something in a new way," they covered art above the bed in blue Lucite.
Skye Kirby, designer and vice president of stores and marketing for retailer and interior design firm Lillian August used a neutral palette, delectable furnishings, and an oh-so-enviable artist's studio to transform the pool house into a soul-soothing yet energizing retreat.
Design: Skye Kirby, Lillian August, 32 Knight St., Norwalk, CT 06851; 203/847-1596, lillianaugust.com.
The pool house boasts charming interiors inspired by the long, wide beaches and the energetic surf juxtaposed with acres of farmland nestled between the ocean and the bay. "I used a lot of heather colors inspired by the Hamptons landscape--grasses, blue sky, sea, sand," says Skye. "All the subtle colors really influence the interior palette."
Substantial, curl-up-and-cozy-in furnishings from Lillian August, flagstone floors, and sisal rugs encourage the low-key, sand-between-your-toes lifestyle. A peppering of soft pattern does nothing to discourage the dreamy, soul-soothing atmosphere.
Upstairs, the under-the-eaves artist's studio is outfitted with a highly edited and fittingly sculptural selection of furnishings. The only hint of color comes from the artwork and the ocher valance--inspired by the golden glow of the wheat field beyond the window.
With an African safari lodge as his inspiration, designer Christopher Myers, owner of Just Terraces Inc., created a patio that resonates with fiery color, streamlined seating, and lush, sink-down comfort. Fabrics are Robert Allen; furniture is Barlow Tyrie.
Design: Christopher Myers, Just Terraces Inc., 422 E. 75th St., New York, NY 10021; 877/570-4847 and 212/570-4830, justterraces.com.
Designer Miguel Elias, representing Dutch Petals Inc. in Southampton, "took a 10x10 gazebo that was nothing and made it into a unique, peaceful jewel box." The transformation included new Benjamin Moore paint, Quadrille fabrics on the walls and cushions, and a focal-point cabinet full of potted plants from Dutch Petals. The yellow pots feature Elias's custom Venetian plaster.
Design: Miguel Elias for Dutch Petals Inc., Dutch Petals, 161 Powell Ave., Southampton, NY 11968; 631/287-3356, dutchpetals.com. Miguel Elias Interior Design, 17 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016; 917/892-8213, migueleliasinteriordesign.com.