Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, Savant and what a Show!-Blogfest 2012

When:  Day 1 of Blogfest 2012, Monday May 21st

Where: Kips Bay Decorator Show House, The Aldyn Residences, 60 Riverside Blvd, New York

After the ICFF, Blogfest 2012 attendees were whisked off in buses to Kips Bay for the grand Kickoff of the tour, hosted by the lovely Margaret Russell, Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest.

What is a Show House, you ask? Simply put, a designer show house is a space in which  different rooms are decorated by a few select and talented Interior Designers or Decorators, who are usually given a very short time frame to do their magic. The amount of hair pulling to meet deadlines must be tremendous, but the interiors created are superb and offer a wonderful venue for designers to showcase their talent. Show Houses benefit a charity: they are typically associated with a fundraising event, and can be visited for a fee. Kips Bay is famous for its extraordinary show of designer rooms and benefits the Kips Boys & Girls Club located in the Bronx.

The Show House celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

If you can imagine more than 160 bloggers/interior designers squeezing themselves through the penthouse rooms, you will understand why I have a limited amount of quality wide angle photos to show :-) I concentrated on selecting  mini vignettes to share with my readers.

Entering the Aldyn Lobby.
The massive and sculptural ceiling lighting in the Aldyn lobby was not to miss.
“In Memoriam of Albert Hadley” By Bunny Williams, David Kleinberg, and Brian McCarthy. I love this wood mirror above the console table. Of course the branches contribute to giving this vignette grandeur and an organic feel.
“The Cabana” by Scott Sanders. Scott was in the room himself and kindly answered my questions. His room was bubbling with good humor. I loved the yellow grasscloth covering the walls, against this white lacquered desk by Lorin Marsh.
Another vignette in Scott Sanders’ Room. Gorgeous alabaster lamp by Lorin Marsh.
“The Conservatory” by Neal Beckstedt Studio. Le Corbusier Chaise.

 

Lovely, stylish vignette by Neal Beckstedt. Italian 1950s Bar Cart.
Neal Beckstedt. Neal and I exchanged a few words on the importance of texture, and I feel he does a superb job of layering and telling a story. Chevron Gear Table Lamp by Robert Altman. Blue sculptural bowl by Martin Kline.
“Foyer” by Timothy Miller of Timothy and Associates. Timothy was very excited to be invited to decorate the Kips Bay for the first time! His use of two Daum Tulip vases-including an ultraviolet one- with discreet back lighting was spectacular on the Rosewood Saarinen table. I had never seen one with a rosewood pedestal but Timothy informed me it was a unique piece.
“Kidz Rule” by Laura Bohn Design Associates. This bedroom was just fantastic, a little green and red fuzzy and textured cave for little ones. Cabrio In Space saving unit with desk/integrated bed, Edward Fields round spiral shag rug, M2L, Inc Tatino and Tatone red ottoman and seat.

“The Writing Room” by Chuck Fischer Studio. Chuck was happy to take questions and explained he created and hand painted the Chinoiserie Mural, as well as the Lee Jofa desk chair. I liked the pale and soothing melons and roses in this room, mixed with browns and blues.
Another view of a spectacular retro two arm floor lamp Chuck found at  Alan Moss Antiques.
“Gentleman’s Study” by David Scott Interiors. David (shown seated here) had created a very layered, masculine and glamorous study which I really enjoyed.
Here he is pictured in front of the most striking Larry Zox painting, a lesser known but rising artist who found success during the Color Field Movement of the 60’s.  The painting did a lot to the room, creating a wow effect.
Sculpted Bronze étagère by Paul Evans in this David Scott study, George III writing table, Jacques Adnet floor lamp.
Custom Omnibus Chaise Lounge by Vladimir Kagan Couture across from the desk.
“Le Bureau Privé (The Private Office)” by the very talented Raji Radhakrishnan (Raji RM & Associates). Sebastian Ezzaruiz Tilt Bookcase and Ralph Lauren Collector Desk.
Another view of Raji’s Room with Christophe Côme Loukoum Lamps.

 

Margaret Russell, editor of Architectural Digest, is shown here just before kicking off the event with Beth Greene, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Branding for Kravet, and the mastermind behind Blogfest 2012
Kravet is a 4th Generation family owned company and the organizer of Blogfest 2012. Here pictured are Lisa Kravet (her back is towards the camera), Thom Filicia on her right, and directly across from Lisa, is her husband, Cary Kravet, head of the company. My apologizes for the awkward angle, but I was stuck in a crowd, and my small stature never helps in these situations :-)

After champagne and this extraordinary tour,  we were off to Savant to learn about automation systems for residential and commercial applications.

Floating TV screen projected behind this bathroom mirror. Note, reflected in mirror is the wall control panel, allowing for control of lights and TV in the room. All Savant interiors in the NY showroom are decorated by Thom Filicia.
Great shower tiling detail in the same bathroom.

After this, some of us continued on to the next venue, Savoir Beds, to try out luxury mattresses and nibble on lemon and chocolate cakes. Savoir is a line Savoy Hotel created back in 1905 to keep their guests comfortably tucked in!

It was a fabulous day filled with intensive learning and discovery. Thank you, Kravet and thank you, Blogfest 2012!

 

 

Design 101: Working with an Interior Designer

How does the process of designing a room work, you ask? How does it all start?  Let me show you how it works.

1-The First meeting is key

I will have my prospective client do homework to prepare for an initial meeting. This allows me to better grasp the client’s needs and style. Even if you can’t put your style into words, I can put it together for you from examining your photo selections and asking precise questions! Everyone has a style: it’s just a matter of having someone help you express it. For this, I have my clients clip images from Design magazines or select some of my pins on Pinterest. On Pinterest, I have filed over 1400 images to use for inspiration, keep track of projects, sort colors, fabrics, and beautiful interior design images. Prospective clients can create a board of interiors they like and present them to me at our meeting.

So a more traditional client drawn to earthy, warm tones may select something like this:

Via Pinterest. Designer unknown.

 This inviting warm color infused space was found on Pinterest. Designer unknown.

Somebody who likes a more elegant/glamour look may be drawn to this:

Suzanne Kasler ELLE DECOR

This refined interior was created by designer Suzanne Kasler. Via Elle Decor.

While a photo of a more masculine, relaxed and eclectic interior will draw others in:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/250372060504067613/

Designer unknown. Via Pinterest.

A selection of a dozen or so photos by the prospective client are essential and tell me so much! I also like to look at images of things they don’t like, as those tell me a lot as well!

I will also present prospective clients with a questionnaire before we meet. Questions I ask include:

What will the rooms be used for?

Do you have any family heirloom or special item, such as a rug or painting you want me to showcase in this space?

What colors are you drawn to?

Have you worked with a designer before?

What is your budget?

After the meeting, I go to the drawing board and present clients with a follow up letter explaining the next steps as well as a contract.

2-After the contract is signed, we can get down to business!

-Measurements, photos are taken on site. These take a while, as we look at placement of outlets, vents, space around and under windows, etc. All of these will allow for information on where to position lamps, height of furniture, space in recessed areas, etc.   I will take photographs and measurements of all the pieces that are to remain as well (such as a treasured rug, painting, chair…) so to incorporate them in my plans.

-A few CAD drawings are prepared to offer different furniture placement options:

-Some sketches may be presented:

And of course, color schemes! Usually 2 or 3 selections. In this scenario, the client wanted me to work with three existing cherry red walls and two existing white roman shades. I created with the contractor a shelving system all around the bed. An  incorporated platform was designed with hidden drawers under the mattress, as well as two night stands and lighting above the headboard. The goal was to create something a bit eclectic and contemporary. The colors and fabrics we ended up selecting were reds, blacks, greys and whites. A few examples of fabrics used for this room:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After hours and hours of research for all elements, meetings, scouting the best fabric, lighting and furniture matches, more measurements, coordinating and waiting for all the items to be fabricated, I came up with a design that worked very nicely for my clients.

3-Grand Finale

This is the Before Picture:

Voilà, hope you enjoyed my friends! See you soon!