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!



And Then They Were Three!

Children bring much joy into our lives. They also change the way we look at decor. Can we get this sofa in that type of fabric? Will it stain? Where can we store the toddlers’ toys in the main area? What kind of window treatments are safe to have around with our new baby? Those are some of the questions I get regularly from my clients.

Being a mom myself, I know how important these questions are. Each culture is different and every family is different when it comes to children and furniture. Some of us are very comfortable having children climbing on the furniture. Some of us prefer to postpone buying nice things until the children are older. A lot of us try to find the middle ground: maybe investing in nice pieces but with sturdier finishes. Sunbrella fabrics work great and so do stain resistant fabrics. Leather is a nice option and vinyl covered designer fabric for dining room chairs works wonders!

If you’re like me, you actually don’t want to wait until you’re 50 to get that nice sofa! I have more of a French approach when it comes to decorating and children. In my home country, children are taught early to respect furniture. When my boys were very little, we just kindly but firmly explained that some furniture is not meant to climb on, and food just needs to stay in the dining area. This has worked very nicely for our family.

One of the ways to make decorating for children a positive experience,  is to create delicious little bedrooms for them : cozy, magical and colorful. Play areas are also so useful if you have the room. Creating rooms for children is a wonderful way to give them a space that is theirs to play, explore and dream; a space where they are allowed to climb, draw on walls and throw pillows. A place where furniture is their size and they can entertain their friends.

In this post I will explore a few rooms and ways to create these spaces for children.

In this first image, London based architect Alex Michaelis was able to build a dream house planned to include his children. A luxury for some, but if you are in the building process, you may want to consider this amazing slide/staircase:

Alex Michaelis: slide staircase.Via

In this happy photograph by Melanie Acevedo, adding swings indoors completely transforms a space, creating whimsy and laughter for the lucky children:

Swings in rooms for childrenvia

In the image below, from my Pinterest images, a chalk wall was created using chalk paint. This is a very economical way of giving creative doodlers their own space, that is, if you can stand the grating sound of chalk against the wall!

How to create a play area or full room? Convert an unused bedroom or part of a finished basement or attic. Create an arts and craft area for little artists:



Or something like this little corner:

Via Pinterest, source unknown.

Children Art can be hung up in so many ways, consider string or wire and clothespins:


In the above photograph, a little girls’ space is created with very little. A magnetic strip to hang art, a big basket to store items, a little person chair and a fabulous decorative trick: a very wide band of color to create interest on the wall.

Getting a foosball table for older girls and boys is always a huge success:

Lots and lots of pillows are paramount. Get as many storage baskets and bins as you can. Do not be afraid of color. Create little nooks here and there for activities: reading, art, make-believe.

Let’s look at bedrooms now. Small can be perfectly charming:


In this boy’s bedroom, a trundle bed serves as a day bed. The sophisticated use of color and the built ins can be easily incorporated later when this child grows up:


In this girl’s bedroom, a pale candy colored scheme creates a soft feel and the pillows make the space cozy. The chandelier adds that je-ne-sais-quoi which adds immediate personality:


Keep books handy like this wonderful set up:


Consider bunk beds, a child’s dream:


Or as they grow older, more mature decoration themes:


And don’t forget work spaces, which need to inspire young minds as they learn and grow:


Or for a teenager:


Voilà, les amis! Enjoy your little munchkins, they grow up very very fast. My eldest turns 15 this Saturday! Have a great week…until next time!