Tour the Inspired Designs showhouse in NYC with rooms dedicated to extraordinary women.
Move over Kip’s Bay. A group of 15 premier New York interior designers combined talents in a unique showhouse event to launch a new condominium building on West End Avenue, a street that hasn’t changed so much in 30 years or perhaps longer.
As it happens it’s in my neighborhood, Manhattan’s Upper West side, best known for family-size apartments – set ups like the rambling, well-worn, book-filled flat many may remember from the Woody Allen film “Hannah and Her Sisters.” Now, Extell development has erected a marble-floored, white-glove building at 535 West End and in New York City. There’s nothing like a decorator showhouse associated with a prominent charity – in this case The Breast Cancer Research Foundation founded by Evelyn H. Lauder (wife of Estee Lauder Companies Chairman Leonard A. Lauder) — to launch a new address and benefit a great cause.
I spent one morning touring Apartment B and the next day went back to see Apartment A for my More Inspired Design Showhouse post. Many of the designers were available in their rooms and it was great to hear each of them talk about the women who inspired their designs. The theme, not surprisingly, is extraordinary women.
Entry – John Barman, Inc. Inspiration: Philanthropist Evelyn Lauder [top and above]
The vibrant teal wall color of the foyer was inspired by Estée Lauder packaging. In the color-saturated entry, Barman choose a red Stark Carpet and optical paintings by Kelly Stuart Graham. Vivid color photographs in the same hues, by Evelyn Lauder, flank French antiques from Karl Kemp.
Living Room and Dining Room – HB Home, Janet Hiltz & Robin Liotta. Inspiration: Actress Ingrid Bergman
Hilts and Liotta envisioned this room as an updated Swedish tribute to the mid-century film star who was lost to breast cancer.
Perhaps most striking are the horizontally-striped draperies that unify and widen the already expansive living and dining areas.
What I found especially intriguing were details such as outdoor furniture used indoors — urns for the potted palms and a ceramic garden table. A cream-colored beauty of a sofa sported rolled arms and luscious bullion fringe, while sumptuous chinchilla seat graced a charming little side chair.
Family Room – Patricia Fisher Design. Inspiration: Audrey Hepburn.
Kitchen – Smallbone of Devizes and Patricia Fisher Design
Touches of whimsy and real sophistication are qualities Audrey Hepburn clearly inspired in Patricia Fisher’s tour de force family dining room and kitchen with a taupe and gray scheme. The two rooms open onto the living and dining areas offering a contrast between formal and informal styles. In the dining space [above] photos of the “Sabrina” star are arranged above a cocoa-hued sofa piled with back-easing cushions.
The elegant, soft-spoken designer created a warm working kitchen around a knockout Cornue Fé range with a sculptural pot-filler as a focal point.
Honed Lagos azul limestone for the counters and backsplash works flawlessly with white Smallbone by Devizes cabinetry. Miele ovens and a SubZero refrigerator, in addition to a pair of SZ drawers [above], round out appliance choices.
Hanging over the main sink are a trio of glam pendants from Circa Lighting. These two rooms are filled with other great accessories to boot.
Master Bedroom – Nancy Corzine. Inspiration: Grace Kelly
Let’s face it. Grace Kelly lived in a palace in Monte Carlo for much of her life. Conjuring up a boudoir for the blond goddess of the 1950s does suggest the most incredibly beautiful blue-edged white bed linens, which this room certainly has, in addition to the designer’s own furniture and antiques from Sentimento.
Bedroom – Patrik Lönn Design. Inspiration: Museum world bohemiènne Peggy Guggenheim
Peggy Guggenheim had an outrageous fashion sense and established a museum in Venice, Italy. In terms of a slightly masculine black and white bedroom one suspects she needed relief from the glare of sun on the azure waters of the Lido. Whatever, this tailored boudoir has plenty of ’60s pop luxe — from a pieced white animal skin carpet to the elegant silver-leaf ceiling.
The bed has flourishes, too — a silver-tone sculpture at the head and a pair of zebra-pattern ottomans at the foot.
Bedroom – Jennifer Flanders Inc. and The Silver Peacock. Inspired by: Dorothy Draper.
Jennifer Flanders’ combination of chartreuse walls with inky trim and doors (does anyone else remember blue-black for fountain pens?) creates an edgy color tension that Dorothy Draper would no doubt have approved. Jennifer graciously gave us the exact Benjamin Moore paint colors for the room: the green is BM 364 and the high-gloss trim color BM HC154. Zoffany floral wallpaper on the ceiling offers a real surprise but it mirrors the neutral palette of the rug and lets the bold color fly.
Flanders didn’t use any actual Draper furniture saying she it felt “too obvious” though the stunning piece from Craig van den Brulle definitely puts Draper’s aesthetic across. I should note, too that fine art photographer Lev Gorn captured the essence of Draper in his “The Lady in the Quilted Life” photo hanging above the dresser even though it is not of the designer who passed on in 1969.
My drapery-love is always in gear and Flanders’ tricolor Romo silk-taffeta pair with ballgown bottoms and a tiny squiggle of turquoise is another element that helps make this room so memorable.
Bedroom – Bradley Stephens. Inspiration: Singer Annie Lennox
When Bradley Stephens greeted me at the door of the darkest, hippest bedroom I’ve seen in ages, it struck me that Annie Lennox, the Scottish singer and activist who inspired this room, might have the perfect expression for her energy here. And, share the fantasy of mother-of-pearl wall covering by Maya Romanoff on the doors, plus a rock-star mica ceiling that it takes a while to see amid and all the pink neonness of the sculpture above the bed.
Since I love nothing more than fabulous drapery, here’s one that sang out to me. Stephens gathered Holland & Sherry men’s plaid cashmere and wool fabric across a rod and pulled towards the center to serve as a backdrop for the bed. It is edged it with wooden-bead fringe. A black, sheer under- drapery — with integral ruffles — peeks out like a petticoat at each side. The fabric is Sahco’s Cha Cha.
Stephens calls the granite-and-glass built-in a “diva dressing table” and that appellation could well extend to the tobacco-colored closet [below] embellished with metallic tones that give it a definite nighttime vibe. When can I move in?
Inspired Designs: A Showhouse Celebrating Extraordinary Women was open from October 27 to December 4, 2009.
Copy and Paste the Link to Quick Share this Post: http://bit.ly/hLWi9n