Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse 2011: My favorite house elements

When I was in New York last month for Blogfest, I had the chance to go to my first Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse. Hard to believe it was my first one! I was able to go before the doors opened as I was interviewing Joy Light of Cayley Barrett Associates, Ltd. the design/build firm who did the master bathroom. I’ll have a detailed post about that beautiful bathroom and my nice chat with Joy shortly.

Meanwhile, as there have been many other bloggers who have already posted their thoughts (positive and negative) on the showhouse (links below), I figured I’d showcase my favorite elements in the house. There was a lot to love, but also a lot to be critical of as well.

Bedroom by Amanda Nisbet Design – What I liked: AND’s exhuberant “Pink Lemonade” wallpaper with the formal paneled walls.

Campion Platt‘s “Ode To Jock” room – love the hardware on the near-jib door.

Cayley Barrett Associates, Ltd.  – Master bathroom – love, love the waxed limestone tile installed on the diagonal 

Jamie Herzlinger Interiors‘s “His Master Bath” featuring a striking black and white marble tile floor and  Macassar Ebony cabinetry. 

The public restroom by Cayley Barrett Associates, Ltd. (who have long done the public restrooms for Kips Bay) featured gold painted walls using Benj. Moore’s metallic gold paint over a black base. I particularly like the t.p. “cabinet”.

Richard Mishaan Design did the large and exquisitely classic living room that was once decorated by Sister Parish for one time owner Jock Whitney. The 40-ft living room was filled with an eclectic mix of art, accessories and furnishings. I loved the orange trellis patterned grasscloth wallpaper mixed with the ornate millwork and the over the top ornately gilded mirrors flanking the fireplace. Apparently, Mr. Mishaan (according to an article in the NY Times) initial reaction to the mirrors was “Oh, no!”…  I said the same for much of what he put in the room. Not my favorite.

Wayne Nathan did the front staircase which featured a spectacular chandelier and a spectacularly bad “art” display by Aakash Nihalani made from electrical tape.Perhaps I’m just not hip enough, but the tumbling blocks motif was childish looking in such a spectacular space. Besides, I don’t care to be reminded of things that tumble while walking down a flight of stairs.

Matthew Patrick Smyth‘s Dining Room featured a beautiful hand painted wall mural made in the 1970’s and given to the owner of the house by the sister of Madame Mao. The entire dining room as a study in genteel elegance. I particularly loved the Jacques Jarrige chandelier which brought free-form movement to the otherwise very formal and tightly controlled space. 

Celerie Kemble‘s design turned the original, very masculine library into a romantic ladies lounge. The double settee in a Schumacher striped pink was my favorite!

Bilotta Kitchens did the butler’s pantry and kitchen.  Both featured some to-die-for elements such as the backsplashes and countertops.

In the butler’s pantry, the back splash was from Artistic Tile, the counter was Roja Alacante marble by Eastern Stone. The matching faucets in the pantry and kitchen were not listed in the resources for the room so I am assuming they are original to the house.

The backsplash in the main kitchen is also Artistic Tile. The copper countertops (featuring some gorgeous patina) by Brooks Custom.

Sadly, and embarrassingly, I missed the rest of the house. Since I was there before it opened to do an interview, I went straight to the master bath on the second floor and worked my way down from there. I wondered that it was so small, but didn’t have the program guide at hand. The house opened to visitors while I was in the kitchen and from there, it was just a quick scoot out the front door (not being a fan of crowds, I was anxious to get out when they started coming in!).

Loved the facade with the tree meandering up the side of the building.

For more coverage, check out these blogs: Stylebeat, Curbed, Habitually Chic, Lonny blog, What is James Wearing, Elements of Style, Architect Design, Coco + Kelley

And stay tuned for my in-depth post about the master bathroom and interview with Joy Licht, founder of the design/build firm Cayley Barrett Associates, Ltd.

All photos by Linda Merrill.

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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xoxo Linda Would you like my Favorite Tips for a Well-Decorated Home? Click here!

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