COLOR KICKS THIS YEAR'S KIPS BAY SHOWHOUSE UP A NOTCH

by Marisa Marcantonio

So how do you make a modern glass box livable? That was the question many designers asked themselves as they prepared their rooms for this year's Kips Bay Showhouse. Situated in a tower in the sky with river views, two duplex apartments received the designer treatment.  With nary a piece of molding in sight, the design challenge began. The chosen participants spun their web of transformation  in a jiffy. Since these are professionals, they rose to the occasion with brilliance, creating unique spaces with something for everyone. I will delve into the design standouts over the next week, so visit the far Westside and take a look. If traveling cross town is too much to process, Kips Bay has organized a shuttle bus that leaves from the Park Avenue Armory at 66th Street.

Speaking of brilliance, the brilliant color green was big this year. It was present in  every hue, from jade to grass, the verdant color vied for attention. From Charlotte Moss covering an entire room in floor to ceiling pea green velvet (masking the soffit overhang like the lining of a jewelry box)  to Jamie Drake painting his walls a matte teal finish, the veteran designers used the color to great dramatic effect.

Todd Romano's dining room with double height ceilings and soaring windows. French Directiore chairs upholstered in Brunschwig and Fils grass green silk matched the Dodie Thayer pottery he set on the table.

A massive pineapple welcomed us. Designed by Horacio Madrigal Terra Cotta, it is from Claremont,  in case you were wondering. The color matched the aubergine walls.

To say I have a fondness for Thayer Lettuceware is an understatement. I adore it. You can always count on Romano for Porthault linens and gorgeous china.

Charmer alert! A miniature vase of carnations at every place setting provided a warm gesture of hospitality.

What Kips Bay room would be complete without a handmade lamp by Christopher Spitzmiller?

Bringing the natural world inside, Charlotte Moss's room appealed to all the senses. She covered a wall in boxwood, the facing wall had blown up images of manicured French gardens, and swathed everything in varying shades of green.   The darling round-backed Charleston Slipper Chair and white cut corner table are two pieces

 from her new Century Icon's Furniture collection. The scale and amount of detail on them are just perfect, and I think my apartment would agree.

  The Natchez Camel Back Sofa has Fortuny Pillows from David Duncan on it to add a little shimmer.  To further enhance the greenery all around, the sounds of chirping birds created a transporting experience.

Photos by Eric Striffler

Working with her new Fabricut collection, she covered the room in velvet and upholstered pieces in her green florals and prints. Getting creative with the wall space, she hung antique engravings at eye level and placed a Vladimir Kanevsky Porcelain Hollyhock on a gilded decorative bracket.

Catching everything in its reflective glow, the walls of Thom Filicia's lacquer box.

His Vanguard Copake Eagle Console held sway on one wall.

On another wall, his cool modern Abstract Lines artwork from Soicher Marin were hung above a bench he designed for Vanguard.

Brian del Toro is a name you may not know but you should. He is enormously talented, having worked for some of the best in the business.  He was a senior designer when I was at David Kleinberg's office. His has impeccable taste. Spring green cushions in F. Schumacher's Prestwick wool sateen in shamrock on parchment club chairs from the 1960's mirror the clean lines in the wall treatment.

To counter the pop of green, French blue walls were treated with linear paneling. There were many great takes on how to treat walls this showhouse.

A rarified old world vintage Longchamp desk set and lamp tied the shades of green together. How civilized. Desk sets are making a comeback. I think the luddite in everyone is emerging to counter our obsessive ipad use.

What can I say? Jamie Drake just knows how to style a bookcase. He too used interesting horizontal panel detailing in more of a forest green/teal combination.

Beautiful porcelain flowers nestled amongst the books.

Scott Sanders created The Cabana, a room  that is ready for summer. Incorporating a classic Scalamandre  resist print recolored in a green, blue and yellow floral pattern. 

Meshing mid century modern and the way we live today, Sanders artfully crafted a fun hang out space. 

Phillip Jeffries Juicy Jute grasscloth in split pea added requisite zing on the walls teeing up the pair of fluoro Warhol pop art cows.

STYLISH AND FIERCE: LEOPARD YOU WILL LOVE

by Marisa Marcantonio

Classic animal prints give an interior a bit of fierce attitude. I can't help but notice animal prints are everywhere this season. You may find they are hard to ignore and you will soon be smitten. Not bitten, smitten.

Photo courtesy of Mecox Gardens
Put the roar back into a room with this Vintage Papier Mache Leopard from Mecox Gardens.


Image courtesy of Il Gattopardo
After you've grown weary from trying and buying Manolo's, duck next door to 33 West 54th and eat at one of New York's hidden gems for the best Southern Italian food, Il Gattopardo. Named after the classic Sicilian novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, it will not disappoint.

Photo courtesy of Kravet
Kravet Couture's Sheer Leopard Velvet in Espresso.

Waylande Gregory Studio's bowl with a frisky leopard painted in gold and white on a matte black surface.

Photo courtesy of Lee Jofa
The Royal Oak Collection Durbar Leopard gros point from Lee Jofa for a classic animal pattern moment.


Haviland limoges l'Animal pattern is hand painted and not too showy on the table.


Photo courtesy of Jayson Home and Garden
Hide and seek with Jayson Home and Garden's Faux Leopard Hide Rug.

Photo courtesy of Belgian Shoes
A classic that cannot be overlooked: Belgian Shoes. they never lose their spots.

Photo courtesy of Barneys
Owen Barry Leopard Pillow from Barneys is made of faux pony hair. I love the tiny spots.

Photo courtesy of Anya Hindmarch
My favorite British bag designer Anya Hindmarch just launched the classic Carker bag in leopard. Carry this while wearing neutrals or you will look like the animal is wearing you, instead of the other way around.

Photo courtesy of Scalamandre
Courbet, a cotton velvet from Scalamandre has a soft touch and looks great on an ottoman or a sofa.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew
You can't own just one pair: J. Crew's Kelcey spotted ballet flats are perfect for running around town.

Photo courtesy of Christopher Norman
Christopher Norman's printed leopard is a more subtle option with a hint of blue.

STEP INTO KATE SPADE'S BOUTIQUE INTERIORS

by Marisa Marcantonio

Fun! Fashion! The Fifties!
When Kate Spade began expanding into fashion, she created a boutique-within-a store at Bloomingdales. The design of the space is exactly like her retail environments-- highly edited and curated spaces blending the lifestyle brand with a whimsical vision. At Bloomingdale's in NYC, the retail experience is like stepping into her shop, with wallpapered dressing rooms, vintage furniture, great art and a 1950's mixed with vintage modern vibe. By cross merchandising leather goods, fashion and home, the look is complete.

Red, apple green and pale blue come together with mirrored stripes in the display racks. A vintage lamp, Mid Century modern table and carnations in a Lenox glass flower vase from her collection make the space uniquely KS.

The blown up rose paper adds watercolor blooms that look randomly strewn across a landscape. The pop of red in the roses plays nicely off the dresses.

The entrance to the dressing room has a feature wall filled with gallery style hung artwork, featuring small mirrors, photos of the brand's signature Peony flower, graphic fonts and animals.

The Rose design paper was made up for the retail stores.

A bold black and white stripe plays off the red bench in the dressing room.

Scalamandre's signature leaping zebra's have been a Spade favorite for years, even influencing her stationery designs.

Palm Leaves from British wallpaper trendsetters Cole and Sons add a tropical tempo.