by Marisa Marcantonio

So, what's it like to get carte blanche inside the halls of Sotheby's? Lets find out, checking out the six designer vignettes created for the first-ever Sotheby's Designer Showhouse. A design takeover is happening on 6th floor at 1334 York Avenue.

Having free reign over spring auction items, the diverse mix of designers got to work, creating inspired spaces around their selections. Mixing in fine antiques (a George III Chimney Piece), stellar art (a Francis Bacon) and precious decorative accessories, Ann Pyne, Max Sinsteden and Catherine Olasky, Ryan Korban, Daun Curry, Rush Jenkins and Shaler Ladd integrated the goods on offer into their living spaces. Take a look at the fully realized results below, sponsored by Sotheby's International Realty, Town and Country and Bespoke Global.  The featured pieces are included in upcoming spring auctions at Sotheby's, and are on view until Sunday March 30th. Go, get inspired!

Photos courtesy of Sothebys

Ann Pyne, McMillen Inc.

"A dining room featuring formal neoclassical style with Chinoiserie whimsy and modern design."

Daun Curry of Modern Declaration embraced pastels and unique upholstery with mass. 

 "Le fauteuil vert by Jean-Pierre Cassigneul is the centerpiece behind Daun’s drawing room, inspired by the vibrant green and soft pinks. She used innovative materials and had an artist cover the walls with four pounds of commercial grade eye shadow, which created a subtle sparkle on the walls and married beautifully with the painting's hues. The room is “old meets new” featuring the Cassigneul, a Lalanne money table and works by Warhol, Picasso and Miró."

A wide angle of the space, where you can get a better look at the gorgeous eyeshadow-infused pale mint walls.

The Lalanne table set up as a bar.

Max Sinsteden and Catherine Olasky created  a yellow-walled enclave of elegance.

"A drawing room anchored by a George III marble chimney piece and the modern Title Unknown 2: Past and Present by Françoise Gilot blends living in the present with antiques and combines numerous periods, styles and textures in furniture, carpets, art and accessories."

Vivid yellow walls a la Sybil Colefax very 39 Brook Street, London.

Rush Jenkins, WRJ Design Associates

"This luxurious and handsome living room is a sophisticated blend of exquisite Belgian upholstered furniture, sensual textures, exotic woods and some of the world’s finest textiles.  The room has been inspired by the brilliant work of Picasso’s, L’ Homme au Baton, juxtaposed to the arresting console by Albert Paley and the Art Deco Masterpiece of Walter von Nessen, blended with dramatic African wood sculptures, all reflecting subtle complexities of tonality, line and textures."

The intricate Albert Paley piece anchors the wall.

Shaler Ladd, Shaler Ladd Design Corporation

"A library housed in a tent called "Library for Travel Through Time and Space" featuring a color lithograph by Francis Bacon, Etude Pour Une Corrida and a ceiling light by Angelo Lelli. The library is enclosed in silk panels and the floor laid with a sisal matt and altogether these elements create the experience of nomadic travel. "

The lush mix of gilt finishes and rich woods at play.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Mrs. Astor by Cecil Beaton, 954
She lived to be 105. And live she did. What a lady. The estate of the inimitable, hugely generous New Yorker Mrs. Brooke Astor goes on the block at Sotheby's September 24th and 25th. The catalogs have sold out. The furnishings, art and decorative accessories from her 14 room, 778 Park Avenue duplex and country homes of this epic philanthropist and pillar of society will be attended by many that want a piece of history. Parish Hadley designed her apartment, which includes the Hadley-designed library, the most wonderful lacquered room, which is now in the canon of great room history. Mark Hampton also worked on her residence.
When looking at the wonderful assortment of stuff, it is hard not to notice her love of animals, especially her beloved dachshunds, as there are lots of paintings and sculptures around the theme. For such a grande dame, her interiors were formal but cozy, and many chintz-covered chairs filled her rooms.  Fine French and English antiques, export porcelain, and truly stunning paintings and historically-important mementos will surface in the sale. It's nice to think that such an incredible collection will now find many new homes, to enrich and enhance people's lives with their beauty and elegance.  Pamela Fiori shared a heart-warming portrait of Mrs. Astor for Sotheby's At Auction Magazine. When asked the secret to her longevity, she responded, “an optimist, be curious, read every night, don’t meet the same people all the time (sooner or later, they become lazy, boring and repeat themselves), don’t be a cynic, don’t envy or be jealous…spend some time in solitude in order to reflect, meet different people (young people), travel, and, if you are rich, adhere to the Gospel of ‘The Joy of Giving.’
The proceeds from the sale will benefit her favorite charities, which is just what she wanted.

Photos courtesy of Sothebys
Her New York Living Room

The French mirror is exquisite

This screen is sure to fetch a big number

The dog paintings give such a warm feeling and personal touch to her home

Get ready for a major return to chintz. It's back in a big way

Her house's Memory Room with photos and mementos from her long life

A reading room with simple blue bookshelves

Her poolhouse, with cheery yellow and white striped upholstery looks like it would have been a perfect perch on a hot summer day

I knew I loved bamboo chairs, they add a casual feel to any interior

Pale hues in a living room are soft and femme

What do I have my eye on? This gold faux bois box. I love this moment.

 A shot from a country room with the prettiest painting of a white flower arrangement

A watercolor rendering of the living room in her country home

The room that leaves me speechless

Trimmed out in brass, what is chicer?

Owning a piece of history is going to be on everyone's minds as they raise their paddles

Accessories placed just so look great together

The palest of blue strie wallpaper balances flower paintings

Hello, chintz

 Chinoiserie Cut and Glass Mirror Mounted tole six light chandelier, 20th Century

John Frederick Lewis painting A Memlook Bey, Egypt 1869

Freddy Dachshund by Thomas Woodruff

Daschund figurines

A Chinese export pieced bone model of a pagoda, 19th Century

A large pair of Chinese Famille-Vert glazed biscuit figures of Buddhist Lions Kangxi Period

A pair of Chinese Export reverse-painted mirrors circa 1770

A Louis XV white-painted and carved low chair circa 1740

A set of 34 Fornasetti Porcelain Malachite Ground Plates, 1955

A pair of Regency style cream and green painted pagoda-form standing bookcases

 Oh the places you will go, or wish you were going with her 16-piece set of T. Anthony luggage.