Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2015

The view of NYC and the river from my MIL's apartment in Fort Lee, NJ.

We were in New Jersey last weekend visiting relatives. On Saturday I took the ferry across the river to Manhattan for ICFF and the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. I love the ferry. Seven minutes on the water and you're in Midtown.

I have yet to sit outside. Photo from the NY Waterway site.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club. The Club's nine Bronx locations provide 10,000 kids with after-school and enrichment programs in reading, math, homework help, computer literacy, career exploration and the arts. Jennifer Lopez and Kerry Washington are alumnae.

In its 43rd year, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House is the Club's signature fund raiser and the premier event of the design world. Where else can we get an up close and personal look at work by legendary and soon-to-be legendary designers -- under one roof. This year's venue is the Arthur Sachs Mansion on East 66th. Open daily until June 11th, the five storey Sachs Mansion is nothing short of fabulous.

I toured the house last Saturday, May 16th. Except where noted, all pictures by me.

The first floor. Jamie Drake's octagonal foyer.

The tension and drama of contemporary power.
I took this with my phone.

My first impression was, hmm, a bit edgy. Followed by, ah ha! This foyer is Manhattan! Strength, statement art, finest materials, superior workmanship, "I'm doing it because I can" and an antique mirror as a reminder of the gilded and raucous history that brought us to this spot today. Give me enough time and I'll put a spin on anything. Maybe I should have gone into politics.

Ayala Surfaty's glass and polymer art/light sculpture hangs from the ceiling. Its soft glow reflected by the Japanese mica (not just any mica, Japanese mica) flecked walls. Herve Van der Straeten's Psychose Console from Ralph Pucci. A Chihuly vase. Nothing is nameless.

Ayala Surfaty's light sculpture in Jamie Drake's foyer. Like crystal formations. I took this pic with my phone. 

The glitz and power of the foyer gives way to the restraint of an elegantly simple hall by Ronald J. Bricke. The incredible floating staircase climbs five storeys.

Another phone pic. It is not a big space.
This hall was packed with people. Here's the NYT photo by Bill Buck.

Halima Cassell's hand-carved stoneware sculpture sits on a modern pedestal next to an antique Klismos chair.
Mural by Vesna Bricelj. NYT

At this point the docents encouraged the visitors to start the tour on the 5th floor. Uncharacteristically I complied. But we'll stay on the first floor and my phone pics for this post.

Walking through the hall brings us to the kitchen and reading nook.

Kitchen by Christopher Peacock features a "live edge" wood countertop. It looks like burled walnut.
Love the plaid AKDO tile backsplash.

The Arthur Sachs Mansion is a townhouse, long and narrowish. Lighting is everything in a house with no side windows.

Brass pendants from Remains Lighting hang above the kitchen island.

The breakfast table is well lit by another brass fixture; the large window looks out on the garden. The little round mirrors are great light reflectors. I imagine these are quite welcome on a cloudy day.  

If lighting is everything in a house with no windows, tied for second place are reflective surfaces and the warmth of gold.

Beyond the kitchen at the bottom of the rear stairs, lies a tiny fantasia of a nook orchestrated by Bennett Leifer Interiors. Scheherazade and Princess Moonlight share a book and a pot of tea under a shooting star. Under a magic star. And couldn't we all use a magic star?

A carved rock crystal or quartz chandelier. I need one.

This fairy tale is set in New York. Angles, edges and art as furniture required.

All art is a labor of love. Some may call this hand painted paper "really nice wallpaper." Or is it art?

Japanese Garden on gold gilded wallpaper with bronze pearlescent antiquing by de Gournay.
Hand painted.
That's it for the first floor.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Summer is finally here in New England. I'm off to the paint store and then the garden.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan


Gifts for Guys that have all the Power Tools They Need

My pinterest board is loaded with gift ideas. Here are a few that might appeal to the men in our lives. This post is not sponsored by any product or company mentioned.

Chelsea Clocks have been hand made in Boston since 1897. 
The choice of Presidents and presented to kings. 
Coveted by captains of the sea and barons of industry. 
The Chelsea Cable Paperweight Clock is made with the same precision and skill. 
Perfect for his desk or dresser. Chelsea Clock

In design, one foot is in the client world, the other in the trenches with the trades.

Today as the guys were going through the client's punch list, I was writing this post. Focused on punctuation rather than the goings on about me, I distractedly voiced my thought, what would a guy consider a good Christmas gift?

From Wisconsin. 
Penzey's Grill and BBQ Rubs and Seasoning.
Guys like to grill.
They'll tell us it's the taste of the food. 

I think the flames and smoke have a certain appeal.

Anthony and his assistant Sean were on duty today. I have yet to hear a coarse or off-color word between the two of them. Sean regularly attends Bible Study and Anthony just recently stopped calling me Ma'am.

Designed by Brian Johnson of Boston.
City Map Glasses for his bourbon.

Not hard then to imagine my surprise when Sean immediately volunteered, "Anthony needs a blond." Anthony, "I have all the power tools I need." 

Me, "we are done with this topic."

Great stocking stuffer. City bar towels from Lulu and Georgia.
Not that anyone I know needs to mop his bar.
This towel works in the kitchen as well.

My life is full of these 30 second conversations.

Toulouse Dartboard from Jonathan Adler.
Don't hang it in the living room.

Since Anthony and Sean were less than helpful, what do you think?

Nautical Chart Cuff Links
Another Massachusetts concern, York River Traders.  
These elegant links can be customized with your favorite nautical location. 
Beautiful, if cuff links can be described as such.

Check out my Holiday pinterest board for more.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan