Reflecting on the 2016 Kips Bay Show House

Dec 20 ,



In December, even amidst the whirlwind of the holidays, we start imagining what the New Year will hold. Team ERA is looking forward to 2019—not only do we have many exciting projects underway, but we are also so excited to participate in the spring Kips Bay Decorator Show House! It is a wonderful cause: proceeds from the Show House go towards after school and enrichment programs for New York City children. This will be our eighth time participating at Kips Bay! It is always a fun (and frenetic!) experience where designers stretch themselves creatively within strict space and time constraints. In preparation, I thought I’d share some pictures and thoughts about our last Kips Bay design in 2016 called “The Art of Modern Living”.

The above drawing shows an elevation of the East wall. We spent a lot of time making sure we came up with a pleasing layout that juxtaposed the different artworks on the wall. Size, shape, color were all considered when laying it out. The photo below the drawing shows how it all came to life.

The pace of the show house is incredible. Rooms are selected in February, and the designers are generally given 5-6 weeks to complete everything. We need to move at lightning speed to make it all happen. We pride ourselves on our efficiency and organization. Participating in the Show House is one of the most challenging but also rewarding projects that a designer can do. For this Show House we decided to transform our room into an art library. We wanted to create a space that would be inviting for group discussion or quiet individual reading. Below is a photo of the room during the planning stage before any work was done.

Here is the same view showing it complete. Luxurious fabrics were used with contrasting textures. Sepia flannel wallcoverings create a cozy backdrop for the art, while the wallpapered ceiling, a creative interpretation of the surface of Mars, encourages imagination of the otherworldly. The vintage lounge chairs’ angular form accentuates the dramatic curves of the Parisi sofa. Contemporary pieces have been mixed with vintage ones to create a delicate tension between old and new.

To help visualize the space, we created this rendering of what the art bookshelves would look like. The grey cerused oak on the desk acts a textural balance to the glossy lacquered shelves floating above it. The bronze Hubert Le Gall table in the foreground adds a dash of whimsy: a magnetized ball, resting on its surface, moves small beads under the glass. It reminds us that while art and its study are serious ventures, they do not need to be solemn. It was a delight to design this space; we were and are immensely proud of it. We can’t wait to be a part of Kips Bay 2019!

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