SOPHISTICATED SANCTUARIES: KIPS BAY DECORATOR SHOW HOUSE PART 1

KBDS01 Michael Herold Design (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS01 Michael Herold Design (photo Nickolas Sargent)

While an argument can be made that a home has always served as a haven, there seemed a consensus at the 46th Kips Bay Decorator Show House in illustrating, consciously or otherwise, refuge from the tumultuous outside world in which we now live. Equally curious was how the better provenance of last year’s townhouse inadvertently made the metamorphosis of this current $51M-listed property in Lennox Hill all the more impressive. Seven levels and 15,000 square feet afforded some of interior design’s most prestigious names an excellent canvas on which to imprint their spellbinding tableaux. The tour begins auspiciously through Michael Herold‘s welcoming vestibule scrupulously staged with the ebullient visual tension of classical and modern elements. The especially charming Iksel Decorative Arts wallcoverings, inspired by Nicolas Poussin paintings, extends the vista across a French baroque countryside while enveloping the Joan Miro lithographs, abstract sculptures, and an Alexander McQueen monarch rug. 

KBDS03 Wesley Moon Inc. (photo Marco Ricca)

KBDS03 Wesley Moon Inc. (photo Marco Ricca)

What Steilish Interiors & Architecture‘s Stefan Steil accomplished within confined quarters is truly remarkable. Evoking allusions to the 1985 motion picture version of E.M. Forster’s “A Room with a View” throughout a sitting room and its entryway, he fixes Italophilian focal points such as the Markus Brunetti photograph of Siena’s Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta and furniture of sculptural grace. But best of all are the cloudlike lights to suggest an open sky overhead, which, as Julian Sand’s George says in the film, is the “perfect view”. Wesley Moon, meanwhile, unified his wet bar, elevator landing, and butler’s pantry into a harmonious “jewel box” triptych of D-flawless touches: a mixed display of Richard Ginori china, Gaspare Asaro sconces, wallcoverings he custom designed and rendered by de Gournay, and a prodigious feather-trimmed mirror once owned by Bill Cunningham.

KBDS02 Steilish Interiors & Architecture (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS02 Steilish Interiors & Architecture (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS04 Bunny Williams Inc. (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS04 Bunny Williams Inc. (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS05 Brian del Toro Inc. (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS05 Brian del Toro Inc. (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS06 Pavarini Design (photo Nickolas Sargent)

KBDS06 Pavarini Design (photo Nickolas Sargent)

The awe-inspiring Bunny Williamswhose stellar body of work spanning three decades has been an inspiration to anyone with even a passing familiarity with interior design, partnered with Elizabeth Swartz to create a whimsical treehouse inspired space, albeit one with lushly opulent furnishings. Brian del Toro offers another relaxing option in his virescent oasis of a bedroom, punctuated by a vintage hand-painted Robert Chowder screen, Farrow and Ball wallcoverings, and an Alexander Lamont bureau with amorphic glass pulls, attesting to the adeptly even-handed way he designs. The pièce de résistance, however is undoubtedly the at-home spa retreat created by Pavarini Design at the penthouse level and roof deck. Here is a consummate ode to serenity and wellness depicted in a calming backdrop of subtle hues, sleek furniture, an avant-garde massage table, and a lush outdoor “garden” where one is serenaded by the sounds coursing down a beautiful water wall. Mr. Pavarini effectively suspends the contrasting aspects of the physical and the metaphysical, soothing and stimulating, the classic and the innovative in exacting symmetry. (Story continues in Part 2) 

Images Michael Herold Design and Steilish Interiors & Architecture photography by © Nickolas Sargent/ Wesley Moon photography by © Marco Ricca/ Bunny Williams, Brian del Toro, and Pavarini Design photography by ©Nickolas Sargent