Great Moments in the Hampton's Designer Show House

It is always such a pleasure to not only be in the Hamptons, but be there while the show house is running.  This year, aside from Barclay Buttera, there were really no high profile designers (no disrespect), but the talent, ingenuity and beauty were all there!  I loved that it gives others an opportunity to shine.

Lisa Mende for Wesley Hall created a deeply layered, restorative space in the great room evoking the feeling of bringing the outside in.  A meditative or restorative place to feel connected to the sun and surf.   Lisa did a great job balancing the expansive space and high ceilings with art, lighting and furniture.

Barclay Butera for Lexington Brands is a master at his craft.  His signature "approachable" style is at home beachside, lakeside or mountainside.  There was some discussion about having the etageres in front of the window.  What do you think?  I like it, and it works because they are open and not cluttered.  Maybe you wouldn't do it in your home, but in a show house ~ anything goes!

The butler's pantry was a clever little space by designer, author, entertainer Mark Addison, as an homage to his book Cocktail Chameleon.  The custom wallpaper by Spoonflower, Alpha Workshop's handpainted floorcloth, and art, literally pages from his book, make a functional space very personal and without a doubt design-a-licious!

The themes I saw running through the home were; the return of ombre and heavily layered looks.

I loved the ombre walls in the open foyer and running down the stairs, thanks to Sea Green Designs. It is complicated in the best way: calm, inviting and moody, just like the Hamptons' sky before or after a storm.

I was digging the groovy lounge space at the bottom of the stairs by Laura Michaels Design.  Bob Dylan reigns in this bar area where everything was designed to appear to float. The bench was genius cantilevering over the bottom steps.  The Simple Vodka displayed on lucite pegs was as much an art installation as it was a practical solution for storing alcohol.  With each bottle of vodka sold the company donates 20 meals to the hungry.

In the press release I received there were hanging chairs, but when I was there they were taken down. Oh well, I would have loved to have seen them.

Beyond that room another clever design element was employed ~ the hand made room divider does the trick delineating the lounge with the rooms beyond.  We'll explore more downstairs/upstairs next time.

Style at Home

It was kind of a big deal, but not surprising, when Matches Fashion announced they were moving into the home goods category.  For now they have small accessories in their homeware studio but I am sure it won't be too long before their selection has much more depth.
Designers like Gucci and Missoni have long had a presence in the home category, but seeing the likes of Peter Pilotto, Preen and La Double J has me more than a little excited.  The product photos are fashionably shot which allows you to just practically "step into" the image.
Here are a few of my favorites off their site.


Maison Margiela Snow Globes

Pendleton blankets, Luke Edward Hall platters

Al Double J dessert plates

L'Objet ceramics

There's so much goodness!

GP & J Baker, the British fabric house owned by Kravet collaborated with H&M for a capsule collection.  The fabulous fabric house opened their archival library to the team at H&M.  Mixing the  beautiful florals, and adding geometric prints gives the look that has been popular for 100 years, a sense of history and a hand drawn quality unlike what we are accustomed to from the reasonably priced retailer.  The pieces are feminine and strong with an effortlessness to them.  Look for them in stores beginning August 2nd. They will go fast!

Another collaboration I took note of, no pun intended, is from the historic design firm Sister Parish and stationary company Dempsey and Carroll.  The popular Desmond and Serendipity prints that have made an impact in the design firm's decorating of interiors were a natural choice when deciding which designs to put on the stationary.  They make an impact and stand on their own as a design element.

"Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and bring back what is good, what is useful, what is lasting" ~ Sister Parish

That sums it up!


Beauty is beauty, no matter the medium!

Box Store made Better

A client goes into a big box store .... ba da da... I think almost every designer has faced this situation  at one time or another.  Said client fills their home with furniture from one or two stores, in this case Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.  They were having a party and wanted the place furnished. Then they wondered why their home didn't feel homey?

Box stores have their place, they really do, but you need that next layer.  You need a professional, someone with an eye to create a curated consistency of color, texture and balance that a novice lacks, but that is necessary to bring a place to life, that expresses a family's personality and makes a house a home.

The owners of this Hamptons home learned first hand that walking into RH did not help them achieve what they ultimately hoped their home would look like.  Luckily, they knew they needed more help and called in designer Gregory Shano.

It was Shano's job to take the white box filled with Restoration Hardware furniture, with some Pottery Barn thrown into the mix, to new heights with wallpaper, color, and additional pieces that work in harmony with what the homeowners had already bought.  He was directed to warm up the place and give it character.  The first thing he said he did was add grasscloth to the walls to warm the space up and make it feel a little more intimate.

That next level of warmth is extremely important, otherwise your home, well,  just looks like a sales floor vignette,

There is a formality to the house that Shano wanted to respect, but still walk the fine line of also making it feel refined yet casual.  That takes a deft hand, and I think Gregory hit the nail on the head.

Ahhh, I could be happy here.

photos via Tria Glovan