Hamptons Designer Showhouse 2014

Saturday was Traditional Home’s annual Gala Preview Cocktail Party for the Hamptons Designer Showhouse, benefiting Southampton Hospital. As always, it was a vibrant and summery event with beautiful interiors and an attractive & interesting crowd. I was thrilled to meet Jamie Drake for the first time and gabbed with my favorite charmer Mario Buatta. Below are a mix of some of my favorite rooms and details.. and some I thought you might enjoy!

The Hamptons Designer Showhouse is open daily Monday to Sunday, July 20 through Monday, September 1. Hours: 11AM to 5PM. Admission is $35 and includes a Journal. For more info and directions click here.

A detail from the dining room by Mecox Design Services. One of two Slim Aarons photographs above consoles flank the door from the foyer.

A detail from the dining room by Mecox Design Services

Kitchen cabinets by Ciuffo Cabinetry

Living room by Lillian August

Details from the living room by Lillian August

A view in the study by Greg McKenzie Design. Note the embroidered wallpaper detail.

Delicious details from the study by Greg McKenzie Design

Detail from the study by Greg McKenzie Design

A playful powder room by Melanie Roy Design

A view in Henry Co Design’s colorful and fun upstairs lounge

Henry Co Design’s colorful and fun upstairs lounge

A detail from Henry Co Design’s colorful and fun upstairs lounge

Katie Leede and Company’s eclectic guest bedroom

A detail from Katie Leede and Company’s eclectic guest bedroom

A detail from Katie Leede and Company’s eclectic guest bath. I LOVE this artwork signed “LBall2012″

Details from Gil Walsh’s upstairs office

A detail from Gil Walsh’s upstairs office

Mabley Handler Interior Design’s striking bedroom

Details from Kate Singer Home’s guest bedroom

A view into the canopied bed in Phoebe Howard’s bedroom

Details of the canopied bed in Phoebe Howard’s bedroom

A details from Phoebe Howard’s bedroom. I really like this piece.

Punchy master bedroom by Tobi Fairley and Associates

More views in the master bedroom by Tobi Fairley and Associates (Tobi on left)

A detail from the master bedroom by Tobi Fairley and Associates

Four watercolors by Mark Humphrey adorn the upstairs hall

A view from the master bedroom balcony onto the back yard where the party was about to pick up (I shot this before most of the crowd showed up)

Wonderful little guesthouse with pergolas on either side (this is the back). Exterior spaces by designer Caleb Anderson Design

Links to the designers shown above:

Mecox Design Services
Ciuffo Cabinetry
Lillian August
Greg McKenzie
Melanie Roy
Henry and Co Design
Katie Leede
Gil Walsh
Mabley Handler Interior Design
Kate Singer
Phoebe Howard
Tobi Fairley
Caleb Anderson

Beneath the Surface

Talented photographer and dear friend, Laura Moss, has made her work available to the tasteful masses at last! Via FotoFoam, you can now purchase her large-scale prints and they will arrive mounted, framed to your liking, and ready to hang.

Her recent underwater photography is gorgeous and ultra-saturated (double-entendre): some polished and bright, others eery and beautiful. I spent a water-logged day with Laura last summer swimming around in floor-length gowns (a few shown below), which was certainly a unique and hilarious way to spend a hot afternoon.

Here’s a sampling of Laura’s underwater work: definitely a nice design solution for adding color to a room in one fell swoop. And I think you’ll find that FotoFoam’s framing options are incredibly chic and—according to their site—time-tested and made with the best materials.

Thanksgiving with Style

Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! For all you hosts out there, don’t wait for the panic to set in. Take care of your tabletop(s) now so that you can put your heart into the food preparation later… and actually enjoy it.

Whether you have a game plan or not, I’d recommend popping into The Little Flower Shoppe in Ridgewood, NJ for their Stress-free Holiday Decorating Party tomorrow night (Thursday, Nov 14, 2013, 6-8pm). RSVP: 201 652 7600 or info@raimondihg.com. Fabulous flower extraordinaire, Anne Miller (who has worked with the likes of Preston Bailey and David Tutera) will be giving floral advice and dishing inspirational tabletop ideas. Ridgewood Fare will be serving up delicious bites and giving pointers on cuisine. And in the proper spirit of Thanksgiving, a portion of the evenings sales proceeds will be going to Children’s Aid and Family Services.

Here is the Thanksgiving table I styled with florals and frills from said Anne Miller. I asked for “dark, rich and deadly” and she delivered:

Photography by Laura Moss.
Anne sourced all the flowers (and miniature orchids) and fruit (miniature eggplants, figs, gourds, grapes, various berries, and these incredible little green spiky seedpods) directly from the flower district in New York. Bring her any vessel that’s right for your table, mantle, doorway, etc and she will fill it with the the most beautiful work you’ve ever seen.

The salad plates and dinner plates are from a totally fabulous buying trip to 200+ year-old porcelain factory, Royal Limoges—the oldest existing porcelain factory in all of Limoges, France—but you can pull this look off with whatever whites you have at home. Throw a pop color in there for fun: I found these celadon green dinner plates at Crate & Barrel that at first I thought were a knock off, but I they appear to actually be made by Jars, a very well respected stoneware factory in France (I also have a set of this exact dinnerware in a dark green: it’s totally awesome and totally rustic and totally perfect for a hearty Thanksgiving meal). The flatware is a vintage brass set I picked up at an estate sale years ago, but I found a ton of Ricci Argentieri’s “Bamboo d’Oro” on (my favorite website) replacements.com. Frankly I’d recommend the electroplated gold over the brass any day because mine is nearly impossible to keep polished. There are tons of sets on online auction houses too… happy hunting and happy thanksgiving! xx Mere

We are Saying Good Buy…

After 5+ years of meticulous renovations and heartfelt updates, my husband and I are selling our beloved Colonial Tudor, nestled in NYC’s ‘burbs (walking distance to commuter lines). We have put so much thought into every detail of this home so it’s been bittersweet to put the final touches on our last few projects.

Alas, we are looking for a great couple, loving family, or fab singleton to move into this home. Someone who will enjoy curling up with a crossword on the banquette in the den. Someone who will use the 2nd bedroom as a glamorous office or pack it with color and a set of white built-in bunk beds. Someone who will stock the wine cellar full of delicious vintages and have tons of dinner parties. Someone who will live on the back porch from early spring through late fall. OH how I will miss you sweet, SWEET back porch. Someone who will play bocce on the leveled back yard and cook on the grill every night it’s not raining. Someone who will enjoy this place as much as we have.

Please join me in thanking this home for its hospitality and willingness to transform over the past 5+ years: please leave your comments (below the photos) about the house; be it a personal experience here or just a comment about the photos.

Creative Commons License
amerelife.com by Meredith McBride Kipp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

© Meredith McBride Kipp and amerelife.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Meredith McBride Kipp and amerelife.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dangling Karats


LOVING the jewelry of designer, Arielle Ratner. She lives and works (out of her home studio) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and spends her weekends riding her horse, Tycoon, in the “farm country” of Pennsylvania, where she hails from. She’s completely adorable:
What do you love about Williamsburg?
This neighborhood has everything a young artist wants; inexpensive and eclectic restaurants, interesting nightlife and music, and great parks. It is close enough to get to Manhattan, but far enough away.

Favorite local spot? Lately I’ve been obsessed with the Roebling Tea Room. They have one of the best burgers in town, a great brunch menu and delicious Bloody Marys!

Name someone in the industry that you admire. Pippa Small: she is a designer first and foremost, but also an incredible philanthropist and a successful role model in jewelry micro-financing. Like Pipa, I have large goals of giving back and I try to accomplish this by donating a percentage of my profits. In an industry that can be very exploitative to their workers, it is important to give back.

Favorite travel destination thus far? Brazil. The lifestyle, the people, the food, and the energy of the country is unrivaled by any other place that I’ve been to, and it’s an incredible place to find design inspiration.

Anything else you want to mention? Can you get me a date with that Edward Holland?

Photo with horse: Ryan Moore. Jewelry and studio portrait: Annabel Clark

Dining By Design 2012


The Dining by Design circuit begins again next month (March 22-26) at Pier 94 on the west edge of Manhattan at 55th Street. Always starting in New York and then traveling to other major domestic design hubs, this annual soiree—hosed by Architectural Digest and benefiting DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS)—is a party to behold.

2012 will be (I think) my 10th year in attendance—thanks originally to my mentor from my early 20’s (to present), Ted Kruckel, who brought me to my first DBD as his assistant. I got all gussied up, shadowed him and took notes: who he spoke with, highlights of the event including food, flow, lighting, celebrities (and famous drag queens), you know… the vitals. All it took was one beach-themed table with barely-dressed lifeguards and I was hooked. Now, every year, I look forward to the the feast of visual and culinary inspiration that is DBD; the new and exciting decor ideas, the classics reinvented, delicious bites from top chefs, endless cocktails, impulsive silent auction must-haves, and the run-ins with old friends. Here are a sampling of my photos from last year’s unveiling.

 


Benjamin Moore exhibit: creative way to make light of the vast array of their hues.

 

DVF's table. Fun atmosphere.

 

Super chic and so well done! I didn't catch who designed it but makes me think of the Furry Wall song from Russell Brand's flick, Get Him to the Greek.

 

This table smelled so good! Fragrant spring flowers at each setting will make for happy guests.

With friend, Marc Blackwell at his table. He grew amaryllis all summer (for the foliage, not the flower), photographed them and then blew them up to decorate his super comfortable, custom table.

Loved this comfy, technicolor party table by Scandia. Great atmosphere!

Great atmosphere and fabulous mid-century chairs. LOVE the wings, very rock n roll

Ralph Lauren table. They always do a nice job but this year was so simple (looking) and country comfy.

 

My husband, Ryerson Kipp, of The DSM Group with designer Michael Tavano. Note Michael's amazing chairs with lucite back and flokati seats! yum

Click here to see more photos from DBD 2011 in my event coverage for Health & Life magazine from last March.
To learn more about DBD and DIFFA and to buy tickets (will be on sale soon).
To host your own installation click here. To contribute to the silent auction click here.

Plein and simple? Not quite…


International design hottie, Philipp Plein, had a gorgeous showroom at MAISON et OBJET this year—no surprise as the man is the guru for sleek-rock-n’-roll-bachelor. Hovering above a glamorous bedroom scape, was the most magnificent chandelier I have ever seen and I had one of those “damn, I wish I’d thought of that!” moments, followed by a “why hasn’t that been done before—it’s perfection” moments. Peppered into a seemingly classic, though giant, all-white Murano glass chandelier are little Murano skulls (see below). AMAZING!


At the time I didn’t realize I was speaking with Plein himself nor was I (yet) aware of his affinity for the skull (as a shape and graphic), but—I know now—from his sheer use of the skull throughout his brand that he practically owns the rights to it—the way Missoni owns flame stitch—or at least he hopes to soon.

After walking away from the elegant man-space, I was like why don’t I know anything about this Philipp Plein? Turns out his current celebrity muse is Lindsay Lohan, which is exactly why I don’t know anything about him. Regardless, the fine German fellow is only 32 years old and has a huge fashion and decor empire based out of Amriswil, Switzerland. He’s got glossy, white shops in several major cities around the world (including Saint Tropez, Moscow, and one coming soon to New York and Hong Kong), where he carries some of his eleven different lifestyle categories: fashion for men, women & children, luggage, accessories; a home collection with indoor & outdoor furniture, decor accessories, dog accessories, lightning, and even a riding saddle.

For a quick run-through of how cool this man is: at his very recent store opening in Duesseldorf, Germany (store photos above, note the giant Swarovski crystal skull), he was hanging out with the likes of Adrien Brody, there are rumors of him owning the 60-year-old and famous Munich night club, P1 (located inside the Haus der Kunst museum), and one of his newest stores (in Versilia, Italy) he designed in collaboration with very cool Milan-based architectural and design studio, AquiliAlberg.

All in all, the man is pretty fabulous—I’m jealous—but I’m still most impressed with the oversize white Murano skull chandelier I saw first hand in Paris.

I’d kill for a set of Morrels…

At Maison et Objet in Paris—the mind-bogglingly huge, biannual world decor show— this year I was enamored with the work of Frédérique Morrel, the co-partnership of married couple Frédérique Morrel & Aaron Levin (shown below in full regalia).

Based out of Paris—where Frédérique was born (Aaron, originally of Topeka, Kansas)—they create these elaborate, whimsical pieces made of any combination of foam, fur, tapestry and horn. They “like [to use] materials that tell stories of simple, ideal happiness, and that have been caressed by many hands” and are inspired by “Adam & Eve, The Graden of Eden, Temptation, Original Sin, The Fall of Man, Paradise Lost, Deluge, Apocalypse, Noah’s Ark, Redemption, Re-birth, Vanities, and Veneration.” My kind of people!

Bergdorf Goodman featured several of their pieces in their holiday windows this year (shown far below in my previous post about NYC holiday window décor) with MIU-MIU and Oscar de la Renta.

The creative duo, Frédérique Morrel, has solo shows coming up this year in the Galerie Art to Design in Bologna and at the Galerie Libertine in Brussels.

NYC Holiday Window Recap

The always stylish, hilarious, and painfully honest, Ted Kruckel, recently reviewed NYC’s luxury brands’ holiday propaganda for his column in BizBash. Ted: “A while back, my editors asked me to take a look at this year’s holiday windows in Manhattan, a plum assignment, but still I procrastinated like crazy. So here, finally, stripped down to the core,” are a sampling of his findings from Scanning New York’s Holiday Windows: Notes on Tiffany, Saks, Lady Gaga, Tasteful Scaffolding, and More

Bergdorf Goodman
“I love the crazy luxe of the BG windows, overseen forever by fashion director Linda Fargo and her team. They are like beautiful fantasies you want to crawl into and live in forever. They are all so brilliant and zanily detailed, I could spend hours just on them. But I’m sticking to highlights. One small window in the front has a sequined Oscar de la Renta dress that must cost a zillion dollars. (My editor told me there was no time for fact-checking, sorry!) The sequins follow an absurdly ornate print in dark reds, exotic purples and blues, really every color under the sun, and the whole window is dark and moody and vaguely Oriental, and I know it is not cool to say Oriental, but that is the word that comes to mind.” –Ted

“Across the street at the men’s store is a gentleman’s club meets taxidermist, with different animal heads topping the various suited mannequins. It isn’t outrageous, just clubby and cool.” –Ted

Bottega Venetta
“Up until now, I have been convinced that Bottega Venetta can do no wrong. Beautiful products, tasteful branding and advertising. Its windows are color-driven by pink and orange ready-to-wear and accessories. It is pretty enough. But there are these weird white things on the floors of all the windows. Is it snow? On closer inspection, I see that these are replicas of their bags and totes carved out of what looks like soap. Finally, I see one has a little white thing sticking out of the top. Oh, they’re candles. So I go in and ask where the candles are. They are display only, not for sale, which makes me want one even more. So I ask, what time do you light them each night? Oh, we don’t light them. So then what is the point? I leave kind of relieved that they have such a small and fruitless concept.” –Ted

St. John
“Here’s the winner, hands down, for the ugliest windows. There are others that are tackier, or more vulgar, but none come close to the mud-gray velour curtains that reveal some yellow-and-black brocade eveningwear. I wonder, “Is it winter or resort?” I decide that no season is the right one to wear any of these hideous fabrics.” –Ted

If you want to keep the laughter going click here for the full article with all twenty critical recaps of designer holiday disasters and masterpieces.
And click here to check out more of Ted’s always-funny endeavors at BizBash.
Above photos by Jika González for BizBash.

Clever Craftsmanship in Outer Sunset



Am loving the work of Jay Nelson (pictured above in his studio), an artist whose work I spotted in a few places in Outer Sunset Beach in San Francisco last summer and again recently. His work is so playful and actually functional! I particularly love his Golden Gate electric Camper (above) which currently resides in the Mollusk surf shop in Outer Sunset Beach. Click here to see more of Jay’s incredible vessels/structures—they will blow your mind: Treehouse (shown below), Camper Boat, Camper Scooter, Mollusk Store Submarine Design (in the Missionin San Francisco).

Jay also constructed these fabulous jewelry displays (below) for General Store, a delicious little collaborative shop just blocks from Mollusk, (created by duo, Serena Mitnik-Miller and Mason St. Peter, business partners of Two Birds Fly) which features carefully curated items from both new and vintage sources. Local artisans and craftspeople contribute to the mix of everything from furniture to small electronics… “a little bit of everything useful!”

General Store has a gorgeous little garden out back with greenhouse by Jesse Schlesinger that is definitely worth a peek too. It will make any east-coaster (this one included) wish they had an all-season garden.