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

Mansion in May Showhouse

Over the weekend I visited the Mansion In May designer showhouse. Attracting over 25,000 visitors annually (I swear there were that many there on Sunday alone) and charging $50/pp, this very well-organized event raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Morristown Medical Center and—according to the Co-Chair—is the highest grossing showhouse in the country.

This year’s mansion—the Blairsden Estate—is located in Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey. Blairsden is an historic 62,000 square foot, 38-room (with 25 fireplaces and 19 bathrooms) Beaux-arts estate that was completed in 1903 as a country home for Clinton Ledyard Blair—an American investment banker, sportsman and commodore of the New York Yacht Club in his early 30’s—by prominent architectural firm Carrère and Hastings.

After the death of CLB in 1949 (at the age of 82,) Blairsden—with 50 acres of the original 550 acres—was sold for an estimated $65,000 to the Sisters of St. John the Baptist and renamed St. Joseph’s Villa.

According to Art & Architecture of New Jersey, the history of the Sisters’ stay had been considered mysterious with speculation about a series of murders [of orphans] at the mansion and questions about how the nuns ran the estate. [Much to my dismay,] these rumors have been put to rest through correspondence with a former member of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist. [She confirms that] St. Joseph’s Villa was run as a retreat house open to anyone who cared to visit. It was never operated as a hotel or orphanage. Supposedly the only shooting with even a distant connection to the Sisters of St. John the Baptist occurred at the James Pierpont Morgan mansion in Glen Cove, Long Island. J.P. Morgan himself was shot in the leg at this estate, but the wound was not fatal. Sisters who made their novitiate there remember speaking of the “JP Morgan murder” which was a myth, since the famous millionaire was not murdered.

In 2002, the Sisters sold the property to the Foundation for Classical Architecture which has since been carefully restoring the house and grounds. They, in turn, sold the estate in 2012 for $4.5 million to a private owner identified by local officials as T. Eric Galloway (a NY developer and President of the Lantern Organization.) 50+ interior designers and landscape designers have spent the past few months bringing their assigned spaces in Blairsden to their original glory and beyond. Here’s a taste of my favorite highlights of the showhouse. You can still see the home until May 31, 2014.

Skylight in James Yarosh’s sun-filled central, upstairs gallery

Sitting area in BHE Studio’s salon/tea room.

Great wallpaper in BHE Studio’s Tea Bar

sitting area in Houndstooth Interior Design’s kid’s room. It was fun and colorful, yet refined and elegant.

CW&I’s “deco in bloom” guest bedroom. I wanted to dive into this deluxe bed

My favorite piece by a popular Russian artist who’s name has escaped me. The subject in the painting is the Daughter of Peter the great. This was in Elizabeth Guest’s lovely room

 

For these and more photos scroll through my slideshow:

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Thoughts on the Viceroy Anguilla


Four years ago, my husband & I spent an idyllic honeymoon in Anguilla (at the Cap Juluca resort)—a deluxe slice of paradise in the British West Indies—so to say I’d been aching to get back since is the understatement of a lifetime. I had also yet to see the much-anticipated and very controversial Viceroy Anguilla; that happens to be decorated by one of my favorite designers, Kelly Wearstler. After recently meeting with the sweet, petit duo (Kelly Wearstler & mogul husband Brad Korzan)—while doing some creative consulting for them—I was even more compelled.

Getting to Anguilla is an adventure on it’s own. If you don’t have a PJ or a small fortune to fly to the island directly, you can (do what I’ve done twice now) and catch a reasonable direct flight to St. Martin. You land in the Dutch side of St. Martin, go through customs, take a half-hour cab to the French side of the same island, go through customs, take a 45-min boat ride to Anguilla, go through British customs, and then you’ve got a 15-minute drive. The streets are not well marked and everyone gives you directions by way of “large tree” or “old stone church”, but there are so few roads, it’s almost impossible to get lost.

The Viceroy is at the west end of the island in an area called Meads Bay. After about 15 minutes of dusty roads speckled with modest shelters, the sight of the grand Viceroy entrance is a startling one. In perfect mid-century-glam Wearstler-fashion, large slabs of marble, smooth waterfalls and pedestals-of-fire lure you into the enclave and deliver instant chills: of fear and excitement.


Upon arrival, you are swallowed into a dark, ornate lobby—robust with decorative bobbles—and then spat out into a vast, sun-drenched colonnade of empire palms flanked by two marble halls that direct you out to the water’s edge. Jutting out from the top of a craggy reef cliff, sits the head of the Viceroy. Waves crash up against the rocks from below and (if you’re a Bond girl) you can’t help but think ‘ooh, villain lair!’.

According to forthcoming Anguillans, this particular part of the main structure was so impulsively built that during storms large waves pound right into the main restaurant, Coba, and flood the space—damaging the exquisite decor and custom furniture—regularly. Adventurous diners have reportedly requested the up-close experience at the risk of being abandoned and soaked. This phenomenon comes as pure amusement to some locals whom dreaded the construction of the resort from the get-go: native Anguillans and visitors alike covet Anguilla for it’s serenity and small-town-security, so such a large compound threatened the volume of outsiders coming to the island.

A cucumber-infused-vodka bloody mary (in an alligator-skin seat at the Sunset Lounge bar) and the alluring infinity pool nearby will help you forget this dichotomy immediately. As it turns out, the private pool-side cabanas and spa are not to be missed either. And if you get a spa treatment, you are welcome to use to the private patio & pool that overlooks the ocean: it’s incredibly sexy! I’d also recommend dinner at Coba: the view is to die for, the food is excellent, and the sound of the crashing waves is energizing.

A member of the delightful and attentive staff gave us a tour of the lodging options at the resort. Each room and suite is meticulously decorated a la Wearstler, and with great attention to privacy. The Residences (villas & townhouse) are delicious, multi-suite, beach-front homes equipped with pools, to-die-for outdoor showers, gigantic bathrooms, and gorgeous professional kitchens.

Although we found that most of the seating in the resort is challenging to actually sit in (exhibit A, shown below), I was pleased to see the beachy-take on some of Wearstler’s signature pieces—like the seagrass-upholstery on her typically leather Souffle Chair. I was impressed that she was not only able to blend her rock ‘n roll signature with the natural surroundings, but also make them sing. With all the opulent lounging, dining, bathing and recreational options at The Viceroy Anguilla, the guests will never want for more (nor a flight home)… but maybe just one more cucumber-infused bloody mary…

MY ANGUILLA RECOMMENDATIONS:
Rental car: Bass Car Rental. They can meet you at your hotel or ferry. Beats catching super-pricey cabs everywhere. And it’s so fun to be able to freely explore the whole island.
Fishing: If you like hard-core deep-sea fishing, take a day-trip with local fisherman, “Nature Boy” Webster. His family (of Irish decent, though you’d never know from his sun-kissed skin) has been living on Anguilla for 300 years. He’s a fascinating guy to spend the day with.
Dining: Don’t miss Veya, Straw Hat, Blanchard’sBlanchard’s Beach Shack (is the best bang for buck on the island). Le Bon Pain Bakery makes the best cafe latte, baguettes, sandwiches and pastries on the island.
Don’t Miss: Bankie Banx Dune Preserve beach bungalow/bar. It’s the funkiest place you’ll ever see (treehouse meets shipwreck) and Bankie is one cool ass, sexy ol’ rasta. They regularly have live music, and make great drinks & bbq.
Sandy Island: an incredibly beautiful & tiny island about a half mile off the shore of Anguilla. Pack a book, some serious sunblock, snorkeling gear and your wallet and go for the afternoon. They have a hut with a nearly-full bar and a great seafood menu, but other than that, it’s just sand and water. You can catch a shuttle boat from the dock in Sandy Ground (ask the bar tender at Johnno’s: they will keep you rum-punched-up until the boat arrives to pick you up).

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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.

Designer Showhouse Soirée

On Saturday evening, I attended the Preview Party of The Designer Showhouse of New Jersey with stylish and hilarious friend, Meg Bashaw. We gabbed with tons of guests and designers at “Hidden Acres Estate”—a 10 acre property in the Chestnut Ridge area of Saddle River, NJ. Traditional Home is sponsoring the 11,000 sq. ft. home featuring more than 20 interior and landscape designers.
The showhouse is open daily through June 10th (closed Mondays) from 10am to 4pm. General admission is $30. The Heart & Vascular Hospital and Emergency Trauma Department of Hackensack University Medical Center will benefit from all proceeds.

The entryway (below) by modelesque sisters Linda Maley & Lisa Keyser of Whitepop was dramatic and fun. I particularly loved their Jagger altar at the top of the stairs.

The dining room (below) was sexy, sophisticated and eclectic. No surprise, as Jennifer McGee masters those qualities in all her work. She had fabulous artwork, comfortable chairs and great focal points. I especially loved the built-in lounge in the corner (shown below with friend Meg Bashaw) that would be a great spot for cocktails before or after a dinner party.

Next we hit Philip La Bossiere’s room (my favorite room of the evening), an ultra-chic den/study (below). His attention to fine (and inventive) detail would make anyone want to upholster a bookshelf. His work is casual and relaxed, yet so very polished. LOVE.

Down the hall to a total SHOW-STOPPER, Keith Baltimore’s ultra-glamorous party room (below). I can definitely imagine my alter-ego smoking Nat Shermans with a cigarette holder and sipping endless bubbly in here.

Upstairs we found Barbara Ostrom’s office (below) calming and just the right combo of lodge and cabana.

Opposite Barbara’s office (below), was the spouse’s office, handsomely decorated by  the lovely duo Susan & Eugene Barbieri. LOVED the carpet. LOVED the RL lamps. And great artwork by Richard Bruce.

And last, but certainly not least, Colin Patrick Corcoran (friend of a friend as it turns out) decked out a luscious bedroom (below) with eclectic and interesting art and objets. I appreciated his mix of materials throughout the room—from geodes and alligator skin to watercolors and shagreen—there was plenty of texture to behold.

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.