Moorish Nursery Design

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I celebrated my child’s first birthday yesterday. ‘Has a whole year passed?!’ Indeed it has! It’s hard to believe my lifesize-elephant-sculpture is now a distant memory or—if you are a new mom you’ll get it—barely a memory at all.

The past year has been a blur to say the least! In this order; I had a baby (while working like a dog at a shelter magazine), got laid off (decided there is a first and last time for everything), totally panicked, came up with a million hair-brained ideas to get by, scrapped them all, focused on raising a child (with my amazing husband), started a new business (interior design), and—this past weekend—threw a wedding-size birthday party for the baby & husband. Because why not?!

In the chaos of caring for a baby and managing a new business with vibrant clients, I completely forgot a local home magazine was doing a piece on my nursery design! It was such a nice surprise yesterday—and weird timing—to see this delightful article (below)… that I am ever so grateful for. Thank you Brooke!!! I’ve included several photos of the project below and even some process shots (far below).

Through the Years
WRITTEN BY BROOKE PERRY
INTERIOR DESIGN BY MEREDITH McBRIDE KIPP

Envisioning a “fun, worldly and adventurous” nursery for her daughter, Franklin Lakes interior designer Meredith McBride Kipp dreamed up a Moorish fantasy highlighted by crisp white drapery, playful elephants and even a hand-painted silhouette of the Taj Mahal. “I didn’t want the room to feel overtly like a nursery;’ says the designer, who chose pieces that can work well in the room or elsewhere in the home over the years.

In lieu of a traditional rocking chair, Kipp opted for a classic deep-gray club chair glider with cream piping from HomeGoods, toning down its “serious” feel with a blue and white stripe Turkish cotton throw and a canvas elephant pillow by Tahari Home. A leather and canvas ottoman, also from HomeGoods, is a work anywhere piece. On the walls, Kipp stenciled a custom-muted ikat pattern on light blue three-quarters of the way up the wall, transitioning to matte white to the ceiling.

The designer brightened the room’s original wood floors with the addition of a navy and white bamboo fretwork patterned rug from India. Its white background works beautifully with simple white drapes from lkea, which tuck beneath custom-built valences embellished with brown tassels. “They are a decorative homage to beautiful Moorish plasterwork;’ she says.

The room’s most charming feature is the nearly life-sized baby elephant topped with an antique riding saddle. A former creative director turned blogger, interior designer and gifted DIYer, Kipp built the playful pink pachyderm herself using a wood frame, chicken wire and papier-mache.

The antique mahogany dining room sideboard, an estate sale find, is repurposed as a changing table (not shown). “I couldn’t bear to paint it,” she says, “so I added a bold band of white contact paper down the front to add interest:’

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Mobile by Michal Dagan. My hand painted Taj Mahal in the background.

Mobile by Michal Dagan

illustrations by Scott Woods (top) and Sally King (bottom)

illustrations by Scott Woods (top) and Sally King (bottom)

 

 

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PROCESS SHOTS OF THE ELEPHANT ET AL:Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.35.42 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.34.34 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.34.08 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.33.23 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.27.27 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.33.04 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.32.10 AM

Born Again Kitchen

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Interior Design by Meredith McBride Kipp & Ryerson Kipp
Photography by Laura Moss
Shoot Styling by Karin Olsen

When we bought our dream home—a simple and classic farmhouse (built in 1805) in Franklin Lakes, NJ—the 50’s stained-knotty-pine kitchen was not part of that dream. Despite this fact, my husband thought we should abstain from a kitchen remodel for a few months…or a year even. I should mention now that I’m a renovation zealot? We owned the home for less than 24 hours when I demo’d one of the walls to open the floor plan up to the family room. Surprising as it may seem, we started work on the kitchen immediately.

With help from a wonderful builder (Mark Ferrero of Oakland, NJ. phone: 201.926.3967) and advice from the best local architect (my mother, Pam Watt McBride, phone: 201.805.3825) we realized our dream kitchen. Pam gave us the brilliant idea to use 4′ for an adjacent room to expand the kitchen to make space for the refrigerator and a deluxe little food pantry with french doors. By pushing the refrigerator back into the wall and adding a pantry, we were able to eliminate the need for upper cabinets—making the space feel much larger—and gave us room for a long, narrow island.

We wanted a classic kitchen—like one you might find in a formal townhouse from the 1800’s—but with a modern and industrial bent. Our farmhouse would have originally had a dirt floor kitchen with a huge hearth—still partly visible in what we are turning into a library. I’d always wanted a black kitchen, but since this room gets very little sun we went half & half.  For serious historical (yet moderne) oomph, we did an entire wall in a 6″X12″ Carrera marble tile and used modern stainless hardware and a chrome sink fixture to tie in our large industrial hood, range and ovens. We paneled over the existing brick wall to give it a more polished look and further drive out the 50’s juju.

We used a large antique banyan wood and glass case—originally from an apothecary in India, instead of more cabinetry—to give it a more eclectic, unique, and lived-in look. This element also tied in the butcher block island countertop nicely and gave a little more warmth and charm to the otherwise austere kitchen design.

I can’t imagine life without this kitchen; now the heart of our lively home. AND, a great national print magazine—to remain unnamed for now—is coming to shoot it for their publication later this month, so we did something right!

See my RESOURCES below for your kitchen renovations & CHEERS!

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LINKS & RESOURCES
Builder: Mark Ferrero of Oakland, NJ. phone: 201.926.3967
White Counters
Caesarstone, installed by Atlas Marble & Granite (in pantry as well)
Wood Counter (island): Karlby 98″ X 26″ from IKEA. Needs to be oiled regularly with mineral oil $140
Cabinets: Black ones are “Laxabry” from IKEA with a 25-year warranty. White ones under the island are from Green Demolitions, a fabulous salvage place definitely worth checking out.
Sink: 30-inch Undermount Stainless Steel 16 Gauge Single Bowl by VIGO
Faucetdanze Parma Single Handle Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet in chrome
Backsplash: 6″x12″ polished Millas Carrera tiles from Metropolitan Tile & Stone in Hawthorne, NJ
Open Shelves: totally custom
Light fixtures: three “Academy” semi-flushmounts from Home Depot customized to make them pendants $135/ea on dimmers
China Cupboard: antique banyan wood piece from India, bought at ABC Carpet & Home customized on the inside with shelves
Pantry Doors: 18″ tempered glass french doors from Kuiken Brothers
Range Stove and Double-Oven: both from JENN-AIR
Range Hood: by BEST and the chimney is custom fabricated and custom finished by Broadhurst Sheet Metal Works
Wine Cooler
(in island): Avanti Dual Zone for whites and reds with temperature control
Floors: Stained black bamboo flooring “Black Mamba” from Lumber Liquidators in Hackensack, NJ
Windows are original
Shingle-style architect: Pam Watt McBride, phone: 201.805.3825

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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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DIY Shagreen: Console Transformation


Photo by Laura Moss. Interior design & styling by me, Meredith McBride Kipp.

I found this great console table recently and dragged it home. It’s got great lines and would look perfect covered or lacquered in just about anything (except mauve). I envisioned covering it in real shagreen (j’adore shagreen) but my lack of diamond-tipped tools and experience steered me towards a nice faux alternative (they have alligator, ostrich and other textures too)!

If you dare to DIY—avoir patience! Here’s how I did it:
1. I cleaned the table thoroughly to remove all oils, dirt, etc. Then, sanded the entire table with a fine grit paper (I would go a little heavier next time: the more surface texture you can create the better) and wiped it down with a tack cloth: much better than cleaning again because you don’t want to add moisture to the surface you are about to adhere to.
2. I measured out all my leather pieces (with a little excess) and cut them with scissors. If you’re going to cut the pieces to precise dimensions, I’d use an exacto and cutting mat. If you are using a textured fabric or leather, make sure you center your pattern before you cut your pieces.
3. After stirring the DAP Weldwood Contact Cement (follow the directions well), I poured it into a glass tray (easy-wash surface)—for my mini-roller—and applied it generously to all surfaces of the table as well as the backs of all the pre-cut leather pieces.
4. After letting it “set for over 40 mins”, I attempted to apply all the pieces, but had little to no luck bonding leather-to-table. I went to bed completely irate: for not doing it the easy way from the get go (glue gun, staple gun, heavy duty spray adhesive: my usual). To my surprise and delight,  I awoke to surfaces that actually bonded! They had just needed more cure time. From there it was easy…
5. I aligned and bonded all the leather surfaces and trimmed them with a sharp exacto (always & often change your blades!), using the table itself as my straight-edge. The material cut like butter.
6. I cut the 45-degree angles with a proper metal angle (after learning the hard way on the now “back” of the table) and trimmed off all the excess.
7. I reached out to my leather expert cousin, Ted Kruckel, at Gigi New York (where all of my favorite accessories are from) for recommendations on what to use to finish the edges with. He recommended I use Basic Adhesives for custom-matched leather edge paint. Since I wanted to finish this project asap— so I could share w/y’all immediately— I decided to custom-mix acrylic t-shirt paint instead (same material I’m almost positive), and I painstakingly hand-painted all the edges. This gave it the finished, deluxe look I desired. et Voila: free to fabulous in less than 24 hrs…

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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.

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.