Hampton Designer Showhouse

Mark your calendars decor deal-finders and haute-hunters! Only one more week to go until Traditional Home’s annual Hampton Designer Showhouse has their online auction! A handful of special items from each designer will be auctioned off… and (a portion of) the proceeds will benefit Southampton Hospital.

A few weekends ago, my husband Ryerson and I attended the Gala Preview Party for the debut of the 2013 Hampton Designer Showhouse. The party was lively, the cocktails were flowing, the crowd was very glamorous and the interior design was exceptional.

Though we did not get to meet him, we saw Thom Felicia (if you look closely at the picture above, you’ll see him checking in). Upon arrival, we decided to see the house before checking out the outdoor party—which turned out to be a good game plan—and we moved through each room and meet all the designers with ease and sans traffic.

After passing through Celerie Kemble‘s grand but restful master bedroom, I spotted idol and decor celeb (and Honorary Showhouse Chairman), Mario Buatta. I immediately turned red and noted the lack of AC in the house. I’ve met Mr. Buatta probably 3 or 4 times now, but have never managed to have a satisfying conversation over the sound of my chattering teeth. This time was no better… He had an absurdly robust plume of chest hair protruding from the top of his neckline—normally buttoned and bow-tied—that I fought hard not to make eye-contact with while I reintroduced myself. I explained that I had just written a magazine column on him and his new retrospective (Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration, published by Rizzoli) that is about to come out. He seemed amused watching as I struggled with his practical joke (see photos below, it was indeed faux chest hair that came out later in the party). We parted ways—me reeling from missed opportunities of composure and humor—and bee-lined it for the bar.

The back yard was abustle with a lively, quintessential Hamptons summer party crowd. After procuring a cocktail, we had the pleasure of bumping into another of my interior design idols, Vicente Wolf, and his friend (also a well-known interior designer) Matthew Yee. We were engaging in a nice little chat (everything my Buatta conversation was not) until—out of nowhere—Vicente & Matthew sprang away! Before I could worry about what I’d said, the lawn sprinkler soaked my lower half, and I too leapt backwards (before it got my white silk shirt) and watched in shock as women (and men) screamed and ran. Gowns got soaked, seersucker wilted, and white linen pants became see-through. It was hilarious. And a blessing in disguise? I think so: it was over 100°F and wildly humid out.

After that, it was time to go. Plenty of excitement for one decor party night.

ABOVE: Lillian August‘s cheerful and punchy dining room. I love the painting on the back wall by Julie Headland.
BELOW: Bakes and Company‘s kitchen with outrageous countertops and custom refrigerators and freezer drawers (shown bottom left). Hot!

Below (3 photos) of Patricia Fisher Design‘s sitting area and breakfast nook. The saffron and light grey with pops of bright green were a refreshing and inviting combo.

Below (2) photos taken from upstairs of the guests cruising through the entry foyer by Michael Herold Design, and the living room by Brian del Toro Inc.

Brady Design‘s beautiful and serene guest room/tv room. The hand-crafted mattress upholstered in baby alpaca was the inspiration for the room, as it could be used as a lounge during the winter OR covered with sheets during the guest-ing season.

Alan Court & Associates‘s (Alan shown below) created a stunning guest bath with stone and leather walls! I had to touch.

Barbara Page Home‘s playful guest room overlooking the backyard had dramatic photography from Robin Rice Gallery

Celerie Kemble‘s master bedroom with charcoal seagrass walls and pops of turquoise and blue hues.
The charming Mr. Mario Buatta, before and after my chest shrug run-in. I guess he got too hot! Here’s a link to the piece I wrote about his book that comes out in September

Below is my favorite room in the house, by Bradley Stephens, Stephens Design Group (photo courtesy of KDHamptons.com). These masculine quarters share a 2-sided fireplace with the master bedroom and the ceiling (though you can’t tell from the photo) covered in a fabulous, distressed-wood wallpaper. Bradley said it was a painstaking job, but added so much to the room that it was worth the effort. The room was eclectic and handsome and had a wonderful mix of art and artifacts, including an dissected lobster, similar to one I saw a few years back in the world-famous taxidermist, Deyrolle (one of my favorite places in Paris).

Michael Mariotti’s glamorous master bath with patterned seagrass walls, ornate tiling, and a beautiful leather bench with flocatti throw.

Sherrill Canet Interior’s Morroccan-inspired family room for Pearson (where all the furniture and textiles are from). Sherrill laid all the mirrors out on the ground in the middle of a market in Morrocco in order to visualize them in this comfortable and graphic room!

Ken Gemes’s casual outdoor dining area facing the backyard party

The lively outdoor party

One of the aforementioned fashion-foiling sprinklers (below left); and the guests running from the scene (below right). My sad, wet, bejeweled shoes (not shown)
Click here for Editor at Large’s video coverage of the event with Traditional Home’s stylish Tory Mellot (who I worked w/at Elle Decor) doing interviews.
To read about other fabulous Hamptons events (and laugh hysterically), check out my cousin Ted Kruckel’s most recent BizBash column, “This Year’s Hamptons Events: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous”

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The Tables Have Turned…

Last night I attended my favorite annual DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) event, Dining by Design, hosted by Architectural Digest. It’s an intimate and lively party where internationally celebrated designers and local talent create inspiring three dimensional dining installations. Nestled up against Architectural Digest’s Home Design Show at Pier 94, this oasis of extraordinary dining environments sets the stage for five days of fundraising.

Every year, I look forward to the the feast of visual and culinary inspiration that is DBD, and I was not disappointed. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian of The Lambs Club had crazy-delicious bites in Chinese soup spoons—one with a scallop and another with an english pea puree—and Effen Vodka was serving up delectable cucumber-vodka tonics. Tonight will be the second part of DBD: a $500/ticket gala dinner where attendees will dine in the dreamed-up spaces and then dance the night away.

The installations will be on display to the public today through Sunday. Tickets are $25 and benefit DIFFA.

Here’s a sneak peek…

I loved Design Within Reach’s (table above) miniatures (below) at each setting!
Loved the chairs at Domoore Designs table (below)

The equestrian references all over Eric Warner’s table (below) were clever and chic. Note bridal gear around light and hanging stirrup votives and I LOVE LOVE LOVED the plates! Side note: good use of Baccarat glassware.

Goil Amornvivat (you may recognize him from Bravo’s Top Design) & Tom Morbitzer’s (above) totally CNC-cut setting (below)—with American and Thai (Goil was born in Bangkok) references—was very cool. See their Frenchies in the background under the rainbow. Godzilla: very funny cliche reference. Love it.

Jonathan Adler did a stellar job with Kravet‘s table (below). I love his use of bathroom fixtures (?) as handles on the back of each section of the table. The backs of each seat are the walls of the unit.

Had a blast (drinking La Crema wine, a hugely-generous sponsor of the event) with friend, Marc Blackwell, at his gorgeous bar-height table (below). I particularly loved his filament fixture that ran the length of the table.

Marimekko’s wild and fabulous table was a serious show-stopper (below). LOVE!

Mark Cunningham‘s table (below) was definitely one of my favorites of the night. From the slatted walls to the leather chargers, it was warm, handsome and well-built. Absolutely gorgeous!

My husband, Ryerson Kipp (above), of The DSM Group admiring Maya Romanoff‘s golden palace of a table. When gabbing with (the handsome and elegant) Vicente Wolf, he said that—while he did not do a table this year—he helped these guys with their installation.
I thought the flooring (below) was made of placemats (which would be a really cool idea for a small space!), but I think they are samples of Romanoff surfaces.

And below is my favorite of the evening was this gem by Shawn Henderson Interior Design

New York Time’s table by DDC (below) was was a good example of how sometimes having strong pieces that speak for themselves is enough. The Baccarat chandelier is amazing and I love the tall Marcel Wanders piece in the middle. His collections for Baccarat are pure brilliance.

Pratt Institute
‘s table (below) wasn’t the most aspirational of spaces but it had a few really interesting things going on. Note the woven tabletop.

The Ralph Lauren team knocked it out of the park again with their super luscious lodge that was just the right mix of horn, fur and fire (below).

This table by RYDC was really fun. I loved the contrast of crustacean-laiden coral with high-shine lucite chairs (below).

This strung-out table (below) was by no means cozy, but it was BEAUTIFUL and so photogenic! The reflection of the long, narrow fixture in the tabletop was outrageous and all the materials used really spoke to one another. I think this is a good example of a wildly successful installation for this kind of event. Some tables are amazing in person but terrible in photos. This one was striking in person and even more so on film.

Swarovski’s table (below) was wild with wrap-around flat screens playing sparkly, blue video. At each place-setting: platinum Aegean china by always-ultra-glamorous (yet practical) L’Objet.

I really loved the floral arrangements from Maya Romanoff’s table (below) and Liebherr’s table (far below). Very fresh and springy!