Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kips Bay Takeaway: Warming Up Cold Spaces

As I reflect on our trip to Blogfest in NYC, one of my favorite places was the Kips Bay Showhouse on the Upper West Side held at The Aldyn, an incredible new building overlooking the Hudson River.  It is a bit of a departure from the traditional Upper East Side brownstones of the past.  And what I found particularly interesting was how the designers all used different "tactics" to warm-up and "cozify" (yep, just made that up...) the space.  If you look closely, you'll see flat walls, little or no molding or trim and HUGE paneless windows. Nothing bad, but without the right "tactics" it could be a cold and icy place!

Not so!  When you enter the show house, this is what greets you. Yep, the iconic and friendly Scalamandre Zebras!  But more than that, look at all the art, pillows, books, plants, branches, frames, lamps, collections etc used to make the space cozy. This is where a designer (in this case Bryant Keller) really shines!!  There is so much more than just wallpaper!!

When you round the corner you are greeted by the incredible contrast of lacquered green walls and ceilings by Thom Felicia.  He also layered it on to warm up the space and make it feel like a place you want to take a moment to explore. The standout in this room is the incredible, full, drapes that frame each doorway (there are 4)!  The textures in here are almost too numerous to count!

And then you enter the living room dedicated to Albert Hadley by Bunny Williams, Brian McCarthy and David Kleinberg.  They had by far one of the biggest challenges - a two story living room framed by walls of windows. What's a person to do?  Well in this case, they hung a curtain rod and curtain at the same height as the windows to try to scale the room to a much more manageable person's height. They then layered a tapestry over the curtain to increase the warmth. This textile layering also helps to cut down on the audible echo in an unfinished room.  And yes, that is a giant boxwood shrub (fake?) behind the glass on the second story.

Off to the other side of Thom Felicia's incredible green room is the aubergine and chartreuse room of Todd Alexander Romano.  Again, a great use of color to make the room feel warm and cozy and the GIANT chandelier takes up the visual "space" above the table and it all seems to make sense! Brilliant I say!

And then there is the bedroom that Alexa Hampton created.  Here is the entrance - just look at that incredible door, lacquered walls and silver ceiling. On description alone, you'd think ICE COLD...

But look at this incredibly warm space. I can only imagine how may yards of fabric were use here from the very traditional window treatment to the canopy to the bed lines.... it is just incredible. In the chat with Alexa Hampton she mentioned that she used the screen to help you feel like you weren't totally exposed and weren't going to fall out of the bed!


I could go on and on and on...


No comments:

Post a Comment