Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Join Me on a Tour of the Magnolia Garden at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House: Discover Innovation & Fantasy

Did you know magnolias symbolize dignity and nobility? It’s true.

In ancient China, magnolias were thought to be the perfect symbols of womanly beauty and gentleness.
In the American South, white magnolias are commonly seen in bridal bouquets because the flowers are thought to reflect and emphasize the bride's purity and nobility
Here in Gotham - the “big apple” took a back seat to the noble magnolia as the artful concept inspiration for the eclectic, innovative, sanctuary / site installation garden designed by the landscape design firm, Delaney + Chin.
(Not to be dismissive, apple blossoms are quite inspiring, as well.)
Designer team: Topher Delaney, Calvin Chin (& Enzo Topher's dashing dachshund)
This garden design has a lot of good tricks we all can learn from. I especially am drawn to how this design team takes things made for one utility and re-purposes them for another. I like doing this when designing tablescapes - and gardens, too.
Delaney + Chin are masters of the artful engineering. Topher Delaney is a true design legend - very well known to those of us working in the genres of landscape architecture and environmental art.
Me (L) with Garden Artist she-ro, Topher Delaney
Topher's been a kind of iconic style influencer of mine for quite some time so it was an honor to chat with her in her garden that she designed along with her partner Calvin Chin.

Walking from the house onto the porch leading to the garden, I was struck by how big the space was. I’ve seen quite a lot of city gardens, - both on the ground or gardens in the sky - and I work at some, too. But here I felt rather stunned or taken aback while trying to take it all in. The garden runs the full 40 feet of the double-width Georgian townhouse. And it must be 30 to 40 feet deep from the porch to the back wall, fronted by a raised bed. Lot’s of white - white drapery “walls” that Topher + Chin scrunched up to look like linen -- and white marble stone blanketing the entire garden floor -- perfect for playing a game or two of pėtanque!

And while the overall look is spare and clean -- there are so many well-appointed details.
Once I took in the entirety of the garden vista, I switched gears and turned my attention to the sum of its parts.

On the porch railings, positioned like passementerie, were giant silvery grey air plants (Tillandsia xerographica: an epiphyte that is a species of the bromeliad).

I also noticed what looked a bit like fun-house mirrors but I learned are acrylic (Mylar is a brand name). It was just me that looked “funny!”

The painted Tyvak is a brilliant design element!

Topher + Chin worked with fellow Bay area artist, Jessica Abbott Williams to create the custom ceramic plates and the graphic designs -- both inspired by the lovely magnolia.
The rope balls too are a Topher + Chin original design - perfectly fun seating and decor.

The striped Chilewich rugs and woven charger mats behind the wall-hanging plates are tough and pretty. I have Chilewich cocktail coasters gifted to me by a friend and designer, Felicia of FG Design Solutions. I love them (and her) but I confess I didn’t know Chilewich even made rugs. I learned later the rugs and mats are made in the USA, easy to clean, durable - and best of all - chemical free. This is a deal maker especially when furnishing exterior rooms where you’ll be eating and drinking.

Walking down the steps into the garden, you can’t but notice not only the rows of Southern Bay Magnolias, (Magnolia virginiana), punctuated by citrus trees and their orange fruit hanging like jewels; but also the pop of pink painted on either side of the rug on the steps. (It’s those details….)

And the pillars are done up with black chalkboard paint for a nice texture -- and maybe for writing a love note or two…

Your eye is drawn to the Topher designed “fireplace” that is a gas-fueled bronze manzanita branch lying rather languidly on their custom-made table. “It’s the ‘Eternal Flame,’ declares Topher. It’s on the cover of her book, “Ten Landscapes.”

Builder Luis Sanchez (L) with Topher + Chin partner , Calvin Chin

It's worth noting that almost everything they feature is custom made; the builder, Luis Sanchez, was on-site as part of the artisanal design team.

A key feature of their design ethos, it seems is that If they don’t make it they repurpose items; and mix the low with the high brow. To whit: a $50 Ikea chandelier on the porch and the white marble stones are from Lowe’s!

There are two lovely chairs perched near the Eternal Flame as part of this conversation composition. The new barrel shaped chair from Galanter & Jones (they also feature a Helios Love Chair that I, ahem, love). When I’m invited to sit in the chair (yes, it’s comfortable) I find to my delight and surprise that it’s also heated! Being in the “hot seat” was never so nice. Think of how wonderful this seating could be while enjoying coffee in the cool mornings or a martini after the sun goes down. Wow.

Another showstopper are the two fountains positioned in opposite corners of the garden room.

Of course there’s a story behind these Calvin Chin Tanker Baffle Fountain creations from Glenn Metalcraft.
Why, the fountains even have names: Ying and Yang - dark and light. “What is their provenance,” I ask. Astonishingly, I learn they are made from shiny aluminum truck tank heads!

I had to think about this.

When I look at the back of a milk truck - I see a big vehicle - in my way.
When these two talented designers see the truck - apparently they saw a fountain… Go figure.

Topher and Chin found local ironworker, welder, and artist, Julia Helen Murray. Yes, Murray works on the bridges that drape around the island of Manhattan like so many necklaces. How cool is that? So cool that Topher was proudly showing off her artful creations on her smart phone to Kips Bay guests.

Murray rendered the fountain design and also the front border garden’s Dr. Seuss-like art sculptures. I just love this artisanal craftsmanship. When I was designing an Alice in Wonderland garden for a favorite garden client, I searched for an ironworker to create the “white” rabbit frames. I found one in Kentucky - -and surprising to me - it was a woman, as well. I hope I get to do another design that requires welding so that I could maybe work with Julia. Her creations are terrific.
Photo courtesy of Julia Helen Murray website

There are raised beds that hug the perimeter of the garden room on three sides. Topher & Chin embellished the look, naturally, by creating custom seating - white on top of a black painted plywood front - and then Luiis built the containers right into or onto the seating top.

I couldn’t help but think of the “Cat in the Hat.” Can you see the resemblance? The bold, thick stripes towering impossibly high.

The containers are filled with magnolia trees and white stone mulch. This is nice at night - all the white seems to glow.

Leaving no stone unturned is an idiom aptly applied to the garden beds! Here the design team created graphic angles using white and grey stones. Planted in the beds are spikey plants - dracena and euphorbia and succulents - and magnolias. Love those textures and patterns.

Almost the pièce de rėsistence (I say “almost” simply because so many elements in the design are just so exciting and memorable) but the custom designed series of “love seats” are truly unique.

The Frank Gehry-ish series of seats have that off-balance tilt.

The handmade plywood seats incorporate the acrylic mirrors placed just so in order to capture and reflect garden elements and the black and apple green are an irresistible color combination for me. (Recently, we just completed our laundry room, AKA, “the homage to the domestic arts” in this palette. But that’s a story post for another day.)

If you haven’t seen the showhouse, I urge you to scoot there pronto. It’s open till June 2nd. The interior and exterior designs are incredibly exciting and inspiring.

According to Kips Bay, “The Show House doubles as the nation’s leading design event of the year and Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club’s top fundraiser. The gorgeous residence will be open to the public for one month beginning May 2, 2019.

The townhouse, which is currently on the market for $30,000,000, is located on 74th Street and is comprised of six sprawling levels with a stunning circular staircase along with an elevator connecting each floor, including the basement. At 12,425 square feet, the rare 40’ double-width Georgian townhouse boasts a garden, 10 wood-burning fireplaces, a light-filled living room with stunning bay windows and an art studio with 17’ ceilings. The townhouse was built in 1920 by D. & J. Jardine and was once owned by George Whitney and later Dorothy Hearst Paley, who was immortalized by Matisse.”

See my earlier blog post, “A Glamorous Peek Inside the Kips Bay Decorator Show House” from the show’s opening for interior design highlights. At that premiere, I ran into a friend Roanne, who introduced me to Linn Howard who grew up in the house!

About Delaney + Chin
Topher Delaney is the Lead Artist and Director of Delaney + Chin. Ms. Delaney studied cultural anthropology and philosophy at Barnard College going on to receive a B.L.A. in Landscape Architecture at the University of California Berkeley. Ms Delaney holds the honor of distinguished alumni of U.C. Berkeley California, reflecting her career as an artist conversant in multiple mediums of installations. Ms. Delaney's commissions range in scale from the intimate to the expansive, public urban plazas, corporate rooftop gardens, and sanctuary/medicinal/botanical gardens for educational institutions and healthcare institutions. The art of Ms. Delaney’s studio has been widely published and exhibited internationally.

Enjoy the garden glamour...

Friday, May 17, 2019

How to Earn a Fast-Track Certificate at NY Botanical Garden This Summer Plus Save on Tuition!

Summer is the optimum time for gardens, there’s no doubt - especially in my northern hemisphere where garden or planting zones run from 3 to 7. The green bounty of trees and shrubs, along with the zing of color rendered by the seemingly limitless, leafy perennials and annuals is just so hearth-clutching. Ahhh - Mother Nature smiles...

But then. There is the reality. Like any good mother, she recognizes that her children need discipline. The “green kids” should know about the botanical and landscape design art, the nurturing garden management skills, the healing properties of forests and gardens and - of course - the plants.

But wait - doesn’t Mother Nature just take care of all that?


Like any mother or Pacchamama goddess - she wants to teach you how to take care of her gifts. What’s that proverb? Give a man/woman a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man/woman to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Well in this case, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) - the premiere museum of plants and the optimum place to learn about all things garden art - is offering five, fast-track, plant-based disciplines certificate programs where you can learn:
  • Landscape Design
  • Gardening
  • Floral Design
  • Botanical Art & Illustration
  • Horticultural Therapy
Incentives for Intensives
If the green education wasn’t enough of its own motivation, the Garden has generously come up with a value-add gift or incentive swag to persuade you to sign up. Now. (You know you want to…)

NYBG is offering you, dear readers and social media Followers, $50 off of the Floral Design, Gardening, and Landscape Design Intensives by using Code GG50 at checkout when you purchase the course. The code is valid until June 15, 2019.
In addition to the $50 discount off of the Intensive Program(s) you’re eligible to win the All-Garden passes to those who enter in the Comments section here on the blog. The Garden will consider each Comment an entry and then select one winner based on all the entries.

So blab away, below!

You can also re-post on social media with a Comment and be eligible for the Passes.

You know you have a lot to get off your chest and share! Some Comment suggestions might be how you always wanted to learn about the transformative power of gardens. Or how you have a black thumb and want to change this. Many folks tell me they changed their health by growing organic fruits and vegetables. Others have given themselves - and their family and friends - the gift of arranging floral bouquets, table decor of seasonal flowers, and vases brimming with color, scent, and native beauties. And don’t leave out how gardening with your children or grandchildren changed your lives…

So what’s it gonna be this summer? All that beach sand won’t get you anywhere. (Except maybe to the shower to rid that grainy dust out of your swimsuit!)
Jump in here. Take this plunge!

Learn a coveted skill, express your inner garden artist, and maybe pursue a new career.
The Summer Intensives have launched or kick-started more than a few second or third “acts.” Or what the Garden refers to as an “encore career.” I like that.

You can earn a prestigious NYBG Certificate in the time it takes to grow your tomatoes. Or your Joe Pye Weed.
This summer is your time to take one of the accelerated Summer Intensive Programs.

Classes begin July 8th.

Individual Intensive classes are also available in Botanical Art & Illustration and Horticultural Therapy.
So, whether you aspire to change your career or simply luxuriate in a new passion, you’re sure to enhance your knowledge and skills at the gorgeous Botanical Garden with their exceptional, on-site instructors available at this world-class learning facility.

Fast-track your landscape design training.

The Landscape Design Certificate Program at NYBG is an engaging, career-oriented program that gives you a solid, plant-focused foundation along with the skills and confidence you need to start your own business. Or work as part of a design team. NYBG covers every aspect, from design principles and drafting, to site analysis and construction.

I’m a graduate of the Landscape Design program. I did it the long way over many years as I was working corporate - with its own intense hours and travel. I started off in the program just to up my design prowess and better understand garden history. I am fascinated by all history - but when I became smitten by the garden bug an entirely new world of “she-roes” and heroes opened up to me. And I thoroughly believe that one can’t truly be accomplished at their passion or art until you learn about the masters who went before us. Therefore, learning about the various garden cultures we celebrate and revere most today - think Persian, Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Peruvian, English - as well as the pioneers of garden design - was rather life altering. In fact, I became such an acolyte or garden history buff long before my studies concIuded, that I was networked to help contribute research on landscape design pioneer Nathan Barrett for the book, “Pioneers of American Landscape Design, The Cultural Landscape.” There was no turning back for me…

The study of Landscape and Garden Design quite literally, changed my life. I pivoted to not only work for NYBG and later for Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) - still utilizing my communications and writing skill set - while at the same time, designing gardens for clients. I can readily assure you - it’s a most rewarding profession. It’s artful, challenging and exciting. There’s never a dull moment. You can create your own business or work for a design and build firm. I’ve been blessed to have many of the same clients - who are now friends - since I started Duchess Designs. We do design and garden maintenance - for yards, cityscape rooftops, decks, containers, and more.

And if you like continuing education - this is the world for you. All winter, we designers and horticulturists gather and learn at a number of professional organizations, including Metrohort, where experts, authors, and thought leaders inform and lecture. Likewise, NYBG offers it’s notable Landscape Design Portfolios Lecture Series - and lectures following our Landscape Design Alumni Group’s winter, monthly meetings; Wave Hill and BBG, too, offer talks.
We love our garden design community, always seeking to help each other and better our knowledge base in order to provide the very best for our clients. You’ll make lasting friends at the talks or the many conferences held across the country - and the globe.

See, the world of plants and garden art and design, and garden history, are endlessly beguiling. 
Plus, learning how to design and grow edible gardens, sustainable gardens, organic gardens - and more - is critically important and becoming ever more so.

There’s just so much to learn.

But when you sign on for the Intensives, in just five short weeks, you’ll complete more than 25% of the courses required for the Certificate in Landscape Design. The Garden’s hands-on summer intensive program combines interactive coursework with plant walks led by NYBG Garden Curators, guest designer talks, and open studio time. You’ll develop a tight network of like-minded colleagues while coming up with solutions to real-world design challenges.

  • Landscape Design History
  • Graphics Basic Plant ID
  • Plants for Landscaping
  • NYBG Curator Led Tours
  • Off-Site Garden Visits
  • Guest Designer Portfolio Presentations
  • Open Studio Time
Dates: July 8–August 9

Tuition: $3,865 (Member) / $4,249 (Non-Member)
Special financing options are available.

Register Here

The Gardening Certificate Program provides you with the core knowledge, hands-on training, and credentials you need to succeed in any garden setting with complete confidence.

Where better to learn gardening than in the Garden?! What an extraordinary experience...
The Summer Intensive Program offers the New York City area’s most in-depth courses on sustainable gardening techniques, soil science, plant propagation, garden care and design, and more.

In just three short weeks you’ll finish over 45% of all the gardening classes required to complete the Certificate Program, giving you a solid base in the principles of environmentally sound gardening. Special electives and curator-led tours of various Garden collections combine the best of the classroom and real-world field exposure.

  • Fundamentals of Gardening
  • Soil Science for Gardeners
  • Insect Identification and Management
  • Plans for Landscaping
  • Container Gardening
  • Fundamentals of Garden Design
  • Gardening with Native Plants
Dates: July 8–26

Tuition: $1,925 (Member) / $2,125 (Non-Member)
Special financing options are available.

Register here.

The Floral Design Certificate Program at NYBG is considered the true “Ivy League” of instruction for budding floral designers. Whether you want to up your home style or launch a florist business - this program offers the most in-depth training in the region, covering every aspect of this creative art.

The Floral Design program helps you develop your own aesthetic, master the mechanics for any arrangement, and gain practical business skills, so you graduate client-ready.

In just five short weeks, you can complete all of the classroom credits required for the Floral Design Certificate Program, and be ready to get started on your internship requirement ASAP.

Working alongside floral design professionals, you’ll create dozens of arrangements in diverse styles for many different occasions. This concentrated summer intensive program focuses on real-world situations, and includes a trip to New York’s flower district.

  • Fundamentals of Form
  • Fundamentals of Style
  • Wedding Design I: Personals
  • Wedding Design II: Ceremony & Reception
  • Color Theory for Floral Design
  • Flower ID from A to Z
  • Interior Plantscapes
  • Shopping the New York Flower Market
  • Practical Planning for Designers
  • Grand-Scale Arrangements
  • Event Planning for the Floral Designer
  • Four Specialty Electives
Dates: July 8–August 9

Tuition: $6,435 (Member) / $7,079 (Non-Member)
Special financing options are available.

Register here

Fast-Track your nascent Monet art skills.
If you’re like most of us, botanical art is always, consistently, irresistible. Why is that?

At one time, it was de rigueur for plant explorers to take an accomplished botanical artist with them on adventurous journeys to discover new, exotic plant cultures from around the globe. While this era clearly predates photography, the benefit to horticultural and science is that the botanical artist rendered the plant and the plant parts with formidable artistic skill so that scientists, pharmacists, and other professional trades could identify and understand these exciting new plants and pollinators. Do visit the NYBG Herbarium to see exciting samples of what Darwin and others brought back and see the work of these groundbreaking botanical artists.

It was later, that the illustrations became their own art - admired for their painstaking, astonishing detail.

Early artists still lusted after today include such masters as Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1766-1854). Think you have a tough boss - his job was working for Marie Antoinette - of the “Let them eat cake” style of management…

Then there’s Anne Pratt (1806-1893) - an English botanical illustrator from the Victorian age who popularized the burgeoning world of botany by writing and illustrating more than 20 books.

Today, I have a number of botanical friends, distinguished by their botanical art oeuvres.

I’ll tell you about a few of these amazing talents. Former NYBG Botanical Art & Illustration Coordinator Wendy Hollander is a favorite.

When I was the Director (and later, VP) at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I asked Wendy to offer us a design to choose from for a milestone Sakura Matsuri / Cherry Blossom anniversary. Of course, Wendy provided us a breathtaking design.

Later, for me personally, I asked her to render native plants to highlight a window treatment design I wanted to create on a whisper light Spoonflower fabric that serves as a kind of scrim - allowing us to see out to the garden beyond but still offering privacy. Wendy and I worked together to select the botanical, natives - from viburnums to shore mallow to orchids - that would adorn the relaxed Roman shade, with other smaller botanicals to create the shade’s borders. Wendy worked her art magic while somehow getting the art onto the fabric…

The shade art continues to fascinate and thrill my husband Bill and I - along with our guests, friends, and family.

Then there is the extraordinary art of the botanical artist and garden designer Jean Galle - (this woman can’t be limited to just one art form! In fact, she was also an award-winning fashion designer!) Jean transcends garden categories with her artful expressions…

I adore her intimate botanical art. Follow Jean on Instagram  You can also purchase her art directly. "Suitable for framing," as they say.  And then some... 
Jean Galle Botanical Art
In fact, I rather cheekily asked if I could use one of her peony renderings (peony being my favorite bloom for its ridiculously lush and sexy blossom and fragrance). I was thrilled that Jean not only said yes, but modified the size so I could print out for table name cards or place settings for a recent “Ladies Who Lunch” party! I just cut and pasted onto the name cards for a pretty-in-pink experience.
Jean Galle Botanical Art
My point is that there is so much joy to come from these artful garden pursuits. Besides your own gratification you can pursue a business enterprise. There are more ways to use your art - from interior and exterior design to home-branded accessories, greeting cards, fashion and more…

The Botanical Art & Illustration Certificate Program provides a solid foundation in scientifically accurate drawings so you can recreate plants, plant parts, and pollinators in amazing detail, natural color, and convincing form. The Garden’s extraordinary instructors share their expertise in the nurturing yet rigorous botanical art classes.

With the summer intensive schedule, students can advance their artistic skills quickly. Newcomers to Botanical Art & Illustration can complete Botanical Drawing I & II in just four weeks—less than half the time it normally requires. Other required classes are also offered in a reduced time frame.

Plus, you’ll have the rarest of opportunity - to learn to draw and paint surrounded by all the inspiring plants who live at the Garden!
Do you want to paint a native black tupelo tree (Nyssa sylvatica ‘Wildfire’ to ahem, fire up an autumn harvest invitation? No worries.
Do you dream of rendering a white Chinese peony (Paeonia obovata var. alba) for a Mother’s Day or birthday gift?
Do you yearn to create a line of personalized place cards for your next pastry party featuring chocolate pods? No problem - you can head over to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and cozy up to a Theobroma cacao tree.
It’s all so exotic yet you have ready access...

  • Botanical Drawing I: Methods and Materials
  • Botanical Drawing II: Developing Your Skills
  • Pen and Ink
  • Colored Pencil
Dates: Classes start July 8—August 9

The Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program at NYBG offers the most in-depth training in the New York City area.

Taught by practicing horticultural therapists, this program will train you to design, implement, and manage programs that use plants and the natural environment to heal a broad range of people in need.

With the Garden’s summer intensive schedule, you can immerse yourself in the Hort Therapy study in a limited amount of time. Take just one class or go all in for the nine required horticultural therapy courses in just three months.

My personal belief is that Horticultural Therapy is destined to become a burgeoning, much sought-after profession because there will be (ahem) such a “growing need.
Especially because of the aging baby-boomer cohort, and increasingly, as urban populations rise further removing them from nature - there is, at the same time, a parallel recognition that plants heal. Naturally.
It’s been called nature therapy or ecotherapy -where instructors teach how to leverage nature to boost immunity and mood. From “forest bathing” or Shinrin-yoku (I greatly enjoyed this class at NYBG last spring) to mindfulness, health and wellness, Hort Therapy practitioners will experience ever more interest and need for their services.

You’ll also have the opportunity to get a close-up look at the day-to-day practices of local horticultural therapy programs at NYU Langone Medical Center, the Horticultural Society of New York’s Greenhouse Program on Rikers Island, or Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

  • Introduction to Horticultural Therapy
  • Horticultural Therapy for Older Adults
  • Horticultural Therapy for Physical Rehabilitation
  • Horticultural Therapy for Exceptional Youth
  • Activities Analysis for Horticultural Therapy
  • Horticultural Therapy in Behavioral Health Settings
  • Horticultural Therapy Methods & Materials
  • Garden Design for Special Populations
  • Horticultural Therapy Program Management
Dates: Classes start June 10—August 24

If you have any questions or want to talk it through, the wonderful, Adult Education staff is happy to help you. Call 718.817.8747 or e-mail adulted@nybg.org

* Remember to Comment and re-post to win. And use the code to save money on your next garden adventure.

See you at the Garden. 

All photos courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden  

Friday, May 3, 2019

A Glamorous Peek Inside Kips Bay Decorator Show House

The annual rite of spring premiered yesterday.

The 47th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House hits it out of the park this year. Nearly two dozen designers, along with their teams of architects, artisans, and makers have created a dreamscape of luxury, sophistication, whimsy, and inspired design.

While I’ll provide a more detailed overview in the next post -- need time to organize this blockbuster of visual art - I want to very much encourage you to take a sneak peek here - and then get your tickets; get to the show. You will spend a delightful time exploring, discovering, later shopping and -- it’s all for a good cause: The Boys and Girls Club. What could be better? Maybe sitting in the show house’s fabulous “Magnolia Garden.”

L-R: Designer Britt Zunino, Roanne, & Linn - the girl who grew up in the showhouse!
First, a bit of context: The Gold Coast, upper East Side New York City townhouse boasts 19 rooms, 8-11 bedrooms, 10 fireplaces, ceilings up to 17 feet, 6 levels and that garden spans all 40 feet of the mansion. Once owned by the likes of the Whitneys, the Paleys. It was therefore kismet to have met Linn Howard who grew up in the house. (Ms. Howard was touring the show house with a friend of mine.)
We met at the sophisticated design of Britt Zunino, who along with her husband and their Studio DB created a lush, green space, highlighted by exotic, rare animals. Which is a very good place to start this visual tour.

The pool-table green there was accented with a deGourney silverish, shimmery wallpaper with kicking zebra and crouching black panther, first used by Elsie De Wolfe. The image of Marlene Dietrich fronting the Hollywood wall image is perched on the curved, custom-made bar cum vanity, lined with faux fur that Britt created.

The green runner is pure animal attraction:

Marble molding, a black Kohler pedestal tub and custom marble bathroom offer a rich, sexy look.

Speaking of Hollywood - the stairway to heaven undulates through the floors, featuring a jaw-dropping gold chandelier,

stunning wall treatments,
And rugs.

Brace yourself for the riotous dynamic design from Young Huh interior design - from the “fifth wall” to the curiosity table - there’s a lot going one. I love the organic fiddle leaf fig wall look.

You can cool off in this serene Paris-salon inspired room designed by Robert Passal
   Check out the very cool TV in the mirrored wall above a lavender marble fireplace.

Or this very serene lady’s room - as in an office and retreat.
Look at this floral chandelier!

A gold-flecked fireplace - stocked with a bar! Why didn’t I think of that?!

Another fireplace idea I’m going to steal is to use crystals in the off-season fireplace. Here, designer Jennifer Cohler Mason featured amethyst - that of course, complemented her very subdued yet rich in the details of texture and color. It’s all in the details. I loved the jewel tones of the pillows that line the custom window seat.

Mason’s eye for the details creates a nuanced story that you can’t take your eyes off of.
Her use of a saffron or mustard colored sofa - one that is an electric mustard color - was seen in a few of the rooms. It marries so well with the jewel-tones of sapphire, amethyst, pink, and apple green.

Charlotte Moss’ bedroom and sitting area is exotic; filled with pattern, and a palette of soft, dreamy colors. The design was sparked by the shade of periwinkle and the palampore fabric she discovered on Instagram. I love it on the bonacina chairs that embrace the antique bamboo table.

A tour de force is the Cullman & Kravis Associates dining room.

You have got to see it to believe it. The blue and gold; the handcrafted porcelain wall installation on the triple-glazed walls shimmer like gold buttons accessorizing the room, the round rug that “mirrors” or nods to the custom ceiling geometry;
gold credenzas, semi-circle velvet dining “chairs” -- it all leaves you weepy with a kind of Stendhal Syndrome. In a good way.

I loved, loved, loved this room by Corey Damen Jenkins - who is as charming and sophisticated as his room design.

Same goes for Paloma Contreras  I adore that apple green.

This spa room was a delightful surprise: see more of that vibrant, jewel tone coloring.
A great runner rug idea is the meandering green “grass” - that leads you to -- what else -- the garden!

The “Magnolia Garden” is designed by Delaney & Chin - a garden design associate is the icon, Topher Delaney. It was so nice to chat up our mutual acquaintances - and of course, her and partner Calvin Chin’s immersive garden design. A bit of Alice’s looking glass here: giant, striped, custom-made planters and intimate seating that are built into the raised bed and wall… Striped gravel in the garden beds. Topher’s gas “fireplace,” two fountains made from repurposed truck parts, and Tyvak draped walls.

Plants include magnolias, succulents -- giant air plants dot the porch railing!-- and citrus. I also love those fun-house “mirrors.”

Don’t miss the pooch palace near the front door. It’s so whimsical with a well-thought out story, designed by rGraves & Co + Pintura Studio.


Pooch with a Pearl!

So when I left the show, I couldn’t help but smile seeing these Gotham pooch pals out for their walk...

Get your tickets to the 47th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House, New York. The show is open May 2 through May 30th, 11 am to 7:30 pm. 

It’s all so glamorous.