Oct 30, 2013

Designer Visions: Jamie Drake for House Beautiful

Jamie Drake

The final installment of my tour of the Designer Visions apartments ends with the apartment design by color master, Jamie Drake for House Beautiful.

With a very soft color palette, of soft peaches and sea blues and greens, the apartment ranges from the open plan Living and Dining room, into the bedrooms with bursts of happy color choices and just a little bit of glimmer.  The tone on tone draperies, in "sea coral" silk twill from Jim Thompson, simply enhances the view out the stunning windows onto Chelsea below. Who would have thought the "Salmon Peach" could ever look so great!?

Walls in Salmon Peach from the Color Preview Collection with A Drake Peach Specialty Finish, Trim in Opal (Semi-Gloss) and Ceiling in Opal (Flat) of the Off-White Collection from Benjamin Moore by Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting // Six Antique Art Deco Dining Chairs Covered In Fadini Borghi’s Palmarola Anice from Pierre Frey from Hutton Home

The overall floor plan for this long and narrow living space, makes for great entertaining, creating the space for little groups of conversation, and yet, not overwhelming the space with endless sofas and chairs.

 I really love how the use of alternate styles, and a restricted color palette just allow for this to be such an inviting open floor plan, very much the style of apartments we encounter regularly as interior designers working in New York.

One fantastically accessorized niche, flanking opposite ends of the fireplace, provided the designers an opportunity for some creative expression, by stacking them with books, very cleverly stacked and with only the odd binding appearing. Love this idea for those small open spaces - not for burning, but definitely eye catching!

White Truffle Quotidien, Gold/Platinum Firenze Medici, and Pistachio Firenze Serving Platters and Plates Clear Graham Goblets by JuliskaBetween II (Acrylic & Oil on Canvas Framed by Chelsea Frames) by David Mann (2012) from McKenzie Fine Art
Tim Bavington - Whirlpool -
Jack Shainman Gallery


In strong contrast, the two black & white lamps by Paul Schneider Ceramics rest on opposite ends of the black lacquer console by Robert Kuo, and act as a strong grounding force for the more whimsical and colorful artwork such as the David Mann (above) and the British artist Tim Bavington's Whirlpool. 

Patrick Naggar Classic Daybed / Sand Art Rose Fabric (Donghia) w/Lucent Beaded Border Onyx Trim (Samuel & Sons)  

We move from the Living room into the Master Bedroom, and immediately feel as though you have arrived to some incredible Caribbean sea, as you are enveloped by the sensational Tracy Hiner from Black Crow Studio custom "Watercolor" wallpaper.

Two Custom Minilux SQ Chandeliers by Modulightor

Eight-Drawer White Lacquered Chest by David Duncan Antiques

The modern way of lighting the coffered ceiling with these two custom Minilux SQ Chandeliersby Modulightor I thought was very well achieved, and not at all the way I would have imagined that these very modern light fixtures would have looked within this context.

The use of the high headboard on the custom bed Sensuede in Seaglass Fabric by Stark Carpet allowed for the owners to enjoy the beautiful view from their bed, and simulatanousely establishing a makeshift walkin dressing area, which added to the use of this ample bedroom.

Doors painted in Teal in Semi-Gloss by Benjamin Moore Paint

The blue lacquered Waterfall Console Table in the Manner of Karl Springer in Turquoise Lacquer by Rearview Modern resting behind the headboard, provides for the perfect anchor to the Teal painted closet doors.

The walk-in closet in this master bedroom, was masterfully fitted by the great California Closet’s. Here they selected the Linen Finish, with it's very tactile effect. In addition to textured material, drawers are lined in luxurious velvet liners for ones finer belongings and hutch drawer sections reduce the need for dressers or armoires.  This system also includes a built-in desk with framed corkboard creating a multi-functional and unique use of space.

Modernist Klismos Back Swivel Vanity Stool by High Style Deco //
Fashion and Accessory Contributions and Installation Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli.

  • Lago® Italian Linen Finish
  • Drawers Lined with Black Velvet
  • Double Hutch with Shaker Drawer Faces
  • Built-in Desk with Corkboard (Pin-Up Designs by Drake Design Associates)
  • Velvet Jewelry Inserts
  • Tilt Out Hamper
  • Angled Shoe Shelving

Moving from the Master Bedroom into the "Daughter's Room', the dark Venetian plastered walls by The Alpha Workshops in Plum Martini are quite a different take on what one would expect in this type of room. But it works! The shine from the high gloss finish is reflects the light in a very "cool" and teenage acceptable way.

The Hutton Home Coupe de Grace King Bed in Artigny from Boussac with an artistic piece serving as the canopy overhead, was the designer's modern version of the daughter's princess bed, updated for the modern teenage girl. Kamouraska Fall  is composed of Steel, Roofing Paper, Wire, Wool, and Silk and is by New York artist Brenda Garand

Coupe de Grace King Bed in Artigny from Boussac Collection by Pierre Frey - Hutton Home // rug Fort Street Studio and is called Flats II in Pepper

Love the way this rug from Fort Street Studio brings all the colors into play and yet seems perfectly practical and just the right amount of pattern and texture added to the design of the room.

With the usual Drake play of styles with Art Deco Salon Chairs, contemporary pieces such as the Bishop Side Table in Black by India Mahdavi by Ralph Pucci and strong pops of color once again through the use of very colorful abstract art, the overall success of this room was visible in all those attending the tour with me.

A quick turn down the hall, leads us into the Office, or Library, where layer upon layer of paint were added to the Benjamin Moore base coat in Dark Harbor with Hockney Pool Blue Specialty Finish. Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting applied 4 layers polyurethane coatings infused with green and blue, gold eye shadow all hand applied creating art through the walls themselves!

"Island Daybed" Covered in Gong in Nero Fabric by Rubelli and Upholstered by Peruvian Touch by Donghia

A diagonally placed "Island Daybed"  seems like the perfect reading spot and allows for an ample use of both the vista and the open space provided .. I just love seeing furniture placed on angles like this!

Another way to incorporate pattern, by adding a custom screen such as this case, in Edith Donghia fabric, just allows for a little pattern without needed to add this to the entire room.

But the true star here is the 1940's Hollywood Ebonized and White Gold Leaf Desk by High Style Deco
and Black Lacquer Root Stool by Robert Kuo.

I truly hope you have enjoyed the final installment of Jamie Drake's design for House Beautiful as I complete my tour of the Designer Visions showcase for Hearst, with Alessandra Branca (Elle Decor) and Carlos Aparicio (Veranda).

Oct 25, 2013

Designer Visions: Carlos Aparicio for Veranda

Walker Tower, is most definitely one of Chelsea's most beautifully newly converted condominium, with it's strong Art Deco lines originally designed in 1929 by Ralph Thomas Walker.

Now, with over 47 incredible apartments (sign me up!) this 24 story building opened its doors to three fantastic interior designers ~ Jamie Drake for House Beautiful and Alessandra Branca for Elle Decor and today's feature, Carlos Aparicio for Veranda.

Cuban born, Carlos Aparicio is principal and founder of Aparicio + Associates, and is a trained architect from the Rhode Island School of Design and also has a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University. Honing in on his love of the decorative arts, he also is the owner of Gallery BAC, which he founded in 2001, offering a curated selection of 20th century European antiques.

"The narrative is what attracted me the most to this project" - Carlos Aparicio.
In complete contrast to the design from the apartment I shared with you in Part 1 and Part 2 by Alessandra branca, Aparicio's design for Veranda showcased his love of antiques, especially 20th century furniture.

Hanging Fixture in Brass and Crystal with Linen Shade by Carl Westman, Sweden, 1910s, from Gallery BAC

He tells us that it was the views from the apartment that truly "blew him away"... and so as he imagined the art collector that would live in this space as his muse, constantly thriving off of the energy of Manhattan.
The importance of painting all the walls and ceilings in the same tone of chalky gray by Benjamin Moore, Perspective® Aura on all the walls and ceilings would serve as a backdrop, a canvas, for which to sketch out all the ideas.. as "the Old Master tradition in painting an all-gray grisaille before applying glazes of color, the wall colors are the foundation of the composition for this interior."

Also quite deliberate, was the selection of the raw silk panels in the windows, with its Mondrian-esque hatches intended to mimic the lines of the windows in the view of Chelsea beyond the panes of glass.

With the personality of his collector in mind, Carlos Aparicio maintained the constant balance of "what was in and what was out" throughout the composition of furniture throughout the apartment. The allocation of furniture, and deciding to place the dining space by the windows, was in direct correlation to how this collector would live among his antiques, and not necessarily considering the needs of raising a family in this home.

A sense of poetry that was very important to convey in this space, and achieved with the floating light fixture in Brass and Crystal with Linen Shade by Carl Westman, Sweden, from the 1910s, and designed for the artists' brother remains one of Aparicio's favorite pieces.

The "muscular, and yet feminine" Swedish bleached mahogany cabinet below, by Otto Schulz anchors the opposing window walls, in the Dining Room which ideally would also serve as a Library; a place to read and allow for that thoughtful contemplation of the city below to occur.

Collection of Danish ceramics with bronze lids and books are carefully placed on the Danish Kaare Klint dining table, and here the idea was to expose the collaboration between the ceramist and the metal worker.

As we move into the open living area, Carlos Aparicio placed the "large museum-like Parchment-Covered Daybed, by André Arbus from France in the late 1940's to help ground the environment, and framed it with a pair of very elegant Persane Gilt French Iron Sconces by Jean Royere and an oak mirror in the Style of Jean-Michel Frank.

Appearing as a favorite of Aparicio, who through Gallery BAC, created an exhibition of Jean-Michel Frank in Argentina, in the end of 2010 and shares many pieces attributed to Jean-Michel Frank throughout the design, such as the dining room chairs, the screen hiding the kitchen, and the tripod Gueridon below. Frank, a French interior designer from the turn of the century, where he then owned a shopfront with Adolphe Chanaux in Saint Germain, and began to decorate for the Rockefellers and Guerlains while designing furniture.. a very well rounded and long lasting icon, for modern day design.

The living room is simple and quiet, but with the only pattern stemming from the set of Architecture Graphique Lithographs by Francis Deswarte, reflected in the mirror above, as well as the large Swedish Hand-Knotted Wool Carpet.

Flanking this space, and hidden by a folding screen, the kitchen not to be left out of the collectors thoughts, home to a Swesidh Etched Glass Lantern and a pair of stools with "Yo-Yo Legs and Soccer Ball  Feet" by Jean Royere.

We transition from the kitchen into the Master Bedroom, another oasis of serenity, with a special large plaster Shell light fixture floating above; a piece that Carlos Aparicio in France from the 1930s.

Once again the importance of each functional piece of furniture, to also be one that was a unique addition to the collection, including the Rosewood bed, by Jules Leleu.


An ample bedroom, with a reading area by the open windows, as well as beautiful en-suite bathroom

are all part of the luxuries provided by the great interior architecture of these apartments.

Hallways with simple details, flooring that here is seen in it's natural tone, while in the apartment for Elle Decor, it was stained throughout in a dark walnut finish, also makes for a very different backdrop throughout.

We move into the guest bedroom in neutral tones of grays and blacks, where Carlos has placed an Iron and Wicker daybed by Mathieu Mategot flanked by a pair of Gueridons in Painted Iron by Jean-Michel Frank once again.

On the opposite side, a warm set of leather armchairs are here once again, showcasing the play between strong and soft, the hardness of the iron frame against the supple nature of the leather.

Painting in Oil on Canvas by Cindi Johnson, USA, 20th Century, from Gallery BAC                                          

This completes the tour of Carlos Aparicio's design for Veranda at Designer Visions.
Please visit tomorrow, where I will continue on through the apartments in the Walker Tower, one of Chelsea's most beautifully newly converted condominium, with the work by interior designer Jamie Drake for House Beautiful.

*all images are my own. please feel free to share, but only with the proper credits ~ 
Jennifer Mehditash for Dec-a-Porter

Oct 24, 2013

Designer Visions - Alessandra Branca for Elle Decor - Part 2

Continuing from the living areas of the apartment designed by Alessandra Branca for Elle Decor from yesterday, today we explore the bedrooms and bathrooms of this stunning apartment as we continue the tour.

We begin in the damask upholstered Master Suite, with it's walls and drapery panels all in this fresh acid green "Anna Damask" which is part of Alessandra's new line of fabrics for Schumacher.

Pair of Carved Giltwood Table Lamps in the Form of Pineapples
(Attributed to Jansen France, ca. 1940), from Atelier Branca

A Michael Taylor Canopy Bed in Carapace Finish with Upholstered Headboard takes advantage of the high ceilings and wide open space, anchoring the room.

A comfortable living space, in front of the bed with a set of 2 "smoke" velvet upholstered Bergeres and Matching Canapé would be a wonderful place to sit and read your favorite magazine or book.. or perhaps even a little late night conversation
à deux. 

Another example of pattern play, as Alessandra uses the backdrop of the damask walls, for her Hand-Painted French Silk Panels proving that pattern upon pattern works wonders in every room!

But I think I might have a favorite in this room, and that would be the pair of Louis XVI Grey Painted Oval Back Side Chairs in which have been upholstered in Pistachio Domino Patent Leather by Moore & Giles.. I think they are divine! 

The warm Tiago Sisal Area Rug by Patterson, Flynn and Martin // Details of drapery in acid green "Anna Damask" by Schumacher

The spacious bathrooms are all beautifully designed, in marbles, granite and metallic accents...

and also take advantage of the spanning views from each of the many bathrooms throughout the duplex.

The first bedroom is framed with a central canopy bed with a velvet base and "L’Indienne" fabric coverlet. The striking Pink Cameroon hangs central within the white outline of the frame, and against the Coachman’s Cape® Aura rich walls. It's such a warm color combination.  

Coachman’s Cape® Aura rich walls - B. Moore; Upholstered in Gainsborough Velvet Fabric in Pewter with Kenmare Linen Plain Fabric Piping in White by Schumacher, and Cambridge Strie Braid Trim in White by Samuel & SonsPimento Grey Diamond Sisal Area Rug with Grey Linen Binding by Studio Four NYC with Alessandra's Pink Cowhide Rug.

Once again, old meets new, with a Louis XVI fauteuil from David Duncan Antiques covered in Branca for Schumacher "Elizabeth" Chintz in Rouge/Grey all loosely placed on the Pimento Grey Diamond Sisal Area Rug with Grey Linen Binding by Studio Four NYC and the final layer with Alessandra's Pink Cowhide Rug.
It's layer upon layer of fun in this room!

Pair of Chrome and Glass Gueridons (Side Tables) by Maison Jansen, France, ca. 1965, from Atelier Branca
 Pair of Romano Table Lamps by Christopher Spitzmiller with Branca Custom Lampshades with Velvet by Schumacher.  Ziggy Small Pendant Light Fixtures by Arteriors Home

As in yesterday's post on the living areas, Branca has once again created gorgeous window treatments in every bedroom. Here in L’Indienne fabric she pairs it with Alexander Tartan Fabric in Fuchsia also by Branca for Schumacher.

Branca Window Treatments in L’Indienne Fabric in Fuchsia/Grey and
Alexander Tartan Fabric in Fuchsia by Branca for Schumacher

Walls in High Gloss Twilight Advance by Benjamin Moore act as great backdrop in this second bedroom, for the Headboard in Prussian Blue/Rouge Melograno Fabric by Branca for Schumacher and with the collection of four Plaster Framed French antique 19c. intaglio on mirrored backs that hang overhead. 

The Prussian Blue/Rouge Melograno fabirc repeats on the drapery panels, and bedskirt and is the star of the room.

This completes the tour of Alessandra Branca's design, for Elle Decor. Please visit tomorrow, where I will continue on through the apartments in the Walker Tower, one of Chelsea's most beautifully newly converted condominium, by interior designers ~ Carlos Aparicio for Veranda and Jamie Drake for House Beautiful.

*all images are my own. please feel free to share, but only with the proper credits ~ 
Jennifer Mehditash for Dec-a-Porter

Oct 23, 2013

Designer Visions: Alessandra Branca for Elle Decor - Part 1

Last year I visited the the seventh-annual 'Designer Visions' by Hearst Magazines preview and was blown away. It appears that you all have loved that visit too, as many of those posts have remained on my top ranking posts of all time, especially  Matthew Patrick Smyth's room.

Alessandra Branca

Well then brace yourselves, as this year's showcase apartments were even more sensational.

Walker Tower, is most definitely one of Chelsea's most beautifully newly converted condominium, with it's strong Art Deco lines originally designed in 1929 by Ralph Thomas Walker.

Now, with over 47 incredible apartments (sign me up!) this 24 story building opened its doors to three fantastic interior designers ~ Carlos Aparicio for Veranda, Jamie Drake for House Beautiful and Alessandra Branca for Elle Decor.

I wanted to begin my feature of these apartments with the Rome-born, Chicago-based, Alessandra Branca's, design. Having followed her instagram images and after having the chance to speak with her after the showing last week, I have to say she is even lovelier in person than one could imagine, and not to state the obvious, an extremely talented designer... and a fellow VIRGO! Win, Win all around.

Alessandra tackled the layout of this very 'New York' apartment, with wide open spaces, columns and breathtaking views by creating several comfortable and unique vignettes that are just begging for a gathering of friends...you could almost hear the music playing.

The strong color palette of pinks, reds, neutrals paired with black and white in both modern and classical patterns and highlighted pieces of furniture, all thoughtfully placed juxtaposed against one another.

Take the contemporary Archival Pigment Prints, "Ninfa II, 2010, and Villa Borghese I, 2012 by Lawrence Beck from Sonnabend above the custom sectional banquette which rests on a Zebra Skin Rug. All anchored by the sculptural  Cast Bronze coffee table, acting as both art and function.

Frames Coffee Table in Cast Bronze, 2011, by Silas Seandel // Throw Pillows in Marmo Fabric in Red/Black Linen/Silk and Elizabeth Chintz Fabric in Rouge/Grey by Branca for Schumacher, and Prestwick Wool Satin Fabric in Azalea and Palermo Mohair Velvet Fabric in Scarlet by Schumacher

The drapery details throughout the duplex left me breathless, with each more beautifully executed and designed than the next.

In the living area, even the simplicity of the Lismore Linen Plain Fabric in White against the Gainsborough Velvet in Raven as piping by Schumacher just played to the Black & White trend that is still so strong in many interiors right now, but with a classical twist in its design.

3//Lismore Linen Plain Fabric in White and Gainsborough Velvet in Raven Piping by Schumacher

Textures, colors, patterns .. all part of the layering that made this space so comfortable and inviting. (they also happen to be some of my favorite colors, so I may be a little impartial!). This Upholstered 'Tete-A-Tete' was covered in Prestwick "azalea" Wool Satin Fabric and Palermo "scarlet" Mohair Velvet by Schumacher with the Espadrille Picot Border Trim in Lino by Samuel & Sons happily rests on a Bessarabian Area Rug Carpet Woven with Two Central Medallions within a Floral Border.

The coral tones were highlighted by each different texture and an occasionally pop of color throughout the open living space in the choice of decorative pillows. One stood out, as Alessandra pointed out that it was a custom designed hand marbleized fabric seen on the chair below in leather, and on the pillows for the banquette in a linen. 

Throw Pillows Grey 3 Fabric by Muriel Brandolini, Prestwick Wool Satin in Azalea by Schumacher
Elizabeth Chintz Fabric in Rouge/Grey in Branca for Schumacher.

1// 2//Louis XVI Painted Demilune Console With Stone Top Above Guilloche Frieze with Hanging Garlands Supported by Tapered Fluted Feet and Stretcher Centered by Classical Urn Trophy, France, ca. 1780, from Atelier Branca - Natural Rock Crystal Table Lamp by Liz O’Brien Editions

American James Mont Style Black Cerused Oak Cabinet
USA, Circa 1950, DavidDuncan Antiques

A special treat was this four panel trompe l'oeil 'mandolyn' screen by Piero Fornassetti. Really a spectacular piece again almost casually placed alongside an American James Mont style black cerused oak cabinet from DavidDuncan Antiques. It just all flows together seamlessly...

A Pair of Louis XVI Cream Painted Bergeres France, ca. 1900, Upholstered in Elizabeth Chintz Fabric in Rouge/Grey by Branca for Schumacher and Prestwick Wool Satin Fabric in Azalea by Schumacher with Brown Scallop Trim by Rogers & Goffigon, from Atelier Branca

Wouldn't you know it, of course there was a little touch of "chintz" hopefully making its way proudly back into design schemes (I am a sucker for chintz!), on these Louis XVI cream French bergeres with Elizabeth Chintz Fabric in Rouge/Grey by Branca for Schumacher, with a brown scallop trim by Rogers & Goffigon.

Leaving the living area and upon entering into the open Dining Room space in all very soft whites tones you immediately . In a room which is completely exposed and could almost be overwhelmed by these large windows and the view beyond, Alessandra wonderfully created this intimate dining experience by encapsulating the room with drapery panels in Branca Stripe for Schumacher, a Custom White Lacquer Dining Table by Two Worlds Art.

1//Fallow Deer Antlers Mounted on Carved Wood Form and Steel Stand, U.S., ca. 21st Century, from Gerald Bland
2// Bosco Dark Natural Place Settings, Stag’s Head Stemware Branca Sable and Noir Embroidered Placemats/Dinner Napkins on Natural White Linen (all Atelier Branca Collection) ~ 
Silver Plated Albi Flatware by Christofle

 The hand marbleized pattern returns again on the custom shade pendant which hung over the dining table.

Custom Cone Pendant Light Fixture Laminated in Branca Marmo Marbleized Silk Charmeuse Fabric
in Café au Lait by Atelier Branca Collection

You see what I mean about the views!?!

the 360 views from the balcony and windows - Chelsea, Manhattan

From the living room, into the library, Alessandra showcases her red palette which she is so well known for, against black and white with dark walnuts tones.
"...In many of the interiors Ms. Branca designs, red is the accent color of choice, brightening up rooms grounded in black and white. “Red is that moment of exuberance,” she said. “It’s energy. It’s visual enthusiasm... "            - from NY Times // By TIM McKEOUGH // Published: February 13, 2013
The mixtures of patterns here, are a great testament to her skill in utilizing this very strong and stark color palette in a very masterful way. The soft upholstered walls, in Branca Natural/Dark Faux Bois Fabric that are design highlights from her collection for Bergdorf Goodman in New York, as were the pieces of flatware in the Dining Room, all of which is on display on the 7th floor into November.

Illustration by Donald Robertson

Regency Mahogany Armchair with Sabre Leg Supports on Gilt-Bronze
Claw Feet Castors Upholstered in Gweneth Linen Fabric in Greige by Schumacher, England, ca. 1830

"Reinforce" (Acrylic on Canvas), 1972, by Athos Zacharias, from Gerald Bland anchored by a Pair of Swedish Mid-Century Gilt Brass Wall Sconces hang above the chesterfield sofa in Gainsborough 'watermelon' Velvet by Schumacher with a clever reversible rouge alexander tartan throw with fringe and hand embroidered paisley details.

Chesterfield Sofa Upholstered in Gainsborough Velvet Fabric in Watermelon by Schumacher Reversible Rouge Alexander Tartan Throw with Fringe and Hand Embroidered Paisley Detail and Fleurette Pattern in Noir
Ottoman Upholstered in Sofia Diamond Fabric in Noir by Branca for Schumacher with Cambridge Strie Braid Trim  in Black by Samuel & Sons

Who could resist working in this space.. especially with the cast bronze sheep keeping watch?

Cast Bronze Sheep in the Manner of Claude LaLanne, U.S., ca. 1960, from David Duncan AntiquesWalnut and Ebonized Striped Trestle Table (Desk), ca. 20th CenturyAnthony Lawrence Belfair Easton Armchair in Alexander Tartan Fabric in Rouge by Branca for SchumacherTrinity College Library Dublin I (Candida Höfer, C-Print), 2004, from Sonnabend

Make sure to come back tomorrow, for Part 2 of Alessandra Branca's design for Elle Decor ~ Designer Visions, as I continue the tour into the bedrooms. You will not want to miss it!

*all images are my own. please feel free to share, but only with the proper credits ~ 
Jennifer Mehditash for Dec-a-Porter

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