Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New York

If you know me, you know I love New York City. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few days there last month. My husband took care of the puppy and I had a great time meeting with my fellow designers from around the country, seeing the Kips Bay Showhouse, shopping a little, and even got a few quick hours in the D&D Building.

The D&D Building was a quick stop this time, but since Columbus has limited resources for designers, it's always important to spend time in a few key showrooms. I might get myself in trouble here, but I had to snap a quick, covert (really bad) photo of the Lee Jofa Showroom. I'm such a huge fan though... Here is a vestibule in the showroom with amazing floral (large scale, Asian style) wallpaper. The trim color and the ceiling color were both drawn from the colors in the wallpaper. It's so posh and elegant.

In another room, which I didn't take a picture of, they were renovating. On the walls from the last design was fabric. Typically you see fabric upholstered on the walls, but this was cut from the selvage and then glued to to the wall. You could barely see the seams... very cool, but would require a very good eye and a very steady hand. Any takers?

A lot of what I saw this trip was very contemporary, even from the most traditional suppliers. Brunschwig had a whole new look in at least half of the showroom. It was nice, but not exactly what I associate with Brunschwig as a brand. It made me wonder if times are tough and they are trying to appeal to a wider audience? I'm no branding expert, but I've worked with enough of them to know that you have to stick to your brand, especially when times are tough.

Overall it was a great and inspiring trip. New York has so much energy and there is creativity and genius at every turn... after many years I'm getting better at spotting the little details in the sea of urbanity. I come home with a refreshed outlook each and every time.

Above is a picture from the 2008 Kips Bay Showhouse. This is a corner of a room that I found very detailed, layered and elegant. I did not take photos, so I can't show you the bed that was the centerpiece of this room. The room was designed by Kondylis Design and should eventually be featured on House Beautiful's web site. In reality, you won't be able to get the full level of detail in a photo. The bed was fully upholstered on all sides and had layers of silk, an immaculately pleated canopy, and lush bedding. The layers of white window treatments gave the room an ethereal quality- they were very full, yet pretty simple. Throughout I found many really good applications of materials and details, but overall the spaces didn't blow me away. One of the other designers I met with noted that the showhouse this year was in an apartment building that didn't have many interesting architectural details and only had 8' ceilings, so that left a bit to be desired. It can't be a great time for designers to invest in a showhouse and finding a willing townhouse owner in Manhattan right now might be a little tough.