Last week, I was invited by Kravet Inc. to preview Project Design 2013, an initiative launched by Kravet and architect/interior designer Anthony Baratta to refresh the interiors of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, New York. Rooted in a simple request from Tony Baratta to Kravet to help with the re-upholstering of some sofas in the house's Great Room, the project mushroomed into the re-design of the house's 18 original bedrooms, kitchen, common areas, playroom and landscaped patio area. Kravet donated all of its fabrics used in the redesign and the manpower of several of its staff members to help with project management. I've been at Kravet's Blogfests and have witnessed first-hand their generosity and service to their industry. It's no surprise that, when approached by Tony Baratta, the Kravet Family would want to turn his request into a vehicle for the company and its industry partners to give back.
The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is nestled adjacent to the campus of Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York. It provides a home away from home for families with critically ill children receiving local treatment and serves about 1,000 families per year. Length of stays range from one week to up to one year. The facility consists of 42 bedrooms, each with a private bath, indoor and outdoor children's play areas, kitchens with multiple stations for individual families' meal preparation, five laundry rooms, a library, a large central Great Room and several smaller lounges near bedroom clusters. Project Design 2013 is just the first phase of the revitalization of the house's interiors. The redesign of the house's original kitchen and more of its bedrooms is planned.
Twenty-seven of the New York area's top interior designers participated in Project Design 2013. Unlike show houses where the participating designers work on spaces of different sizes and function, Project Design 2013 gave most participating designers similar spaces: a room much like a typical hotel double with two queen beds, one window wall, one closet, and one full bath. This commonality made it all the more interesting to see the varied design interpretations of the participating designers. In spite of these variations, certain themes emerged. What better way to show what's trending in interior design than to spot the themes showcased in Project Design 2013's "laboratory." I'll feature these themes later, but first, here are some of the extraordinary one-of-a-kind spaces in the house.
Tony Baratta, the original designer of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island when it was built in 1986, tackled the Great Room, a two-story space with panoramic floor to ceiling windows and skylights. The room serves as a gathering space for resident families. The light-filled space with views of the verdant landscaping beyond creates a colorful and cheerful backdrop. But it's the two-story Victorian houses, left, right and center that give the space its playful character.
The multicolored print on the sofas was created by Tony and specially printed by Kravet exclusively for Project Design 2013.
If you pass through the Victorian house on the right, you enter the Kitchen and Dining Area, magnificently redone by Margreet Cevasco Design and Vasi Ypsilantis Design Associates. Smartly furnished with Poggenpohl cabinetry, Silestone countertops and Artistic Tile backsplashes, the kitchen is elegant and modern. One of my favorite features was the Anacapri Paradiso window treatment fabric from Kravet's Jonathan Adler collection.
This glassed-in sitting area provides a quiet nook where children can read or rest while their parents prepare meals.
Smaller lounges provide families with an intimate, quiet space for reading or relaxing near their bedrooms. This space by Kate Singer Home, just up the stairs from the Great Room, feels like an intimate living room.
I adored Matthew Patrick Smyth's Mets Room, a shrine to the New York Mets baseball team, filled with memorabilia and even a video loop of the famous 6th and 7th games of the 1986 World Series. (FYI--I was as fanatic a Mets fan back then as I am a New England Patriots fan today.) Here's Matthew in this fabulous lounge space.
Kim Radovich of Kim E. Courtney Interiors & Design designed a luxurious bespoke library and computer lounge. Like many of the bedrooms, Kim's room was trapezoidal. She had to customize the room's sectional sofa in order to accommodate the slanted wall. Kim's intention was to make the room look equally handsome both day and night. I adored the wallpaper encrusted with mica chips that she used on the ceiling plane to create additional sparkle and illumination at night.
Of all the one-of-a-kind spaces in the house, those designed by Danielle Colding deserve special mention. Danielle designed not one, but seven spaces in the house: 4 public bathrooms, two laundry rooms and a private telephone room. I flipped for one of her laundry rooms. Danielle used the same Hinson wallpapers designed by Albert Hadley on her walls and ceiling that I had used in one of my show houses (in a different color). Wouldn't you feel better about having to do laundry when greeted by the whimsical and colorful patterns in this room?
Next up: bedroom themes and spaces.