Laurie Gorelick Interiors


Project Design 2013 -- Ronald McDonald House of Long Island -- Part II

Let's go back to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island where 27 of the New York area's top designers recently donated their time and talent to bring new life to some of the interiors of this home away from home for critically ill children and their families.

In my last post, I featured the one-of-a-kind spaces that some of the designers magically transformed. Left in the first phase of the transformation of this house from its 1986 footprint are the eighteen original bedrooms. Notable is that these spaces are similar in size and layout to hotel doubles. Not much material to play with. Yet each designer arrived at a different solution as to how to make these spaces comfortable and comforting for their part-time residents.


                                   The Decor of the Original 18 Ronald McDonald House of Long Island Bedrooms

Themes emerged from the designers' varied interpretations of the bedroom spaces. Global influences, a theme so prevalent in design today, appeared in several designers' bedrooms. Eric Cohler infused his room with a decidedly Moroccan flavor complete with niches in the shape of Moorish arches for the tufted queen headboards.


The Moroccan influence is also present in the pointed star pendants and the woven coverlets. Cohler's treatment of the closet area was spectacular with a repetitive motif of mirrored Moorish stars covering the closet doors and dressing-area ceiling.


                                                              Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island                       

The ochre and red color palette evokes the North African landscape. Another interesting feature was the striped ceiling. Many designers wanted to give residents a soothing vista while lying in bed, and Cohler's ceiling was that and more.

Jennifer Mehditash drew inspiration from Portugal for her bedroom. The color palette of red, pale blue and white echoes sand, sea and sky, and the hand-painted red arches outlining the headboards are evocative of Mediterranean tiled roofs. Gracie wallpaper, applied to the ceiling and lacquered, gives residents a calming vista when drifting off to sleep.


                                                   Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

One of my favorite features of Jennifer's room was the original cement tile created for the bathroom by Jennifer in collaboration with Filmore Clark. It gave the bathroom a lovely focus consistent with Jennifer's concept.


                                                            Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

As a calming force, nature was a theme represented by several designers. Suzanne Costa created a focal wall with wood planks and a child's reading nook from a tree felled by Hurricane Sandy.


The sea inspired Delrose Design Group's bedroom, from the blue color palette to the fish wallpaper.


                                                       Photos courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

Elements of sea life accessorized Mabley Handler's room but it was their chinoiserie headboards from Serena & Lily that I flipped over.


                                                       Photos courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

Elegance, glamour and a healthy dose of "pretty" was Michael Herold's room's statement. Herold was inspired by a vintage 1940's art print depicting a family of egrets. Herold reproduced the print as a mural and paired it with Currey & Company's Gabor Chest to create a stunning focal point. Here's Michael with this fabulous backdrop.


Modernism represented by interesting geometric lines and forms played out thematically in several spaces. Young Huh used graphic linear elements on the walls and furnishings to assuage her bedroom's trapezoidal shape. Drawing attention to the furniture forms rather than the room's awkwardness, the linear elements -- on the walls, linens and case goods -- serve as a pathway to draw the eye around the room.


                                                            Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

I loved the little homespun touches, like the bed's accent pillows, that Young added to make the room feel homey.


                                                                     Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

Geometry was also a driving force in Drew McGukin's space. Drew extended lines created by the sloped ceiling and trapezoidal shape of his space to design a room arrayed with colorful forms. At the center, an overscaled pendant by Apparatus Studio of intersecting brass rods tipped with frosted bulbs reinforced the elemental role of geometry in Drew's space.


                                                                        Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

Drew's color palette of taupe, teal and purple couldn't be more on trend.

I have one more bedroom to showcase, but it warrants a separate post. For me, this one bedroom best represents a design intended to raise the spirits of its residents. To achieve great design while satisfying the design objective -- well, that's what it's all about. All of the designers did this, but this one designer did it exceptionally. Stay tuned.