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2014 Kips Bay Decorator Show House: Small Size, Big Punch

Among my favorites at the 2014 Kips Bay Decorator Show House were two spaces that, outside of closets and bathrooms, were the smallest of the available spaces designers could decorate. When you're a newbie at Kips Bay, you don't have a choice in the space you get to design. It's assigned to you. And odds are you'll be assigned the smallest and most challenging of all spaces.

Partners Alberto Villalobos and Mercedes Desio, of Villalobos Desio, were assigned a space just 11 by 9 feet in size. More intimidating were the two doors and electrical box consuming precious area in the space. The designers turned these negatives into a positive by creating the quintessential gentlemen's lounge, an intimate resting space for enjoying a whiskey, cognac or cigar.

     

                                                                         Photo by Marco Ricca

The designers cleverly camouflaged the doorways by cloaking one door with a "cabinet of curiosities" and the other with sliding doors, as if to suggest that another space lay beyond.

           

             Left: Cabinet of Curiosities; Right: Alcove flanked by sliding doors. Photos by Marco Ricca.

Called the "Studiolo," Villalobos Desio's space is dark and guilefully sensuous. Light reflects off the ceiling in cork and gold wallcovering from Phillip Jeffries Enchanted Woods Collection. Sound is muted by the Edelman Leather floor tiles artfully laid in a chevron pattern. So much is packed into this small space -- pattern, rhythm, focus, texture, light, and form -- that it is the veritable synthesis of the elements and principles of design.

The inspiration behind Carrier and Company Interiors' Sitting Room was the Calico Wallpaper inset into the room's existing panelling (see my earlier post on the Wallpaper Wonders of Kips Bay). With french doors to a balcony on one wall and antique mirror set into the panelled arch opposite, this little sitting room exponentially expands.

   

                                                                         Photo by Timothy Bell

A mix of antique and contemporary furnishings in metallic shades of pewter and gold complement the Calico wallpaper backdrop. Other organic elements abound like the calla lily floor lamp and agate occasional table.

            

A mirrored console reflects light and echoes the glazing of the antique mirror panel and french doors.

              

The contrast of matte and metallics, organic and man-made, vintage and contemporary make this small space supremely grand.