Laurie Gorelick Interiors


First Timers at 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse -- Part 2

It's hard to believe, but is indeed true, that among the first-timers at this year's Kips Bay Decorator Show House is the designer of the Dining Room, "Up In the Villa," Mark Sikes.  It's unusual for a first-timer to be awarded such a prominent space.  Rumor has it that a lottery determines which designers are granted spaces.  But the actual decision of which spaces the lucky designers get to design is left to the Show House committee chaired by Bunny Williams.

Sikes space was a celebration of color and pattern.  A mix of red and white gingham checked fabrics from Schumacher, an Indian inspired floral from Bennison, and Sikes' favorite -- a stripe -- from Soane Britain, decked the room. 

                                                                          Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

Featuring Sikes' line of rattan furniture for Soane Britain, the room demonstrated that outdoor furniture can bring a measure of informality to an otherwise formal space.  Sikes nodded to a high-low scheme by mixing his rattan furniture and tableware by Bunny Williams for the catalog-retailer Ballard Designs with precious antiques like the 19th century crystal chandelier and Neoclassical cabinets.


Lest there be any doubt about the timelessness of blue and white porcelain, Sikes' use of it as a decorative wall accent proves that point.

First-timer Alan Tanksley also earned a top notch space . . . quite literally.  Tanksley's top floor space was originally intended as a bedroom.  But its awkward scale with dormer windows made it a perfect spot for a gentleman's study.  Paying homage to his first employer, the great Mark Hampton, Tanksley fashioned "Pavlos Retreat" for Pavlos Papageorgiou, the husband of Mark Hampton's daughter and president of Mark Hampton LLC, Alexa Hampton.

                                                                        Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest

Tanksley's design demonstrated how the elements of texture and pattern enliven a monochromatic space.  Using plush de le Cuona fabric on the sofa, walnut millwork and grasscloth wallcovering, Tanksley created a diverse yet artfully composed space.  The model of the Temple of Athena (the Parthenon) is a reference to Papageorgiou's Greek heritage.


Another grand debut was had by David Phoenix who designed the Master Bedroom.  Similar to Alan Tanksley's space, Phoenix's bedroom was monochromatic.  Awash in Cowtan & Tout muted woolen tartan walls, the room had a decidedly feminine feel.  No doubt the bed's full tester and cozy fireside sitting area added to this appeal.


                                                                                 Photo by Rafael Quirindongo


The Lounge by Bennett Leifer Interiors LLC showcased the work of another first-timer.  Just off the kitchen, leading to the back stair and outdoor garden, the Lounge was one of those awkward transitional spaces usually given to first-timers.  But Leifer dealt with the awkward features of the space with aplomb.

                                                                   Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest

Any space decorated with de Gournay wallpaper has the element of pattern nailed.  The illumination created by the gilded wallpaper and luminous fixtures on the floor, wall and ceiling planes expanded the narrow space.  Mirroring the wallpaper pattern on the opposite glazing, Leifer installed sheers with similar pastoral images.