Friday, August 5, 2011

The Hampton Designer Showhouse 2011 Presented by Traditional Home

I want to share some of our favorite designers featured in the Hampton Designer Showhouse.  I have a special place in my heart for Southampton Hospital, since I was taken to their emergency room in the 60's and was diagnosed with starvation--that will never happen again. I was staying at the famous old Murray-McDonnell compound, containing scores of grandchildren. They often fed us en-mass, outside, while I was engrossed with Red-Light/Green-light or, Mother May I. All of those twirling umbrella steps finally took me down. I would toss my food in the bushes, to stay in the game. Cleaving to the era, I was revived with Frosted Flakes. Things have changed.
Offered at $6,500,000, the Hamptons showcase house is a many gabled affair, with strapping design talent generating sell-out audiences. The living room was orchestrated by Lillian August designers, Skye Kirby Wescott and Angela Camarda. The room is furnished in furniture and upholstery carried by all of the five Lillian August Stores (Greenwich, CT, 2 in Norwalk CT, New York City, Los Angeles) as well as vintage finds. 
I often find myself trailing behind the Lillian August buyers at High Point, and admire the abundant vintage swag that is plastered with destinations for her eponymous stores. I have been lucky enough to find some of her Hickory White pieces in  Hickory, N.C. for local clients. 
Showcase houses are a great place for designers to flex their creative muscles. Drama and "Wow" factor rarely translate to "normal life," but the Hamptons Designer Showhouse walks the line to perfection. The branch canopy over the living room, bringing the outside in, strikes just the right chord.
 Eddie Lee's guest suite below is hip, yet still manages to be pretty. Are they mutually exclusive terms? I think not.
Eddie Lee explains:
"I designed it to be a comfortable lounge for house-guests to relax and entertain. The sofa is deep enough to double as twin beds to sleep guests with children in tow. 

Decoratively, I schemed the room from the view of the pool, and the lush green foliage from the windows. The washed out versions of the colors adorn the upholstery, carpet and ceiling, with purple and gold/brass accents. I used a combination of painted French and Swedish antiques, a 1970's lucite coffee table, a 1970's Venini chandelier, mid century modern style upholstery, and contemporary art to make the space feel Hamptons appropriate, but still dynamic and youthful." If I was moving in to this house, I'd take the whole room! Fun ceilings were a motif, and Tobi Fairley's guest bedroom did not disappoint. 
A fearless mixture of pattern and color, combined with bold graphics is one of Tobi Fairley's signatures. I said: "One of." She displays an operatic virtuoso, design range. You couldn't have more fun in a bedroom! Speaking of fun, going down to the basement, between the movie theater, game room and the lounge, you'll find yourself in a hip, swanky bar space by Wilhel interiors
Auction House alums Lisa Hilderbrand and Jeanette Weldon, founders of Welhil Interiors are all about savvy shopping for their clients.  The space is handsome, and welcoming, slightly masculine, and suitably nautical.  The walls are covered in a reflective, lacquered paper by Farrow and Ball, and the stunning bar crystal is Saint-Louis. Dmitri and Co., created the custom banquette worthy of propping the stylish pair--Nick and Nora Charles, of The Thin Man.  The classic bar is a vintage find that makes me want to dance backwards, in very high-heels. Mid-century crystal chandeliers, shiny brass accents, a Lucite tub chair, and the circa 1940 molded consoles by Paola Buffa, enhance the invitation to linger in a normally neglected space. Always put the liquor in transitional spaces. Your guests will gleefully fill the voids. 
 Through the hall, this sunny basement space is a delightful surprise. 
Now famous, Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel DePedro Cunnigham of Tilton Fenwick, pair luscious, mossy velvet, back to back sofas to anchor the space in a way that works surprisingly well. I imagine the grown-ups with feet propped, reading the old National Geographics, while the children run circles around them.  We covered the Justin Belmont "Not a Gallery" digital painting above the Hickory chair console HERE. Note the subtle texture of the Phillip Jeffries wall paper.
I became seriously engrossed in their fantastic blog, where they share some terrific "Before" shots and renderings of the space. 
With the stark vista of stone steps, this cozy space becomes a balancing counter point to the glaring light of high July in the Hamptons. 
You can see how the room is grounded by the large verdigris lantern. This is a large house so we'll try to cover a few more designer interviews for you next week. More Later!!

The 2011 Hampton Designer Showhouse
Presented by
Traditional Home
To Benefit
Southampton Hospital

This year’s Showhouse is located at
1224 Scuttle Hole Road
Bridgehampton, NY

Open Daily Monday to Sunday
Sunday July 24 to September 4
11AM to 5PM

Admission is $30 and includes a Journal.
Tickets may be purchased at the door or may be purchased in advance (
click here).
No admission 30 minutes before closing.
No strollers, infants, children under 6, or pets are admitted.

House built by All Seasons General Contracting
House Designed by James Theiss - Architect