The Designer Showhouse of New York, to benefit Lenox Hill Hospital,is opening today in Manhattan's Financial District and I'm so thrilled to be one of the designers chosen to participate in this inaugural event. The showhouse is housed in the luxe W Hotel Residences, a tower of hotel condos located above the uber chic W Hotel. And the views! Located on the 55 and 56th floors, the condos offer spectacular vistas of some of NYC's most iconic sites-the Freedom Tower, the Sept. 11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty and Empire State building.
Each of the 20 designers was given a room to design--mine, a 11' x 17' bedroom with enviable 14' ceilings and sweeping views inspired me to design a glamorous, serene sitting room with luxurious touches; velvets, silks, brass, mirrors and a touch of mink all made it into the rooms final design.
Every room design needs a vision, whether its a favorite color, painting, even a piece of jewelry, you need something to draw your room inspiration and design from. My sitting room features an elegant 9' gilded and painted mirror that is the true star of the room. It began as a set of 10' door panels that were part of the Jayne Wrightsman estate in Palm Beach.
The door frame panels were from the room featured on the cover of The Wrightsman Galleries For French Decorative Arts book, a spectacular room with obvious references to the Versailles Palais.
Jayne Wrightsman is an American philanthropist and fine arts collector, best know as one of the greatest benefactors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a close friend of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis whom she mentored during the monumental 1961-63 restoration of the White House. The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum showcases the Museum's renowned collection of 17th and 18th C. French furniture and related decorative arts pieces—many of which have a royal provenance. Its an dazzling exhibit and definitely worth a visit.
The door panels were given to me nearly 20 years ago when much of the estate in Palm Beach was sold. They have sat in wooden crates since, until recently when we pulled them out and decided they would make an extraordinary mirror.
The project was easier said than done--the ornamental plaster moldings were so delicate that they had to be removed for transportation and then reapplied during installation.
The result--a piece of history redefined and the genesis for my room!
More Showhouse to come!