Friday, 18 May 2012

Cleopatra's Needle

I've walked by and photographed this obelisk in Central Park dozens of time over the years.  It wasn't until my participation with Partners in Preservation that I actually learned its name and history.  It is known by the nickname Cleopatra's Needle and was commissioned as part of a pair by Pharaoh Thutmosis III around 1500 BC to celebrate the 30th year of his reign. in the 19th-century one was sent to London and the other to New York by Khedive of Egypt in exchange for aid.  The obelisk is 71 feet high and weighs over 200 tons.  It took four months just to move it from the Hudson River to Central Park where it now stands behind The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Sometimes we take for granted the monuments and buildings we walk by everyday.  We assume that someone else is preserving them or paying for their upkeep.  It's easy to forget that we are all responsible for our city which Partners in Preservation has reminded me.  Now it's time to remind you that you can still vote once per day until Monday for the site that you think should win the grant money offered through the partnership of American Express and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Cleopatra's Needle is just one of over 40 sites in all five boroughs vying for your vote.  If you take a look, you might even learn more about a site you walk past everyday. 

Spring 2011 photo by me. 

Fall 2007 photo by me. 

Disclosure: I have partnered up with Partners in Preservation as a blog ambassador to help spread the word and raise awareness of select historical sites throughout the tri-state area. Though I am compensated for my time, I have not been instructed to express any particular point of view. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2012: Thom Filicia

Thom Filicia wins my award for the best design of a small space at the 2012 Kips Bay Decorator Show House.  I'm not even sure it can technically be considered a room since it barely has any walls.  It's more like a foyer between the entry, dining room, living room, and hall back to the library.  But if anyone could pull this off, it's the man who put a "living room where the crack den used to be" on my favorite episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.   

The exact shade of green used to lacquer the walls and ceiling in this space is Cat's Eye #2036-10 by Benjamin Moore.  It definitely helped reflect the light and make the space look larger. It also coordinates beautifully with the dining room designed by Todd Romano that you can see in the above photo. Neither designer was on site when I toured so I'm not sure if they were in cahoots but I know many other designers I spoke with said it was just a wonderful coincidence that they used green in their rooms. 

This is the largest area of wall space which Thom hung a work of art by Shelly Reed, entitled “Garland with Bird” from Sears Peyton Gallery above his Vanguard Eagle Console from his collection available at Safavieh. The rug is also available from Safavieh. 

When you can use your own collection of furniture and accessories, it definitely helps off set the cost of designing a room in a show house and is also great marketing. 

I loved the juxtaposition of Thom's Abstract Lines artwork and sketches by Albert Hadley that Bunny Williams lent him on the far wall .

He manged to pack a lot into this small space in including a little Jamesville Bench

A close up look at the beautiful  Manlius Teal drapery fabric that frames each of the doorways.  Of course, Thom designed it for Kravet. The cuff and leading edge fabric is Sheath Tea Stain also from Kravet. I'd be happy to take these off his hands when the house is over since they would perfectly match my apartment. 

The chairs are Otisco Chairs by Thom Filicia for Vanguard. 

The name of the room is "Green with Aviary: A Tribute to Albert Hadley" and I very much think he would approve of it. 

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2012: Welcome!

I always think it's fun to start off my Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2012 posts with the entry as a true welcome. Interior designer Bryant Keller clad the walls in the famous Scalamandre Zebras wallpaper in Masai Red that are a definitely a lovely way to begin your tour.  I loved all the little touches in his space like the red purse with matching scarf sitting by the bench and the beautiful Chinoiserie screen and cabinet.  

As I've mentioned before, this year's "house" is actually in two duplex penthouse apartments at The Aldyn.  Since most New Yorkers live in apartments, I actually prefer this type of setting since it gives you real ideas that you can use in your own space or that of a client. I am always especially interested to see how the designers deal with those awful HVAC ducts that are prevalent in contemporary architecture as well as the lack of actual architectural details. 

Perhaps because it's the 40th Anniversary of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House or that it's in honor of legendary designer Albert Hadley, the spaces are truly the most elegant I've ever seen.  All of the designers went above and beyond which is even more amazing considering how little time they had to design and complete their rooms.  They should all be proud of their accomplishments and I hope you stop by for a visit.

Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2012
The Aldyn Residences
60 Riverside Boulevard
bet. 62nd and 63rd Streets
May 16 - June 14, 2012
Monday - Saturday 11:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 - 8:00pm
Tickets $30

Designer Keller Bryant

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Revisiting Versailles

All the talk about the Chanel Resort 2013 show at Versailles had me thinking back to my last visit to the palace. While I posted photos of Le Petit Trianon and the grounds, I never posted any photos from the interior of Versailles itself.  These images are from The King's Interior Apartments and The Royal Chapel that you see on the guided tour.  They definitely make me want to make another trip now that I have my better camera. Perhaps I should adopt the attitude, "après moi, le déluge" and just go. 

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic