Felice Varini Piano

Parson’s School of Design- Part I

Yesterday was my first day of class at Parson’s School of Design, and I’m kicking off my coursework with Interior Space Planning. I thought it might be fun to take you all along for the journey from concept to virtual execution, and take you into the approach of a (budding) designer!

As a first assignment, we were asked to research and review the work of a contemporary artist, and choose one to be both the inspiration for and client of our space. We were given the following list of artists to choose from. Talk about an impossible choice! See below for sampling of their work. Can you guess which one I chose before I reveal my first assignment? Which would you choose as your inspiration?

 

Maya LIn

 

Anish Kapoor

 

 

Yayoi Kusama

Jesus Soto

Ann Hamilton

Richard Serra

Michael Heizer

Ai Wei Wei

Kara Walker

Jenny Holzer

James Turrell

Felice varini

Olafur Elliason

Felice Varini Piano

Finding Inspiration Everywhere

I am counting the days until my courses at Parson’s kick off this June, and in preparation have had a blast recommitting to indulging my creative pursuits. Below, a few standouts that I wanted to share with you, so take a pause, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, no judgement) and prepare yourselves for some serious drool worthiness below.

 

The 2017 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

My friend Hilary and I decided to take a trip uptown to the Kips Bay Decorator’s Showhouse. What on earth is that, you say? Well dear reader, I’ll tell you. The showhouse is an annual event where celebrated Interior Designers transform a luxury Manhattan home (understatement of the century) into an absolutely bananas exhibition of fine furnishing, art and technology. The event raises critical funds for after school and enrichment programs for New York City children (getting your kicks in while benefitting society? yes please)- and as grown into “a must see event for thousands of design enthusiasts…renowned for sparking interior design trends throughout the world.” This year’s showhouse is on 65th street between Park and Lex (e.g. heaven), and was such a perfect way to spend an evening with one of my best girlfriends. To add to the visual delight, a number of the designers were on site (we went on opening day) and it was so great to have them answer our questions about materials, thought process, and the nitty gritty details behind the details! Herewith, some of my favorite rooms.

 

1- Susan Ferrier of McAlpine’s moody bedroom & Living Suite :

2- the utterly glamorous bamboo framed backyard :

3- Designer Ken Fulk’s divine with a capital “D” dining room:

4- another look at ken fulk’s room- look at those incredible curtains:

5- Look at that heavenly de gournay wallpaper. i  died and went to heaven, only for that giraffe to bring me back to life:

6- Richard Misshaan’s sultry sitting room:

7- Kirsten Kelli’s incredibly innovative mix of modern and traditional:

I will show more details photos in subsequent posts – as there were too many to share! But the whole place is divine and worth every penny of the $40 admission fee. Plan your visit here.

 

Books

When I’m not roaming the streets of New York seeking out mansions to walk through, I’m doing my share of reading! The below are a few I’ve added to the shelves as of late.

How They Decorated illustrates some of the great rooms of the twentieth century, whose stylish residents influence our tastes today. Translation: how did women with all the moola and style in the world decorate their homes? From Bunny Mellon to Mona von Bismarck to Georgia O’Keefe – this book dives into their aesthetic approaches, categorizing them into “The Fashionably Chic” “the Unconventional Eye, “in the Grand Manner” and “Legacy Style”.

Via Rizzoli: “Known for his meticulously researched, European-inspired style, Marshall Watson creates interiors that are rich in texture, detail, and simple luxuries. In his first book, Watson shares his finest work, demonstrating that while each of these homes is as unique as its owner, they all adhere to principles that transform a mere series of spaces into a genuine, coherent home: warmth; light; peace; comfort; balance; proportion; livability; and last but not least, appropriateness. Whether in an Italianate villa in Los Cabos or a family idyll on a Swedish island, a Gramercy Park apartment that blends shimmer and restraint, or a Newport Beach cottage warmed by walls finished in egg-yolk yellow, Watson explains how he translated each family’s lifestyle and aspirations, the house’s history, and the surrounding environment into a highly original form of elegance—and how anyone can discover his or her own.”

What I particularly enjoy about this book so far is that you can’t pinpoint a replicable “style” of his that is imprinted on every house, which is refreshing in an age when you can look at a house and almost immediately tell who laid their paws on it. In my opinion, you don’t hire a decorator to impose their view of the world, you hire them to impose yours. Nowhere does this come through more clearly than in Watson’s interiors – a beautifully photographed and written book.

 

From designer and blogger Erin Gates, a fully illustrated book packed with advice, ideas, inspiration, and anecdotes about designing a home that reflects your personality and style. Written in a fluid and conversational tone and divided by room, it is such an enjoyable read and really well done and accessible, despite her very obvious talents. I adored this book and basically gobbled it up in 2 days.

From the man himself: “This is a book about dreams coming true; the curiosities in the rooms I have decorated; and the people, artists, and places that have inspired me. When all is said and done and I am long forgotten, maybe someone will find this book in a dusty library—if such a thing still exists—and glimpse a bit of the pleasure my life has given me. I want them to have the sensation of dancing across an MGM soundstage, silhouetted in a klieg light, because that was my intention with this book, a very personal blend of work and fantasy.”

—Miles Redd

Needless to say, I can’t wait to crack this one open. Leaving it for last (notably because it’s also the heftiest of the bunch!)

 

Apart from these, sometimes the best inspiration truly comes from walking the streets of New York, and I’m grateful to be doing more of that now that the weather has turned (all the way up to 60 degrees! Come on Summer). Yesterday, I took 21st street East from 10th avenue, admiring the Chelsea brownstones and gorgeous flowers in bloom; sometimes the free entertainment is truly the best there is.

Until next time,

Miss Sheiky xx