Monday, December 30, 2013

Designing for the Wolf

The following are my design experiences working for the Belfort's from 1994-1998. The work is a collaboration between designer and client and depicts the style of interiors popular 20 years ago. Without the convenience of digital photography, images were professionally taken with a 4x5 negative camera by Tim Ebert [Houses] and John Rowe [Yacht].

I met Nadine in the spring of 1994.  She came into my Locust Valley shop, chatted and dropped off her keys to her oceanfront house and asked me to go to make suggestions to make it incredible for the summer season. The Hampton house in the movie where Jordan meets Nadine is similar to this first house I worked in.  Nadine and I had decorated it in a whimsical beach house style readying it for a growing family.
The house was sold and I had the honor of redoing it for the new homeowners in a style reminiscent of a South Beach Hotel with white billowing sheers and oversized plantation shutters throughout.

Projects included four locations- Westhampton, Brookville, Southampton, and the Yacht Nadine.

I was vacationing in Italy when my office called about Jordan's wife needing my services right away.  I met her at the Oyster Bay boat yard with my tape measure and notepad thinking we were going to recover some boat cushions.  We boarded the tender and when it made the bend around smaller boats in the bay, I was completely taken by surprise.

The yacht Nadine was originally built in 1961 for fashion icon Coco Chanel with a length of 121'. She was lengthened to 167' which gave her a second salon midship in addition to the more typical aft one and allowed her to accommodate an incredible number of toys  Two large remote controlled bench cushion platforms that revealed windows that allowed to see the sea floor from the master stateroom were also added.

I was back in Italy the following summer and was shocked to watch the breaking news story:  "Nadine" sinks during storm off the east coast of Sardinia. Americans on board saved by the Italian coast guard!

Aerial shot of the yacht and toys including a seaplane, a helicopter, 8 jet skis, and 4 tenders.

The original aft deck's blue and white motif is very similar to what was depicted in the movie. There was no outdoor jacuzzi on board. This yacht had class.

The Aft Salon, typically the only main interior seating area of most yachts. 
Design features: high gloss lacquered burled walnut, hand woven reed shades, ultrasuede custom seating.

The Dining Room featured glass atop to pickled wood seashell bases, chairs in the same finish with upholstered in Scalamandre fabric.

The Main Salon featured ultrasuede walls, a Karl Springer goat skin game table, custom Summer Hill-style sofas with interior wine storage, antique framed fish studies from Lorin Marsh and antiques from Italy and France, from Epel & Co. The interior was completely climate controlled.  The tapestry is a european antique.

The Bar in the main salon was an impressive mix of marbles. Barstools upholstered in Scalamandre fabric.

Various marble baths throughout featured linens by Cittadini, New York, embroidered with the "N" rope Nadine logo designed by a friend of the client.

One of the secondary staterooms shown here.  Inspired custom "Chanel" diamond quilting.

Media room with Bausman and Guy Chaddock Furniture, Glant and Hinson fabrics. Custom upholstery by Alfino Fine Arts. Lamps by Chapman throughout.
The second floor billiard room shown in the movie was actually a feature in this home, but was used as a room for a scene in the first home.

The formal Dining Area with wine bins as a focal point.  Custom bleached alder table by Bausman, chairs and upholstered end settees by Alfino Fine Arts.
Diamond Sisal by Merida Meridian.

Living Area custom sofa upholstery in Glant fabrics; club chairs in embossed Edelman Leather.  Furniture by Melrose House Rose Tarlow, Bausman, and Holly Hunt.  Rug by F.Schumacher in a tonal tahitian floral design by Greg Lanza. 

The Master Suite canopy bed in Gretchen Bellinger and Glant fabrics, Pratesi Linens, Furniture by Country Designs. Carpet by F.Schumacher.

The French Normandy style home depicted in the movie showed shots of the exterior, foyer and kitchen that were very close to the original home which had an amazing add on room called the Sun Room.  We designed it in a West Indies Plantation chic that was hot in the day.  Furniture by British Khaki.

The movie featured the Master Bedroom in cool icy blues that speak more of today's style than they did in the mid 90's.  The master bedroom was in pale taupes, with contemporary side chests, a golden brass bed.
Chaise and mirrored side table by Nancy Corzine. The Edward Fields wool/silk rug [fabricated in one piece included the bedroom, dressing area and walk in-closets] was hoisted by crane and entered the room through a second floor double window.

The Guest Bedroom had pleated silk taffeta walls applied to the upper walls and the dado was treated with a hand-painted parchment finish. Cotton print fabrics from England.

The Playroom was a huge 23' x 26' room that had custom storage in wenge stained oak to match the interior trim.  Wallpaper from Osborne & Little, Jane Churchill fabrics, and a custom rug from Country Carpet.

The Dining Room and Gallery were not yet professionally photographed.
The gallery was inspired by the trompe l'oeil work of Renzo Mongiardino and featured burled walnut and oak wood effects and ornate antique vases painted in perspective as if they were sitting on a shelf below a muted italian sky accented with birds in flight.
Painting and snapshots by Loraine Volz.

The Living Room was an immense tray ceilinged space in stenciled cream damask with dark walnut paneling and upholstery in spinach green, apricot and cream. A 6' high iron and rock crystal chandelier was centered in the room. Accent furniture and mirrors were  in gold tones and tortoise shell.  A few modernist Barbara Barry pieces offset the regal feeling.

The axminster rug design in wool and silk in over 30 colors [more muted than shown] was designed in 1998 for the ongoing design of the Living Room and was never realized.  The rendering is hand-painted in gouache [by E. Kolligs] and shows a one-quarter section to scale.  Size: 22'6" x 28'6"

The projects came to an end, but a great portfolio and experience were gained.

Design Portfolio:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

LoSt AnD foUnD

It's been a super-long time between my posts. 
Aside from interior design projects and designer showhouses,
we are experiencing rapid growth at 
BIRCH LIFESTYLE and are opening 
With that said... back to Cleyemax!

It's time for spring cleaning and a perfect opportunity 
to feature found objects.
Lost can literally mean losing an item or even 
a loss of interest in something you
have saved or once collected.
I am not one for repurposing an object unless
it's done in a truly spectacular way.
Here are examples of how forgotten objects 
are incorporated in some exceptional ways!

Always effective, a collection of Antique Plates, Prints or Silhouettes
look fresh when scattered asymmetrically on walls.

A soft glow emitting from Vintage Tea Cups inverted as bulb shades
become instant flea-market chic. 

See who sits where when Random Chairs are used unexpectedly
for entertaining indoors or out.

Keys and Clocks add a sense of history to any setting...

Old Trunks and Valises tell a story in this fantasy bedroom.

Old becomes new again...
with a background or focal piece in bold color,

while Ceiling Medallions in various shades become modern art.

Image credits:
Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Home Redesign Kaleidoscope, Favim, Sage Atelier

BIRCH LIFESTYLE  28 Birch Hill Road
Locust Valley, NY 11560

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back to the Future...

Masanori Umeda's 1980's Ginza Robot Cabinet

Mid-century furniture has made a comeback and has influenced a whole new era of design,
but will we see the return of late 20th century home furnishings?

The big eighties made a lasting impression on me. It has not influenced my work directly, but the music, fashion, money and energy were motivating.
Soho was full of galleries, with not an uptown boutique to be seen.
Color was explosive and everywhere,
from art and movies to clothing and nouvelle cuisine.
Peter Shire's "Peninsula" table #22, 1982

Sottsass' silverplated Fruit Bowl / Dish Murmansk

was founded in 1981 by architect Ettore Sottsass and a group of young Milanese architects and designers. The playful colors, materials and motifs of the furniture, ceramics and glassware was unveiled at the 1981 milan furniture fair. Memphis split the design world and caused a media sensation after years of drab, conventional design of the 70's. Memphis Design became the radical design movement that achieved iconic status. It clearly is not for everyone, but none the less, it became part of museum collections world wide.

1983 Alioth Vase by Ettore Sottsass through

The designers disagreed with the conformist approach at the time and challenged the idea that products had to follow conventional shapes, colours, textures and patterns.
Bel Aire Arm Chair 1982 by Peter Shire

Vintage watches by Swatch

Swatch reinvented an everyday fashion item...

Shopping malls and fashion showrooms worldwide used stylized animal patterns such as cow print and zebra, along with black/white composition note book, stripes, triangles, squiggles and exaggerated faux wood grain.

Memphis Designs for the Esprit Showroom in Zurich and Store Design in Cologne

Dublin Sofa, Marco Zanini, 1980

A newly designed Chaise with 1980's inspiration from

Flamingo Side Table by Michele de Lucchi for Memphis, Italy, 1984

Iconic Memphis style chair by Michele De Lucchi, Italy 1983

Unique pair of Sottsass/Mendini inspired table lamps by Products of London

Architectural Rendering by Ettore Sottsass

Signature Style of Architect Michael Graves

Kitchen Timer also by Michael Graves for Alessi

Ettore Sottsass' Carlton Cabinet for Memphis, 1981

Early inspiration...
Harmonie Tranquille, Wassily Kandinsky, 1925

... and during the movement

Monkey Puzzle by Keith Haring, 1988

An 80's Yellow Figure Chair from

Andy Warhol's Brooklyn Bridge, 1983

Treat yourself to the eye-popping "moving" graphics and new-wave fashion style of
Le Roux in her video for Bullet Proof... the sound is sheer synthesized eighties pop!