What were those designers thinking? The Hampton Designer Show House

Before I was in the design business I would visit show houses and look at the rooms simply from a personal perspective. If the room happened to be decorated according to my taste and done up with colors I liked I would declare it a hit. If it was anything else, I would immediately dismiss it as ugly. I was quite the critic!

Now that I am educated to the design process and I have friends who participate in show houses, I look at the rooms with a totally different perspective. Such was the case at last weeks Hampton Designer Showhouse. Some of the rooms were simply beautiful and appealed to the masses. They were decorated in soft soothing colors with tasteful accessories that were appropriate to the Hampton location.

Design by Kate Singer, Linda Holt Photo

Design by Kate Singer, Linda Holt Photo

Some of the other rooms were very well done they just happen not to be my taste. Ironically it is those rooms that I give the most thought and attention to. I try to guess what the designer was thinking. I want to know what their inspiration was for the room. There are so many moving parts and decisions that go into creating a show house and sometimes the designer has to use what is available even if it’s not their first choice. I learned this when I participated in the One Room Challenge which was a virtual type of show house.

So no matter if I was a fan or not, I studied the rooms and here are a few of the common threads I observed within all the rooms of the Hampton Show House.

TEXTURE: This was my number one observation. Rich luxurious textures were a major theme within the house. I keep hearing opulence in interior design is making a comeback and many of the show rooms proved this to be true.

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Giant over scale chunky throws were in many of the rooms adding luxurious layered texture as well as thick textured carpets, fur, grass cloth covered walls and sumptuous fabrics. This room, designed by Melanie Turner, was my favorite room in the house. The fabric she chose for the window treatments was riddled with holes which added even more texture to her all white room.

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

pillows

Get out your giant knitting needles and get to work!

How cool are those giant cable knit pillows against the faux bois wallpaper?

Mabley Handler Design, Linda Holt Photo

Mabley Handler Design, Linda Holt Photo

The master bedroom designed by Mabley Handler was a sumptuous retreat filled with luxurious textiles as well as a shiny silver dresser, sleek leather chairs and textural grass cloth clad walls. Notice too the statement chandelier which looked like a wedding cake. The layers hanging down are fabric. I loved this room and had to use restraint because I wanted to touch everything, lay on the bed and roll around on the rug.

The black and white bedroom below designed by Elsa R. Soyars was interesting. Not only was it filled with lot’s of different textures like the sculpted rug, a velvet bench with a fur throw, linen and silks, it also featured a black macrame hammock directly next to the bed. This was one of those instances where I would have loved to ask the designer her thought process on the hammock (as well as her placement of a life size deer on the opposite side of the room).

Elsa R. Soyars

Elsa R. Soyars

STATEMENT LIGHTING:Big statement lighting is nothing new but this show house had some very unusual pieces.

Notice the big chunky macrame table skirt adding even more texture to the mostly all white room. Speaking of white rooms…the majority of the walls in the show house were either painted white or covered with grass cloth.

Marie-Christine Design, Linda Holt Photo

Marie-Christine Design, Linda Holt Photo

Another primarily white room with a chunky throw, pillows, a thick textured carpet and a geometric statement chandelier.

Statement lighting was in every single room including a powder room so small I couldn’t get a photo of much more than the light and a tiny glimpse of the ceiling and wallpaper.

Steven Stolman design, Linda Holt Photo

Steven Stolman design, Linda Holt Photo

LACK OF BRIGHT COLOR AND PATTERNS: With the exception of the powder room above and the master bathroom (below) there was very little color or pattern in the house. I would say the master bathroom though had plenty of both color and pattern for the whole house!

Tilton Fenwick, Linda Holt Photo

Tilton Fenwick, Linda Holt Photo

I will leave you with my final image of the kitchen. Just like the proverbial wedding gown at the end of the fashion show, the kitchen is the room that set the tone for the whole house. White, bright, beautiful and a wonderful mixture of textures.

Bakes and Kropp Design, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp Design, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp, Linda Holt Photo

So there you have it. My take on the 2016 Hampton Designer Show House. I hope you enjoyed my virtual tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donghia: Designer or Photographer’s paradise?

When I am traveling, I occasionally (okay, frequently) get so excited about what I see that I get swept up in the moment and just want to zone out and take pictures. This happened over and over again while on BlogTour NY but especially so at the Donghia show room. I was so struck by the beauty of their furniture, lighting and textiles that I seriously could have spent an entire day just taking photos. Everywhere I turned there was something that made my jaw drop.

Founded by Angelo Donghia, the Donghia brand is all about timeless luxury, craftsmanship and fine details.  Since I associate Donghia furniture with a neutral palette (and I am a huge color lover) I was curious as to how the showroom would use color. I was not disappointed. The colors were perfect, although often subtle and used mostly in a supporting roll.

Donghia

This room was striking with the complementary colors orange and blue.  When investing in major pieces of furniture I think it makes sense to buy items that are classic and neutral. That way, when the trends change it’s a lot easier to change your wall colors and accessories than replace all your furniture.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I love the teal colored wall paper and the green and yellow painting against the deep dark green velvet sofa. We were told the artist created the painting just for this specific room vignette. Look how the lines in the painting repeat the lines on the pillows. Even the sculptural glass piece on the coffee table mimics the swirling forms on the wallpaper. No detail is random at Donghia!

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

This room is so calming and restful with it’s mix of neutral fabrics, gold metals and interesting shapes and lines. I love that the two mint green vases act as a subtle exclamation point of color.

One thing I noticed is that the absence of bright color allowed me to focus on all the unique details Donghia is know for…and speaking of details, look at the gold stripe peaking out from the folds of the curtains…gorgeous!

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

As a color lover, I can not believe how drawn I was to this black and white graphic room. Every detail from the cow hide wall covering to the tribal inspired pillows grabbed me. Also, a fun factoid, Angelo Donghia custom designed this white sofa for Ralph and Ricky Lauren’s Hampton vacation home. It became so sought after that it became part of the Donghia line and it is still one of their best sellers today.

If this room was magically transported to my home I would put a single bright yellow or hot pink pillow in the corner of that sofa and call it perfection!

Besides the room vignettes, I was in complete awe of Donghia’s lighting and the decorative treatments on the ceiling. In fact, I spent so much time walking around looking up that it is a miracle I didn’t trip over the furniture!

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Every chandelier was a work of art. If you look closely the hanging crystal has tiny flecks of gold inside.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

 

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

 

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Donghia’s wall sconces were some of the most interesting I have seen.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

This gold ginkgo blossom sconce is by Charles Paris and is sold exclusive through Donghia in the US.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

This sconce is made of blackened brass with strips of  shagreen in a color called Peony. I would love to use this sconce in a project.

Not to be out done, even the table lamps are works of art. Don’t they look like little ladies lined up at the ball?

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Linda Holt Photo

I hope you enjoyed my little photographic tour of Donghia and I would love to hear which room or light is your favorite.

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