For 44 years, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York has been recruiting some of the world's eminent designers to transform Manhattan townhouses into eclectic show-homes, the proceeds of which benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club charity.
Yesterday, a converted parking garage just off Fifth Avenue opened its doors, revealing a five-story, $49.5 million limestone mega-house, featuring an art-deco kitchen, a handful of bespoke parlour rooms, two outdoor terraces and a roof deck with views that skim over Barneys and the Pierre Hotel, settling upon the treetops of Central Park.
This year, London-based interior architecture firm David Collins Studio created 'The Collins Room' entrance hall, taking their cue from the Berkeley's Blue Bar, which they designed in 2000. Now an infamous celebrity trap, the Blue Bar is known for its signature azure furniture and 'Lutyens blue' walls.
This unique shade (christened after Sir Edward Lutyens, creator of the original panelling that clads the hotel's walls to this day) was the starting point for the Kips Bay interior, explains creative director Simon Rawlings. 'It was something I wanted to do to mark the importance of the Blue Bar project, to signal its timelessness and to create something iconic.'
Akin to their collaborative house-style, David Collins Studio teamed up with with a host of renowned design talents to realise their Show House contribution. A hidden 'English garden' installation of wild bramble and wisteria comes courtesy of Emily Thompson, and nine curious acrylic artworks have been created by long-time Studio collaborator Alexander Innes. Uniting the various shades of blue is a seriously classy hand-screened 'Chiyogami' wallpaper in lapis, claret and gold, part of the upcoming 'David Collins Studio for Baker' range.
The piece that truly shines a light on Lutyens' work is the inclusion of cream and scarlet-shaded pendant lamps by Sir Edwin's granddaughter, Candia, that dangle from the ceiling on lengthy cord pulleys. Rawlings concludes, 'This has been a very unique opportunity to realise a vision which is so important to me, and to the Studio, and to pay tribute to the project which started my career.'