Mother’s Day Design Diary

Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller of Kapito Muller Interiors took on a challenging, small space at Holiday House NYC 2014 and turned it into an elegant office retreat for a worldly mother. In honor of Mother’s Day, they’ve shared with us their experience on creating the soothing, feminine space:

When we first laid eyes on our room at Holiday House we were struck by two things, it’s stunning fourteen foot ceilings, and its challenging composition. The modest space, which was to become a luxe ladies office in celebration of Mother’s Day, had a door on three of its four walls, and a slightly off centered window that was begging to be refurbished.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

Our first decision was to open up the space by using a much softer palette. We opted for light shades of olive, pink, and ivory and we shied away from any overwhelming patterns that might close in the room. When dealing with solids, we always tell our clients that its important to focus on texture to keep things interesting, so we chose a gorgeous linen weave for the wallpaper by Innovations and silks for the sofa and rug (Stark Carpet) to add sheen. We also turned the room’s awkward window into a fabulous focal point by hanging paneled curtains (fabric by Holly Hunt) with a greek key trim detail (by Samuel & Sons). We tossed the wood blinds for sheers that would let more light in, and used the window sill like you would a piece of furniture, piling it with books, trays and accents to attract the eye.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

After we lightened the space, we still had a surplus of doors, which didn’t allow for any sort of cohesive furniture arrangement. Luckily for us, one of the doors wasn’t all that functional, as the room adjacent to it already had multiple entrances. So, after much debating, we came up with the idea to cover it with a folding screen covered in wallpaper from Ralph Lauren and voila, we now had a whole wall to work with! We placed a small settee (Custom by Artistic Frame, upholstered in Duralee fabric) in front of the screen to create a layered reading nook, and anchored the desk against whatever wall space we had left on the other side of the room for balance. Lastly we custom built a tiny metal bookcase that could fit next to the window to store books and nicknacks.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We absolutely loved creating an office that could be both beautiful and functional for our imaginary lady. We wish all the moms out there a very happy and restful mothers day! You deserve it!

 

IMG_3075

Spoil Mom with Vivian and Alyssa’s favorite sweet treat-

Chocolate Chip Sticks

 

Ingredients:

½ cup vegetable or canola oil

½ cup sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup chocolate chips

 Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray.

Combine oil, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl, mixing it well. Stir in egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt tossing with a fork. Stir in egg mixture, blending well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Form dough into two 3-4- inch wide logs. Place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 20 minute, or until edges are golden brown.

Cool 10 minutes; cut when it is slightly warm into sticks.

Mother’s Day Design Diary

Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller of Kapito Muller Interiors took on a challenging, small space at Holiday House NYC 2014 and turned it into an elegant office retreat for a worldly mother. In honor of Mother’s Day, they’ve shared with us their experience on creating the soothing, feminine space:

When we first laid eyes on our room at Holiday House we were struck by two things, it’s stunning fourteen foot ceilings, and its challenging composition. The modest space, which was to become a luxe ladies office in celebration of Mother’s Day, had a door on three of its four walls, and a slightly off centered window that was begging to be refurbished.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

Our first decision was to open up the space by using a much softer palette. We opted for light shades of olive, pink, and ivory and we shied away from any overwhelming patterns that might close in the room. When dealing with solids, we always tell our clients that its important to focus on texture to keep things interesting, so we chose a gorgeous linen weave for the wallpaper by Innovations and silks for the sofa and rug (Stark Carpet) to add sheen. We also turned the room’s awkward window into a fabulous focal point by hanging paneled curtains (fabric by Holly Hunt) with a greek key trim detail (by Samuel & Sons). We tossed the wood blinds for sheers that would let more light in, and used the window sill like you would a piece of furniture, piling it with books, trays and accents to attract the eye.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

After we lightened the space, we still had a surplus of doors, which didn’t allow for any sort of cohesive furniture arrangement. Luckily for us, one of the doors wasn’t all that functional, as the room adjacent to it already had multiple entrances. So, after much debating, we came up with the idea to cover it with a folding screen covered in wallpaper from Ralph Lauren and voila, we now had a whole wall to work with! We placed a small settee (Custom by Artistic Frame, upholstered in Duralee fabric) in front of the screen to create a layered reading nook, and anchored the desk against whatever wall space we had left on the other side of the room for balance. Lastly we custom built a tiny metal bookcase that could fit next to the window to store books and nicknacks.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We absolutely loved creating an office that could be both beautiful and functional for our imaginary lady. We wish all the moms out there a very happy and restful mothers day! You deserve it!

 

IMG_3075

Spoil Mom with Vivian and Alyssa’s favorite sweet treat-

Chocolate Chip Sticks

 

Ingredients:

½ cup vegetable or canola oil

½ cup sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup chocolate chips

 Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray.

Combine oil, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl, mixing it well. Stir in egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt tossing with a fork. Stir in egg mixture, blending well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Form dough into two 3-4- inch wide logs. Place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 20 minute, or until edges are golden brown.

Cool 10 minutes; cut when it is slightly warm into sticks.

Derby Day: The Run for the Roses

It might have been November on the calendar when Holiday House opened for its seventh year, to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, but it was the first Saturday in May on the third floor.

For his second room at the Academy Mansion, designer Patrick J. Hamilton channeled Kentucky Derby Day, bringing the pageantry and festive spirit of the venerable southern tradition to the Upper East Side.

Photographed by Alan Berry

I’ve always really loved the idea that Holiday House was built on: creating sort of a living calendar you could walk through,” said Patrick. “I really love the challenge of themed decorating, and it’s been done brilliantly in the past by a stellar roster of designers. But for some reason, no one had every tackled Kentucky Derby Day! It just seemed ripe with possibility!

But this was a different kind of derby: Patrick took the colors, themes, rituals and patterns long associated with the Derby and used them in a surprisingly non-equestrian way.  “I like to think of it as ‘Derby Deconstructed’,” says Hamilton, “and plus, there are great designers who do equestrian style really well… I didn’t want to end up with a room that would be compared to that kind of take.”

Jockey’s “racing silks” provided great inspiration, showing up in color-blocked upholstery and artwork. The day’s nickname, “The Run for the Roses” inspired the brilliant fuchsia that enlivened the room (artistic license, and a nod to the charity’s pink ribbon, turned classic rose-red into that amped up color, on silk satin chairs and rose floral arrangements.)

Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Alan Berry

Even the signature cocktail of the day, the mint julep (see the recipe for Patrick’s twist on the classic below), was evoked in an unexpected way: the entire room started with a cool mint green. “I also wanted to see if I could make a mint green room fresh again,” said Hamilton, “and the minute that grasscloth went up, and the molding got that coat of fresh Farrow & Ball white, the vibe got very southern, very fast!

Grasscloth also went up on the ceiling, a nod to the more humble side of the day, meant to evoke the straw in the stables. “I really love mixing fine and rougher textures in any room, but it felt especially appropriate when representing the Derby. It’s a glamorous day, but it also has a real earthiness to it.

Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Rikki Snyder
Photographed by Rikki Snyder

 

 

 

 

 

 

A handful of literal horse references got the ball rolling, and once visitors to the room were in on the joke, of sorts, about the room’s theme, it became a “Where’s Waldo?” of equestrian references. Diamond patterns, frequently found in jockey silks and stable coats-of-arms, showed up on the fireplace surround, tete-a-tete upholstery, and quilted velvet. Racetrack ovals joined in on the pattern play, and horseshoes made frequent appearance, both actual and evoked in the turquoise lamps and custom embroidered pillows. Stirrup-inspired lamps, and drapery tie-back that looked like brightly colored reins helped keep the theme hiding in plain sight. And you can’t have Derby Day without a hat… the room’s main light fixture (the feathered “Egret” Chandelier by ABYU Lighting)  finished off the room with a playful, light-hearted spin on the millinery creations that help make the Derby such a stylish event.

Photographed by Rikki Snyder
Photographed by Rikki Snyder

Hamilton also tweaked the bones of the room to make it more southern, and to give the room a fresh look for any repeat visitors to the show house: two recessed book cases flanking the fireplace were covered with plantation shutters and treated like windows. “I love those grand first-floor rooms in southern mansions, with those great walk-out windows to wide verandas. This was my way of creating that kind of room.

The subtle nods to the long-running tradition got the seal of approval from a few Kentuckians touring the house, and more than a few horse-loving visitors also approved. “I had such a great time turning the elements of the day into a room that anyone might love. But I did really breathe a sigh of relief when I heard compliments delivered in an actual southern drawl!

Head over to Patrick’s blog to read more specifics about the room including tips on how this Derby Day room can inspire more of your own theme decorating.

Mint Julep Gelées

 Ingredients:

 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 cups cold water

1/2 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup bourbon

Garnishes: fresh mint sprigs, coarse sparkling sugar, candied rose petals (recipe follows)

Preparation:

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a medium saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes. Add mint leaves and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until steaming. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard mint leaves. Stir in bourbon. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Chill 4 hours to 1 week. Cut into squares. Garnish each with a candied rose petal, fresh mint sprig and coarse sparkling sugar.

Candied Rose Petals:

Edible rose petals

1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

1 cup bourbon smoked sugar

Preparation:

In a food processor, add smoked sugar and process until superfine. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together water and egg white. Lay rose petals on a wire rack and use a brush to paint each one with egg wash. Use a sifter to sprinkle sugar over petals. Turn over petals and repeat. Do not shake off excess sugar. Let petals dry on rack for 24 hours. Store in air-tight container until ready to use.

Adapted from Southern Living and Nashville Lifestyles

Derby Day: The Run for the Roses

It might have been November on the calendar when Holiday House opened for its seventh year, to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, but it was the first Saturday in May on the third floor.

For his second room at the Academy Mansion, designer Patrick J. Hamilton channeled Kentucky Derby Day, bringing the pageantry and festive spirit of the venerable southern tradition to the Upper East Side.

Photographed by Alan Berry

I’ve always really loved the idea that Holiday House was built on: creating sort of a living calendar you could walk through,” said Patrick. “I really love the challenge of themed decorating, and it’s been done brilliantly in the past by a stellar roster of designers. But for some reason, no one had every tackled Kentucky Derby Day! It just seemed ripe with possibility!

But this was a different kind of derby: Patrick took the colors, themes, rituals and patterns long associated with the Derby and used them in a surprisingly non-equestrian way.  “I like to think of it as ‘Derby Deconstructed’,” says Hamilton, “and plus, there are great designers who do equestrian style really well… I didn’t want to end up with a room that would be compared to that kind of take.”

Jockey’s “racing silks” provided great inspiration, showing up in color-blocked upholstery and artwork. The day’s nickname, “The Run for the Roses” inspired the brilliant fuchsia that enlivened the room (artistic license, and a nod to the charity’s pink ribbon, turned classic rose-red into that amped up color, on silk satin chairs and rose floral arrangements.)

Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Alan Berry

Even the signature cocktail of the day, the mint julep (see the recipe for Patrick’s twist on the classic below), was evoked in an unexpected way: the entire room started with a cool mint green. “I also wanted to see if I could make a mint green room fresh again,” said Hamilton, “and the minute that grasscloth went up, and the molding got that coat of fresh Farrow & Ball white, the vibe got very southern, very fast!

Grasscloth also went up on the ceiling, a nod to the more humble side of the day, meant to evoke the straw in the stables. “I really love mixing fine and rougher textures in any room, but it felt especially appropriate when representing the Derby. It’s a glamorous day, but it also has a real earthiness to it.

Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Rikki Snyder
Photographed by Rikki Snyder

 

 

 

 

 

 

A handful of literal horse references got the ball rolling, and once visitors to the room were in on the joke, of sorts, about the room’s theme, it became a “Where’s Waldo?” of equestrian references. Diamond patterns, frequently found in jockey silks and stable coats-of-arms, showed up on the fireplace surround, tete-a-tete upholstery, and quilted velvet. Racetrack ovals joined in on the pattern play, and horseshoes made frequent appearance, both actual and evoked in the turquoise lamps and custom embroidered pillows. Stirrup-inspired lamps, and drapery tie-back that looked like brightly colored reins helped keep the theme hiding in plain sight. And you can’t have Derby Day without a hat… the room’s main light fixture (the feathered “Egret” Chandelier by ABYU Lighting)  finished off the room with a playful, light-hearted spin on the millinery creations that help make the Derby such a stylish event.

Photographed by Rikki Snyder
Photographed by Rikki Snyder

Hamilton also tweaked the bones of the room to make it more southern, and to give the room a fresh look for any repeat visitors to the show house: two recessed book cases flanking the fireplace were covered with plantation shutters and treated like windows. “I love those grand first-floor rooms in southern mansions, with those great walk-out windows to wide verandas. This was my way of creating that kind of room.

The subtle nods to the long-running tradition got the seal of approval from a few Kentuckians touring the house, and more than a few horse-loving visitors also approved. “I had such a great time turning the elements of the day into a room that anyone might love. But I did really breathe a sigh of relief when I heard compliments delivered in an actual southern drawl!

Head over to Patrick’s blog to read more specifics about the room including tips on how this Derby Day room can inspire more of your own theme decorating.

Mint Julep Gelées

 Ingredients:

 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 cups cold water

1/2 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup bourbon

Garnishes: fresh mint sprigs, coarse sparkling sugar, candied rose petals (recipe follows)

Preparation:

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a medium saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes. Add mint leaves and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until steaming. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard mint leaves. Stir in bourbon. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Chill 4 hours to 1 week. Cut into squares. Garnish each with a candied rose petal, fresh mint sprig and coarse sparkling sugar.

Candied Rose Petals:

Edible rose petals

1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

1 cup bourbon smoked sugar

Preparation:

In a food processor, add smoked sugar and process until superfine. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together water and egg white. Lay rose petals on a wire rack and use a brush to paint each one with egg wash. Use a sifter to sprinkle sugar over petals. Turn over petals and repeat. Do not shake off excess sugar. Let petals dry on rack for 24 hours. Store in air-tight container until ready to use.

Adapted from Southern Living and Nashville Lifestyles