Bidding a Sweet Farewell to Summer

Over the long Labor Day weekend we relish the last lingering moments of summer and prepare for fall’s work ahead.

In 2014, when Holiday House Hamptons took place at Watchcase, the extraordinary building complex in Sag Harbor that has been converted from a historic factory into unique residences, designer James Huniford paid tribute to Labor Day with a loft design that reflected the building’s history. He said, “Taking inspiration from early 20th century factory buildings, our room shows a modern perspective on industrial living with clean lines, textured fabrics, large-scale art and a touch of luxury.”

Huniford_2 Rikki Snyder
Photo courtesy of Rikki Snyder.

His living room was the perfect mix of elegance and laid back summer living, even including a custom designed, hanging, blue leather chair for indoor swinging.

Huniford_3 Rikki Snyder
Photo courtesy of Rikki Snyder.

A monumental Louise Nevelson wood sculpture, on loan from Pace Gallery, was the perfect scale for the space as well as an apt metaphor for its transformation given how the artist reappropriated found objects to create soaring works of art. Huniford told The New York Times, “We wanted to use pieces that highlight the great light, high ceilings and architecture of the space.”

It’s always hard to say good-bye to summer, but we will bid a sweet farewell with a Blueberry Smash, a drink that takes advantage of late summer’s bounty.  The recipe is below and on BonAppetit.com.

The fact that we are looking forward to an exciting Holiday House NYC 2105 also makes the transition to fall a little easier!   Sponsor Calvin Klein will host our kick off party in October and the showhouse, in partnership with Traditional Home, will be back at the Academy Mansion, 2 East 63rd Street, from November 11 to December 2. Mark your calendars for our Opening Night Gala on November 10. Once again, all proceeds will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

In the meantime, enjoy the last moments of summer!

Blueberry Smash (from Bon Appétit) 

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 8.30.45 PM

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 6–8

  • 2 lemons, sliced into rounds
  • 2 limes, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka
  • 3/4 cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)

Preparation

  • Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, coarsely mash lemon and lime slices, blueberries, and mint leaves in a large pitcher. Stir in vodka, St-Germain, and 2 cups of ice cubes.
  • Divide drink among coupe or highball glasses; top with more ice cubes. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig.

Summer Weddings

Summer is high wedding season and we are thinking about everything from gift registry trends and setting up a newlywed home to the design of a glamorous dressing room for the bride…

Inspired by her daughter Danielle’s upcoming nuptials, Holiday House founder Iris Dankner created a Bridal Suite for the 2014 Holiday House NYC. The centerpiece of the space – a stunning bridal dress by Isabelle Armstrong illuminated by the elegant “Arctic Pear” Chandelier from Ochre, had everyone hearing wedding bells. The walls and ceiling were outfitted in fabulous coverings by Maya Romanoff and the “Brigitte” Swivel Lounge from Lewis-Mittman provided a comfortably chic cushion to sit and ponder whether or not to say yes to the dress. The bride and her party could enjoy champagne out of crystal flutes from Baccarat all while being tempted by delicious sweets from LaDuree. Glittering accessories from Michael C. Fina added the finishing touch.

20141119-20141119-DSC_4275
Photographed by Alan Barry

Before tying the knot, one of the most important (and fun) aspects of the planning process is the Gift Registry. Our friends at Michael C. Fina have shared with us the trends they are seeing for registries this season. These elegant pieces will be part of family celebrations and memories for many years to come.

Registry Trends:

1. Platinum patterns rather than the traditional gold patterns
Some popular registered patterns:
Vintage by Bernardaud
Mosaique Au 24 Platine by Hermes
Arcades Grey & Platinum by Philippe Deshouliers

2. Moroccan inspired designs
Some popular registered patterns:
Venise by Bernardaud
Voyage en Ikat by Hermes

3. Natural stone
Some popular registered patterns:
Carrara by Dibbern
Malachite by L’Objet

hermes
Voyage en Ikat by Hermes, Courtesy of the Michael C. Fina Website

Finally, lets talk flowers. With so many beautiful blooms in season, choosing the right florals for the wedding can be a daunting task. We can’t help but be reminded of the vibrant, beautiful table arrangements created by the wonderful ladies at Lilee Fell Flowers for last year’s Holiday House Hamptons White Gala. The light pink, fuschia, and bright green hues played beautifully against the all-white crowd. These gorgeous arrangements would add a fresh, breezy touch of romance to any summer wedding!

lileefell2
Photographed by Richard Lewin
lileefell
Photographed by Richard Lewin

In honor of Danielle Dankner and her Groom-to-Be Sam, we leave you with Iris’s Recipe for “A Happy Marriage”. Congratulations, you two!

“A Happy Marriage”

Recipe:

Combine two caring hearts. Melt into one. Add a lot of love. Mix well with respect and trust. Add gentleness, laughter, faith, hope, and joy. Pour in much understanding. Sprinkle with kisses and, a dash of hugs. Bake for a lifetime. 

Yields: One Happy Couple. For a little excitement, add Champagne! 

 

 

Summer Weddings

Summer is high wedding season and we are thinking about everything from gift registry trends and setting up a newlywed home to the design of a glamorous dressing room for the bride…

Inspired by her daughter Danielle’s upcoming nuptials, Holiday House founder Iris Dankner created a Bridal Suite for the 2014 Holiday House NYC. The centerpiece of the space – a stunning bridal dress by Isabelle Armstrong illuminated by the elegant “Arctic Pear” Chandelier from Ochre, had everyone hearing wedding bells. The walls and ceiling were outfitted in fabulous coverings by Maya Romanoff and the “Brigitte” Swivel Lounge from Lewis-Mittman provided a comfortably chic cushion to sit and ponder whether or not to say yes to the dress. The bride and her party could enjoy champagne out of crystal flutes from Baccarat all while being tempted by delicious sweets from LaDuree. Glittering accessories from Michael C. Fina added the finishing touch.

20141119-20141119-DSC_4275
Photographed by Alan Barry

Before tying the knot, one of the most important (and fun) aspects of the planning process is the Gift Registry. Our friends at Michael C. Fina have shared with us the trends they are seeing for registries this season. These elegant pieces will be part of family celebrations and memories for many years to come.

Registry Trends:

1. Platinum patterns rather than the traditional gold patterns
Some popular registered patterns:
Vintage by Bernardaud
Mosaique Au 24 Platine by Hermes
Arcades Grey & Platinum by Philippe Deshouliers

2. Moroccan inspired designs
Some popular registered patterns:
Venise by Bernardaud
Voyage en Ikat by Hermes

3. Natural stone
Some popular registered patterns:
Carrara by Dibbern
Malachite by L’Objet

hermes
Voyage en Ikat by Hermes, Courtesy of the Michael C. Fina Website

Finally, lets talk flowers. With so many beautiful blooms in season, choosing the right florals for the wedding can be a daunting task. We can’t help but be reminded of the vibrant, beautiful table arrangements created by the wonderful ladies at Lilee Fell Flowers for last year’s Holiday House Hamptons White Gala. The light pink, fuschia, and bright green hues played beautifully against the all-white crowd. These gorgeous arrangements would add a fresh, breezy touch of romance to any summer wedding!

lileefell2
Photographed by Richard Lewin
lileefell
Photographed by Richard Lewin

In honor of Danielle Dankner and her Groom-to-Be Sam, we leave you with Iris’s Recipe for “A Happy Marriage”. Congratulations, you two!

“A Happy Marriage”

Recipe:

Combine two caring hearts. Melt into one. Add a lot of love. Mix well with respect and trust. Add gentleness, laughter, faith, hope, and joy. Pour in much understanding. Sprinkle with kisses and, a dash of hugs. Bake for a lifetime. 

Yields: One Happy Couple. For a little excitement, add Champagne! 

 

 

Vive La France!

As the French celebrate Bastille Day today, we are paying tribute to the French (and Francophile) companies and designers who have brought their je ne sais quoi to Holiday House.

Le Quatorze Juillet was Michael Tavano‘s ode to French style for Holiday House NYC 2014.  With a color palette inspired by the French flag, sumptuous pieces by French furnishings house Roche Bobois and couture details throughout, Tavano conjured up a Parisian pied-a-terre that is the embodiment of chic.

Roche Bobois furnishings in Michael Tavano’s “Le Quatorze Julliet” room. Photo by Rick Lew.

The woven rope window treatment he created with his workroom Marks & Tavano based on Olivier Rousteing’s fall 2014 runway collection for the house of Balmain was one of the most talked about details from the showhouse.

Balmain inspired window treatment by Marks & Tavano. Photo by Rick Lew.

Another shows stopper at the 2014 Holiday House NYC was Amy Lau Design’s dining room that celebrated 250 years of exquisite design by legendary French company Baccarat. Galerie des Glaces was inspired by Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors and was glittering with a Baccarat chandelier, table settings, vases, candelabras and more. Even the carpet by Kyle Bunting was inspired by the design of Baccarat cut glass.

141117_Baccarat_03-AZ
Photo by Alan Barry.
Detail of custom carpet by Kyle Bunting inspired by Baccarat.
Detail of custom carpet by Kyle Bunting.

And we can’t forget the first time that Bastille Day was officially celebrated at Holiday House with Décor by Guillaume Gentet’s French infused room for the inaugural Holiday House Hamptons in 2013.

Photo from guillaumegentet.com
Photo from guillaumegentet.com

Go Design Go perfectly described the room when they said it “celebrated a regal tradition of elegance with specific gestures toward modern creature comforts.”  Contemporary Roche Bobois furnishings and period inspired pieces elegantly played off of one another with Chesley McLaren‘s whimsical painting of Place de Vendome as a backdrop. Other French brands that were featured include Verel de Belval and Créations Métaphores.

Guillaume Gentet and Chesley McLaren with her mural.
Guillaume Gentet and Chesley McLaren with her mural.

Santé with French martinis and Ladurée confections.  Vive la France!

Photo from guillaumegentet.com
Photo from guillaumegentet.com

 

 

 

Vive La France!

As the French celebrate Bastille Day today, we are paying tribute to the French (and Francophile) companies and designers who have brought their je ne sais quoi to Holiday House.

Le Quatorze Juillet was Michael Tavano‘s ode to French style for Holiday House NYC 2014.  With a color palette inspired by the French flag, sumptuous pieces by French furnishings house Roche Bobois and couture details throughout, Tavano conjured up a Parisian pied-a-terre that is the embodiment of chic.

Roche Bobois furnishings in Michael Tavano’s “Le Quatorze Julliet” room. Photo by Rick Lew.

The woven rope window treatment he created with his workroom Marks & Tavano based on Olivier Rousteing’s fall 2014 runway collection for the house of Balmain was one of the most talked about details from the showhouse.

Balmain inspired window treatment by Marks & Tavano. Photo by Rick Lew.

Another shows stopper at the 2014 Holiday House NYC was Amy Lau Design’s dining room that celebrated 250 years of exquisite design by legendary French company Baccarat. Galerie des Glaces was inspired by Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors and was glittering with a Baccarat chandelier, table settings, vases, candelabras and more. Even the carpet by Kyle Bunting was inspired by the design of Baccarat cut glass.

141117_Baccarat_03-AZ
Photo by Alan Barry.
Detail of custom carpet by Kyle Bunting inspired by Baccarat.
Detail of custom carpet by Kyle Bunting.

And we can’t forget the first time that Bastille Day was officially celebrated at Holiday House with Décor by Guillaume Gentet’s French infused room for the inaugural Holiday House Hamptons in 2013.

Photo from guillaumegentet.com
Photo from guillaumegentet.com

Go Design Go perfectly described the room when they said it “celebrated a regal tradition of elegance with specific gestures toward modern creature comforts.”  Contemporary Roche Bobois furnishings and period inspired pieces elegantly played off of one another with Chesley McLaren‘s whimsical painting of Place de Vendome as a backdrop. Other French brands that were featured include Verel de Belval and Créations Métaphores.

Guillaume Gentet and Chesley McLaren with her mural.
Guillaume Gentet and Chesley McLaren with her mural.

Santé with French martinis and Ladurée confections.  Vive la France!

Photo from guillaumegentet.com
Photo from guillaumegentet.com

 

 

 

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

Tropical Getaway

For those traveling over Spring break, may you bask in the sun somewhere breathtaking.  And for those staying at home, we bring you tropical inspiration from past Holiday Houses to warm your thoughts and help you say a definitive good-bye to winter!

In November 2014, Gary McBournie transported us to a Caribbean isle with his vibrant room for Holiday House NYC, which was entirely tented in striped fabric from Gary’s own resort-inspired line for Antilles Designs.

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Design: Gary McBournie Inc. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

Bamboo furnishings, tropical plants, coral and even a fireplace full of conch shells made the NYC winter seem thousands of miles away.

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Gary McBournie’s clever fireplace styling. Photo: Decor Arts Now blog.

For Leslie Banker of Pamela Banker Associates‘ room in Holiday House NYC 2014, the theme may have been New Year’s Eve but the Clarence House “Lyford Key” wallpaper screamed island vacation!

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Design: Pamela Banker Associates. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

At Holiday House Hamptons in 2014, Scott Formby created an “Poolhouse Lounge” inspired by Europeans’ relaxing August holidays.  An evocative, large-scale painting of palm trees brought a little of the tropics to the Hamptons.

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Design: Scott Formby. Photo: Rikki Snyder.

Wherever you may be, enjoy the Spring holidays and toast the tropics with a favorite of Gary McBournie’s:

“Pants Off Punch”

Gary’s friend entertainologist Lulu Powers shared this drink recipe that captures the free-spirited fun of a Carribean holiday.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 bottle dry champagne
  • 3 cups Malibu rum

Preparation:

Combine and away you go ….