Kips Bay: Part II

We’re ready to start where we left off yesterday—on the more private upper floors of the Arthur Sachs Mansion on East 66th Street in New York, the site of this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House.

1. The best place to start, OF COURSE, is with the master bedroom. And what a cozy space—not too feminine, not too masculine, but just right for both of you. “It’s meant to be a very calming space,” says L.A. Designer David Phoenix. Well, yes. Can you just imagine cuddling under this canopy at night?


The walls are upholstered in a smart blue, gray and cream tartan. The entire room exudes warmth and calm.

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

2. And when you get up in the morning, step into your custom Clive Christian bathroom, with its elegant Art Deco wall sculpture.


And for the man who has everything, Clive outfitted custom closets—inlaid with the Kips Bay initials in honor of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club’s 100th anniversary—so the tuxedos have plenty of room to breathe.


3. The “Midnight Manhattan” lounge and study across the hall, by Pavarini Design, is full of layers, light, and luminous color.


Charles Pavarini III shows us his lapis ring (which his mother gave to him), whose color inspired the decorative painting on the walls. They are layered in five shades of blue—and mixed with 10 pounds of blue eye shadow (!), which gives the surfaces their iridescent quality.

Meanwhile, the golden tiles surrounding the fireplace behind him are from Ann Sacks’ new line of pewter-leaf travertine stone, made in Turkey and shipped to New York to make its debut here.

Here’s a wider view (courtesy of Laparini Design):

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.09.27 PM

4. Next up, we have a quick succession of spaces—the first is a tiny nook by designer Michael Herold, which he coined “Las Palmas.”


“I flashed back to my first apartment!” he said of the space that barely allows one person to turn around in. “The goal here was to go big, and not let a small space define what we do.” He incorporated vintage pieces from the ’40s through the 80’s (yeah—that pink swirly thing) to give vigorous energy to this re-imagined closet. He incorporated the palm wallpaper to honor the Kips Bay Palm Beach committee, which has raised significant funds for the boys and girls club.

5. Herold’s nook is off the vestibule that leads to designer Thom Filicia‘s study. Bummer that Thom wasn’t there when we arrived late in the day, but having met him at a few other events in High Point, I can say he’s just the sweetest guy. And talented:


Photo by Rafael Quirindongo


This office is suffused with layers, pattern and texture. Everyone wanted to know what this “man” was made of. Answer: not clothing pins!


6. Designer Peter Sinnott outfitted the bathroom off Filicia’s study, whose whimsy and detail lives up to the room outside.


I gushed over the water-lily quality of the chandelier hanging from the shimmery, water-like pattern of the wallpapered ceiling.


I can NOT get over the 3-D tile sculpture in the shower—like a waterfall!

7. Next, we visited this sweet bedroom by designer Cathy Kincaid, plush in monogrammed Leontine Linens atop a four-poster bed framed in bone, which was made in India.


It’s the epitome of proper English country living, and everything was sourced through John Rosselli, who has a store in Georgetown.

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

8. Now we’re going up to the third and final floor, but before we enter any rooms, designer Paula Caravelli of Paula + Martha treats us to a veritable museum gallery of modern art.


Aluminum mobiles by Parisian artist Jacques Jarrige can be seen from the bottom floor.


Caravelli chose small, black and white works by Brooklyn-born Al Held for the stairwell—the wall is curved, so she couldn’t hang anything too big. They make a huge impact, though, in concert with the mobiles and the shadows and light coming down from the skylight.


“Milk drop” illuminated glass sculptures by Jeff Zimmerman (courtesy of Paula + Martha). I love the interplay between the sculptures, paintings, and the curving banister.


Zimmerman’s “Crumpled Sculptural Vessel” grounds the stairway that leads to the roof terrace. Robert Green’s photo collages line the stairwell.

9. Guests at this home might dwell on this gallery on the way to their room, decorated in Brazilian minimalism by McMillen‘s Suzana Whyte Braga Monacella. (Photo courtesy of McMillen)


“I wanted to recreate a more Zen environment, like the tropical forest that surrounds Rio,” Monacella says. “New York is wonderfully crazy, but it’s nice to have a cocoon to come back to.”

10. Across the hallway lies Alan Tanksley‘s garret—a gentleman’s study that he dedicated to Alexa Hampton’s Greek husband, Pavlos Papageorgiou. “He is married to my great friend Alexa, daughter of my mentor and originator of my career,” says Tanksley, who started his work in design with the great Mark Hampton.


Although it’s not obvious (nor should it be), many of the furnishings and artwork are either Greek or Greek inspired. Bringing it all back home, he commissioned a wall mural to provide a bird’s-eye view of New York. (See the dot on the wall over his right shoulder? That’s an airplane—a reference to his own father, who was an airline pilot.)

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

Alexa loves to refer to her husband during her design presentations; she talks about him challenging one of her design decisions once. “Are you a published interior designer?” she says she asks him. No. “OK,” she responds. Case closed. In THIS case, Tanksley says Pavlos is in love with the design. ” ‘Thank God someone’s designing a place for me, with me in mind,’ ” he recounts.

11. Time for a cocktail? I’ll say. Let’s step up to the rooftop terrace, designed by Rottet Studio.


Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

The chairs and rubber (!) rug are by the Spanish design diva Patricia Urquiola. And when you’re not gazing out at the city, you can rest your eyes on these whimsical mosaic designs:

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

Photo by Rafael Quirindongo

Yes, that’s a guard dog in front of the white brick wall.


Whew. I’m pooped. But the mad dash to New York this week was worth it, and I highly recommend a trip to any design lover who wants to breathe in some serious beauty. Get up there before June 11!


  1. Thank you so much for the peek! I think Kips Bay was the first show house I ever saw (as a teenager with my mother) and it always reminds me of how blown away I was by the entire concept. 🙂