It's only been open since July 25th, but this year's Hampton Designer Showhouse has already made a big impression drawing a steady flow of traffic and generating rave reviews from visitors from all over the country, East Enders to the design and media community. The annual Showhouse is presented by Traditional Home magazine and benefits Southampton Hospital. It is known as one of the most prestigious in the country and always features some of the most exciting designers – both established and upand- coming. For just a short period of time, these experts miraculously convert an assigned space to an incredible showcase of the latest design trends. "The response has been amazing," says Mary Lynch, Showhouse Operations Manager since 2002. "Moving to Sag Harbor was a big change this year. It also has a great flow and it just feels more comfortable than ever before," she added.
Each year a select house is donated to the Showhouse event and transformed by top design professionals and artists. This year's Showhouse is the home of architect and builder Frank Bodenchak of Edge Real Estate. His post-modern, shingle-style 10,800 square-foot house sits at the end of a treelined driveway and features five bedrooms. The property is on approximately 4.7 acres of beautiful land surrounded by 62 acres of private reserve. Twenty-five top design professionals and artists worked tirelessly to create unique, inviting spaces that inspire and ‘wow' attendees. Joan Hamburg, known as New York's First Lady of Radio, recently broadcast live from the house and summed it up perfectly when she said it was one of the best resources for "everything and anything about architecture, gardening and design". The numerous ‘secret' porches, swimming pool with waterfall, and amazing layout are just a few more of the features making visitors want to stay and linger.
One of the smallest but most eye-catching and unique spaces is the covered side porch brought to life by diSalvo Interiors. A full service design firm, the company was founded by Rosemarie and Annemarie diSalvo more than 15 years ago. "The outdoor space was designed to bring ‘South Beach style' to Sag Harbor," explained Rosemarie. "Instead of typical Hampton Style colors and fabrics, we embraced the hot, stimulating colors of the famous fashion designer, Trina Turk." Turk's latest outdoor fabric line (Schumacher Fabrics), was the starting point for diSalvo's inspiration. In order to add additional interest to the space, they designed an outdoor shower which overlooks the pool area. The shower enclosure was designed with bamboo stalks with custom holders and the wicker shower captures the feeling of the natural wooded preserve that serves as a backdrop to the outdoor shower. The designers really kept functionality in mind when they made sure that the shower can be taken down in the off-season and easily reinstalled the following spring.
Another standout at this year's Showhouse was the Family Room brought to life by Michael Cox of Foley&Cox.
"We design all of our spaces to reflect the warm and welcoming sensibility of our imagined client," says Cox. In addition to the Family Room, Cox and his team also designed the Breakfast and Powder rooms. "We're all about quietly conveying a relaxed sense of home but we bring in numerous eclectic design elements to make this happen, including a bit of Deco, a little Gustavian, and a nod to modern," explained Cox. "Casual, comfortable and approachable fabrics create an inclusive atmosphere that fits perfectly in the Family Room – the primary gathering spot," he explained. When asked what he thought about this year's Showhouse, he was quick to point out that diversity and creativity are paramount in an economy focused on value and the priorities of family and home. "Refinishing a longtreasured antique, re-upholstering an ‘overly-loved' chair, are just two examples of how to find new life for the old. When combined with the best designs of 2010 you have something that cannot be achieved with an entire room of brand new items," he added.This year's house has numerous porches and the Kitchen porch is another standout. Wrapping around the back of the house, Nancy Pearson Ltd., a New York City based designer, wanted to create a porch that was both sophisticated yet functional. "Entertaining, eating, and relaxing were the three things I kept in mind the entire time I was conceiving and developing the space," says Pearson. "I know that when I am in the Hamptons, I want an escape from fast paced City living and usually my escapes involve travel to exotic places. I chose all white furniture and billowy sheer curtains for relaxation; I then added purple, orange and fuchsia-colored Ikat fabrics for the pillows and accents to add some excitement." Other special touches to Pearson's room include an antique tea cart for the bar and a Buddha for meditation -- all ensuring the perfect Zen-like escape.
Small spaces are brought to life by Lucas Studio, Inc. Founders Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat designed the Studio and Studio Bath for this year's Showhouse. Both grew up on the East Coast so the designers are rooted in a traditional and classic approach but add a good dose of color and style that comes with living and working in California. "We stay away from design trends and try to create spaces that will not only fit our clients' needs but also sustain the test of time," says Lucas. "This is the way we approached our designs for the Showhouse. We don't create ‘spectacles' for showhouses. We focus on how the client would use the space and then make it seem like it was built just for them."
According to Lucas, the Studio was created around the idea that the "lady of the house" was an artist and this room acts as not only her art studio but a sitting room and haven for her. The Italian hand painted wallpaper from Idarica Gazzoni, available through their showroom Harbinger in Los Angeles, acts as the star of the room. Vibrant hues of magenta and lavender fill the room and combine with the artwork by Alex K Mason to create a playful but sophisticated backdrop for our artist to work around.
After seeing all the great rooms at the Showhouse, visitors may just want to take a nap in the incredible purple Bedroom created by Jack Levy Design. It is a simple, warm and inviting room where, according to Levy, it's all about "letting each element sing". His simple approach is evident at the house where harmony is created through texture, color, and pattern. "I began with a reproduction antique rug and let the colors and feelings of the room progress from there. I knew I needed a bold color on the walls to make a statement all my own. But like all my work, the room must be livable. I worked to create a bedroom in which anyone would want to spend a tranquil summer night."
When trying to sum up this year's incredible Hampton Designer Showhouse 2010, I think Levy says it best when he explained that, although the designers all worked independently, there was a strong continuity through the entire design of the house. "It has an energy of the home inspired by a single, yet diverse vision."
The 2010 Hampton Designer Showhouse is presented by Traditional Home to benefit Southampton Hospital. It is located at 129 Stoney Hill Road, Sag Harbor, New York and is open daily Monday to Sunday, from July 25 to September 5, 11AM – 5PM. For more information visit www.hamptondesignershowhouse.com or call 631-377-3500.
2010 Participating Designers
ARDEN Interior Architecture & Design; Audio Command Systems, Inc.; Bakes and Company; Barbara Ostrom Associates; Bradley Stephens; Brady Design;Christina Murphy Interiors; Couture Interiors Corp.; COVERTECH – couture outdoor; diSalvo Interiors; Deluxe and Skyscraper; Elsa Soyars Interiors Ltd.; Foley & Cox; HB Home; Irwin Weiner, ASID; Jack Levy Design; Kevin Isbell Interiors; Lillian August LSID Inc.; Lucas Studio, Inc.; Lucille Khornak Photography/The Portrait Specialist; Mabley Handler Interior Design; Nancy Pearson Ltd, Residential & Commercial Interiors; Nathan Egan Interiors; Old Town Crossing; Patrik Lönn Design Inc.; Richard Keith Langham; The Showhouse Boutique