When it come to interiors, good design is rarely the result of single person's work. I may have had a vision for this window, but without the help of all the artists and artisans, friends and colleagues who lent their time, talent and passion to this project, it would have been little more than a passing dream. If there's one thing I learned over the years as a magazine editor, it's that helping people builds relationships and that together, anything is possible.
To start, a huge thank you to Margaret Russell and Matthew Talomie of ELLE DECOR for entrusting me with a brand I've loved for years. From the beginning of this project, they granted me full creative freedom and the means to turn my vision into reality.
But for that to happen, I needed a way to communicate my design. In this project, and so many others, Jaithan's talents complemented my own beautifully, picking up just where I left off. He's my second set of eyes and ears, and his patience should earn him medals.
Putting together a room like this, well before any furniture or accessories, was not easy. The wallpaper, the moldings, the faux bois floors and fireplace were all the work of the talented visuals team at Bloomingdale's, lead by Christine Maly and the visionary Harry Medina. Both went the extra mile every step of the way, and for that, I'm extremely grateful.
Among the staff at Bloomingdale's, creating fantasy windows all year long, are Michael, Adina, and Ed (not pictured) with the visuals team. Of course, we left Adina to do all the heavy lifting, while the rest of us dusted and arranged flowers (kidding). All of them were troopers to the end, helping turn a daunting pile of bins, boxes, furniture and props…
into a polished and pulled together room, worthy of a Bloomingdale's window.
Beyond the pieces from Furniture on 5, every design element here was the result of the great generosity of friends and colleagues in the industry. beginning with the splatter wallpaper from Harry Hinson and Trip March of Hinson & Company, together with their longtime publicist Linda Derefler. Linda I've known for years, ever since my days at House Beautiful. This classic print has been on my inspiration board for a very long time, and I'm thrilled for the chance to finally use it!
To give this space real authenticity and my own point of view as a designer representing ELLE DECOR, I chose to mix in antique furniture and accessories, along with pieces from Bloomingdale's. This pair of Italian brass chairs came from my good friend, artist and antiques dealer Deborah Buck. I love her style to no end; it's exuberant, unique and beautiful! These pretty chairs, with their elegant, feminine lines, would be a perfect addition by the fireplace.
Covered in hot pink velvet from Hinson, the color pops against the splattered walls. And beside it, an antique Delftware jar from another generous soul, David Duncan.
David I'd seen out and about in the city at charity events and cocktail parties for years, but it wasn't until recently that he and his partner Michael became friends (and neighbors!) of ours in the country. Back at Martha, I used to borrow things from his store all the time for fancy photo shoots. Hands down, David has one of the best eyes in New York for assembling an ever-changing and eclectic mix of beautiful antiques from around the world. When Jaithan and I dropped in to see David just after the window went up, he had just returned from the auction at Tavern on the Green. Check out this fantastic copper, brass, and mirror wall sconce, one of four he scored for the shop! That dazzling collection of Delftware jars, vases and urns in the window came from David as well, together with this 1920s Paris porcelain potpourri.
With a passion for finding new ways to use old things, our inhabitant indulged her rather public proclivity for sweets, opting instead for pretty gumballs over potpourri. The vintage porcelain lamp is a Buck House find with custom shades from our friend, lamp designer Susan Schneider of Shandell's, right here in Millerton.
Susan's my go-to girl when it comes to shades—remember this story?—so to bring even more glamour to the window, we opted for a stunning 24K gold leaf wallpaper, courtesy of our friends at Philip Jeffries. I've loved their wallpaper for years, using it every chance I get. And for another layer of light in the window, Susan had the bright idea of making shades out of the same paper for a pair of smaller Chinese export lamps in turquoise, perfect for the bookcase.
It's a true testament to Susan's artistry that these lamps actually began as vases. I also love how she trimmed the shades with a simple grosgrain ribbon for a cleaner, more modern look.
As you might recall, with this space—and the story behind it—our inhabitant fashioned a space for herself and her family just as she lives-—boldly, joyously and full of panache! The exuberant mix of pillows on the sofa I had custom made using lush, vibrant fabrics from my friends Kristen Edson and Karen Kreitsek at Claremont, along with John Knot and Paul Romano at Quadrille. And thanks to a last-minute favor from David and Donna Feldman at Chelsea Workroom, everything was finished on time!
The 18th century toile pillows with the ruched silk borders, along with the leopard velvet one in the center, are from David Duncan. On the Bernhardt sofa from Bloomingdale's, the mix of pillows adds personality and flair!
Of course, no room I do would be complete without gorgeous candles from our favorite Kansas City candlemakers Pam Fleischer, Ken Weiner and, here, Harry McDaniel, dipping tapers by hand. Creative Candles are smokeless and dripless with the longest burning times around. Plus, I just love the pop of color they add to any room!
As a stylist and magazine editor, I know that it's the details that bring a space to life. So as soon as we finished the window, I called my good friend Addie Juell and her husband Eric to take pictures of all the moments that give this room character. What I love about Addie is that she knows how to look through a lens and get a great shot. A picture in a magazine is rarely the same as real life. It requires cheating things in, out, moving things here and there. Interiors photography is an art in itself, and Addie is one of the best in the business.
With this year's Big Window Challenge finally coming to an end, I wanted to thank publicly all the artists and artisans, friends and colleagues who helped turn my vision into reality. On behalf of the editors of ELLE DECOR, thank you!