An Inside Look at a Glam Life

July 29, 2015


How do those lucky folks, with millions of dollars, spend their money? A visit in May 2015 to the Kips Bay Decorator Show House – the most prestigious annual showcase for interior design in the US – gave me an inside look into how it’s done. (It’s called a “show” house, so some things are a bit over the top, even for the 1%.)

For the past 43 years, this event has occurred in May/June at different spots in Manhattan. This year it was held in a $35 million, seven-story townhouse built in 1909 that is located at 58 East 66th (Andy Warhol used to live across the street).

Twenty-two of the nation’s top designers were given eight weeks to create their magic in a 9,600 sq. ft. mansion that has been totally renovated for resale to a multi-millionaire.

An outdoor terrace is a great spot for entertaining friends and family.

This year was a dazzling display of fantastic creativity. For example, I loved the $250,000 Christopher Peacock trophy kitchen with its burled elm counter. However, the real showstopper for me were two rooms (directly across from each other) done up in fabrics, textures and the color red: a dining room by Mark Sikes and a living room by Alessandra Branca who says, “Red reflects both energy and practicality.”


The kitchen with a burled elm counter is a fun spot to eat.


Clive Christian, a British designer, created this elegant bathroom. The visual at the rear covers a no-longer-useful window.

The bathtub on the roof added an element of surprise as well as the 250 pieces of art hung on the wall by the winding staircase. Designer Philip Mitchell says, “This is a collection of art pieces that reflect what I love. It’s a mix of family pieces, high-end works and flea-market finds.”


The outdoor bathtub on the roof of the Kips Bay Show House is an unusual feature.


Update: A 27-foot lap pool is under construction.

A Great Summer Read: The House of Gucci, a Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. The following says it all:

“From the day Guccio Gucci opened his modest leather goods shop in Florence in the 1900s to the day Investcorp took control of the signature horse-bit loafers and bamboo-handled bags of the 1980s to the sexy Tom Ford designs of today, The House of Gucci tells a riveting story of high fashion, high finance and heartrending personal tragedy.”

In The Wall Street Journal, reviewer Teri Agins, writes, “Fashion has never been so dramatic – and dangerous. The saga of three generations of the Gucci family opens with an execution-style murder in Milan and penetrates the world of one of the hottest fashion labels of our time. This is a spellbinding book that I thoroughly enjoyed – you will too.


Adea really comes through for the dog days of August. Take a look at our new, ultra soft “relaxed fit” T-shirts. Your choice: V-neck or crew neck, long or short sleeves, in white or gray.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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