Monday, November 29

A Designer Showhouse Philosophy but with a twist...

 Did you see the movie 
"Something's Gotta Give"?
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson lit up the screen in 2003
with their twinkling personalites and all set in the most fabulous oceanfront home in The Hamptons?  

Many were inspired by this romantic comedy and the set design has been fodder for many designer's drooling over the details. It is no wonder that we see inspirations from this movie again years later and now brought to you in a fabulously creative manner.  Thanks to the 4th Annual Designer Visions, Hearst's Home Group of magazines (which includes House Beautiful, Town &Country and Veranda) have brought this unique project to fruition for their 2010 project. This year is quite special and inspired by three separate motion pictures.

The renowned architectural firm Gwathmey Siegel & Associates designed the new Setai Fifth Avenue Residences in Manhatten.  Hearst chose three designers to create three homes on the 58th floor of the newly opened Setai, and each inspired by a different movie.  Married couple and design team Jim and Phoebe Howard were hand picked to design a NYC home for character's Erica and Harry from the movie, Something's Gotta Give and for House Beautiful magazine (see this project featured in detail in this November's House Beautiful).  It is a serenely sophisticated life that the Howards have created depicting Harry and Erica's married life years after the movie has ended, and showing how they meld their families together in an urban setting. The home displays Erica and Harry's love, hobbies, humor and exquisite taste.

I was fortunate to be given a private behind-the-scenes tour of this space by Alana Frumkes the charismatic Director of Designer Visions, and later, a personal meeting with designer Phoebe Howard to gather more information on her thoughts and inspirations.  A project with this much creativity behind it is truly a designer's dream and the Howards put it together beautifully.  Take a look....

Harry's office - you visualize Harry sitting at his desk, sipping his wine, eyebrow cocked and offering up witty conversation

fabulous attention to detail in Erica's sitting room and her granddaughter's bedroom.   

above photographs
Francesco Lagneses
      House Beautiful

I was fortunate to meet Mrs Howard in person during my private tour - I photographed some of the details that impressed me.  I couldn't help but remember the charming love story; the wine Harry bought at auction, a peek into Erica's closet and her cashmere collection (remember her fascination with turtlenecks).  Take a look at the sheen coming off this ceiling - wonderful! 

the Manhattan skyline soars behind this lovely dining room.

 This room is serene and welcoming, a lovely combination of soft hues of blue and gray.  I love the glassy finish of the painted walls and ceiling and it adds an interesting contrast to all the textures.  I enjoyed the combination of beautiful bespoke bookcases, Baker furniture and fabrics by Sanderson, Mark Alexander for Romo and bedding by Wamsutta.  The paint is Ralph Lauren.  Kohler bathrooms with Ann Sacks details.  The carpets are in neutral tones and subtle patterns by Karastan.  Other sources -- antiques from Sentimento Antiques, table from Hickory Chair, leather from John Rosselli & Associates, books from Tappan Book Mine.  The room was finely edited yet filled with lots of detail.

For more information on this project
please visit their website at


Anonymous said...

Wow-what a fantastic experience! Thanks for sharing all the beauty!

Anonymous said...

Love! What a gorgeous space!

Anonymous said...

Tamara this is so cool, and I would love to go see this showhouse. I did not even know that Hearst publishing had such a program and will read my last month's House Beautiful to get the whole story. happy turkey day to you and all your NESTING. Brian Donohue

Anonymous said...

Hi Tam, we had such a nice thanksgiving together. I loved reading your blog this month and there was so much to learn about fabrics and wallpapers. Lucia and I are looking forward to December and cooking. love, rich