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2009 Kips Bay Show House Designer: Charlotte Moss

by habituallychic

04 . 26 . 09

Maybe instead of separate bathrooms, the key to a happy marriage should be separate bedrooms but only if they look like the ones designed by Charlotte Moss. “Anything but pink in the bedroom,” he said…this was the the inspiration for the The Master Suite designed by Ms. Moss for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Of course, the first room is really the Sitting Room but it does contain a bed so Madame could either take a nap or get away from a snoring husband!

A lot of thought went into this beautiful suite of rooms. According to the press packet, the King of Sweden gave Nancy Lancaster a fragment of Chinese painted paper that inspired John Fowler and George Oaks to paint a mural described as follows…”the colors ran the gamut of Fower’s range. Against a grey-lavender ground, frosted green trees – with strange white flowers – bear clusters of purple berries and green…wiggly bouquets of mauve berries.”

Apparently, “the color mauve was discovered in 1856 by the eighteen-year-old William Perkin.” Ms. Moss suggested reading Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color that Changed the World by Simon Garfield for more about this fascinating color story. Ms. Moss also suggests using a “portiere in the entry foyer/vestibule or between two rooms to create a break, a sense of discovery, or just a little mystery.” By the way, portiere is a fancy word for curtain.

When I visted the show house, the weather was grey and ready to rain and the light from large windows made the room feel as though it could have been in Paris. Considering what a Francophile Ms. Moss is, it seemed especially fitting. The color palette for her room is French blue, mauve, ivory, pale pink and celedon and even though there are a lot of colors, the room is quite soothing. “Drama is created with contrast – in the case of these rooms, a light blue is used in the sitting room and a dark blue in the bedroom. The depth of color suits the room’s use – dark for sleeping, light for reading, relaxing and conversation.”

I love the wicker coffee table and bamboo window shades that “add texture, a dash of informality, and create that essential contrast with the silk curtains.” The Decorating Notes from the press packet have the best quotes!

“Hang your artwork salon style – by its nature it says add more whenever you want.”

The Jansen desk is from the estate of Evangeline Bruce and would be perfect for writing thank you notes.

The Louis XV bed is dressed pink Les Violettes en Rose sheets from D. Porthault, a colorway made specially for Jacqueline Kennedy. Another decorating idea is to “divide a screen in half and anchor two corners.”

“Slipcovers give you flexibility: a feeling of being more relaxed, informal…and can stretch a budget.”
The darker walls of midnight blue DeGournay Teapaper and canopied bed definitely add drama in the bedroom.

The sheets in the bedroom are Rivages d’Asie by D. Porthault.

The artwork is a collection of Maria Sibylla Merian 18th century hand-colored engravings of exotic plants and butterflies.

The bright green draperies are a lovely contrast to the blue walls. I also love that Ms. Moss thinks of all the senses when designing a room. She created a playlist of music entitles Les Femmes Formidables, that is available as an iMix at iTunes, and the room fragrance wafting gently in the background is Left Bank by Charlotte Moss for Agraria. She didn’t mention specifically for taste but I picture drinking a cup of tea and munching on Laduree macaroons in the sitting room. Even their colors would match!

I find it inspiring that Charlotte Moss thinks of everything when creating a room and of course she is still inspired by others. I asked her what it meant to be a part of this year’s show house since it is dedicated to Albert Hadley. “We are always thrilled to participate in the Kips Bay Show House, this year particularly as we honor Albert Hadley and all the inspiration that he has provided to the design community and do design in such a beautiful and gracious space.” And beautiful and gracious are the perfect words to describe Charlotte Moss’s room!

Comments Closed

  1. cathy whitlock April 27, 2009 | 2:05 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these images from Kips Bay — I try to attend every year and unfortunately missed it this year so its wonderful to see these!!

  2. Anonymous April 27, 2009 | 1:21 pm

    A portiere is for interior doorways or entrances to rooms.

    Originally they were used to help to shut out drafts.

    I am greatly enjoying your series on the Show House. Keep up the good work.

  3. ArchitectDesign April 27, 2009 | 2:23 pm

    I love that bedroom -that blue is so cozy! I like that the bed linens have a yellow tint to them -as well as the lamp shade -so nice against the blue.

  4. mary April 27, 2009 | 3:22 pm

    I love the work of Charlotte Moss-quiet depth and sophistication. This suite makes me want to go in and take up residence…the colors, the coziness, very much a touch of Albert Hadley added to her amazing style. Thanks a bunch–reminds me to purchase her book.

  5. Rowena April 27, 2009 | 5:27 pm

    HC – do you by chance know the names of the paint colors Ms. Moss used in this room?

  6. Scribbler April 27, 2009 | 7:31 pm

    I am really enjoying your tour of the Kips Bay Showhouse! thank you for sharing.

    Charlotte Moss is one of my favorites, so I really enjoyed seeing this.


  7. Love Where You Live April 27, 2009 | 7:39 pm

    Love that master sitting room — and the wall art collection. Very nice! Thanks for sharing, -susan

  8. AlwaysMe April 27, 2009 | 11:24 pm

    I have been waiting with anticipation for this post and it did not disappoint. Thanks for all of the lovely pictures and descriptions.

  9. Habitually Chic April 28, 2009 | 1:18 am

    Cathy – you have until May 17th to see it!

    Anonymous – yes, portiere comes from the French word port meaning door. Learn something new everyday!

    Architect Design – I am going to have to keep that blue in mind for future projects!

    Mary – I know! I would love to spend everyday in that sitting room! It’s perfect!

    Rowena – the walls are paper not paint. The sitting room is A,alfi Raw Silk Wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries in Ice Blue. You can find Phillip Jeffries at Holly Hunt in NYC. The bedroom walls are midnight blue DeGournay Teapaper. I’m sure you could find similar paint colors from Benjamin Moore or Farrow and Ball.

    Scribbler – Charlotte’s rooms were some of my favorites and I love her attention to detail.

    Susan – it’s even better in person! I love that sitting room!

    Always Me – I was hoping to finish all the posts this part weekend but the 80-90 degree temperatures had me outside the entire time. Sorry CM was delayed!

  10. Jane April 28, 2009 | 6:01 am

    This room is a showstopper! That gallery wall and those plexiglass framed botanicals are incredible. What do you think: with gallery walls, do you have to worry about putting pictures whose images are similar weight, or is it ok if one work jumps out a bit from the others? Does there have to be some commonality between all the choices? (Same frame, same color palette,etc?)