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A Night and Home to Remember!

by habituallychic

10 . 02 . 09

I belong to a design group that meets once a month and this week interior designer Steven Gambrel graciously opened his home to the group. Needless to say, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience his designs in person. I urge you to pull out your January/February 2009 issue of Elle Decor if you need to refresh your memory and while you are looking, let me tell you that it looks 1000 times better in real life!

The four story house that was built in 1827 is located in the West Village and Gambrel and his partner, Chris Connor, first had to restore the building to it’s former glory before they could move in. For the party, they had set out pretty Asian lanterns to welcome their guests.

From the minute all of us walked in the door, we were drooling over the details! Everything is perfect and since it was recently completed, everything is perfect. There is not one thing out of place or even a corner with a nick in the paint!

I loved the striped paint in the entry that the Elle Decor article mentions was inspired by the administrative offices of the Amber Palace in Jaipur, India.

What’s hard to tell from the magazine photos is the scale of the rooms. Many of them are small and cozy which is probably the size they were originally. I think a lot of other owns might have been tempted to blow out walls and open the house up front to back but the small rooms allow for a surprise around corner!

The dining room is directly to your right when you enter the house and even though it photographs more blue, it’s actually more grey. Many of the rooms are also painted in custom high gloss paint which I’ve mentioned before is especially nice in small spaces because it reflects a lot of light.

Gambrel designed a lot of the upholstery too and there are a lot of deep built in seating that would be perfect to curl up on. During the party, it also served as a bar area.

You can get a better look at the high gloss walls in this photos and the natural floors. We noticed them while were at the party and remarked that other homeowners might have stained them dark which would created a much different look.

This little area was so interesting and sits past the dining room on the first floor. It’s hard to tell but there is a jib door on the left that leads to a powder room. I really loved the red trim that runs along the cabinetry.

I only glimpsed a little of the powder rooms which all had great printed wallpapers.

Up the stairs to the left is a small little area that sits above the horse walk which is a covered walkway that leads back to the carriage house. When I looked down it as we were leaving, it reminded me of the photos of Paris buildings that I had posted earlier. The first area is the “mudroom” where they hang coats and also the washer and dryer that are hidden by doors lined with chicken wire and antiqued mirror.

At the end of the little hallway is the little bedroom with walls upholstered in ikat from Uzbekistan. Luckily, it has a window to the front street so it feels more cozy that small.

When you continue up the stairs to the second floor, there is another cozy room that serves as an office.

We were all wondering where Steven had found all the art because it all worked perfectly together and not just within each room but the entire house!

Again, there was a deep built in sofa that would be perfect to curl up and read on a rainy day!

It’s interesting to see the home photographed during the day because when we were there at night, it was lit with candles that made it look dark and swanky!

The library/bar area was a little jewel box room right off the living room.

It was in the living room that runs the length of the front of the house that every designer at the party decided that they needed to go home and immediately redecorate! I won’t name any names but there were a lot of big designers at the party and one whose own home you have oohed and ahhed over also mentioned wanting to redecorate while another said it made her feel like she still lives in college!

Of course we all felt a pang of jealousy but more importantly we also felt admiration because we all noticed the incredible attention to detail. It definitely inspired everyone in the room.

When I went back to look at Elle Decor, I noticed that the drapery trim was air brushed off the cover. It might have made the cover too busy or interfered with the typeface.

The pattern of the rug was custom designed by Steven after the pattern of a cable knit sweater of owned by Connor.

The landing of the third floor has a hanging light fixture that was the talk of the party. It’s hard to tell but it looked to be hung from an anchor and had dolphin motifs.

The walk in closet/dressing room was also the talk of the third floor tour! There is a shelf at the top that holds new and vintage suitcases. What I loved was the gorgeous wallpaper on the ceiling!

The thread of blue that weaves through out the house continued in the master bedroom.

All through the house, the furniture placement is perfect such as this beautiful chair that sits next to the dresser and outside the bathroom. It’s nice to have places to sit things where you need them.

When I saw the photo of the master bedroom in Elle Decor, I was wondering how they showered with no curtain or door so it was nice to learn that there is a bar with a curtain!

I also really loved the third floor guest room. It was neutral and soothing but not devoid of interesting details. The closet door on the right has inset panels of antique mirror which make it look like it has been there forever.

The fireplace in the corner of the room adds a cozy touch.

Every table and dresser was perfectly styled as well.

The hall bathroom was another jewel box of a room with the brighter tile and collection of etchings.

You can see in this photo that all the light fixtures are interesting and different than what you would expect.

A sofa on one side of the room allows for guests to sit and relax while keeping the cook company.

The lower level or basement luckily has windows so it’s not too dark.

The kitchen had a very European feel and I could imagine it also being very cozy during the winter with the fire lit in the original cooking hearth.

I’m so glad there was a photo on Gambrel’s website of the little terrace that sits outside the landing between the main floor and the basement. It was also styled with topiaries for the party and looked like a great place to eat dinner or enjoy a glass of wine in the evening.

I really want to thank Steven Gambrel on behalf of everyone who attended the party for inviting us into his home. It was very generous of him to open it up to a big group and I think I speak for everyone when I say that it was truly inspiring and motivating and I know we all hope to get to his level someday!

Comments Closed

  1. HudsonGoods.com October 2, 2009 | 2:18 am

    Some really amazing rooms, hard to pick my favorite, but I really like the walk in closet!

  2. kerry October 2, 2009 | 2:34 am

    WOW-WOW-WOW!!! SO inspiring! Thanks to both of you for sharing.

  3. style chronicle October 2, 2009 | 2:42 am

    It does make me want to re-decorate. No detail was forgotten!!

  4. Chic Coles (Cole Design) October 2, 2009 | 2:47 am

    We have great admiration for Steven Gambrel. You do so many wonderful things in the design world. but this really is at the top of the list. His house is simply stunning. From the paint colors he has chosen to the application of high gloss. All of the beautiful antiques in the house and the understated design.

  5. Daniel M. Hale October 2, 2009 | 4:04 am

    Really great spread! Fun to have had a peek. Thanks, Daniel

  6. maison21 October 2, 2009 | 4:14 am

    i want to light a match to my place. seriously.

  7. Tammy@InStitches October 2, 2009 | 11:33 am

    Everything is gorgeous ! That’s interesting that they took the trim off the draperies for the cover.

  8. Laura Casey Interiors October 2, 2009 | 11:53 am

    wow, it is fabulous. I love every room. Thanks for the tour.

  9. Developing Designs October 2, 2009 | 11:59 am

    Wow…..what a treat (you lucky dog!) 🙂 to have been able to have what sounds like a wonderful evening in such an inspiring beautiful home. Thank you for sharing, it looks so warm, cozy and inviting, it must have been really hard to say good bye. xo Laura

  10. columnist October 2, 2009 | 12:20 pm

    Wonderful! Attention to detail is surely the key to great interior design. I can’t imagine anywhere really stunning not having that; and making it look effortless. The joy is noticing it in others’ work, and like-minded people noticing it in yours!

    Thank you very much for showing us this. I enjoyed it tremendously.

  11. Tina Steele Lindsey October 2, 2009 | 12:33 pm

    Amazing, simply amazing. From the date of its construction to its beauty hidden behind the front door, this has been quite an enjoyable visit here on your blog. I love to imagine the lives of those living in the residence from its initial occupants until now, just marvelous to ponder. Thanks!

  12. the NEO-traditionalist October 2, 2009 | 12:57 pm

    I’m dying of envy! What a beautiful home he has (all his work is amazing, isn’t it? Sigh!). It’s so wonderful that you’re out there meeting and mingling with other influential designers. I love when creative people share their ideas and help one another grow in their craft. You are certainly part of this Heather! Thanks so much for sharing with us, made my Friday. Enjoy the weekend!
    XX Kate “the NEO-trad”

  13. le style et la matière October 2, 2009 | 1:09 pm

    It’s wonderful to the last detail without feeling too done. The colors unify it all- blue, tuquoise, caramel?- but it seems to go on forever. I don’t think And the little ikat room is adorable. Thanks for the great pictures!

  14. sketch42 October 2, 2009 | 1:45 pm

    This place is to die for! Btw, Congrats on being featured as the designer for the WS home website! I love their products and Im so happy for you!!

  15. Elle October 2, 2009 | 2:33 pm

    Wow! what a stunning home, I can definitely understand it wanting to make someone redecorate….

  16. fromtherightbank.com October 2, 2009 | 3:11 pm

    This is one amazing home! Thanks for the tour.

  17. Red Lipstick Style October 2, 2009 | 4:00 pm

    wow, that you were able to see this incredible home in person is a true gift.

  18. Bailey Quin October 2, 2009 | 4:24 pm

    Stunning! My fiance and I are currently renovating a 1890s townhouse in Chicago, and I love the way they kept the integrity of the original floorplan while still brightening and updating the space with impeccable contemporary details. V. Inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Brittany Stiles October 2, 2009 | 5:44 pm

    This guy is a genius, literally. You are so lucky.

  20. katiedid October 2, 2009 | 5:49 pm

    You are one lucky girl! What a treat to see all of this inspirational perfection. Did you take some of the pictures yourself? Lovely. lovely lovely.

  21. TheCluelessCrafter October 2, 2009 | 6:08 pm

    OHhhh! I’m always on the hunt for a deep, sofa that I can nestle into any space and get lost it. To be totally consumed by the grand scale of a plush sofa is my idea of heaven. . .

  22. Grant K. Gibson October 2, 2009 | 9:26 pm

    After seeing this I am ready to blow up my apartment and start ALL OVER! It is beyond fabulous!

  23. red ticking October 3, 2009 | 3:29 am

    FABULOUS…. and i love your new banner… very cool
    have a wonderful weekend… x pam

  24. Ivy Lane October 3, 2009 | 4:13 pm

    Beautiful…. I love the high gloss paint on the walls…that green in the entry and up the stairs was so unexpected… I LOVE it! The art in the guest bath with the splash of color tile made my heart race a tad…and the hearth in the kitchen… my dream someday! How wonderful to be able to be amoungst such talent..truly inspiring….

  25. Suzy October 4, 2009 | 1:04 am

    You lucky, lucky girl!

  26. Suzy October 4, 2009 | 1:06 am

    Oh, and I second what Christian said…and I love your new banner! (did he have anything to do with it!?)

  27. My Dog-Eared Pages October 4, 2009 | 4:12 pm

    These photos are fantastic… Gambrel is truly one of the greats!! Thank you for a great post.

  28. Ryan Hines October 4, 2009 | 5:03 pm

    Steven Gambrel is the best decorator in the entire world.

    End of story.

  29. Soma Pradhan October 6, 2009 | 5:01 pm

    Mmmmm…. What a lovely little stroll. Too many spaces to admire and, well, covet. I had this discussion with a designer friend earlier in the month, I want to fall effortlessly in love with every piece in a space; he wants one rock star and everything else to ease away from the stand out. I think Mr. Gambrel’s home seconds my perspective.

  30. Quality October 7, 2009 | 2:20 am

    We’re fixing up a Brooklyn townhouse that is virtually unchanged since it was built. They have the same basic plan here, and it’s really interesting to see possibilities I had never considered.

  31. pve design October 7, 2009 | 6:39 am

    I would have moved right in.
    (with all my art supplies, my family and my dog)
    Do you think he would mind?
    Nice cheery banner, HC.