03 December 2010

Deck the Tables: Holiday House 2010 Highlights

Vermilion Red gets the pulse racing in Barbara Ostrom's Chinese New Year
A sprawling 75 foot wide mansion on New York's Upper East Side complete with original architectural details is enough to get me out of my slippers and the house.  Combine that with inspiring, no-holds-barred tabletop decorations?!  No, I hadn't died and gone to heaven, just to Holiday House 2010.

2 East 63rd Street, photographed in 1921, the same year its owners William and Gladys Ziegler, Jr. divorced and moved out; photo courtesy of the Office for Metropolitan History
The house itself was designed by Frederick Sterner in 1919 for William and Gladys Ziegler, Jr. Ziegler inherited an immense baking powder fortune at the age of 14 and was only 29 when he commissioned this house. Perhaps it was too much stone to live under for someone so young for he and Gladys only lived there for two years until their divorce. A Russian oligarch purchased the house in 2005 and it has sat empty ever since, except for the occasional film shoot (it's Carrie and Big's apartment in SATC2), fashion show, and, lucky for us, Holiday House.

Mark Epstein's Hanukah in the library
A few of the delicious details of the house include a stunning inlaid marble floor worthy of the Pantheon in the entrance hall, a paneled library complete with fine low-relief grotesque carving and armorial stain glassed windows, and an open air courtyard in the center.  (Click here to read more about the house's history.)

Bradley Thiergartner's Boxing Day was also in the library.  Bonnie, my companion of the evening, gave them extra points for the taxidermy.  A bird's nest is whimsically perched in the berried arrangement.

This surfeit of design pleasures comes without the guilt of, say, chocolate truffles.  Holiday House benefits the charity Susan G. Komen for the cure.  Benjamin Bradley and David Thiergartner dedicated their installation to Dr. Tandy Miller, the sister of their gorgeous English Cocker Spaniels Amber and Huxley's trainer, who lost the fight to breast cancer five years ago.

Holiday House wouldn't be complete without the Queen of Showhouses, Barbara Ostrom.

I was enchanted by Debra Blair and Rebecca Short's Venetian Carnivale.  Successfully creating something organic and full of fancy is much more difficult than laying out a symmetrical arrangement.  The masks came from Debra's own collection and the enormous grotto-worthy shell-form wall sconces came from John Rosselli.

That these designers have inspiring ideas from which we can borrow is no surprise, but that they put together these vignettes in two weeks (and less) definitely was!

You know I can't resist a pagoda pelmet and Eric Cohler's in this room dedicated to  Mother's Day Brunch are irresistable - as is the room with its inky blue lacquer walls.

In fact, I'm going back for a second look and I hope you'll stop by next Thursday, December 9, from 6pm to 8pm, for a Rizzoli Author Book Signing.

I'll be there along with:

Michael Connors, British West Indies Style
Nancy Corzine, Glamour at Home
Samantha Daniels, Matchbook
Jamee Gregory, New York PartiesDuane Hampton, Mark Hampton An American Decorator
Daniel Leader, Bread Alone, Local Breads, and Panini ExpressPauline Metcalf, Syrie Maugham
Richard Mishaan, Modern Luxury
Rebecca Moses, A Life of Style
Robin Wilson, Kennedy Green House

HOLIDAY HOUSE is open through Wednesday, December 15th, 2010.  Hours are 10 AM until 6 PM. Thursdays until 8 PM.  Admission is $25.

Not in NYC? Click over to Little Augury for a chance to win a free signed copy of The World of Madeleine Castaing.

All photos, except #2, by Doug Holt Photography.