Are you dreaming of a designer living space in your home? One of the best ways to stay on top of interior design trends and cutting-edge style is to explore the latest spaces from industry events. The Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York is an endless source of inspiration, with swoon-worthy details at every turn. Unique applications were a highlight of the luxe spaces in the 2019 Kips Bay Show House, including stunning Cambria bar applications, backlit countertops, a Cambria fireplace hearth, and a decadent soaking tub.
47th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House
For the 2019 Kips Bay Decorator Show House, each room of a luxury Upper East Side townhouse was transformed to the vision of an industry-leading designer with proceeds benefitting the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. We’re thrilled we were able to chat with some of the Kips Bay designers about their beautiful spaces and find how they incorporated Cambria. Check out our in-depth look at the sophisticated kitchen designed by Christopher Peacock and read on to explore some of the designer living areas and custom spaces from this year’s show.
Moody champagne bar with Cambria Myddleton
Lighting, color, and mood define this chic champagne bar from Jim Dove of Jim Dove Design. The original space had always been used as a wet bar, but only as a modest service bar used by staff (See the “before” picture.). “It was never exposed to the people that lived at the house,” says Dove. “I saw it as more than that. I wanted to create something that could be open and available to the people that live at the house, and I wanted to make it glamorous and moody. So, I turned it into a champagne bar, which I think is a fabulous idea for this type of home.”
For his initial inspiration on the function of the space, Dove assigned imaginary clients who he envisioned as Truman Capote and Lee Radziwill. “I imagined those two would be in the space hiding away for a little tete a tete, gossiping about the party that was roaring around them.” As for the design, Dove says, “My inspiration was to create what it would be like inside a Fabergé egg. And what a Fabergé egg is to me: it’s reflection, it’s light, it’s jewelry, it’s beautiful colors, it’s depth of colors.”
Glamorous blue and gold color palette
A few key selections led Dove to a moody and glam palette of blue and gold. “The first color I chose was the amber sink by Kohler, and following that was the backlit countertop by Cambria,” notes Dove. “I chose the Myddleton countertop because of its ability to be lit from underneath [and] the beautiful tones. The onyx-like tones of the Cambria (Myddleton) were really great for what I was looking for. I was very excited because of its translucent quality–I actually saw it at the KBIS show in Las Vegas and I was blown away by the beauty of the product.”
Backlit countertops to set the mood
Myddleton is one of Cambria’s designs that can be backlit, creating a beautiful “jewel box” effect in the champagne bar. The backlit quartz countertops were integral to Dove’s overall concept for the space. “The art is backlit. The shelves—they’re top lit, but they also are glowing,” explains Dove. “A glowing, moody room was what I was going for, and the Cambria really helped me achieve that.”
“Better than marble” countertops
In addition to Myddleton’s design qualities, the performance of the quartz made a lasting impression on Dove. “In the past I have been a ‘marble snob,’ but I think this Cambria countertop is really achieving that beautiful marble look. But [due to] its durability and its usefulness, it’s just better than marble overall,” says Dove.
Relaxation room with soaking tub and Cambria Huntley
This luxe relaxation room by Vicente Wolf of Vicente Wolf Associates gives a new meaning to a dream space. “My inspiration for the space was creating an environment where you could dream,” says Wolf. Originally the home’s breakfast room, the space features a Kohler soaking tub atop a Cambria Huntley platform as a centerpiece amid lush greenery and rich purple walls.
According to Wolf the “Dreaming Room” is intended to be a space to escape the everyday, whether lying in the bathtub, reading, or simply sitting. See a view of the space’s seating area.
Bold color palette
Cambria’s Huntley design, a creamy base with swirls of walnut-brown and gradated gray, was the perfect complement to the bold, saturated purple in the room. “How I chose the color of material for Cambria was matching the colors of the walls,” says Fox. “I knew I wanted to have something that related to the [existing] fireplace as well as to the colorization of the space.”
Working with Cambria
One of the challenges of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House is the tight timeframe each designer has to plan and complete the space, typically just over a month. “Working with suppliers is sometimes a question [of] is it going to go smoothly [or] not, especially when one has a controlled time[frame],” Fox explains. “Working with Cambria was really so easy. We gave them our ideas and that was it until the day it got delivered. There was no back and forward, there were no mistakes, and Cambria provided it in a fast, smooth, professional way.”
Sitting room with Cambria Islington bar
Jennifer Cohler Mason of J. Cohler Mason Design transformed what would typically be a bedroom into a communal space with vivid colors and mod appeal. “When I saw the raw space, it was a very large room and I wasn’t feeling ‘bedroom.’ It felt a little bit too cold for a bedroom,” Cohler Mason explains. “I decided I wanted to create a sitting room—almost a lounge space where people could come and hang out and actually dialogue with each other without having screens all over the place.”
Cohler Mason also came up with an imaginary client for the space: a New York couple who “love to entertain at home and are big art collectors.” A Cambria wet bar, a cozy fireplace, and an array of plush seating and pillows fulfill the entertaining objective, while an art curator’s eye extends beyond the pieces on the wall. “Knowing that [our clients] were into art, we wanted to layer many elements,” says Cohler Mason. “Often times, the furniture can become art because it’s sculptural. We really had a great blank canvas for that.”
Inspired by a new Cambria design
Cambria’s ever-expanding palette provided the perfect quartz design for the sitting room’s wet bar with a recently released design, Islington. A medley of navy and pale blue tones with gray and white accents, Islington pairs beautifully with the room’s jewel tones. “Cambria is amazing,” says Cohler Mason. “I went through several different stones [and] I wanted something new. I’m always looking for newness and not to repeat things that have been done already.”
“I have a grandmother [who] would tell her architect she didn’t want ‘the house of tomorrow,’ she wanted ‘the house of the day after tomorrow.’ So, I really felt that about the (Islington) stone,” adds Cohler Mason. “The stone was fresh and new, yet it had some vintage roots to it. I really loved the way it played with the color palette in our room.”
The organic movement of the Islington design also added to the layers of texture in the space and contributed to the old-meets-new vibe. “We like to mix vintage with contemporary pieces and people often are confused about what is vintage and what is new,” says Cohler Mason. “People asked if the [new] sofa was vintage, and they thought our vintage 1950s chairs were new, so [the mix of pieces were] a great play off of each other and the Cambria stone really helped to knock it out of the park for us.”
Cambria bar with waterfall-edge countertops
A double waterfall edge on the bar showcases more of the Islington design for an elegant wrapped effect. “We decided to create a waterfall edge because the wall didn’t really have a proper start and stop. So, to give it a little bit of breathing room on each side we decided to create a waterfall, which also gives it that modern sensibility,” Cohler Mason explains. “In fact, everybody [asks] if it’s one piece, when in fact it is three pieces. The (Cambria) installers were magical in making that happen.”
Library with Cambria Ella fireplace hearth
Corey Damen Jenkins of Corey Damen Jenkins and Associates sought to modernize the historical function of his room and design it with a new audience in mind. “This house was built in the 1940s, and back then this [space] would have been a gentlemen’s study,” notes Jenkins. “We want to fast forward that narrative to the 21st century, where women are really running the world now from the household all the way to Capitol Hill.” Jenkins envisioned a “ladies’ library—a command center where a woman can come and enjoy herself [in] a space dedicated to her personal tastes and style.”
With blush tones, bold florals, and brass accents, Jenkins’ luxe library is fresh and elegant. While most elements of the space were significantly transformed, the fireplace surround was not altered. “The fireplace was the one thing from the original house that I really retained as far as its original shape and style. I didn’t want to change it or tear it out—it would have been very cost prohibitive to do that. It was in good shape as far as the surround,” says Jenkins. “That really informed the color palette. I pulled the raspberry, the gray, and the white from that into the rest of my scheme.”
Pairing Ella in the space
While the surround was retained, the fireplace required a new hearth and Jenkins selected Ella, one of Cambria’s marble alternatives. “Cambria played a big role with the decision-making process with the fireplace as far as the hearth is concerned,” says Jenkins. “The surround was aged, so obviously we wouldn’t have been able to match that particular slab with the hearth. I’m all about mixing and matching everything anyway. And so, by using the beautiful Ella, we pulled this beautiful creamy white element that was in the existing surround out and played it up.”
“The Ella from Cambria really was a lifesaver for the design,” says Jenkins. “It brightened up the floor (and) played beautifully with my rug which had a snow leopard print. And the andirons popped more because they were now on this bright backdrop.”
Blending old and new in historic homes
“I got so many compliments on the surround and the hearth—how they did not match and yet they flowed,” Jenkins notes. “They were designed to come together as a pairing.”
The mix-and-match pairing of Cambria with the fireplace surround serves as an example of how to elevate and update a historic home while preserving character and functional structures. “I think it inspired a lot of people. So many people are renovating these historic homes and they may not be able to match every stone they have in the house, but that’s where a durable product like Cambria can come into play,” says Jenkins. “You can mix it in [with other materials] and it looks almost seamless and it doesn’t affect the durability, the functionality, or the look of the space.”
Each of these stunning Kips Bay spaces showcase how Cambria can be used as a stylish and innovative surface in spaces beyond the kitchen. For tips on planning your own designer living space, explore these home workspaces, dining rooms, Cambria bar ideas, Cambria fireplace surrounds, and other unique applications.
Curious about other Kips Bay Show House projects? See our spotlights on designer spaces from Kips Bay Palm Beach: a stunning baker’s kitchen from Vyda Fine Interiors and a celebration-inspired master bathroom from Krista + Home.
Our thanks to Jim Dove, Vicente Wolf, Jennifer Cohler Mason, and Corey Damen Jenkins for sharing their insight behind the design of these Kips Bay Decorator Show House designer living spaces with us.