History Inspires My Room at the Designer’s Show House

As I mentioned last week, I’m excited to be designing a room for the Mansions & Millionaires Designer’s Show House. Each designer is assigned a room and then it is up to the designer to envision the design of that room. My room is a bedroom with a fireplace and a full bath. Since I am intrigued by the people who might have visited this home as guests of the previous owners, my vision is to develop a guest room for the weary traveler.

I am incorporating elements that will reflect the different owners from 1914 to present day. These elements reflect the kind of items the weary travelers brought with them from their worldwide adventures. Some elements would reflect things the travelers always carried with them, while others reflect gifts they might have presented to their hosts. The 19th century campaign writing desk would have been carried over the desert by camel as its owner braved the harsh elements in search of rug traders. I will use a Persian or kilm rug to extend this analogy.


The fireplace is a key element to the room. I can imagine travelers resting in front of the fireplace before joining the rest of the house party for afternoon sports or evening entertainment. I will use a comfortable 20th century lounge chair by the fireplace. Since the room would be used for both male and female visitors, I am selecting colors that are gender neutral, yet welcoming.

Stay tuned for further updates. I continue to work with my favorite vendors to source all aspects of the room from paint to rugs, lighting to furniture. It’s quite a project!

Prepping for a Designer’s Show House!

Welcome back from your 4th of July holiday weekend!  I’m sure many of you were enjoying weekend visits to summer rentals.  I’ve just been invited to submit a room concept for the Mansions & Millionaires Designer Show House

 This year’s show house location is at Chestnut Manor in Upper Brookville, NY.  This is a North Shore Gold Coast mansion with a rich history reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.  Talk about a summer home!

This  house is inhabited year round, yet I easily imagine summer extravaganzas with guests mingling in the formal dining room while enjoying the summer breeze gently blowing through French doors which open to the gracious patio.  Built in 1914, the original owners, C. Oliver Iselin and his wife, Hope Goddard, Iselin, were avid sailors.  They owned and sailed four Americas Cup yachts (Hope was the first woman to sail in an Americas Cup race), defending the Americas Cup three times.  They were known for their sailing, horsemanship and gardening.  The home was often the site of gracious entertainment.  The home still reflects this gold coast history, combined with more modern elements necessary for today’s lifestyles.

Pulling together a room as part of a Designer’s Show House is a wonderful opportunity, but it is also a lot of work.  I am currenlty focused on the design concept and gathering materials, furniture, fixtures and accent pieces from my favorite vendors.  I am intrigued by the history of this mansion and hope to reflect some elements of this history in my room. The Show House will be open from September 10 to October  30.  Stay tuned for more information about this fun, yet time consuming, project!

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