I’m sure many of you readers are familiar with Holiday House, the breast cancer fundraiser founded and chaired by Iris Dankner. Now in its fifth year, the much anticipated annual event on the design circuit is again taking place in the commanding 1921 20,000 square foot limestone townhouse at 2 East 63rd Street. And for the first time, this year’s beneficiary is the The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993. Event chairmen Iris Dankner and Christopher Hyland with Design co-chairs Alexa Hampton and Charlotte Moss head the event leadership with Traditional Home as the media partner for the third year.
Last week I attended the blockbuster opening night. I’m pleased to report that it was a stellar year for upscale and innovative design at the showhouse and I look forward to sharing several of the holiday themed rooms.
Although small in square footage, designers Stephen Javaras and Meagan Kennally, above, of Javaras Kennally created a jewel box of a space that shone with its inventive interpretation of a golden jubilee anniversary. Celebrating a life well lived, their interior was designed as a “collector’s library,” with an updated Viennese secessionist appeal. Amazing walls hand gilded with gold leaf (executed by Alpine Painting and Sandblasting) set the tone.
The design duo proceeded to create a sophisticated layered room with luxurious materials, antiques and art that exuded a timeless elegance. Every detail enriches the space, starting with a rug of their design, custom made of wool and silk by SHIIR in Nepal. Important pieces of furniture, all from Rita Bucheit of Chicago, anchor the room. Joseph Hoffman chairs, upholstered with beautiful Christopher Hyland fabric, at an Otto Wagner table and Gustave Siegel side chairs are all of 1905 vintage.
A stunning Viennese Secretaire from 1820 is the perfect addition to any serious collector’s library.
Most of the art in the room is photography, in honor of Evelyn Lauder’s passion for the medium. Several of the pieces are from Javaras’ personal collection (Jessica Eaton and Daniel Gordon) and the others on loan from Stephen Daiter Gallery in Chicago (Germaine Krull, Howard Dearstyne, Willy Kessels and Robert Heinecken) and Higher Pictures in New York (Letha Wilson).
There is a worldly feel to the mix, where the photography meets tribal art pieces from Tambaran Gallery. Even the floral designs echo a lush abundance.
I loved the elegant play of textures in this vignette with antique cut velvet curtains and embroidered pillow from Antique Textiles Gallery, tufted settee with rich chocolate leather from Dualoy and fur throw.
No space was overlooked and even in a high shelf of the bookcases is a collection of fascinating paper sculptures by Betsy Birkey. Using old cast off books, she carefully folds the pages to create these unique works of art. The ones featured in the room are for sale with 20% of the proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Javaras Kennally’s beautiful library proves how a discriminating selection of antiques and art forms can be blended harmoniously to create comfortable everyday glamour for contemporary living. Stay tuned for more from Holiday House coming soon.