2009 Kips Bay Show House Designer: Charlotte Moss


Maybe instead of separate bathrooms, the key to a happy marriage should be separate bedrooms but only if they look like the ones designed by Charlotte Moss. "Anything but pink in the bedroom," he said...this was the the inspiration for the The Master Suite designed by Ms. Moss for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Of course, the first room is really the Sitting Room but it does contain a bed so Madame could either take a nap or get away from a snoring husband!

A lot of thought went into this beautiful suite of rooms. According to the press packet, the King of Sweden gave Nancy Lancaster a fragment of Chinese painted paper that inspired John Fowler and George Oaks to paint a mural described as follows..."the colors ran the gamut of Fower's range. Against a grey-lavender ground, frosted green trees - with strange white flowers - bear clusters of purple berries and green...wiggly bouquets of mauve berries."

Apparently, "the color mauve was discovered in 1856 by the eighteen-year-old William Perkin." Ms. Moss suggested reading Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color that Changed the World by Simon Garfield for more about this fascinating color story. Ms. Moss also suggests using a "portiere in the entry foyer/vestibule or between two rooms to create a break, a sense of discovery, or just a little mystery." By the way, portiere is a fancy word for curtain.

When I visted the show house, the weather was grey and ready to rain and the light from large windows made the room feel as though it could have been in Paris. Considering what a Francophile Ms. Moss is, it seemed especially fitting. The color palette for her room is French blue, mauve, ivory, pale pink and celedon and even though there are a lot of colors, the room is quite soothing. "Drama is created with contrast - in the case of these rooms, a light blue is used in the sitting room and a dark blue in the bedroom. The depth of color suits the room's use - dark for sleeping, light for reading, relaxing and conversation."

I love the wicker coffee table and bamboo window shades that "add texture, a dash of informality, and create that essential contrast with the silk curtains." The Decorating Notes from the press packet have the best quotes!

"Hang your artwork salon style - by its nature it says add more whenever you want."

The Jansen desk is from the estate of Evangeline Bruce and would be perfect for writing thank you notes.

The Louis XV bed is dressed pink Les Violettes en Rose sheets from D. Porthault, a colorway made specially for Jacqueline Kennedy. Another decorating idea is to "divide a screen in half and anchor two corners."

"Slipcovers give you flexibility: a feeling of being more relaxed, informal...and can stretch a budget."

The darker walls of midnight blue DeGournay Teapaper and canopied bed definitely add drama in the bedroom.

The sheets in the bedroom are Rivages d'Asie by D. Porthault.

The artwork is a collection of Maria Sibylla Merian 18th century hand-colored engravings of exotic plants and butterflies.

The bright green draperies are a lovely contrast to the blue walls. I also love that Ms. Moss thinks of all the senses when designing a room. She created a playlist of music entitles Les Femmes Formidables, that is available as an iMix at iTunes, and the room fragrance wafting gently in the background is Left Bank by Charlotte Moss for Agraria. She didn't mention specifically for taste but I picture drinking a cup of tea and munching on Laduree macaroons in the sitting room. Even their colors would match!

I find it inspiring that Charlotte Moss thinks of everything when creating a room and of course she is still inspired by others. I asked her what it meant to be a part of this year's show house since it is dedicated to Albert Hadley. "We are always thrilled to participate in the Kips Bay Show House, this year particularly as we honor Albert Hadley and all the inspiration that he has provided to the design community and do design in such a beautiful and gracious space." And beautiful and gracious are the perfect words to describe Charlotte Moss's room!


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