Nazira Handal, Chad Dorsey (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Wells Abbott's Kips Bay Decorator's Dinner (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Lauren Hudson, Traci Connell (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
A Mexican feast prepared by Javier's (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Cleo Epley, Trish Sheats, Kennedy Henderson (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Chesie Breen, Nazira Handal (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Whitney Anderson, Shelly Rosenberg, Traci Connell (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Jasmine Chavez, Janie Clark, Cathy Kincaid, Elaine Scarborough (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Chad Dorsey, Janet Gridley (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Michael Flores, Christina Dandar (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Chesie Breen, Dan Houchard, Cathy Kincaid (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Jason Jones, Jennings Ross, Javier Burkle, Philip Vanderford (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Shelly Rosenberg, Traci Connell (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
James Arsin, Chad Dorsey, Jeremiah Johnsen (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Bryan Yates, Nazira Handal, Mike Yates (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Mark Elias, Barbara Tartt (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Jason Jones, Jennings Ross (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Wells Abbott extended a dinner invite to all the talents involved with this year’s upcoming Kips Bay Decorator Show House as well as some of their design world colleagues, including Cathy Kincaid (who participated in last year’s inaugural event) and fans (that was likely why I made the guest list). It was akin to a college cafeteria with a bunch of bleary-eyed coeds coming in for another cup of coffee and some nosh. Don’t get me wrong, spirits were high and the crowd was enthusiastic about the work they were doing and how their rooms were looking. I know it will all be stunning.
The always effervescent Lauren Hudson, president of the Wells Companies (Rose Cummings and Classic Cloth are sponsors of this year’s event), greeted guests at the door and quickly got a drink into their hands. When I arrived I queried: why tonight’s party? “Well, as a Kips Bay designer last year, I vividly remember the stress of installing my room,” Hudson shared. “This year, I figured the designers could benefit from a strong Javier’s margarita!”
One of my favorite stories (I will not break the vows of trust by sharing who spilled this delicious bit of tea) was from a decorator heavily involved in last year’s inaugural show house. Another designer had apparently slept in their bed one night since they were likely pulling an all-nighter working on last-minute details before the VIP reception. What did they do to remedy? Well, they simply re-ironed the sheets and fluff up the pillow cushions and bolsters once again. Voila, ready for guests to view.
My dear colleague Rebecca Sherman and I have thought we should try and compile a list of blooper/outtakes of mishaps and comical situations that have occurred at show houses. Who doesn’t want to hear an anecdote of a designer sharing that a lampshade had never arrived only to find themselves making a 2 am run to Home Depot and spray painting it themselves (and perhaps getting slightly loopy from the fumes) to match their Farrow & Ball wall color?
Some of those gathered at the Wells Abbot showroom were ahead of the game, like dashing designer Javier Burkle. He apparently had finished his room days prior. Other designers, however (once again — won’t share names — wink wink) simply popped into Wells to down a glass of wine and have a plate of the divine food provided by Javier’s before heading back to the show house to attend to some final fluffing.
Others gathered for the evening of margaritas included Ann Whitley Wood, Sherry Hayslip, Chad Dorsey, Kips Bay Director of Special Events and Corporate Partnerships — Nazira Handal, and Janet Gridley.