Showhouses provide us the opportunity to pick up on creative details. Collectively, there were some interesting teachable moments in this year's Traditional Home - sponsored Hampton Designer Showhouse, from how to display objects on bookshelves, coffee tables and mantels, to hanging and working with art, to making a space flow. A general trend of excellent modern artwork and more - livability - less shock value make today's metro area showhouses a treat. Designers worked with Pratt and Lambert paints so if any inspire you, ask me and I can let you know what they are. The Watermill house is open till Labor Day so be sure to stop in when you are out East.
Here are this year's big moments.
GALLERY STYLE ART:
A den by Kate Singer Home features artwork hung gallery style. A variety of blue hues take from the sea and the sky, with artwork by artist Gretchen Fuss.
A design force based in Lexington, Kentucky, Lee W. Robinson created an entry hall based on equine inspiration, hanging wide, horizontal stripes on the high walls. A horse triptych dominates the dining room wall.
In a guest bedroom by Birmingham-based Tammy Connor, shadow boxes filled with butterflies in a charming English-inspired space.
LA and New York-based Katie Leede champions the work of emerging and established artists. A Nancy Lorenz lacquer panel hangs above the upholstered bed.
Aware of the everlasting style traditional design provides, Palm Beach interior designer Stephen Mooney based his scheme around a classic Scalamandre Chinoiserie print. Scenic landscapes and still life artwork are arranged to work on a wall that houses the TV set.
Black Crow Studio's swirly adhesive wallpaper sets the stage in Robert Passal's grand master bedroom. To balance out the chartreuse and salmon, he chose to include black and white photos.
Pasadena-based Tamara Kaye - Honey of House of Honey found these whimsical paintings of a young girl at play at a garage sale. Leaving them in an unframed state, they hang pinned to a wall in the nursery she created.
Creating a powder room that is "like being on the inside of a beach ball," New York-based interior designer Timothy Brown used bright yellow and pale blue Stark Wallpaper on the walls. A killer collection of artwork and installation pieces by emerging artists gave his bath a personal gallery edge.
A rainbow blot print hangs adjacent to black butterflies made out of soot.
Turquoise abstract pieces in a row look strong against the yellow wall.
Fusing modern touches with traditional, East Hampton-based Greg McKenzie used Crezana Wallcoverings in a coral and white square pattern for just the right dose of color in the neutral living room. Crackled paint canvases in aqua and black are a nice foil for the neutrals.
Blue egg shaped cut-outs arranged to fit in a square by Idoline Duke don a wall area that needed a little oomph.
A rocky beach landscape in a gilt frame.
Libby Langdon transformed a huge lower level windowless space to great effect. In this neutral vignette, a black and white piece by Mark Humphrey hangs above a chair of her own design for Braxton Culler.
Lee W. Robinson filled an English hall table with a pair of blue lamps, flowers, and small framed artwork.
Katie Leede used a translucent glass desk surface to showcase art books, ethnic jewelry, and personal mementos.
Busy walls covered in her signature fabric called for uncluttered nightstands in Katie Leede's bedroom.
Personal photos and flowers on a side table in Stephen Mooney's sitting room.
A cool blue Murano glass nut bowl, books and white sculpture on an amoeba - shaped table in Robert Passal's bedroom.
By floating the velvet bed in the room, the view to the garden can be appreciated. Matching linear white nightstands with white Christopher Spitzmiller lamps are just the thing to play off the powerful color of the walls.
A bone-inlaid Indian dresser holds a Christopher Spitzmiller lamp, photos and a small sculpture.
A bit of greenery, a sculpture and dishes on the upper level keep things clean; a lower level holds reading materials.
Passal got creative with his bedtime snacks tray, filling it with fresh fruit, vodka and Redi Whip.
A study in white, the mantel has just enough going on.
A modern lacquer chair holds books, providing another surface to accessorize.
A shimmering stone table top glimmers with silver objets.
Luxe upholstery in Patrick Lonn's equestrian sitting room is surrounded by small, round tables dotted with matte, tonal pottery.
A summery red, white and blue escape by Jennifer McConnell of Pearson Furniture. She bunched metal, stone-topped tables and added a cloche with rustic rope, an art book and hydrangeas, the unofficial signature flower of the showhouse.
A space for the little one's in Kaye-Honey's nursery combines vintage brass touches and turquoise Moroccan poufs.
Proving it is never too early to get glam, she used her Nursery Works collection of vintage-inspired nursery pieces.
A little art appreciation in the form of colorful mid-century pottery.
The surface of a malachite painted dresser in McKenzie's lower level space has minimal touches that play off the color in the space.
A sweet French chair holds a few books.
A bar, neatly arranged in a mirrored tray.
Need a spot for a drink? A zigzag table with mirror top sits between cozy chairs.
More books perched on chairs.
A glass coffee table in Langdon's room captures the essence of her exotic voyage theme with horns, an inlaid box and leather wrapped hurricanes.
Providing endless storage next to a pool table, a pine bookcase houses bird artwork, decorative boxes and more.
White coral, blue bottles, an aged white lamp and hydrangeas are pretty as a picture in Kate Singer's space.