02 April, 2015

Design Showhouse Guggenheim Estate 2014

Call me a sucker for a good cause.  I swore I wasn't going to participate in this years design showhouse at the Guggenheim Castle at Sands Point Preserve.  It is a project that consumes a tremendous amount of time, energy and money.  But, when the executive director called a few weeks before the opening date, I caved and couldn't resist the draw of this historic estate that I love to drive to each day and be a part of its ongoing preservation.  The space I chose to design was the former office of Mrs. Gladys Guggenheim's personal assistant.  The office served as the hub of the estate, and since honey and the apiaries that produced and still produce over 100 pounds of Guggenheim Estate honey each year, were key to the estate, the name "Queen Bee's Gold Coast Study" seemed fitting. The executive director found a beautiful, historical reproduction wallpaper designed in 1881 by the true mother of interior design, Candace Wheeler. The paper is called "Honeybee" and was our jumping off point for the space.  As with all showhouses' there is always some last minute drama and ours was truly the wallcovering.  Due to the fact that there is only one printer in the nation of this paper and its being special order with only a few printings each year, we received and hung it within 48 hours of the grand opening celebration.  But, everyone loved the space as it was cozy and suited the historic nature of the home.  Although final numbers aren't in for attendance, we are hoping that we surpassed the 2,500 attendees we had for last years showhouse! If you are ever on the Gold Coast of Long Island, please visit the Guggenheim Castle at Sands Point Preserve.  It is worth the 30 minute trip out of the City.  Enjoy these before and after pics of our cozy study!
 The gorgeous Guggenheim Castle at Sands Point Preserve, Long Island. Where the world premiere of The Great Gatsby was held, along with the filming of my fav, Boardwalk Empire and dozens of other movies and shows occurs each week.
 The space had to be gutted from top to bottom, literally.
 New floors, new electrical, new walls, new space.
 But, the most important thing to remember was that it was going to be a functional office after the showhouse was completed. So, it had to be left in usable condition.
 Every radiator was reconditioned and that fireplace surround, well eeek!
 We had to be very careful with the old heavy window sills, handles and original glass. Windy days made dusting a daunting task as they didn't close all the way.  
 But, we did strip the old privacy plastic off and cleaned as best we could.  
 The Friends of Sands Point Preserve donated a neutral travertine for the fireplace surround to be in keeping with the other fireplaces in the home and functional for office afterwards.
 New doors, nice heavy wood doors too! That leaded window is to die for.
 Lots of windows, lots of light. Last minute window coverings were needed and simple too!  Our wallcovering is busy with fabulous patterns and colors!  
 View into the room from the outside atrium.
Our design plan for the Queen Bee Gold Coast Study
Our fabrics and wallcovering.  I wish you could see the golds and coppers that reflect off this paper.  Truly amazing, especially in the soft afternoon light that flooded the room.
 And, voila. Not bad for 4 weeks prep time and it was just perfect to relax and enjoy the space.
The horrid fireplace surround came out beautifully. You'd never believe how I hung that sunburst mirror. No holes, please.  And nothing heavy on the mantel either. 
 Layers, layers, layers.  Ya either love it or hate it. I wanted the look of an older estate that was a true working home, with the character of well loved, well traveled, well read people.
 Yes, the room is noticeably off center.  We had to allow patrons ample walking space.  And, yes it kills me. 
 I just love that Honeybee wallpaper.
 Our free reading table!  Years of design and shelter mags for the taking - Please!
 You know how there's always one funky thing about a showhouse room?  This covered radiator ran about a 1,000 degrees, even with the heat turned off!  My room was a true sauna.  But, it just added to the coziness. 

 My Ikea hack bookshelf! It was awsesome.

 Ah, this Calico sofa was heaven.  Down filled and softest velvet.

 This vintage mahogany console with rose marble was unbelievably heavy, but fit the space just right.
 Lucite, tortoise, gilt, and tiger stripes.  Heaven.
 My obsession with French brass scales kicks in.
 The starting point for it all. The Honeybee vintage wallpaper from 1881.
 Into the corridor where I placed old b/w photos of the Guggenheim family.

 The Palm Court inside the castle.  Many an event has been held here and filmed here.  History.
 Just a few shots from the grand gala event for the showhouse opening.  Love these gowns!
 Welcome to the castle!
 Palm Court by day.
 Lady in Red.
Was simply gorgeous in person!
There was so much more to look at and enjoy at this amazing showhouse for the 2nd year in a row.  I can only imagine how fabulous the 3rd year is going to be and can't wait.  What comforts me the most is that every penny goes to the renovations needed to keep this glorious gold coast home up and running.  Friends of Sands Point Preserve hosts so many great programs for families and the local community.  The castle is run by amazingly talented people who give so much more of their time and energy than is humanly possible.  They are truly to be commended for their efforts and I wish them the best of luck in keeping this amazing home going.  


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