The huge 26,000 square foot mansion at 2 East 63rd Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side looks kind of nondescript, for a mansion at least, when viewed from the sidewalk, but walk through the front doors from now until December 2nd, and one enters an opulent and fabulous world that offers enough fodder for house porn fantasies to last a lifetime. Holiday House opened its doors for its 8th annual interior design showcase on November 11th, and this year’s samplings, from the creative minds of some of the top interior designers in the industry, are a stunning display of holiday themed rooms that fill every foot of the fabulous Academy Mansion. The day after Holiday House opened its doors, one of the featured interior designers was on hand to talk about her line of fine jewelry and the inspiration behind its creation, and how she taps into that motivation when it comes to creating her award winning interiors.
Katie Scott was awarded “Best in Residential Interior Design” for the 2013 Papercity Excellence in Design Awards, which was judged by several of the nation’s most elite designers. Her work has been featured on the covers and in the pages of magazines like Elle Decor, Country French, Modern Luxury Interiors, Southern Living, Papercity and Luxe. In 2013, Scott launched a jewelry line that reflects the source of her creative inspiration, a spiritual practice that involves daily meditation, contemplation, and inspiration from the teachings of contemporary spiritual gurus like Deepak Chopra. Scott’s desire to adorn herself with jewelry that reflected this deep connection to her inner guidance led to a discovery of a lack of modern, upscale pieces in this category. Her resulting jewelry collection references spiritual talismans such as the crucifix, the Star of David, the Hamsa, and ID bracelets engraved with affirmations like “Let It Be”. The collection also includes simple yet elegant bands for the fingers and leather and python cuffs with crosses and starbursts that are interchangeable.
Holiday House features a Scott designed room that reflects private space as a jewel box. “What others may have seen simply as a ‘pass through’ to other rooms, I saw as an undiscovered space, ripe with possibility”, Scott said when discussing the ideas behind the room she transformed for the showcase. Using warm metallic finishes and luxurious textures throughout, Scott created a lady’s lounge, a place in which to surround oneself with beloved objects, to meditate, to dream and to be inspired. Infusing spirit and style into everything she creates, the designer ultimately believes that design should ignite the soul. Her room is entitled “Private Spaces”, and she chose it to debut the new fine jewelry collection, and in honor of the occasion of her first year at Holiday House, Scott will donate 30% of the sales of her signature ‘Let It Be’ bracelet and ring to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Holiday House founder, Iris Danker, a breast cancer survivor, was on hand at Scott’s jewelry launch to talk about what inspired her to create an interior design showcase that would help to raise funds for breast cancer research. Holiday House became the first designer showhouse in New York City to benefit a breast cancer organization, attracting talented designers from across the country. Proceeds from Holiday House events benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which was founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993 and works tirelessly towards achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer by providing critical funding for innovative clinical research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increasing public awareness about good breast health.
Danker sat for a portrait on one of the leather barstools in one of the opulently appointed rooms on the first floor of the mansion and talked passionately about how grateful she is to be a survivor, and how that feeling motivates her to continue each year with Holiday House. The room was created by Ally Coulter Designs and was entitled ‘Constellation Celebration’; with its tent like walls and Fendi Casa furnishings the overall effect was that of a sultan’s luxurious traveling caravan out of David Lean’s epic adventure film, “Lawrence of Arabia”. The room featured the work of legendary photographer Robert Farber, who Danker commissioned to create intimate black and white portraits of breast cancer survivors. Danker is an interior designer who views Holiday House as a celebration of life as well as a way to showcase and feature some of the best creatives the interior design industry offers. She also looks at it as an opportunity to feature artists who explore themes of loss and survival in their work, such as the work of the Greek artist Micha Cattaui, whose torso with a scarred breast, ‘Stolen Fertility’, is on display on the second floor as a duratrans and a mixed media polyester fiberglass sculpture.
The best way to experience Holiday House, which is open daily from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM every day except on Thursdays until 8:00 PM, (closed Thanksgiving) is to start on the fourth floor, where a woodland themed bedroom designed by Vicente Wolf features a 16′ geodesic dome tent above a Calvin Klein canopy bed. From there make your way down to the third floor to discover the work of Darrin Varden Design, Kathleen Walsh Interiors, Campion Platt, Julia Buckingham and more. Katie Scott’s room is on the second floor along with Marks & Frantz, Paris Forino, Antonio Buzzetta, among others. The ground floor features two magnificent rooms from James Rixner and Björn Björnson, among the work of other masters of interior design. It is easy to lose oneself lingering in any one of the rooms, the imagination trailing off down paths of nostalgia and wish fulfillment. Every square foot of the former Ziegler home is a study in elegance, opulence and luxury, but with enough of a minimalist touch to save the overall effect from descending into baroque overkill. Holiday House is a perfect way to treat oneself to some indulgence in between holiday shopping.
2 East 63rd Street
New York, NY 10065
212 472 3313