Showhouse Designers Get Eclectic

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Cece Glatt is a New York girl. She is young, vibrant, sophisticated, and she knows how to have fun. Glamorous, well-traveled, spirited, adventurous—this 18-year-old cannot be singly categorized.And neither can the room that her mother, Barbara Page, envisioned for her on the second floor of the Hampton Designer Showhouse—this year an 11,000-square-foot manse in Bridgehampton, listed at $5.8 million, that opens with a gala on Saturday, July 20, and will run for six weeks through Labor Day.

“I don’t think you could categorize it as one style of a room, and that’s what I like,” the Southampton-based interior designer said of her space yesterday, resting her hand on the honey melon-colored bed frame. “I immediately looked at it and thought, ‘This is Cece’s room.’ And it’s modern, relevant to what’s happening in design today.”

Even though the showhouse’s 23 designers do not conference with one another before diving in to their respective rooms, the residential property was already showing common trends a week before its opening—among them pale chartreuse, coral and hot pink accents, Middle Eastern influences, wallpapers galore and an overarching eclecticism.

“Everyone mixes today,” Hampton Designer Showhouse Producer Tony Manning said last Thursday afternoon during a tour of the house. “But I think the Hampton house is always inspired by the Hamptons: beachy blues, pale yellows from the fields, light whites. The surroundings always inspire the house.”

Not to be ignored, the outdoor patios and terraces are major elements of the showhouse, or any design project, according to Bronxville-based Ken Gemes, who is handling the rear patio. He partnered with outdoor furniture manufacturer Frontgate to install a “comfortable porch” with dining, bar and seating areas in a java-and-white color scheme with pops of coral and aqua, he said.

“At the end of the typical project, the patio and deck areas are always an afterthought, after all the budget has been blown,” Mr. Gemes said, laughing, as he directed furniture placement. “But not here. I have a little bit of everything. Let’s just maximize this space because, really, this is where people live.”

Inside the three-story estate, designers tackled their spaces with construction and moving crews. Amid the flying dust and loud buzz-sawing, a few of the designers created everyday living areas inside not-so-traditional rooms, such as the first-floor guest suite—Franco Biscardi’s territory.

The idea began with a “great” green rug, explained Southampton-based Mr. Biscardi of Brady Design. He loved its look and its heathering, he said, and so his vision was born. He installed an earthy green, textured grass cloth on the walls and set down a queen bed upholstered in a wool and silk bouclé—“sort of like a Chanel suit,” he said.

But the most important element, by far, was the mattress, he said. It’s upholstered in baby alpaca.

“It’s a mattress that can sit uncovered, so in the winter, this room could function as another family room,” he said. “People can just plop down on the bed as if it’s a deep, comfy sofa and watch TV, so the room doesn’t have to sit vacant like most guest rooms do all winter.”

The traditional family room, located on the opposite end of the house and designed by Manhattan-based Sherrill Canet, is anything but. Drawing from Middle-Eastern influences, the space heavily utilizes a Turkish suzani print, as well as window grills instead of curtains.

And, unexpectedly, it is splattered with hot pink pillows, furnishings and accent pieces.

“It’s interesting. We have two pink rooms that are finished,” Mr. Manning said. “We haven’t seen that. A lot of times, people think of pink as a little girl’s room, so it’s interesting to see it because it’s a fun color, especially when it’s bright like this.”

Designers Lillian August and Patricia Fischer both relied on pale chartreuse to lend a burst of color in their dining and keeping rooms, respectively. The standout piece in Ms. Fischer’s area, which is the great room off the kitchen, is the voluminous, silver-gilded chandelier by Ballard Designs, she said. It echoes a metallic trend throughout the house.

“When it showed up in this huge box, I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s so big,’” Ms. Fischer said. “But I think it works so nicely because you can see through it, so it’s light.”

Metallic accents are realized in picture frames and lighting fixtures in many of the rooms, but stands out most noticeably in designer Kevin Baltimore’s guest bedroom wallpaper, printed with a silvery, branch-like pattern.

“I’m always amazed that every year, I see more wallpaper,” Hampton Designer Showhouse Operations Manager Mary Lynch said, standing on the home’s staircase. “I mean, if you take a look, it’s all over the downstairs and now we’re going up for more. I think the wallpapers being used are so subtle you could actually live with them a good amount of the time, if you wanted to. They’re not screaming at you. Because sometimes, they do.”

For Ms. Page, her room’s grass cloth wallpaper—“Moroccan” by Phillip Jeffries—ties the space together. Inspired by a recent trip to Istanbul, the Middle-Eastern theme is very much alive in the bedroom and juxtaposed by two mid-century butterfly chairs upholstered in oyster velvet, a creamy “Peony” rug designed by Helen Amy Murray of The Rug Company, a gold wire chandelier and a Lucite table—coincidently named “Morocco”—that is covered with books and mementos, including a shell from Santorini, Greece.

“Cece helped me with the artwork. She picked it out for the room,” Ms. Page said, noting that this is her debut showhouse. “It was great to have her on board.”

This fall, Ms. Glatt will leave for the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to double major in international relations and psychology. For her mother, the showhouse was a way to say goodbye to her fun-loving, jet-setting daughter, she said, albeit a few months early.

“She was in mind for me. I’m going to miss her a lot,” Ms. Page said. “I don’t know whether other people are doing this showhouse for someone personal, but for me, it’s a personal story, to have her going off to school and think, ‘If she came back to this house, she’d be pretty darn happy.’ I don’t think she’d be running out so quickly.”

The designer smiled to herself. “She was inspiring for me. And I’m very pleased with the way the room’s coming. So is Cece! She’s seen it and she loves it. She would love to have this room.”

“I bet she would,” Ms. Lynch laughed.

The 13th annual Hampton Designer Showhouse will open with a gala preview cocktail party on Saturday, July 20, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $225. The showhouse will be open from Sunday, July 21, through Monday, September 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $35 and proceeds will benefit Southampton Hospital. Children under 6, strollers and pets are not allowed in the showhouse. For tickets or more information, call 808-3008 or visit hamptondesignershowhouse.com.

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