Interior Design has taken a turn for the personal. Clients no longer want cookie cutter spaces that look like a catalog; they want to feel at home. Designers assume the awesome responsibility of translating the client’s personality, taste, preferences and possessions into highly curated, deeply personal dwellings that are an extension of their inhabitants. One such Designer who has mastered this feat made an example of his room in this year’s recent Kips Bay Decorator Show House.
Philip Mitchell of Philip Mitchell Design Inc. transformed the townhouse’s living room into a window to his soul. Lovingly referred to as “the room with all the art” by gala guests and show house visitors, the space housed several of the designer’s personal collections including art, blue and white porcelain, and glass paperweights to name a few.
Mitchell shared that most of his clients come to him with possessions they hope to keep and incorporate seamlessly into their new space. Only after taking stock of their treasures, many with priceless sentimental value, does the designer begin his design process. “Sentimental value, pieces that I love, make it that much more personal”, said Mitchell about his Kips Bay room.
The living room was comprised of moments, layered upon one another, resulting in an exquisitely complex, emotion-filled display. While he is not personally fond of blue and white porcelain, in the corner on several shelves sat dozens upon dozens of classic pieces he inherited from his mother and across the room, a throng of brass candlesticks handed down from his grandmother. Taking a contemporary approach to collecting, he thoughtfully grouped them together for even more visual impact.
Philip shared that about 95% of the room’s content was from his personal collections, including the glass orbs dotting the coffee table, which he has been accumulating since boyhood. “I look at each one and remember a trip or experience” he mused.
With nods to the past at every turn, Philip also incorporated new additions, creating new memories. A creator himself, Philip is thrilled by “the search”, a lover of all things hand-crafted, with a deep respect for artisans and the soul-infused into their work. He commissioned the “vandalized Van Gogh” from artist CB Hoya and expertly paired textiles, pulling from Lee Jofa’s diverse collection, to create bespoke moments of texture and composition.
“Only a true designer with his eye could take fabrics from Lee Jofa’s traditional collections and make them work so seamlessly with the more contemporary ones like Kelly Wearstler’s Groundworks. It all just works!” said Alana Moskowitz, Director of PR and Communications for Kravet, Inc. A textile enthusiast, Mitchell praised the brand for their respect for history and ever-evolving creativity. With many of their new collections informed by their archives – ranging in pattern, color, texture and scale – they are cohesive, balanced and eclectic; a designer’s dream when seeking a storied, layered, lived-in look.
The workroom sectional and Heath Sofa are upholstered in GP&J Baker Historic Royal Palaces Collection and Groundworks by Kelly Wearstler IV Collection respectively. They were adorned by plush pillows created with fabric from Linherr Hollingsworth for Kravet, Barbara Barry Chalet for Kravet, GP&J Baker Essential Colours, Originals V, and East to West collections, Groundworks’ Prism, Lee Jofa’s Merkato Collection, Kravet Couture’s Artisan Velvets Collections and Lee Jofa’s Chinese Lantern.
GDG asked Philip Mitchell his advice for incorporating personal collections into a design concept; he suggests, “There are no rules. Don’t focus on where it’s going to go or what it goes with. Use what you love. If it’s a room filled with things you love, it works. Rather bad taste than no taste!”
Though the 2018 Kips Bay Decorator’s Show House is officially over, you can now find a nearly exact replica of Philip Mitchell’s “The Drawing Room” at Lee Jofa in DDB’s Suite 234. The partnership is coming full circle with an auction of the custom Lee Jofa pillows from the space, with proceeds going right back to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. For more information and to place your bids starting July 18 through August 31, visit the Auction website.
Photography Courtesy of Annie Schlechter Photography and Sargent Photography.