a lived-in showhouse
Designer: Michelle Gerson
Designer Michelle Gerson was tasked with creating a stunning environment for a Scarsdale family of six. The kicker? The client wanted her family and guests to be “put-your-feet-up-on-the-furniture” comfortable in every room.
The custom banquette with Panton chairs was designed with two moveable tables for flexibility in family dining or playing cards with friends. The aisle in the middle allows one person to leave without everyone else having to move. The vases are from Maison 24.
|Elegant limestone floors and fireplace set the tone in this dramatic entry foyer, highlighted with a custom chandelier made up of Tom Dixon lights.|
|Gerson designed the bar in the living room. “It is made out of a silver dyed ash wood veneer,” she says, a type of wood from Italy. “The top is made out of celador and it has a chrome base with hidden casters so it can be moved and used as a serving piece or a bar.”|
|The enormous living room features two sitting areas: The sofas are custom Vladimir Kagen Couture; the chairs are B&B Italia. Gerson made the faux leather ottoman; art by Andy Warhol.|
|Robert Longo lithographs adorn walls upholstered in faux snakeskin in the billiard room. The wrap around sofa was custom made as was a cover for pool table to use when the family is entertaining.|
Isn’t ‘kid-friendly designer furnishings’ an oxymoron?
“We used a lot of faux leather upholstery—from the banquette in the kitchen to the ottoman in front of the Vladimir Kagan Couture sofas in the living room. You can wipe off spills with Windex—although I did make the client promise not to serve red wine in the living room with its white silk shag carpeting.”
What was the biggest challenge?
“The house is twenty thousand square feet and every room is giant, so it was difficult to get the scaling right so everything worked. The living-room sofa was too big to move by truck, so it was assembled right in the house. The entry hall is thirty-six feet high and we created the chandelier with ten different Tom Dixon lights with extensions to get the needed height. It is motorized, so it can be lowered for cleaning and changing bulbs.”
How long have you been working on this home?
“It’s still a work in progress—we started on it five years ago.”
Is there anything here you’d like in your own home?
“Everything. I’d like to live in this home! That’s a designer’s quandary: You work to make a house beautiful, and then you’re done and never see it again! So I’m happy to keep working here.”
Photography by Kfir Ziv