Sunday, May 3, 2009

Amanda Nisbet's Chic and Colorful Apartment

The best part of Friday evening was peeking into Amanda Nisbet's chic apartment! It was beautiful and elegant as well as colorful and comfortable. Not an easy combination yet it was perfect! Amanda teased me most of the not about not liking color which I assured her was untrue. I just haven't had an opportunity to use a lot of color so far. But I have a new large project on the Upper West Side that I have started and Amanda's apartment is going to be a big inspiration for it! And who knows, maybe someday, thanks to Amanda, I will be known for color too! Although, I think we should start with baby steps!

Amanda offered to let me come back and see her office which is across the hall. The night of the party it was acting as a storage space for a few things from the apartment. I teased her that I hide things in the bathtub while Amanda can hide things in her office which she joked was her big bathtub! I hope she will let me take a few more photos of her apartment on that visit since there are many details that you can't see in these photos and some things have changed. Just like any great decorator, Amanda is known for moving things.

The entry above is still the same but for the party the urns on the 19th-century marble pier table were filled with beautiful lavender flowers. The carpet is Antelope from Stark and the light fixture is by Hervé van der Straeten available through Ralph Pucci in New York. The aubergine silk tufted bench at the end is perfect for sitting your bag while you hang up your coat too.

The colors also look a little different in real life or maybe it was because the party was held at night and these photos were taken in the daylight. In the March 2008 issue of House Beautiful, Amanda mentions that the living room "is best at night...with the stick blinds closed." In reality the room is less yellow since the walls are Benjamin Moore Desert Tan (2153-50) and the curtains are burnt orange. I think the reason that I love Amanda's apartment is because you'll notice almost all the rooms have neutral walls and carpeting. The color comes in the form of curtains, pillows, upholstery and art. A neutral backdrop is great because then you can change out the pillows and other smaller items whenever the mood strikes which is cheaper than repainting or buying new carpet.

The living room is divided into two zones by back to back sofas. The television is actually housed in the ginormous William Yeoward Cherington bookcase that Amanda had shipped from the UK. Obviously ceilings there are taller so the middle three finials had to be removed. The lamps are Christopher Spitzmiller.

As I mentioned, Amanda likes to rearrange and the beautiful Elizabeth Peyton has been moved to another wall. I mentioned in my last post that Amanda has an art history degree but she also worked for Christies and has an enviable art collection. If I didn't like her so much, I could easily hate her for all the amazing works in her apartment!

One of my favorite rooms was the glamorous dining room. The brown Venetian plaster walls are so beautiful with all the gilt and lavender upholstered chairs. I'm not sure if the portrait is of Amanda's grandmother so I'll have to check but many of the items in it are from her including the bibelots and china on the table below. In this photo of the dining room, the table is about to be set with china from Marie Daâge. I've been in love with Haviland's Laque de Chine china in amethyst and gold forever and it would also look pretty in this room.

Isn't that most beautiful table you have ever seen?! I love how the blue candles pick up the color of the plates and also the draperies.

The color is a little off in this photo but the curtains are a pale blue. Since this photo was taken, a to die for bright blue and white painting by James Nares has been installed above the demilune table. If I can't own my own James Nares, I'm glad I can admire Amanda's!

Apparently, Amanda found out too late that her daughter wasn't fond of lavender since the room was decorated while she was at school. Oops. It's actually really subtle since the walls are white. I really love the Greek Key rug which is Beaton by Stark and relates to the pattern on the headboard. The fabric on the headboard and shade is Montego Tourmaline by Manuel Canovas. The navy blue patent leather chair is really fun too!

Everyone really loved the son's room. I especially like how the orange in his room relates back to the living room and the lavender in the daughter's room relates to the dining room. She even papered the ceiling in a wonderful patterned paper. When Caroline Rhea was in this room with me and Christopher Corcoran, I asked her if the children appreciate how fabulous their rooms are and she said that they definitely do!

I really like children's rooms that aren't too childish and can grow with them. It also works well if you ever have to use them as additional sleeping quarters for guests too. No adult wants to try to sleep in a bunk bed or race car. Trust me. The children share an adjoining bathroom that I don't have a photo of but that has a great green and white herringbone wallpaper. I would think it would be very cheerful to stumble into in the morning while getting ready for school.

Another one of my favorite rooms is the glossy media room! The walls are painted with a glossy paint from Fine Paints of Europe the color name I do not know but I will find out. I have said before but I love lacquer and shiny walls in New York apartments since they tend to be small and dark and the paint is great for reflecting light. I love how she's mixed in brass and black and photos in this room too. On the opposite wall is a built in for books and the television.

A coordinating tablescape in the media room.

I've already mentioned how many of the rooms relate and the hall bathroom is across from the green media room so the green shower curtain works perfectly. I love the whimsical picture and notice how it is hung over the bump out in the wall. New York apartments are notorious for strange bump outs and I love how she didn't let it deter her from hanging art above the toilet.

The pink bedroom reminded me of Charlotte Moss's room at the Kips Bay Show House this year who's fictional husband said no pink in the bedroom! Amanda's husband asked her that since they had so many pink bedrooms over the years could she maybe she could go with a different color this time. I guess she tried but kept coming back to pink. In reality, it's not really that pink. The walls are Farrow and Ball Tallow, a very creamy white and the carpet is also creamy white Berber. The room is really dreamy and makes me think of floating on a cloud. The hot pink chair in the background has been replaced by a gorgeous grey shagreen piece. I also love how the the lucite nightstand disappears.

The new grey shagreen piece relates well to this painting Maury River Cliffs by Ray Kass in the sitting area. The lucite table keeps the arrangement from looking too heavy as well.

Amanda's husband was very glad that there was no pink in the bathroom but that was before the wallpaper was installed above the tub (below)! He's ok with it now because he can't see it from the shower! Pink is a very good for your complexion so I bet it's nice to put on make up in this bathroom! I think it's funny that Amanda teased me for hating color because I really do like it and especially in her apartment! But I'll still let her take credit for converting me! But only if I can come over and visit her art!

Photos by Pieter Estersohn for House Beautiful and Amanda Nisbet Design


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