The 2012 Hearst ‘Designer Visions’ Showhouse

featuring apartments by David Rockwell, Matthew Patrick Smyth, & Antony Todd


This years Hearst ‘Designer Visions’ Showhouse event is set up in 3 apartments at 250 West Street in NYC, and while the building is still a construction site, it’s very much worth seeing.  I was invited to the preview breakfast last week.  It was a very enjoyable time with the designers, magazine executives (including Newell Turner of the new Hearst Design Group), and fellow members of the press.   I’d like to share some of the visual highlights.

 David Rockwell for House Beautiful

Each designer created a detailed dossier of their apartments fictional residents.  David Rockwell explains: “The House Beautiful residence belongs to a young couple; he is American, she is Dutch.  They recently have relocated to New York from Amsterdam.  She was previously a creative director at G-Star and now runs a small tailor-made denim and accessories company out of their loft.   She likes to go out and look chic, so her clothes are Milly; her husband is in a new position as Chief Curator of the new Whitney Museum downtown and his wardrobe is from MR”

Connie was instantly drawn to the antique Turkish Oushak by Nazmiyal Collection on the floor in the living room.  Also of interest are the curtain fabric and the neo-boucle on the Paris Loveseat from the Thomas Pheasant Collection by Baker.  And you can’t go wrong with vintage Fortuny pillows.  The hipster chandelier is from Lightolier.

The den walls are covered in ‘Blanket Yarn & Stitch‘ from Maya Romanoff, and the custom sectional sofa from Artistic Frame is covered in an Elitis upholstery fabric.

The master bedroom was dominated by a wallpaper by Jim Thompson and a hand woven ikat from Madeline Weinrib.


Matthew Patrick Smyth for Elle Decor

Matthew Patrick Smyth switched things up a bit for his apartment.  He shared his inspiration:My ELLE DECOR apartment is inhabited by a male couple. One of them works in the entertainment industry in Hollywood; the other is in finance and travels to Europe and the Far East.  New York is the midpoint, and this their primary residence, which serves as a modern day “grand tour” with a thoughtful mix of fabrics, colors, furniture and accessories that reflect the owners’ interests in travel. Their wardrobe is exclusively by MR PORTER.COM.”

The main living area (shown above) is fairly small, so Smyth fashioned built-in banquettes with low backs so as not to disturb the view of the Hudson river.  The French/Indonesian Mirror is mid 20th century.  The sheer roman shade is a Schumacher sheer fabric with tape trim.

Just as you enter this apartment there is a fairly awkward room to the left, without a window.  Smyth turned the space into a Byzantine inspired dining room, complete with portiere curtains to quadrant off the space.  The wallpaper is from Schumacher, the chandelier is from Corbett Lighting, and the flatware is Hermes.

In the bedroom, Smyth created a monumental headboard from a 19th century Baroque door frame.  The bedside tables in a silver leaf finish are from Ironies.  Connie was entranced by the carpet, notably the perfect scale of the pattern.  It’s from The New Classics Collection by Matthew Patrick Smyth through Patterson, Flynn & Martin.


Antony Todd for Veranda

For his Veranda apartment, Antony Todd imagined a couple with an  adolescent son.  “The VERANDA apartment is for a family who have recently relocated from the Upper East Side to Tribeca. The high school-aged son loves to hang out in his new neighborhood, which his friends think is much cooler than uptown. His mother works in finance and secures funding for luxury brands. She has taken over the master bedroom closet with her collection of Badgley Mischka, one of her top clients.  Her loving husband, who is in marketing, keeps his clothes in another closet elsewhere in the apartment.”

The streamlined armless sofa (above) from Lee Industries is set off by Benjamin Moore‘s Night Shade, one of Todd’s signature colors.  The gold side table is from John Rosselli Antiques.

Looking east from the living room of the loft is the kitchen, which has been visually recessed with charcoal paint and beautiful antique mirror tile from Ann Sacks.  The portrait on the left is of Todd and his mother.

The aforementioned Badgley Mischka closet

With this showhouse Hearst has partnered with the 48 Hour Film Project whose mission is to promote film making and film makers.   Each apartment will become the set for two short films – six in total.  All of 48 Hour Film Project competitions involve a team making a movie —writing, shooting, editing and scoring it—in just 48 hours.  The six finished films will be available for screening on the website and will be judged by the sponsors of the showhouse.


Here’s an important note for those who were planning on attending the opening gala on Tuesday the 30th.  Due to the impending tropical storm Hearst has postponed the event until Monday, November 12th.