At Showtime House, 'Weeds' bloom and 'Dexter' gets a dark room
Created to promote designers and products, burnish the tastemaker reputation of magazines and raise money for charities, decorator show houses are rarely exercises in restraint. Giving designers carte blanche may result in some dazzling, if not particularly livable rooms.
The recently unveiled Showtime House, which has taken over three penthouses at the Cassa Hotel and Residences in New York through Oct. 24, has encouraged designers to reach helium-high peaks of whimsy.
The rooms are inspired by the cable channel's series. The "Weeds" lounge, above, by John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon of Brooklyn, features a salon-style art installation hung on surfaces clad in floral decals. It's as pretty as a pot-pusher's parlor could hope to be (assuming you dig flowers) and deftly manages the high-low price mix using a Tony Duquette abalone chandelier by Baker with accessories from Z Gallerie and HSN.
Not every room was quite so successful. For the "The Big C," a new series about a mom (Laura Linney) dealing with cancer and an estranged husband (the sportily shod Oliver Platt), right, the design firm BG Studio International created a less-than-restful space. The Clarity Lounge and Contemplation Room features synthetic grass (off-gassing?) that nests mushroom-shaped table lamps and a large rabbit sculpture.
The wallpaper, far right, has a dizzying yellow and blue zigzag, and a swinging sofa hangs underneath a chromotherapy ceiling display. I'm not a doctor, but visual overload and moving furniture is not what I would recommend after a round of chemo.
The most literal and livable -- albeit ghoulish -- interior was created for "Dexter" by Jeff Andrews, who just so happens to be the personal interior decorator for the series' star, Michael C. Hall.
Keep reading to see that room ...
Los Angeles designer Jeff Andrews filled the Dexter Refuge, above, with skeletal furniture made from petrified wood and industrial elements, including a custom bed hanging from chains by the local workshop Todosomething. The designer also put the leather-upholstered Lucca arm chair by Melrose Place retailer Jean de Merry center stage on a custom hide rug made by Kyle Bunting.
"The Borgias," which centers on the dastardly deeds of the Italian Renaissance dynasty, inspired the great room above by East Coast designer Keith Baltimore. The room is defined by Gothic arches and a cross-shaped rug, and the throne and striped curtains add a jolt of color.
Laura Bohn Design Associates' "Nurse Jackie" master bedroom, above, puts a surgical spin on the boudoir, complete with an IV stand. The bed looks nice, but the lighting is a little harsh. Just a little.
The "Californication" study, above, by New York-based Space 4 Architecture uses glass furniture and mirrored floors. It depicts the mental state of the lead character, writer Hank Moody, and offers a cool alternative to the common desk, but who'd want to clean it?
-- David A. Keeps
Photo credits: Showtime House rooms by Andrew French. Laura Linney and Oliver Platt by Nick Hunt / Patrick McMullan Co.