Last night, I was happy to attend the launch party of the penthouse at Tuscany, a St Giles Boutique Hotel in New York, for many reasons. It has been my master’s class in the ins and outs of the design process, and to see it come to fruition is amazing.
A few years ago, St Giles reached out to us to see if we would like to curate the penthouse’s makeover (the rest of the hotel is designed by Jeff Lincoln and his team) as they were looking for a more creative way to handle this part of the hotel’s renovation. The idea: the designers and FF&E manufacturers (and HD) donate their expertise and products, and in return, the hotel partners with a charity, the Make It Right Foundation, to match donations of time, product, and other monies given by the participating companies. (Also thrown in were perks at the hotel to use the fabulous space, and of course, coverage in HD.) We did a call for entries—essentially giving them a blank canvas and unlimited budget under the direction of a modern, Tuscan feel—from some 25 design firms in Manhattan; about half responded, and in the end, three were chosen for the space: AJC Design (master bedroom, bathroom, and the outdoor wraparound terrace with coveted views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings), Gensler (living room, entry, and second bedroom and bathroom), and dash design (kitchen and powder room). Since then, there have been a lot of meetings, emails, calls, and back and forth—we had to take their no budget, blank canvas ideas and make them work—but to be part of the process with these talented designers has been a wonderful experience.
Last night was the first time I have seen the space since it was under construction, and even though some pieces were still missing or not in the right place to make way for the party guests, the space is beautiful, and it was inspiring to see the two-year collaboration come to life. I felt a little like a proud parent (it wasn’t my design, I was just there for support along the way).
A special thanks to St Giles and Abigail Tan for selecting HD as their partner; the designers for their tireless hard work and dedication; and the very generous donating manufacturers—Bernhardt, Nourison, Maharam, Vibia, Marset, Edelman leather, RH Contract, Kalisher, Kyle Bunting, Brasstech, Lefroy Brooks, Kohler, Serge Mouille, Seura, D’Style, Toto, Symmons, Electric Mirror, Porcelanosa, Hubbardton Forge, and Architex—who made the designs a reality.
Look out for coverage of the entire process online and in an upcoming issue of HD. In the meantime, here are a few picks from last night’s event: