Windows on the Sound
Safavieh designers bring a visual drama to a Gatsby- era showhouse on Long Island's North Shore.
Sand's Point, N.Y., was F. Scott Fitzgerald's inspiration for the fictional village of Easter Egg, and Hempstead House, a crenellated castle that towers over Long Island Sound, could well be the home of Jay Gatsby (although Gatsby lived in less posh West Egg, modeled on the nearby village of King's Point). In fact, Hempstead House was built by the son of a real- life magnate named Jay- the famous Jay Gould- and later home to Daniel and Florence Guggenheim.
When the Friends of the Sand's Point Preserve invited Safavieh to redo the historic billiard room for the "Titans of Business and the Best of Design Showcase," designers Karin Krinsky and brothers Joe and Keith Murphy were presented with an updated, fictional back story. "The client we were assigned was a successful business woman who moved here from the city.," explains Keith Murphy. "We wanted to transform the billiard room into an elegant, up-to-date salon for entertaining- a room thats's stylish without being over-the-top."
Krinsky describes how she and the Murphys created the showhouse room in layers:"To offset the dark oak paneling, we decided to add bold color, beginning with the striped wallpaper. Celadon ties the interior to the trees and gardens outside of the windows, and gold and silver tones add glamour. Next we added over-dyed rugs in celadon and purple. Then came the soft furnishings- curtains, pillows, the window seat and upholstered furniture- in the more jewel tones and creamy neutrals."
The non-upholstered furnishings were fashioned in luxurious, modern materials- metals, acrylics, and glass, mirrored surfaces, lacquered wood. Finally, abstracts art, accessories and fresh orchids - a favorite of Gould a century ago- were added to complete the setting.
"We used a lot of contemporary pieces to enliven the traditional architecture," notes Krinsky. "The overall effect is one of both comfort and visual drama- perfect not just for a titan of business, but for anyone who appreciates gracious surroundings."