June 27, 2017
Susan Ferrier's 'Moonlight in the Forest' Design for the Kips Bay Show House
Susan Ferrier conceived her luxuriously decadent and worldly room design for the Kips Bay Show House with the portrait of an adventure-filled traveler in mind.
by New York Spaces
NYS: We fell in love with your room for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House! What was the theme of your room? What made you decide to go with this theme?
Susan Ferrier: The theme of the room was "Moonlight in the Forest." I conceived this room as a self portrait from an adventurer interested in civilizations and the planet. Using the archeological lithographs as a starting point, I used the design to explore qualities of sensuality and strength.
NYS: It felt so beautifully layered. How did you approach the design of the space?
SF: I knew I wanted to do something rich that people may be afraid to ask for, and to show how depth can be happy and not "dark." I wanted to show how to successfully populate a space so that intimacy can be felt.
NYS: What were some of the major hurdles you experienced when designing the space? Advantages?
SF: As with any show house, the hurdles are time and availability. There was no time to revisit any decision, but
in a way that was an advantage.
NYS: What did you want visitors to experience when they walked into your room?
SF: I wanted visitors to experience a better way to live, to be wrapped up in a feeling that calms but can also be stimulating in a positive way. To experience a pause or a moment to reflect on what is in front of them: a curated collection full of intent and purpose. Beauty and elegance; Sophistication.
NYS: Tell us about the beautiful shades of green you used!
SF: It's a deep gray green saturated in pigment, like the color of ink. It's a rich, deep embracing shade. Farrow & Ball's Studio Green provided a dramatic backdrop to the lighter population of materials that reflect rather than absorb light. High contrasts make for a dynamic experience.
NYS: Where did you source most of your furniture? The artwork? The artifacts?
SF: As a designer, I tend to use what I have and use what I know, which is why I love to travel and expose myself to other cultures. I have a love of natural history as well. Our resources for the room were gathered in the South, primarily from friends and vendors in the greater Atlanta area, including ADAC where my office is located. The archeological lithographs are from my personal collection and were just waiting for the exact right space.
NYS: Tell us about those gorgeous drapes!
SF: The drapes are Holland & Sherry, one wall is silk velvet, and the facing wall is wool with a wide silk velvet and metallic applique trim.
NYS: What was one of your favorite aspects of the design? A favorite furniture or accessory piece?
SF: There is an intellectual story in addition to a color and texture palette. The point of view of a traveled interesting person inhabiting this space is my favorite part. The collection I brought together for the room, which includes the vintage ammonite museum banner, whale ribs, and archeological lithographs, supports an adventurous nature.
NYS: Your room exhibits such a wonderful mix of natural textures and materials and absolutely luxurious sensual materials. How do you think that combination contributed to the overall feeling of the room?
SF: The combination of materials—the range of interest—was vital to the feeling of the room because it showed a broad scope of texture and an appreciation of the finer and more earthbound qualities gathered in one space.
NYS: If you could design another room at the Kips Bay Show House what would your theme be?
SF: That would wholly depend on the architecture, and where or who I was at the moment of invitation. My wish is that it would be very different visually but similarly full of powerful feeling.
NYS: What was the experience like for you and what are you working on now?
SF: It is gratifying to see the result of a design that could not be over frought with second guessing. Most long distance runners do not get the opportunity to sprint!
Susan's work will be featured in "Poetry of Place: The New Architecture and Interiors of McALPINE", due this Fall from Rizzoli.
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