Drenched in deco
Lola Pritchard -- Interior Design, 7/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
For five weeks this past spring, the spirit of art deco moved into an 1871 New York town house. So did 19 designers—the occasion being the 31st annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Mariette Himes Gomez furnished a drawing room with Jean-Michel Frank lamps and a vintage deco daybed. Charles Pavarini III converted a low-ceilinged space into a deco "yacht" cabin, with porthole windows and a chrome-and-glass console. And Kips Bay newcomer Monique Gibson put together a 200-square-foot master bath worthy of 1930's Manhattan at its swankiest.
The room certainly didn't start that way. The transformation from deplorable to superb took Monique Gibson and Associates four weeks and five contractors. Not included in Kips Bay 2002, which occupied the same house, the pink-and-brown fantasia boasted a rotten subfloor, a ceramic-tiled tub enclosure, and dysfunctional lead pipes, all requiring removal. Gibson then knocked down walls between the bathroom and hallway and converted a disused rear area into a small dressing room.
Streamlining complete, Gibson covered walls and floor in blue mosaic tile, cut by hand. The mosaic's oval pattern echoed on every level, from the egg-shape crystal sink fittings to the mirror topping the marble washstand. Enfolding the sink was a bay window curtained in cotton sheer; dove-gray wool draped the curvy tub with floor-sweeping glamour.
"The period furnishings were inspired by scraps of 1920's newspaper, comic strips, and horse-race results I found hidden in the walls," explains Gibson. Notable pieces include a mahogany vitrine, a raffia-embroidered Jules Leleu club chair, and a Jean Pascal side chair, all 1930's, plus black-and-white prints by William Klein and Horst P. Horst for a photo finish.