Living with art

Let this Cold Spring show house lead the way

There’s a tree house in a bedroom in Cold Spring.

And there is a handful of pillows dotted with flowers a few steps outside its door.

Reflecting the vibrancy of nature is just one aspect of The ArtFull Living Designer Show House, which opens June 3 at Glassbury Court in Cold Spring.

The event, a collaboration between Glassbury Court and Cold Spring Arts that will continue for most of the summer, has as many entry points as it has beautifully appointed rooms.

The unique venture is putting the spotlight on the artists and artisans of the mid-Hudson Valley. It’s also showcasing the work of some of the region’s best interior designers.

And perhaps most important, it’s an incredibly stylish example of how creative you can be when you bring art into your own surroundings.

Barbara Galazzo, a Cold Spring glass artist whose work is both decorative and functional, came up with the innovative concept of teaming contemporary art with design for the show house. By placing art in a home setting, as opposed to a gallery, she says it may fuel the imagination.

“My idea was to show how you can actually have art in your home. It doesn’t have to be over the top. You can live with it.”

And clearly, quite well.

The show house, which fills one of the homes in the adult community, captivates a visitor from the front door through every last nook and cranny. A swirling metal sculpture by Valley Cottage artist Eric David Laxman stands at the entry, giving a hint of what will follow.

Once inside, the eye darts from colorful glass pieces to unique table settings, from wildly creative wall art to sleek accessories in unexpected hues.

It all came together, Galazzo says, thanks to the creative process the show-house concept sparked in the participants.

“There started to be this synergy between the artists and designers,” she says. “It kept expanding, because the designers wanted other things.”

Take the ground-floor master bedroom, for example.

Charles Burleigh of Charles K Burleigh Interior Design in Garrison was interested in the artwork of Jaanika Peerna, whose style is characterized by bold lines swirling about.

“I said, ‘I love your drawings but could you do them right on the wall?’” he recalled. “I wanted this feeling of motion, this feeling of movement.”

And for Peerna, it was a project that found her rethinking her own approach, this time using an empty room as her canvas: “It was fun. Nothing was in it. It was a black box.”

Now her work ties together the artful room, anchored by a black-walnut bed designed in collaboration with Jessica Wickham of Wickham Solid Wood Studio, using what Burleigh calls “responsibly sourced” hardwoods from the Hudson Valley.

Bill Miller Interiors of Wappingers Falls created the bulk of the downstairs, including the soaring living room, formal dining room and kitchen where colors and attention to detail are clear, from the zipper-accented cocktail glasses to the lavish dining-room table where anyone would love to have a meal.

Phyllis Harbinger, a Cortlandt Manor designer who runs Design Concepts/Interiors, created another bedroom, this one upstairs and dedicated to “Drood” composer, and Nyack native, Rupert Holmes. (All the rooms are to be dedicated to a celebrity client.) Inspired by the idea, she says, that “the world is a stage,” Harbinger takes the dramatic route in a white room jolted to life with exciting and unexpected combinations of peacock colors and theatrical styles. Another interpretation of a white-based room is the downstairs office, created by Darron Andress of FW Interiors Design in Wappingers Falls. Andress was inspired to participate since a portion of the show-house proceeds will be donated to the Born This Way Foundation. Lady Gaga’s charity is dedicated to celebrating individuality and empowering young people. Andress’ room pays tribute to the life and memory of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student and victim of harrassment who committed suicide.

Nicole Ashey of Burlock Interiors in Beacon created that treehouse or daydream loft, a child’s bedroom/escape inspired by the Elle Fanning character in the movie “Phoebe in Wonderland.”

“It’s kind of dedicated to every little girl who needs an escape, a refuge,” she says of the welcoming retreat in pinks and greens.

But before reaching that room designed for a child, one hits a space designed for the child in everyone.

“This is the adult playroom,” says Maryann Syrek of M. Studio Gallery, Fine & Applied Arts in Cold Spring.

“There are eight artists living in this small space,” she adds, of the loft.

“It’s all about letting your mind go crazy, letting it loose,” she says.

And that is exactly the creative spirit celebrated at every step in this show house.

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