Designers and Artists Create Home Space Centered on Artfull Living

Show house at Glassbury Court features work by local artists

By Mary Ann Ebner

A group of award-winning designers and a delegation of more than 30 artists descended on the blank canvas of a new townhome, and worked not in competition but in concert to artfully transform a recently completed property at Glassbury Court at Cold Spring. The striking home showcases the talent and breadth of the Hudson Valley’s contemporary designers and artists, and illustrates the possibilities that exist to incorporate art into a comfortable, functional living space.

Sponsored in part by The Garrison Art Center, Cold Spring Arts, and Glassbury Court, a 55-plus community catering to “adults with an active lifestyle and an appreciation for energy efficiency,” The Artfull Living Designer Show House will be open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays through Tuesdays beginning June 3 and running through Sept. 9. The designer show house presents the opportunity to visualize art at home, and was envisioned by Cold Spring glass artist Barbara Galazzo to showcase art to the public as well as provide a forum for designers and artists to come together.

“The project is a collaboration that these designers and artists have embraced,” Galazzo said. Galazzo shares her talent as an artist in the show house while her strength for encouraging collaboration shines throughout the home.  Each designer chose a theme for their room design, and dedicated the room’s thematic scheme to a celebrity as a collaborative inspiration.

Chuck Burleigh in bedroom he designed (Photo by M.A. Ebner)

Burleigh’s mix of art, from wall drawings by Jaanika Peerna to the dominant Black Walnut bed (designed in collaboration with Jessica Wickham of Wickham Solid Wood Studio in Beacon) to three ceramic figures by Ada Cruz displayed on a Malmaison console, achieves the Artfull endeavor to bring art from the gallery and provide it with a presence in the home.

Cold Spring designer Maryann Syrek of M. Studio Gallery designed the townhome’s loft into a play space. “This is a play loft where you talk, you read, you write, listen to music, or play board games,” Syrek said. “Eight artists are incorporated into this space, and everything in the room is playful.” Cali Gorevic, one of the artists who contributed to Syrek’s loft area, renewed life to art she had produced for a toy series. Her toy planes helped Syrek to create the spirit of “Pee Wee Herman” fun and imagination in the space.

Designer Bill Miller of Bill Miller Interiors of Wappingers Falls, collaborating with 11 artists including Carla Goldberg of Beacon, created a living room and dining room open space dedicated to Lady Gaga, beautifully appointed with a contemporary bubbly mix embracing glass and light conveying the lively spirit of the performing artist. Proceeds from an Artfull Living silent auction will go to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.    

 Designer Phyllis Harbinger of DCI Interiors in Cortlandt Manor dedicated the home’s second floor bedroom to Cold Spring’s Rupert Holmes, the Broadway writer and composer. Harbinger has worked extensively with Holmes and wanted to design the room to echo characteristics of his theatrical career. She used patterns of contrasting diamonds and incorporated metal, glass, sculpture, and ceramic pottery to transform the space into a bedroom retreat and library.  “The world is a stage,” Harbinger said, “and we were inspired by our client. The harlequin chair came first and inspired our theatrical theme of comedy and tragedy.

“It’s an amazing room,” Holmes said. “Phyllis is the designer for everything in my home, and in this room, she felt a little more freedom to be more theatrical. My bedroom at home reflects more my wife where this one is me.  I got on board (Artfull Living Show House) to support the astonishing talent here and I’ve walked around and you realize this all represents Cold Spring.”

The townhome’s floor plan includes one bedroom on the second floor, but a storage space was converted into a tree house escape for the project. Designer Nicole Ashey of Burlock Interiors in Beacon incorporated the work of eight artists. “It’s as if a little girl ran off into the woods from a life of luxury and took a few remnants with her,” Ashey said. The rustic headboard and rope ladder (Gus Pederson) pulled the outdoors in while the canvas drop cloths, transformed into bedroom décor, helped Ashey achieve artistic enchantment. Ashey’s room was inspired by actress Elle Fanning from Phoebe in Wonderland, and represented a refuge for a girl experiencing growing pains.

The garage of the Artfull Living Show House was converted into a gallery for a show designed by Lithgow Osborne of Garrison. The gallery showcases a host of artists, enabling Lithgow to create a narrative of mystery and curiosity. 

Around the corner from Lithgow’s gallery, inspiration continued in the home study. Wappingers Falls designer Darron Andress dedicated the space to the memory of Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutgers student whose suicide was highly publicized last year. Andress wanted to connect with the mission of the Born This Way Foundation and reach out to the Tyler Clementi Foundation to help prevent teen suicide and promote anti-bullying programs and peace. The designer sought permission from the parents of Tyler Clementi, with hopes of honoring him without building a shrine while illustrating how to create an artistic room for a college student on a budget.

“I asked their (Tyler Clementi’s parents) permission to be inspired by who he was,” Andress said. “Whatever space I had to work with, as a professional, I wanted to be able to tell the story.” Andress shares the story of Tyler with a contemporary monochromatic design infused with a pop of color in collaboration with artist Martee Levi of Cold Spring. A glass desk, which Tyler’s mother said he always wanted, anchors the space, while a silhouette of a violinist expresses Tyler’s gift as a musician. “I wanted this to be very respectful,” Andress said. “Tyler’s parents have been an instrumental part of this and they will be here June 2.”

Designers and artists will be present at the show house June 3 to further share their inspiration and expertise. Glassbury Court is located at 3370 Albany Post Road (Route 9), Cold Spring. For more information, visit the Cold Spring Arts website.

Photos by Bryan Barger unless otherwise noted.


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