Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bloomingdale's Big Window Challenge

In case you haven't heard the big window challenge is going on in New York as I type, and voting ends tomorrow! Three very talented designers: Eddie Ross representing Elle Decor, Eileen Joyce representing Bloomingdales, and Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan representing Apartment Therapy (of course!) have each created a fascinating window room vignette incorporating in at least one key Bloomingdales pieces. All three rooms took me by surprise. With three different designers with completely different styles you can expect a good bit of variety, but I was shocked by the range of styles, and even more so by the particular styles that Eddie and Maxwell expressed. I like all of them for different reasons, but I particularly like the cozy eclectic vibe of Maxwell's room: "The writer's romantic supper." It's polar opposite from what we've seen of his own well-edited, clutter-free homes. I especially love the painted bookcase mural that AT's color therapist, Mark Chamberlain, painted for the vignette. So old world! Maxwell is often slammed for being too unsentimental about possessions in general and books in particular--advising people not to hold onto things/books they don't love or use regularly--so it was fun and interesting to see a room completely drowning in tomes.

So many bloggers have expressed much more eloquent opinions about Eddie's room than I can do at this hour (WAY past this girl's bedtime) so I won't expound much.

I admire its vibrancy, pleasing symmetry, and bold mix of color, pattern, and form--the signature vases and bust!!! There is just one detail I can't convince myself to totally love, the Hinson splatter wallpaper... and I really wish that I could. It's certainly a show-stopper which is a huge part of what the competition is about, so I'm sure that design-wise it totally works, but man, I suppose I'm just not modern woman enough. I've been keeping an eye out for explanations of why people do like the paper in particular, but I haven't seen any commentary on it. I am completely smitten with his blog and every other design masterpiece I've seen of his, but I keep trying to picture the room with something else on the walls. Any thoughts?

And now, you can go vote!


  1. Have you seen the wallpaper in person? it's not so busy when you see it in real life. Thanks for your post and your support!

  2. The wallpaper is like a million polka dots on a vintage ballgown, like a starry night sky in a reverse colorway, it is...perfection. The splatter is just rock and roll enough to speak to any kid or teen. I think the wallcovering is what hits this out of the park! It is so different that even if you aren't sure you love it, you'll never forget it.

  3. Thanks to both of you for your responses!

    Eddie- I've only seen the paper in the showroom, not nearly as expansive as your application and certainly more close-up.

    Teri- I love your description, and I think that you are absolutely right when you say that we will never forget it. This is certainly the most memorable room in the competition! And it probably would not have been nearly as memorable if it had a more expected wall covering.


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