Inside the 2009 Show House
The E. B. Green David Wallace estate celebrates Buffalo talent
photos by kc kratt
The E. B. Green David Wallace estate celebrates Buffalo talent
E. B. Green, a prolific architect when Buffalo was at its most affluent, has contributed nearly 200 structures— including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and many residences on Delaware’s “Millionaire’s Row”—to the cultural wealth of Buffalo. Among those that still survive today is a 9,000 square-foot Eggertsville French Provincial residence that was built in 1929 for David Wallace. This year, more than 700 local volunteers, decorators, and craftsmen worked together to create a stunning visual fundraiser that played host to nearly 20,000 visitors.
Showcasing the timeless talent of one of Buffalo’s most famous architects, and highlighting the talents of Buffalo’s current cast of clever designers, architects, construction experts, and craftsmen, this year’s Show House was a feast for the eye, and a boon to the community, raising in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars for a worthy project.
The bright, cheerful, restored kitchen (including a 1929 refrigerator that was put back into working order) was designed and executed by Murchison Interiors, Ltd. and Krislyn Co. “We wanted it to have all of the period comfort of your grandmother’s kitchen, but with all of the conveniences of today, like soft-close drawers and burnished hardware,” says Rocco DelGrosso of Krislyn Co. “The materials appear as old as the house, but they operate as smooth as silk.” Accessorized with MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check hand-painted enamelware, provided by The Cottage in East Aurora, and using materials like Calcutta Gold marble, the homey feeling of the kitchen flowed into the adjoining pantry, cleverly designed by Creative Storage. “It was all custom-designed with a hard rock maple,” says Creative’s Diana Augsperger. “We installed panels along one wall with a variety of hooks and other accessories to hold an apron, plastic shopping bags, hats, and other kitchen necessities. The rest of it was executed to accommodate a wine rack, pull-out baskets, drawers for cutlery, roll-out trays for serving food and collecting dishes, tray dividers, and party platters.” In short, every available bit of space was smartly used.
“We wanted the guests to feel as though they had just stepped off the elevator at their own penthouse apartment,” says DK Benson’s Colleen Cusick of the vast, classically decorated foyer that greeted guests to the second floor. Using a rich color palette of dark grays with undertones of brown—the wall color, by Benjamin Moore, was called “Weimaraner,” like the aristocratic dog)—they created not just a foyer, but an extra sitting room featuring a lavish charcoal hemp sofa with a pewter stud frame (the Gaston sofa from the CR Laine collection), an oversized mirror, and a pewter-finished console table.
“It was a tribute to the Art Nouveau style and old Hollywood glam,” says Kittinger designer Karen Bialkowski of the living room. Featuring a shiny black grand piano, lush velvet zebra-print chairs, and a silky chaise and fur throw, the inviting room was suffused in a soothing wall color aptly named Purple Haze (by Benjamin Moore’s Aura collection). Crown molding and plaster architectural details on the ceiling were cleverly defined with silver metallic paint. “We’re entering the room in Benjamin Moore’s ‘Best Use of Color’ contest, because we’re so proud of the way it turned out,” says Bialkowski. “We’ll let you know if we win!”
A perfect venue for entertaining, the dining room was decorated in a sumptuous color palette by Blackbox Creative. “We used pale sage chenille on the dining chairs, and draped them with velvet chair runners in shades of crimson, dark sage, and gold,” says Blackbox’s Shari McIvor. “The specialty-veneered table and curio china cabinet were custom-designed and manufactured in our shop from a variety of quality woods.” The Albright-Knox Art Gallery graciously allowed Blackbox to exhibit its portrait of E. B. Green alongside the collection of Coppola family photos that decorated a painted family tree (executed by Ninandre’ Bogue).
The theme of Millington Lockwood’s office was “Tomorrow’s News Today,” a place where the entire family can keep abreast of what’s happening in the world. “The bright colors on the walls and in some of the artwork played against the darker, ergonomic furniture,” says designer Robert Seivert. “And the rounder, more organic shapes of some of the office furniture played against the straight lines of the walls, and the rectilinear architectural details.” The furniture in the room is actually designed for corporate use, but worked well in the home office. The office also contained a cleverly designed closet of hard rock maple wood and matte chrome hardware, courtesy of Rich Rhoades at California Closets.
“We wanted it to be a ‘man’ room, with the bar area and the big screen TV,” says Room’s Michael Poczkalski of the media room he co-designed with David Brugh, “but we also wanted it to be for the whole family.” Comprised of two sitting areas, the media room was presented in shades of gray, black, and white, highlighted with strategically placed bright “popcorn” yellow accents. One area consisted of simple classic sofas and sleek lounge chairs, all the better to view the enormous flat screen television mounted to the opposite wall; the second accommodated a round game table and four chairs. Michael Williams and Derek McGee of Brudstone Construction transformed an adjacent closet into a companion wet bar with ebony-stained hand-rubbed lacquer finished cabinets, bright yellow accents, and recessed lighting. A clever rope light tucked behind the crown molding offered a warm, elegant glow.
A Meditation Room, created by the Interior Design students at Villa Maria College, was designed to harness a calming presence. Soothing brown, green, and blue earth tones seamlessly merged with earth elements like orchids, bamboo, pebbles, and sand. A separate yoga area faced a mural of mountains and cherry blossom trees.
Outside the house, Arthur’s Home Furnishings created three separate sitting areas in vibrant red and black, with accents of cheerful apple green. “The covered terrace had two of our comfy chaise lounges,” says Wendy Bailey of Arthur’s, “and the seating area had a unique cement top table with tile accents, four wrought iron spring chairs—very nice for eating or relaxing—equipped with comfortable, durable and quick-drying Sunbrella cushions.” The pool deck area was surrounded by comfortable chairs, large sun umbrellas in coordinating red and black fabrics, and a double chaise lounge with a covered top. “It’s the perfect place for an outdoor nap, and it’s practical, too,” says Bailey. “It’s made with a wrought aluminum, which can be left outside all winter and will never corrode.”
In the master bedroom, Ethan Allen emphasized sustainable design without sacrificing luxury or comfort. Says designer Lori Brennan: “We really enjoyed mixing the light and dark woods (all with environmentally-friendly water-based finishes), mixing and blending the textures, and using natural fiber fabrics, such as linen, silk, mohair, wool, and one hundred percent organic cotton on the chairs and bedding.” The cork wallpaper and the colorful area rugs—earth tones with dashes of scarlet and crimson—were complemented by bold-patterned bed linens.
Ann Medinac and Cindy Chamberlain created an elaborate lady’s sitting room decorated in feminine shades of ballet slipper pink, powder blue, and luscious lavender. “We had envisioned that design, and had some of the furniture already,” says Medinac. “We were dying to do a French Provincial room with a contemporary twist, and it worked perfectly for the house.” Art Nouveau flavor was added with mirrored cabinet, and a tone-on-tone ivory loveseat strewn with silver beaded pillows. The walls—adorned with a faux tufting pattern and crystal button details—completed the look.
|Ann Medinac Interiors|
25 Mayfair Ln., Williamsville, NY 14221
Arthur’s Home Furnishings
DK Benson Interiors
Ethan Allen Furniture
Judi Laird Draperies
Krislyn Co., LLC
Luminated Landscapes, Inc.
Michael Donnelly Interior Design
Millington Lockwood Business Interiors
Murchison Interiors, Ltd.
Tile Shoppe Design Gallery
Villa Maria College