Brian Gluckstein Debuts a Captivating Stairwell at Kips Bay NYC 2019

Brian Gluckstein of Gluckstein Design turned a historical spiral staircase into a central focal point unifying the eclectic mix of designers at this year’s the New York City Kips Bay Decorator Show House.

Gluckstein’s four-story stairwell space spanned the second to fifth floors in the luxurious townhouse on the Upper East Side being used for this year’s charity-supporting showcase. The gold-accented blue walls worked cohesively with designer Richard Rabel’s artistic foyer and first floor staircase, but show us what the Gluckstein Design firm is all about.

Brian Gluckstein. Photography by House Tipster

The House Tipster Industry team was able to speak with Brian Gluckstein during the 2019 show to hear about how he pulled off such an impressive feat – with the assist from Toronto artists has has come to know through his work in the Canadian city.

2019 © Nickolas Sargent Photography
2019 © Nickolas Sargent Photography

Easily the most impressive feature in Gluckstein’s area is a custom mobile hanging from atop the building’s ceiling.

The delightfully dizzying sparkling gold and crystal fixture draws visitors’ eyes both upward and downward throughout the home to display the other great spaces in the building.

“I emphasized the sculptural aspect of the staircase by installing 4,000 hand-crafted brass cherry blossoms which span the full four stories to form a spectacular 30-foot suspended mobile,” the designer said..

“Like architectural jewelry, the hand-strung brass blossoms build a dream-like moment of pause as visitors ascend and descend the stairs,” he added.

Hand-painted wall details by Cristina Pepe, like archways and drawn towers on each doorway, add even more historical and architectural details to the already-charming uptown Manhattan residence. Gluckstein worked with many preexisting building features to make them more extravagant and decorative.

Photography by House Tipster

“A custom carpet, which I designed in rich blue with a medallion motif, resembles a folding fan,” Gluckstein wrote in his show notes. “The staircase walls are covered in pale blue [Schumacher] grasscloth and play up the history of the house with hand-painted faux paneling, in a modern nod to the classic paneling in the styles of Jean Michel Frank. Exquisite artwork from the Jeremiah Goodman Studio Archives completes the look.”

Photography by House Tipster

“I love the mix of modern and traditional interiors, and I think this captures it,” the designer told us about his latest work. “We’ve got the traditional painting on the walls, and then we’ve got this modern sculpture in the space. So I think that’s really what defines what I do. We work with very traditional houses, and we’ll often mix it with contemporary furniture and art and antiques. If we’re doing a very modern space, we’ll often incorporate some more traditional pieces. I like that tension in the mix between modern and traditional, and I think we’ve got that here.”

To learn more about Brian Gluckstein’s staircase space at the 2019 Kips Bay Decorator Show House NYC, watch a recap of our live video stream with the designer in the Facebook player below.

The public will be able to attend the 47th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House, located at 36-38 East 74th Street, New York, NY, now through May 30, 2019. Stay tuned for more of House Tipster Industry’s exclusive coverage of the show, including more virtual tours guided by the season’s top designers.

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