For Charleston, South Carolina-based interior designer Matthew Monroe Bees, the 2019 Kips Bay Decorator Show House was a splendid opportunity to bring his favorite prominent staples of Southern home design to New York City. His bedroom at this year’s charity show event is all about “grandeur reconsidered.”
The designer was inspired by a blend of several historical, architectural, and geographical elements when creating his first colorful and eclectic Kips Bay space.
“It’s no secret that Charleston and the Lowcountry’s architecture and interiors have been the sirens call to those both far and near for the better part of the last two centuries,” the designer explained in his show notes. “Now, the evolved aesthetic of a once colonial capital to one of the world’s top travel destinations is arriving at Kips Bay Show House. Where other places restore dwellings to a certain time period, Charleston has led the charge in preserving history as it is found. Inspired by the preserved rooms of Drayton Hall, a concept was formed.”
Custom crackled wallpaper gives off an aged paint appearance on the wall, and students from the College of Building Arts took molds of the ceiling medallions at Drayton Hall to replicate the ceiling effect in this new space. Old meets new in a grand display.
“Marrying the faded colors of time long past with the grandeur of beloved furnishings, keeping an eye to the past and a foot in the present, a sitting room was born,” the designer added. “Pull back the portieres and sit underneath a medallion molded from Drayton’s own Victorian version. A William IV sofa mingles with French burgeres, chinoiserie, and porcelain from travels abroad. A chest on chest with inlaid portraits of the goddess Britannia, a nod to the motherland, sits next to a mid-century steel and brass bureau plat. The heirlooms are ﬁne, yet the feeling is relaxed and welcoming. It’s a juxtaposition that is in itself uniquely Charleston.”
The House Tipster Industry team was able to speak with Matthew Monroe Bees at the show house’s recent press day unveiling in Manhattan, where he gave us an even closer look at how this grand interpretation of historical Charleston came to exist in the middle of a historical Upper East Side townhouse.
“My concept was to design a room for a modern Drayton, living in the home today,” Bees shared. “It was really important for me to incorporate things in my room that were reflective of those items [porcelains and portraits] found in Charleston’s Gibbes Museum.”
“Every Southern home has some great piece of mahogany that has been passed down. I have this really wonderful English chestnut chest, on loan from David Skinner gallery in Charleston, it’s really an amazing piece. Everybody has that one amazing staple in their home and it always has a story
To see even more beautiful highlights from Matthew Monroe Bees’ sitting room design at the 2019 Kips Bay Decorator Show House NYC, make sure to catch a recap of our live video stream guided by the designer in the Facebook player below.
Guests 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.