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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Showtime Design House 2010: The Borgias

The Showtime Design House is one of my favorite design houses, not least because they not only allow but encourage photography. This year it is at Cassa Hotel and Residences, on 45th Street between 5th and 6th. Entrance is $15, and the money goes to the Harlem Children's Zone. It's open Saturdays from 11 AM to 5 PM, through Oct. 23.

(Also, since it should be said: I don't watch any of the shows represented, I'm just along for the purpose of appreciating design.)

When you get off the elevator, the first room(s) you see are inspired by the show The Borgias, and was designed by Keith Baltimore, Marc Thorpe and David Schwarz:

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The Great Room; notice the cross-shaped rug.

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I love this chair kind of a lot.

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The kitchen counter, complete with skulls.

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The kitchen window, with delicate chain mail curtains.

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The media room/chapel which is SO AMAZINGLY UNSETTLING, oh my god.

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In the bathroom!


These rooms are really, really exactly the kind of thing I like. More red velvet and skulls and delicate fluttery chainmail for everyone! I also though the "media room" was particularly well done, even if it did totally creep me out both times I went into it. The red light and the hum of the neon cross are totally overwhelming, and I mean that in the best possible way. As it happens I read the neon cross as designating a chapel, not a media room, but in this case I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive. And somehow the stark modernism (as opposed to the more Renaissance-inflected great room) created a sense of lingering malevolence better than any pile of medieval skulls.

Next up: The Big C.

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