The 6 Most Brilliant Painted Rooms From Designer Steven Gambrel

New York-based interior designer/architect Steven Gambrel is a favorite designer amongst bloggers.  From urbane uptown pads to chic country cottages and Hamptons hideaways, his style is classic with a modern twist.

Steven Gambrel established his New York-based design firm, S. R. Gambrel Incorporated, in 1995, only three years after earning an architecture degree at the University of Virginia.  He has a passion for timeless, comfortable houses as you can see in all of his work. He has been celebrated in many magazines and newspapers, including House & Garden, Elle Décor, Interior Design, Departures, New York Times, and New York Magazine.

Quotes From Steven Gambrel

An entrance hall is a great place to play with color because you want that element of surprise. This green is striking, and it has enough presence to glue together all three floors of this 1800s Greenwich Village town house as it continues up the stair hall. Colors were bolder back then: they were meant to be seen by candlelight. And look at the beautiful way it reacts to black and white.” —Steven Gambrel

"I only watch TV occasionally, usually something on On Demand. So, since it's not a priority in my life, I don't want it to be the focal point of a room. I had it inset into the wall of my library, and then I hung a picture in front of it. I just take the painting off the hooks when I want to watch TV. But most of the time, no one would ever know it's there." Steven Gambrel House Beautiful

“The color brown is a strong neutralizer,” says New York designer Steven  Gambrel. “It reacts really well with gray, as a way to add contrast and as  a hit that grounds the palette.”- Elle Decor

Some Great Links:

-Style Compass- Steven Gambrel- 1st Dibs

-Steven Gambrel's Manhattan home- Colorful Blue's Deep Paint Colors, Custom-mixed wall colors is from Pantone Paints by Fine Paints of Europe.

-A Conversation With Designer Steven Gambrel - The Style List

Steven Gambrel's Manhattan Home

High gloss slate blue walls in a room decorated by Steven Gambrel

Steven Gambrel: Time and Place $31.50

Steven Gambrel: Time and Place $31.50

The first book from renowned New York–based designer Steven Gambrel showcases his bold and innovative designs. Featuring 10 individual residences photographed by Eric Piasecki, Steven Gambrel illustrates the designer’s fresh approach to color and composition in creating spaces that reflect, support, and enhance the lifestyles of today while at the same time embracing the history of each individual home. From Manhattan townhouses and apartments to beachside retreats in the Hamptons, Gambrel has a passion for timeless and unique interiors that allow him to design a backdrop for individual and changing lives. The photographs and accompanying text, written by Gambrel himself, reveal the
inside stories behind stunning interiors that feature his signature mix of the modern and the traditional, and give the reader a window into his unique inspirations and design point of view

Reviews

ByB. G. in S.F. "B.G. in S.F."Steven Gambrel: Time and Place (Hardcover)

Apparently, you CAN judge a book by its cover. I was intrigued when I saw the front and back covers of the book, which appear to show two different interpretations of the same space. I was especially drawn to the presence of historical details and the modern sensibility. I decided to buy the book on a hunch, and I'm so glad I did. First, you must notice the dimensions listed for this book, as it is much larger than many design books. The paper used for the book is heavy and very high-quality. The designs depicted inside are gorgeous--all are refined yet remain completely approachable and inviting. (The photography, by Eric Piaseki, is absolutely exquisite.) Steven Gambrel uses color in a brave manner, so if you're a fan of bold color in interior design, you will almost certainly love this book. I am especially enjoying the progress photos, and the words that Steven has written to accompany the photography. I've never been more impressed by a design book. I am a new fan of Steven Gambrel's work, and I thank this gorgeous book for the introduction.

ByL. M. Keefer (Steven Gambrel: Time and Place (Hardcover)

Interiors by Steven Gambrel are distinctive and highly original. If you like Gambrel's design vision and enjoy deconstructing the magic behind design, you will enjoy this book. Gambrel writes as articulately as he designs, and shares in his own words what informs his design.

"I think the unexpected remains our greatest tool," says Gambrel. Unexpected--that quality distinguishes Gambrel's rooms: an unexpected mix of materials-color-pattern-silhouette evoking time and place.

As an University of Virginia-trained architect, Gambrel clearly has a reverence for materials which is revealed in his work. His passion
for salvaging materials and using his Sag Harbor homes and West Village Townhome as design laboratories is infectious. You will want to start frequenting salvage sites looking for the odd treasure to incorporate in your home after reading this book. Slabs of marble from the Museum of Modern Art sculpture garden which floor his Sag Harbor kitchen are a sublime foundation for his creamy kitchen. Gold-gray marble from an old bank lobby warm up his master bath floor. In a client's home, a mid-century gun-metal Parisian shower surround provides panache. You can picture Gregory Peck or Jimmy Stewart sticking a wet shampooed head out of the shower and greeting you in that room.

Other innovative uses of material include using what looks like shiny black paten leather (like your childhood Sunday shoes) on a dining banquette, mixing mica dust in ceiling plaster for shimmer, and repurposing a lighthouse lens as a lantern.

"A hit of lucid color" is how Gambrel describes his color choices. High gloss bottle green walls, inspired by the galleries of Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, connect all four floors of his West Village townhome. He combines lacquered deep tortoise-like walls with a glossy amber ceiling in a client's library. What keeps these colors from being lightly lurid, and dashing instead, is a mix of restraint and balance. "I like the contradiction of a super saturated color with an alternating serene one, just like the strength found in pairing timeworn pieces with those that are polished and modern," explains Gambrel. "I view dense color as luxurious, a reaction that hails from an era when merchants used pigments, then precious commodities, as flagrant displays of wealth."

What also gives a pleasant jolt to Gambrel's rooms is a bit of unexpected and exuberant pattern. Pattern like in an argyle sock might cover an
armchair, or Gambrel's partner Connor's favorite Irish cable knit sweater inspired a cable pattern in a rug for their living room (see cover). A brass grate design patterns a daring black and white rug for a client's black and gold living room. A mostly serene room may have a dollop of pattern splashed onto a pillow or emanating from wall art.

Silhouette. You may notice there's not a lot of curve in Gambrel's rooms--mainly lines, angles, squares and rectangles
with an occasional circle or organic shape. Some curve is in the black headboards he designed for his guest beds based on silhouettes of Flemish home facades he sketched from a walk in Brussels. Clean lines, defined angles and crisp tailoring are softened by tufted furniture, textured fabrics and rugs, and the luxurious use of color which embraces and envelops you. I like Gambrel's mid-size and smallish rooms best which are like jewel-boxes, even if they are neutral like his french limestone-colored cellar kitchen in his West Village home. The rooms sparkle and delight.

Gambrel believes we should "keep the good parts of what already exists, while layering our lifestyle and unique time in history onto that place....images of place are the core vital tool for future generations to learn about our time....Design is not just about inventing new
ideas, but also about layering successful ideas inspired by traditions and shared culture." His hope and purpose for this book? "...I hope to share a small window into what I think about the time and place in which I live."

If you like the original and thoughtful room on the cover of this book, you should like the unexpected and welcoming style inside.

Interior Design Steven Gambrel- Decorating Around Shades Of Blue

The World of Interiors Steven Gambrel Street Porter Dec 2008

The Same Picture With A Different Color - Steven Gambrel's Sag Harbor Home

Interior Design Steven Gambrel- Decorating Around Shades OF Purple

Steven Gambrel's Manhattan Home

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