Press Release

Designers' Showcase 2009 - Masions and Millionaires

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SYOSSET, NY - The Designers' Showcase 2009, at the historic La Selva Mansion in Upper Brookville, spotlights over 40 designers.  This event is in full swing and truly a delight!  Four advanced interior design students from the Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design in Syosset are delighted as well.  The students, Janet Cruz, Nooshin Shayani, Deborah Nobile and Patricia Rosenberg collaborated on the design of an artist's studio in the 40 room Meditarranean style villa.  They were thrilled to be included with top designers on this project and were equally thrilled with the enthusiastic reception the studio received at the Mansion and Millionaires project.  The students have transformed a 9' x 12' space into a contemporary artist's studio while incorporating the design that reflects the architectural history of the Mansion.

This Italianate style estate was built by, the renowned architectural firm, Hunt & Hunt in 1915.  The two brothers, Richard and Joseph were the sons of the first American Beaux-Arts architect, Richard Morris Hunt.  Given this pedigree, it is not surprising to find the Mansion's interior chock full of detail, intricate carvings, and artifacts. The students used the history and the artistic detail of the Mansion as their inspiration.  Upon inspection, one could not help but notice this history depicted in the ceiling mural done by the artist, Humberto Piloto and oil paintings on display by Janet Cruz.  Looking closely at the mural, one might see Richard Morris Hunt peering down at us.  References to the Statue of Liberty (pedestal designed by Richard Hunt), are also included in the room's design.  It was only too easy for these designers to incorporate something from yesteryear.  Creative design was a key element in the students' use of the studio's closet.  Carpentry and vision transformed a simple closet into a unique showcase for the artist's work.

The cooperative effort among the designers resulted in a cozy and tranquil art studio.  Borrowing from the Latin inscription that graced Mr. Hunt's library, the aspiring designers titled the space, "Art is Long, Life is Brief."

"I had a wonderful experience working with the designers from the institute.  We are all very grateful for the opportunity that Anthony Maceli, president of the Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design, gave us in producing this wonderful room" explains Janet Cruz.


NOV/DEC 2009

Designers' Showcase 2009 - Masions and Millionaires

Located in Upper Brookville Long Island, La Selva is a 40 room Mediterranean style mansion that is home to the 2009 Designers' Showcase. Every year the Designers' Showcase features the Northeast's finest interior designers infusing a mansion with the physical representation of the minds eye.

La Selva was built in 1915 on the crest of the 25 acres that created the estate. The renowned architectural  firm of Hunt & Hunt was retained by the original owner, Henry Sanderson, to design and build a villa for use as a country home. The acreage was beautifully groomed by the prestigious firm of Olmstead Brothers.

La Selva was the name given to the Sanderson's home. The approach to this highly stylized mansion wanders through a cluster of pine trees and concludes in the front of the mansion. Within the interior are extraordinary works of art where craftsman from Europe and the United States have detailed the rooms with carvings, intricate plaster ceilings, delicate iron grillwork and rare stone embossing. The philosophy of eclecticism practiced by the original owners in the design of the estate (the belief than one could create a new whole by bringing together fragments from other time and places) is true elegance at its zenith.

La Selva became a true summer residence although built for year round living. The Sanderson family used La Selva three months out of the year, while the staff remained for the full year. Stately carved wooden doors with deeply embossed hardware and iron-gated panels complete the interior picture. Most of the first floor interior walls are of imported Yorkshire stone, helping to keep the residence at a proper temperature all year round.

One of the most memorable sights on the interior is the main rotunda stair-hall, a circular space of over two stories with an outstanding sweeping curved staircase of stone. A sunken living room only a few steps down creates additional architectural interest. The original furnishings were artifact from the early Italian Renaissance.

This art studio was designed by advanced MID students for an artist whose abilities focus on resotrative artistry. He is a master at his craft, highly sought after and can trace his talent through his lineage. His great grandfather was Richard Morris Hunt, the renowned architect who was commissioned to build the base for the statue of Liberty. His great uncles were William Morris Hunt, the Boston painter and Leavit Hunt, the photogragher. His own grandfather, Joseph Howland Hunt, designed this magnificent Italian Renaissance mansion where our artist spends his time restoring paintings, sculptures and murals.

Sequestered in this cozy, tranquil, sunlit studio overlooking Frederick Olmstead's gardens, this artist is content to continue his descendants. His inspirations is reflected in the Latin inscription which graced his great grandfather's library.
"Art is long, life is brief".