Monday, January 27, 2014

Time and Place: Steven Gambrel

I have devoted my posts in January entirely to the review of great interior design books that I currently have on the shelves here at CDLV. It has been a lot of fun, and I'm sad to say that even though I've already reviewed 15 books, I'm not even nearly half way through the collection! So, if it's okay with all of you - I thought maybe we'd extend this and do Book Review Friday, starting in February. This will give me time to devour and review more great interior design books like the one that I have today! 

Steven Gambrel is a New York based designer, and like most designers that I love, has a unique sense of vision, with an ability to create timeless interiors in a variety of styles. His first book: Steven Gambrel Time & Place, published by Abrams Books, was one that I couldn't wait to get my hands on - and I'm sure that after seeing these few bits and pieces you'll be as eager to own a copy for your design library. 

The book showcases 10 different homes - from apartments and townhouses to lovely historic houses, including his own retreat in Sag Harbor, where he created the kitchen above. How beautiful is this? I'm a sucker for a floor to ceiling subway tile, but adore that floor - created from slabs of marble that Steven found at a salvage yard, after being lifted from the MoMA outdoor sculpture garden. Talk about history under foot.

Time and Place is what Steven says occurs as a common thread in his projects for this book. He places importance not only in the design of rooms and houses that fit the homeowners lifestyle today, but "to also respect and embrace the history of the time in which it was built." So, as you flip through the pages of Time and Place you see not only gorgeous interiors, you see spaces that seamlessly blend into their environment, rooms that listen to the homes they belong to, and inevitably became exactly what they always should have been.

He also loves color - and uses it brilliantly, seen here in his pink guest room at Sag Harbor. The paintings are actually fragments from a 19th century folding screen that Steven cut up and framed to fit the decor. A great idea - coloring outside the lines, thinking creatively outside the box. 

I am in love with his Sag Harbor living room, which was once a garage! The reclaimed floors came from an 18th-century house in Maine. The planked walls and ceiling create such a cozy room even with the cathedral pitch. Steven and his father spent three days glazing the ceiling and walls to achieve this perfect patina.

In this lovely home in Manhattan's Flat Iron district, the entrance of the master bedroom doubles as a library. I love the way he styled these shelves, and what a fabulous idea for those of you who have homes with a grand entry to a master suite. It was so popular to have these big vestibules to a master suite in large homes built in the early 2000's, so instead of having a rather hollow space - build in a bookcase and fill with your collections.

And lastly in this hallway in Southhampton, Steven used black and white family images framed in red frames with white mats to create this gallery in a bedroom wing. This is a great tip for those looking for inspiration on how to create a gallery wall.

The book is diverse, filled with spaces from traditional to contemporary; but the style is impeccable - in every image photographed by Eric Piasecki. If you're looking for inspiration for your home or a clients, particularly renovation projects where you hope to use reclaimed or recycled pieces, this is a great book to pull ideas from. Additionally, Steven's kitchens are amazing - they can not be matched! I highly recommend this book to those of you who enjoy creating beautiful rooms that are uniquely you!

Happy Reading! 

And please remember to vote for Color Outside the Lines now - February 12th for Best Writing on a Design Blog for the 2014 Design Bloggers Hall of Fame Awards. Read the full post here, or click here to submit your ballot! 


  1. That gallery wall is brilliant, isn't it? The red is so unexpected for what has become a rather mundane look in the design world, I think.

  2. I love Steven Gambrel as much as I love Darryl Carter but in a different way. His spaces always have the best artwork.

  3. All are really spanking . So much thanks .