The Home Is Where the Heart Is designer show house at Lydia Pratt's 1891 home in Glen Cove begins on the meandering approach to the red front door. Standard Oil co-founder Charles Pratt commissioned the Georgian-style white clapboard home, also for sale for $5.5 million, as a gift for his daughter upon her marriage to philanthropist Frank Lusk Babbott. It was one 21 country homes built for the Pratts at Dosoris Park, the family's then-1,100-acre compound. The majestic maples, beeches, oaks and yews that frame the green, rolling landscape speak to that golden era.
Northport master gardener Mary Rosenvinge, one of the 26 designers brought in to brush up the home and its grounds, says she found inspiration in Frederick Law Olmsted's work. Records show that the so-called father of American landscape architecture, or his sons who carried on his firm, worked for decades at Dosoris Park. Rosenvinge stops and lingers to look at the trees, wondering if some were planted by Olmstead, Central Park's designer. "He imagined what a landscape would look like in 100 years," she says.
Her goal is more attainable -- choosing greenery that will look good as the event, produced by the same folks behind the annual Hampton Designer Showhouse, forges through the cold months. Some of her solutions include Cotoneaster, with its red berries, and Coral Bark Japanese Maple, whose bark turns more crimson as the temperatures drop.
The reimagining at the show house, which opens this weekend to feature the work of some of Long Island's most esteemed designers, continues inside.
Sheepskins drape across modern wing chairs in front of the fireplace in Huntington Bay decorator Kim Hendrickson-Radovich's master bedroom. Nearby, mismatched carpets are askew atop one another in an assymetrical pattern. Then there's the chandelier, which reflects off crystals applied to the ceiling, creating another layer of design elements in the space.
DIY TIP When it comes to layering a room, be brave, says Hendrickson-Radovich, the show house design chair. "Take risks -- that's what designers do," she says. "You can always change it."
Wallpaper's back and bolder than ever, and apparently not restricted to the places in the house usually reserved for show. Here, Hauppauge-based Scalamandré's iconic, throwback Zebras pattern makes its Long Island designer show house debut in blue in an unexpected place -- a bathroom. Centre Island designer Karen Joy Rosen balanced the pattern of the dancing equids with lots of trim, tile, rug, linens and shelving in calming white.
DIY TIP There are so many patterns of wallpaper available now that finding such an energizing pattern in an affordable price range is easy, says Rosen. If wallpaper is too much of a commitment, try a bold color, like this blue, she says. But think carefully about your choice. Imagine looking at it in eight years and "see if you will tire of it," she warns.
Glamorous camping is the new vacation buzzword, and now Port Washington's Keith Baltimore has co-opted it as a design idea. Glamping is the inspiration for his boys' sleepover room in the attic. At the heart is a 52-inch flat-screen TV with 24-hour-a-day Call of Duty on the screen. Gaming headsets are at the ready on the hanging rattan chairs that face it. Overhead is a vintage-map-covered ceiling; all around are tented dormered walls. There are Army cots, a foosball table and an insulated crawl space with sleepover bags, a mini-fridge stocked with iced tea and a trap door with the spray-painted words "KEEP OUT" to deter interlopers.
DIY TIP You don't need an antique Louis Vuitton trunk, mohair throws or a reclaimed wood table to create the perfect environment for adventure, says Baltimore. You can use the most inexpensive materials to come up with a space that makes you "feel like you're away in your own home," he says.
SHADES OF GRAY
Gray continues to dominate home design, and there's a new iteration -- paired with gold, as seen in Manhattan decorator Suzanne Costa's second-floor gallery. "We're trending luxe again," says Costa, whose space introduces part-time Hamptonite Aerin Lauder's new fall line of home goods.
DIY TIP "You don't have to spend a lot of money on gold," says Costa. "The thing is not to be timid about putting things together."
THINK OUT OF THE PLAYBOX
Manhasset designer Ellen Baron-Goldstein created a little boy's en-suite bedroom with items that most moms and dads wouldn't think to register for. Instead of a traditional toy box, she used a metal chest. There isn't one big mirror but eight circular mirrors of varying sizes hung in a playful singular pattern. The children's furniture department supplied none of the pieces -- the focal point is a Parsons bed with brown leather strapping. "This can grow with him forever," she says.
DIY TIP Some of the tools Baron-Goldstein used are also worth noting -- paint that turns a wall into a blackboard, magnetic Lucite photo frames that allow for an easily changeable display of children's artwork, floating bookshelves to put out a child's favorite books at the moment. "All these materials make it easier to create a space that's interactive," she says.
WHAT Home Is Where the Heart Is designer show house, a benefit for the American Heart Association
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, closed Thanksgiving, through Dec. 1, at 145 Dosoris Lane, Glen Cove
INFO $30, $20 for groups of 20 or more; no admission 30 minutes before closing; no children under 6, strollers or pets; heart.org
ASKING PRICE $5.5 million
SIZE 6,895 square feet
BATHROOMS 5 full, 2 half
LISTING AGENT Gabor Karsai, Landmark Realtors, 516-359-8028