Sophisticated, Warm Study

Designer Alan Tanksley combined an eclectic mix of furnishings in a neutral palette to create a cozy family retreat.

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For the Hampton Designer Showhouse in Bridgehampton, N.Y., designer Alan Tanksley was selected to design the library space, which he decided to approach as more of a relaxing study. Alan shares with us how he developed the concept for the room and the process behind his design.

Describe your design objective.

This project was created for the 2004 Hampton Designer Showhouse, where I had the opportunity to create a client profile. In this case, I designed a room for a young urban family's country retreat. My idealized client was a sophisticated, art-collecting young couple with an active family and social life. Thus, the room had to serve many functions, including a place for a small group to sit and enjoy each other's company. The game table chairs are easily moved. The single upholstered chair is perfect for reading, and the mattress-style sofa is perfect for an afternoon nap.

Browse More Photos of This Eclectic Study

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

The biggest obstacle in this space was that the house was under construction when we were planning it. The time we had to conceive and install the project was extremely short.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

Through careful and detailed planning, everything did go according to plan. The end result matched up perfectly with my vision for the space.

What lessons did you learn?

What I realized was that participating in showhouses requires a full commitment from our entire staff. It is an investment of time and energy, as well as money. All with the goal of showcasing our point of view.

What are the "hidden gems"?

One of the gems was the custom bookcase I designed for the space, which features chartreuse-enameled steel shelves encased in cream-colored leather. (DESIRON is now in production on the bookcase.) Another was the handmade paperclip chandelier by Gary Ponzo, made up of 2,000 paper clips, and showcasing a Sam Glankoff painting above the Ingrid Donat parchment and bronze commode.

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