DC’s Raji Radhakrishnan Debuts at New York City’s Kips Bay Show House

The local designer creates a sophisticated mix of art-deco, modernist, and contemporary decor.

By: Michele Ginnerty

Kips Bay in New York City is arguably the Olympics of show houses, and this year, its 40th anniversary, DC-based Raji Radhakrishnan joined 30 other top designers in transforming two adjacent duplexes in a West Side high-rise. Radhakrishnan termed the space she designed “Le Bureau PrivĂ©,” and imagined the room as the private home office of the head curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In keeping with the style of the apartment and the interests of her muse, Radhakrishnan deftly curated an artful mix of objects and furnishings from the secessionist, art deco, and modernist periods along with contemporary pieces. The final result is a stunning and sophisticated space.

All photographs by Marco Ricca (online and print rights owned by Raji Radhakrishan).

Beginning with a blank contemporary slate, Radhakrishnan enveloped the space with a white Venetian plaster that adds depth and character to the room. The luminescent finish is a beautiful contrast to the two prominently featured wall murals. The first one, a photograph of the King’s Chapel in Versailles, is centered over a fireplace mantel originally designed by Sir John Soane. The second is a photograph Radhakrishnan took herself of a painting by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, which currently hangs at the Met. The George Smith sofa picks up on the deep colors of the photographed scene and is adorned with a Casa Blanca pillow by former DC resident D. Bryant Archie. Inspired by Line Vautrin compacts, Radhakrishnan crowned the room with a custom-designed gilded plaster ceiling medallion.

Other pieces include a Tilt bookshelf by Sebastian Errazuriz, a flower offering chair by Satyendra Pakhalé, a vintage bar cabinet and pyramid table by Philip and Kelvin Laverne, and art-deco chairs by Jules Leleu. Finally, on hearing the news of the recent passing of renowned designer Albert Hadley, Radhakrishnan decided she would pay homage by including a red zig-zag table similar to the one Hadley had in his own apartment.

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House will be open through June 14. See the website for address, hours, and ticket prices.