White Webb does the Hustle
Toot toot…heyyy…beep beep! Toot toot…heyyyy…beep beep! Who said disco is dead? Thanks to those superfly guys at White Webb, it lives again at Studio 54.
Photo: Joan Marcus
The former digs of the ultra-hip dance club have been reborn as one of the funkiest theaters on Broadway thanks to the creative imaginings of The Roundabout Theatre Company. Originally an opera house, the building became notorious for its second life as the Big Apple's most happening nightspot, Studio 54. Today, the Roundabout has replaced the dance floor debauchery with some of the world's finest theater, but it hasn't forgotten the building's special history.
In memory of the funk ‘n fantasy that cavorted within its walls, the Roundabout commissioned White Webb to bring back the disco beat. Seeking to create a lounge for its patrons, the Roundabout asked the design team to turn a long-forgotten basement space into Broadway's classiest VIP room. Blending 70's swank with modern luxe, White Webb's design winks at Studio's glory days while making every visitor feel like a coddled celebrity. Among the room's ostrich walls, leopard carpeting, and luxurious velvet-covered banquettes, one wouldn't be surprised to see Bianca Jagger (well, maybe Lindsay Lohan) riding on a white horse. As the pièce de résistance, White Webb designed a resplendent sculpture made of forged iron, gold balls and magnifying glasses. Commanding center stage in the room, the artwork evokes a huge sunburst – just what every room needs to be a true disco inferno!
So how do you get past the velvet ropes? It's not hard at all. No need to star in a film, walk the catwalk, or befriend a bouncer. Simply support The Roundabout Theatre Company as a Chairman's Circle member and access is yours. Aid a phenomenal organization, see the best of Broadway and lounge in the revived splendor of Studio 54. So dust off your Halston, Gucci and Fiorucci and join White Webb before the last dance at Studio 54!
Shhh! Secret Storage
Photo: Sonya Sinha
A design directive for the Studio 54 Patron's Lounge was that it work well for multiple purposes - from cocktails during intermission to lectures, lunches and meetings. We not only created the furniture plan to accommodate these events, but also designed a clandestine closet where folding chairs and tables would easily be accessed and hidden from view. To create this storage space, we concealed a pre-existing alcove with a secret door. That door became art when we designed a striking sculpture to mask its purpose. By simply moving the two-piece sofa and opening this door, a storage vault magically appears, making room set-up a cinch.
What's in Your Drawers?
Organized living isn't easy; it takes, well, organization! That said, there are tricks to making things easier to put away. Whenever possible, we like to line drawers or better yet, customize them for specific purposes.
In a dressing room, a drawer with little partitions makes putting away jewelry and keys (and finding them again) an easy task. Having a place for everything and everything in its place makes getting dressed a pleasure rather than a chore. Knowing the precise whereabouts of that certain pair of cufflinks is somehow very reassuring.
Photo: Art Gray
In the pantry there's nothing more wonderful than having silver flatware in place and fully accounted for. With custom-lined and fitted drawers, each piece has its own special spot. Besides being able to keep track of each piece, they avoid getting tarnished, thanks to the anti-tarnish silver cloth.
Even if one can't create fitted and fully lined drawers, there are plenty of organizing containers that can be inexpensively purchased and still make for neat, organized storage.
By Matthew White
Photo: Art Gray
When a home is short on storage it pays to think outside the box. Such was the case in my former loft in Old Town, Pasadena. This spectacular space, a former conservatory on top of a land-marked 19th century hotel, was long on style potential but short on convenient living ~ there wasn't a closet in sight! Rather than build one in, I wanted to play with the idiosyncrasies of the penthouse loft and come up with a wholly original concept. I decided to create a two-storey storage space to accentuate the soaring ceilings while in no way emulating built-in or traditional storage. The result was a practical but surprising solution to a serious storage dilemma.
I designed the ironwork frame to fit together like tinker-toys; this was essential simply to get the huge piece into the building. Once the framework was in place it was covered in awning material to protect the clothing from sunlight and dust. Conceptually it is very much like a tent (a very chic tent) and in one large gesture, I solved all my storage problems. With the pair of large doors and a handsome iron latch, the effect is quite elegant. When closed it had a very clean minimal look (see above). A metal warehouse rolling stair (nicely refinished in a bronze, powder-coat finish) makes access to both levels very handy.
Photo: Art Gray
Within the structure I positioned two poles for hanging clothes, a shelf above for luggage and two chests of drawers at the floor level for folded attire. The entire piece measured 10' wide by 12' tall and even though the scale is rather monumental, the overall effect was quite discreet. This was intentional so that one's eye went to other elements within the room. Once the doors were flung open however, it was any clothes horse's dream…a splendid display and handy access to clothes that made the question of “what to wear?” quite easy to answer.
The WoW Factor by White Webb
Do you dread opening your closet doors because the visual cacophony triggers yet another fashion meltdown? Here are a few tips that you may have heard before, but they bear repeating…
No Wire Hangers…EVER! Matching non-wire hangers make for a neater closet and help clothes keep their shape. Invest in good ones (plastic or wood) and they'll last a lifetime.
In the Bag? Storing clothes in dry-cleaning bags can ruin fabrics permanently. Take your clothes out of the bags as soon as you get them home, otherwise that ivory silk gown could become a yellow-streaked nightmare.
It's a Shoe-in. Shoehorns will add years of wear to your shoes by keeping them in their original, attractive shape. Pick up a pair when you buy new shoes and the investment will pay off.
If You Don't Use It, Lose It! The best way to organize a closet is to dump the dead wood. Don't hang onto clothes you never wear. Instead, donate those gently used items to Dress for Success so that homeless women joining the workforce have the attire needed for their new lives. Visit www.dressforsuccess.org. It's a win-win!
Happy Autumn from White Webb!
We want to thank our clients for their generosity in allowing us to show their projects. Each one represents a wonderful experience for us. Thank you!
View other issues of the design log