Some kids possess an innate eye for design. They line up their Hot Wheels cars in order of size and hue, insist on wearing mismatched Converse All Stars to fashionable effect, and prefer vintage over store-bought. But would I turn over the proverbial keys to the castle so that my son could have a go at decorating our apartment? No way.
The same is not true for Kate Spade founder, Pamela Bell. Her East Fifth Street town house is festooned with items selected or decorated by her children (Elenore, 13, Anabel, 11, and Will, 7) – and as a testament to the great success of Pamela’s experiment, her home doubles as a daytime set for fashion and film shoots.
Pamela bought papier-mâché birds from Takashimaya for the kids to paint (they haven’t done so as yet), there is a Marimekko stickered wall in one of her daughter’s bedrooms, and Will decided that his toys should be stored on a pegboard wall.
The centerpiece is a John Derian sofa, still in its muslin cover, decorated in hand-rendered scrawls and doodles that call to mind Basquiat. Elenore and her friends did all the artwork, going at the couch with fabric markers. The couch’s kaleidoscopic Pantones perfectly match the floral design of a nearby loveseat, which suggests Pamela had some input as to the color selection (a more official take on the couch the kids decorated would be the Disfigure ‘Graffiti Couch’, with fabric by designed by Stephen Sprouse, available at The Future Perfect store).
After reading the NYT article that covered Ms Bell’s home, I watched as my son was rearranging the living/dining area of our apartment. He decided that our jacquard upholstered reading chair would look great at our small Formica dinning table. It doesn’t work for me, but maybe he’s on to something.