By Kristine Hope Kowalski
Transitional spaces can often be overlooked in home interior design, but areas like hallways, elevator landings, and pantries are essential to tying multiple rooms together. They are also very functional, visible, and high-use spaces, which means that your design scheme has to be centered around everyday life usage. So how do you balance the glamor you want in your home with the necessities of these tiny nooks? Just ask Wesley Moon, the designer behind the wet bar and butler’s pantry of the 2018 Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Manhattan.
House Tipster caught up with the designer at this year’s showcase unveiling, and heard all about how he mixes opulence and practicality in spaces that hold their own against main sitting areas and grand dining rooms. Form meets function at the appliance-heavy wet bar, which he decided to bring out of the shadows and transform into a hangout spot for party goers.
You can check out our exclusive conversation with Wesley Moon at this charity benefit design showcase below.
House Tipster (H.T.): Can you tell us about your space here at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House?
Wesley Moon (W.M.): I ended up with the wet bar, butler’s pantry, and elevator lobby. I completely gutted the space. It was very much a back-of-house service space, and we decided to bring it to the public and make it beautiful. Because today, everyone is involved in taking care of the home, it’s not just the staff behind the scenes. So we thought it should be good for entertaining for everyone, for everyone to be able to use it, and make it practical and beautiful.
H.T.: Speaking of behind the scenes, can you tell us about some of the brands and your team that worked to make this all happen?
W.M.: The real miracle workers here are Silver Lining Interiors, my contractor who took this down to the studs and built it in no time. Clive Christian made the beautiful cabinetry for me, bespoke in London and had it shipped here all done in less than six weeks. The cabinetry for my bar, I designed it, and it was made by New Day Woodwork. I have stone and backsplashes from Paris Ceramics, which is a big deal. And Kohler was a wonderful contributor, they gave us these beautiful new sinks that I’m in love with – the solid surface material that doesn’t show spots or any scratches – and their gorgeous faucets. AJ Madison gave us wonderful appliances like a beer tap – which is not usually an appliance, but it certainly works out. I had so many wonderful contributors, I could just keep going.
H.T.: It all works together so well.
W.M.: Thank you! The idea was to make three different spaces that still manage to be cohesive, and that you can walk through and enjoy easily. I hope that’s what we’ve done.
H.T.: Do you have any tips you can share with our readers, who may be wanting to design their own bar space?
W.M.: I think it’s important to make sure that it’s both functional and beautiful. A lot of people try to go for the look of a bar, but then they actually can’t use it. I like to try to incorporate the right appliances so that you’ll actually use them. [Here], I have a beverage fridge, beer in the bar, and an ice maker, as well as the beer tap, and a wine chiller. It’s also important to get your lighting right, to make everything sparkle and make it beautiful. I think lighting is key, function is key, and then make the beauty come with it.
H.T.: And can you tell us what it means to you to be involved with an event like Kips Bay Decorator Show House? And support charity work while you’re at it?
W.M.: It’s such an honor to be in this show house. I’ve wanted to do this for so long. You know, you have to apply, be accepted, and then once you’re in, you feel like you’re part of this major thing. It’s a wonderful cause, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, and I’m also happy to raise money for that, as well as get my name out there too. It’s a win-win for the designers that are involved, so I’ll definitely be doing it again.