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First Look Inside Elle Decor's Modern Life Concept House

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Photos: Will Femia

There aren't many things that will have us hauling over to the far-west edge of Manhattan, but the Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House, which opens to the public May 20, is most certainly one of them. It's all happening in two adjacent two-bedroom units on the 10th floor of +aRT, a not-yet-finished condo building whose marketing brochure encourages would-be residents to "gaze out of the wall-sized windows to gape at the collective passersby, plot your next buy at Balenciaga, or curl up in the Art Yard with a friend." (Also, we're prompted to "walk barefoot across the white oak floors.") Elle Decor editor in chief Michael Boodro, dressed in his Tuesday best, gave Curbed a tour through the magazine's first-ever NYC showhouse.

Unlike us, though, Boodro doesn't actually call it that—"It's the idea of young designers and that's why we don't call it a showhouse, we call it a concept house," he said, adding that there's no narrative or imaginary resident who's supposed to live here (unlike their showhouse in San Francisco). "We pair them up with brands that have supported the magazine and they work with them. This is an apartment that most of our readers, and probably most of your readers, would live in."

The designers are all the magazine's A-List Designers to Watch, five from this year and five from last. "We wanted people who had a little bit of a history," Boodro explained as we sat in the kitchen of unit 10B, a space designed by Katie Lydon with Bosch. "We were looking for designers who sort of had our aesthetic in the sense that they're sort of eclectic and young with an appreciation of tradition—and ones that we felt had staying power and had proven themselves enough that weren't just flashes in the pan but also brought something a little bit different and distinctive to the scene. They're people who really have demonstrated that they've gotten their acts together, and now only have vision and creativity but can sustain a business." Ah, if only all our interviews could be conducted around marble-top Saarinen dining tables!

On deck: a Gilt Home sale (or rather five of them) selling off some of the items in the Modern Life Concept House, plus an entire, full-fledged showhouse to correspond with Design Miami in December. The NYC space will be featured in a 12-page spread in the magazine's September issue; in the mean time, though, have a look at the photos above. And if you prefer to watch a video tour, head over here.

(Oh, and proceeds from Modern Life Concept House ticket sales benefit Housing Works.)

· Sketchy Sneak Peek at the Elle Decor Showhouse [Curbed National]
· All +aRT coverage [Curbed NY]
· Elle Decor Announces Designers for NYC Showhouse! [Curbed National]
· The Modern Life Concept House [Elle Decor]