Space of the Week: Screen Gems

Gloria Vanderbilt’s latest decorating adventure, the transformation of her library/office into a dining room, started one night when she found herself browsing through 1stdibs and instantly spotted a pair of screens made of nineteenth-century familiar-looking Chinese wallpaper. “It was with a shock of recognition that I recognized the design immediately,” she says. Turns out the wallpaper had once belonged to her and her late husband Wyatt Cooper. “It was no surprise to read that the screens had been made from “wallpaper in the house of Gloria Vanderbilt and Wyatt Cooper.’ Wyatt had discovered the extraordinary wallpaper at Gracie, and we had papered our dining room with it.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

“I immediately called my friend [the decorator] Matthew Smyth, and together we discussed how to best re-create my dining room around the screens.” A collection of porcelain flowers, inherited by Gloria from her grandmother Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt, sits atop the mantel in the dining room. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Gloria had a faux fireplace built by contractor Al DeSalvatore, and painted the mantel “café” color with coral accents. She wrote on it, in black brush, an excerpt from a Lee Wilson Dodd poem: “Much that I sought I could not find”much that I found I could not bind”much that I bound I could not free”that which I freed returned to me.” Instead of wood, Gloria filled the fireplace with crystals from Baccarat and Steuben. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The window shades and dining-room seats are covered with the coral-and-gold fabric Smyth designed for his line for Schumacher. Photo: Wendy Goodman

“Gloria saw the room unfold the minute she found the screens on 1stdibs,” Smyth explains. “She has amazing vision of what can be, and transformed this space in record time. I was happy to be there for the ride!” Gloria’s new dining room is the latest of many transformations that regularly take place throughout her apartment. “To once again have these screens as part of my life is like coming home,” she says. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Space of the Week: Screen Gems