The Newporter: Nicole Gammino Interior designer Nicole Gammino discusses working with Libby Kirwin at the Carey School penthouse.

1. How was your experience working with Libby Kirwin on the Carey School penthouse?

Collaborating with Libby and her whole team was fantastic. Libby has such great energy, knowledge of what people are looking for in a home and a keen eye for design, so it was a huge bonus having her talent on which to rely. It was a real pleasure woking with her and I think we complemented each other’s styles well.

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2. What was the biggest challenge when designing for the Carey School penthouse?

The short time frame in which we had to complete the project. It is always challenging trying to design a home that is cohesive, filled with unique items and looks great on short time frame – because many of the items that you may ideally envision using aren’t available immediately. For instance, you do not have the luxury of waiting to find that perfect piece of furniture or great antique. You have to be flexible and really creative and switch gears if something just isn’t materializing the way you initial intended. That being said, I think that Libby and I rose to the challenge on this particular project!

living-with-libby-nicole-gammino-2a3. What was your favorite room inside the Carey School penthouse?

The main living and dining area which is one large open room. The architecture is so dramatic, not to mention quite unusual for Newport, especially with its large dramatic black steel beams. It reminded me of loft spaces in NYC instead of your typical Newport residence. Sourcing pieces that could hold their own in the space while still being sophisticated and comfortable was so much fun. And, although not a room, the main hallway was another favorite space of mine with its large diamond patterned platinum rug, black steel beam and what I like to call our industrial porthole mirrors in black! Just three simple elements that worked perfectly together. The hallway needed nothing more.

4. Did you custom design any of the furnishings? If so, which one was your favorite?

Yes, Libby and I collaborated on designing a few custom items in the condo.  I would have to say my favorite is the large custom ottoman/coffee table in a black herringbone vinyl for the main living room. The space was calling for a large ottoman or coffee table so we decided to make it both and luckily our upholster and our woodworker did us a huge favor and complied on short notice! The large scale of the piece and the herringbone pattern which is really highlighted by all the natural light streaming through the banks of windows both work perfectly in the space. It’s that “unique cool” piece in the condo!

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5. If you could pick one celebrity that you could see living in the penthouse unit, who would it be?

No one is coming to my mind immediately but I would have say one who is down to earth and approachable yet has an understated elegance and sophistication to them. And, of course a sense of fun. A celeb like that would feel right at home in the Carey School penthouse!