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A Loft Fit for a King

While unarguably little more than a brilliant marketing tool, Metropolitan Home's Showtime House is nevertheless a whole lot of fun -- and not just for those who are fans of Showtime's many original TV series. The two Tribeca penthouses totaling approximately 14,000 are a wonderful opportunity to see top designer's like Kara Mann, Michael Berman and Susannah Drake at their most irreverent. Sure, interior design can be serious business, but the Showtime House shows that even the best in the biz can let lose and have a little fun. As a lifelong Anglophile, I'd love to have a gorgeous linen chair hand painted with Henry's portrait and studded with crystals. Talk about a conversation piece.

The two penthouses focus on six of Showtime's most popular shows: Dexter, United States of Tara, Californication, Weeds, Nurse Jackie and The Tudors. With the exception of Nurse Jackie (which I simply haven't gotten around to watching), all of these shows are perennial favorites at the Conn house. The rooms inspired by The Tudors though, are my favorites of this year's bunch. Decorated by Richard Mishaan, Piero Lissoni and Nicoletta Canesi, these rooms are a lighthearted blend of 16th century motifs and twenty first century style and technology. One of my favorite examples is the dining room, which features six traditional side chairs, each one silk screened with one of the six wives of Henry VIII. Note that the chair with Anne Boleyn's image (center) is dripping with what looks like blood.

The dining room is awash in King Henry himself -- but then again, wouldn't an egomaniac like Henry want to be surrounded by his own image?

I love the gilt border on the walls of the sitting room, whose lettering and style are dead ringers for 16th and 17th century decoration still visible in many churches and palaces around England. The spare line drawings above the fireplace recall the Tudor Rose, the heraldic emblem of the Tudor family and a symbol of dynastic unity following the defeat of Richard III by Henry Tudor (Henry VIII's father) in the War of the Roses.

The sitting room is a wonderful blend of Elizabethan and modern. Here, artwork resembling Rose windows hang on one wall. On the floor, the circular motif is continued in the graphic and thoroughly modern rug. A gray sofa with modern lines is juxtaposed with traditional damask pillows.

I love the masculine color combination of gray, gold, black and red that the designers used in the sitting room. While all of these colors might have been seen in the King's quarters at the Palace of Whitehall, they have a fresh and modern feel as well that suites the downtown loft. The nude torsos on the console table are a not-so-subtle nod to Henry's lascivious nature.

Like the dining room, the rooftop terrace features more silk screened images of Henry's ill fated wives. Groupings of white pillar candles recall the candlelight that the Tudor family would have had to rely on for light.

Doesn't this look like a great place to have a party? The view alone (especially at dusk as photographed here) is worth the price of admission. That said though, I love the idea of one giant outdoor sofa for lounging, intimate chats and even a little courtly intrigue.

Be sure to check out the other rooms inspired by Showtime's other shows here and let me know which is your favorite.

Photographs courtesy of Metropolitan Home.

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