The 47th Kips Bay Decorator Show House is as fantastic as all the previous ones if not more. The crème de la crème of interior designers and landscape designers had applied for one of the 22 spaces to design in the Georgian townhouse in the Upper East Side.
Only 23 out of the 100 or so who apply every year were chosen. The exact number of designers always depends on the house and the location itself. The committee chooses the building typically in early spring and selects the designers afterwards.
The established and new designers then take on the challenge to design the best room or space that they have ever designed before. And as visitors, we are keen to see it all. The Kips Bay Decorator Show House represents the latest trends and movements in the interior design space in North America.
With a good plan to discover the design gems throughout the house, one gets halted in their tracks coming to the staircase. Richard Rabel Interiors + Art designed this foyer based on inspiration from his childhood memories. The result is a dark, rich space with a warm palette of deep blues, greens, gold, and silver that envelope visitors in a ‘dream world’.
Richard co-designed the wallpaper for this unique gallery with MJ Atelier. The seamless piece of hand-modeled gesso and 23K white and yellow gold is a fine interpretation of peacock feathers.
The foyer alludes to more to come. Although one is tempted to just sit and dream, there is so much more to discover in the five-story house that was once inhabited by fairly famous persons.
If last year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House was a haven of opulence and maximalism, this year’s is more lighthearted. The use of the bright, light-filled rooms inspired designers to go lighter and more subtle on the colors and the number of pieces of furniture and objects placed in the room.
Jeff Lincoln Interiors Inc.’s living room stands out. The patterned carpet and the fair-colored wallpaper is a fitting canvas for new designs from contemporary artists. Among them works by Campana Brothers, Rogan Gregory, and Nendo tell their stories. Nendo’s work is currently very hot as he has collaborated with several brands during the recent Milan Design Week.
The Dreaming Room by Vicente Wolf Associates took the classic breakfast area to a new level by replacing the large table with a KOHLER Ceric bathtub. Bringing the bathroom into the breakfast area prolongs the night and dream sphere. Its deep purple complements the green, lush plants and the ensemble of the room is a great study of yin and yang.
The use of deep, saturated blue is an element that is frequently displayed throughout the house. Cullman & Kravis also picked it up in a room that lives from its high ceiling and the round and square elements of the layout. ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ mirrors some of these curves and angles in the decoration and the choice of furniture. Track-stopping are the curved, dark-blue benches the designers used instead of chairs.
The kitchen is apart from the bathroom, the place in the house where we probably spend the most time. Christopher Peacock in homage to his parents designed a functional, yet luxury kitchen with custom cabinetry and a massive island. The dark cabinets are offset by a light-wood parquet floor and the metallic appliances, the gold accessories on handles and decorative skirting of the island. The astonishing piece is the stove backsplash of English flint stones pieces integrated into a subtle, yet eye-catching wall mosaic. KOHLER fittings and Cambria countertops complete the harmony of the warm, comfortable space.
Popping in and out of rooms inevitably leads to the fan-inspired staircase design by Brian Gluckstein and his team. Over four stories, the head-turning spiral staircase received another spin that makes visitors wonder once more if they should just stay there for the rest of the visit. The center chandelier with 4,000 brass cherry blossoms that are each secured with a single crystal is mesmerizing. Although a lot shinier it prompts the memory of the Bangkok Park Hyatt conference space sculpture designed by Yabu Pushelberg and the ‘Bloom’ installation by Pascale Girardin during last year’s Las Vegas HD Expo.
It’s almost impossible to take in all high-end, exceptionally well-designed rooms in one visit, although everyone tries. To take a breather in between immersions of color, patterns, texture, and design inspirations, the gravel-covered garden sculpted by Delaney + Chin is a good spot for a bit of serenity.
Topher Delaney was inspired by the magnolias above the space and engaged the help of Bay area ceramist Jessica Abbott Williams for custom ceramic plates and resin hangings reflecting the delicate, organic forms of the flowers.
Needless to say, that so much more can be discovered at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2019, but for now, let’s conclude the visit at the champagne bar that designer Jim Dove described as the ‘inside of a Fabergé egg’. The designer happily applied rich, lush blue and gold tones for this tiny space that he complemented with the amber, brass colored faucet and Briolette sink. The focal point of the wet bar is the multi-media lightbox showing film stills of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Let us know your favorite room or design detail at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York.
Photos: some photos are courtesy of Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2019. Photo credits where indicated: Nickolas Sargent.