Friday, May 3, 2019

A Glamorous Peek Inside Kips Bay Decorator Show House

The annual rite of spring premiered yesterday.

The 47th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House hits it out of the park this year. Nearly two dozen designers, along with their teams of architects, artisans, and makers have created a dreamscape of luxury, sophistication, whimsy, and inspired design.

While I’ll provide a more detailed overview in the next post -- need time to organize this blockbuster of visual art - I want to very much encourage you to take a sneak peek here - and then get your tickets; get to the show. You will spend a delightful time exploring, discovering, later shopping and -- it’s all for a good cause: The Boys and Girls Club. What could be better? Maybe sitting in the show house’s fabulous “Magnolia Garden.”

L-R: Designer Britt Zunino, Roanne, & Linn - the girl who grew up in the showhouse!
First, a bit of context: The Gold Coast, upper East Side New York City townhouse boasts 19 rooms, 8-11 bedrooms, 10 fireplaces, ceilings up to 17 feet, 6 levels and that garden spans all 40 feet of the mansion. Once owned by the likes of the Whitneys, the Paleys. It was therefore kismet to have met Linn Howard who grew up in the house. (Ms. Howard was touring the show house with a friend of mine.)
We met at the sophisticated design of Britt Zunino, who along with her husband and their Studio DB created a lush, green space, highlighted by exotic, rare animals. Which is a very good place to start this visual tour.

The pool-table green there was accented with a deGourney silverish, shimmery wallpaper with kicking zebra and crouching black panther, first used by Elsie De Wolfe. The image of Marlene Dietrich fronting the Hollywood wall image is perched on the curved, custom-made bar cum vanity, lined with faux fur that Britt created.

The green runner is pure animal attraction:

Marble molding, a black Kohler pedestal tub and custom marble bathroom offer a rich, sexy look.

Speaking of Hollywood - the stairway to heaven undulates through the floors, featuring a jaw-dropping gold chandelier,

stunning wall treatments,
And rugs.

Brace yourself for the riotous dynamic design from Young Huh interior design - from the “fifth wall” to the curiosity table - there’s a lot going one. I love the organic fiddle leaf fig wall look.

You can cool off in this serene Paris-salon inspired room designed by Robert Passal
   Check out the very cool TV in the mirrored wall above a lavender marble fireplace.

Or this very serene lady’s room - as in an office and retreat.
Look at this floral chandelier!

A gold-flecked fireplace - stocked with a bar! Why didn’t I think of that?!

Another fireplace idea I’m going to steal is to use crystals in the off-season fireplace. Here, designer Jennifer Cohler Mason featured amethyst - that of course, complemented her very subdued yet rich in the details of texture and color. It’s all in the details. I loved the jewel tones of the pillows that line the custom window seat.

Mason’s eye for the details creates a nuanced story that you can’t take your eyes off of.
Her use of a saffron or mustard colored sofa - one that is an electric mustard color - was seen in a few of the rooms. It marries so well with the jewel-tones of sapphire, amethyst, pink, and apple green.

Charlotte Moss’ bedroom and sitting area is exotic; filled with pattern, and a palette of soft, dreamy colors. The design was sparked by the shade of periwinkle and the palampore fabric she discovered on Instagram. I love it on the bonacina chairs that embrace the antique bamboo table.

A tour de force is the Cullman & Kravis Associates dining room.

You have got to see it to believe it. The blue and gold; the handcrafted porcelain wall installation on the triple-glazed walls shimmer like gold buttons accessorizing the room, the round rug that “mirrors” or nods to the custom ceiling geometry;
gold credenzas, semi-circle velvet dining “chairs” -- it all leaves you weepy with a kind of Stendhal Syndrome. In a good way.

I loved, loved, loved this room by Corey Damen Jenkins - who is as charming and sophisticated as his room design.

Same goes for Paloma Contreras  I adore that apple green.

This spa room was a delightful surprise: see more of that vibrant, jewel tone coloring.
A great runner rug idea is the meandering green “grass” - that leads you to -- what else -- the garden!

The “Magnolia Garden” is designed by Delaney & Chin - a garden design associate is the icon, Topher Delaney. It was so nice to chat up our mutual acquaintances - and of course, her and partner Calvin Chin’s immersive garden design. A bit of Alice’s looking glass here: giant, striped, custom-made planters and intimate seating that are built into the raised bed and wall… Striped gravel in the garden beds. Topher’s gas “fireplace,” two fountains made from repurposed truck parts, and Tyvak draped walls.

Plants include magnolias, succulents -- giant air plants dot the porch railing!-- and citrus. I also love those fun-house “mirrors.”

Don’t miss the pooch palace near the front door. It’s so whimsical with a well-thought out story, designed by rGraves & Co + Pintura Studio.


Pooch with a Pearl!

So when I left the show, I couldn’t help but smile seeing these Gotham pooch pals out for their walk...

Get your tickets to the 47th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House, New York. The show is open May 2 through May 30th, 11 am to 7:30 pm. 

It’s all so glamorous.

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