Furniture & Decorative Arts

Kips Bay Decorator Show House

The annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House is one of New York’s most anticipated design-related events. Top designers transform a luxury Manhattan home into an inspiring exhibition of elegant interiors, fine furnishings, art and technology. The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club launched the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in 1973 to raise critical funds for much needed after school and enrichment programs for New York City children.

Entering the 2017 Show House, the foyer by Powell and Bonnell is a bold, contemporary statement that has nevertheless taken its clues from subtle architectural details of the 1905 Georgian townhouse. The space is focused on an octagonal enameled metal mirror echoed by the plaster hanging light fixtures.

Richard Mishaan’s parlor room evokes a sophisticated Venetian salon with influences from the east. The wallcovering, which at first glance appears to be a silk textile, is rather a printed wallpaper based on a Syrian hand-painted room from the early 17th century. Equally impressive is a large Serapi carpet from the late 19th century, woven in colors including deep blue and cream on a rust-red field.

In the drawing room, Robert A.M. Stern Architects chose to maintain the original dark wood paneling, contrasted by a wall of chartreuse-yellow Venetian plaster. A major dose of color is provided by the Andy Warhol hot-pink cow wallpaper, salvaged from Stern’s own 1960’s-era apartment.

The lyrical wallcovering in the second floor hall by SAVAGE Interior Design of Nashville recalls the mid-20th century. Fanciful animals and foliage were painstakingly applied in plaster through a pastry piping bag creating a raised design on a dark background.

The upper stairwell is updated by a textured wallcovering mimicking structural concrete. This genius touch of trompe l’oeil by Scarpidis Design appears in places to be snake skin – a luxury material.

A richly eclectic room by Nick Olsen Inc. surrounds 18th through 20th century style furnishings in a Jean Michel Frank style patterned wood veneer wall covering. This subtle geometry is complemented and contrasted by Kuba cloth, chintz, velvet, a pietra dura table top and a 20th century tapestry by Lurçat.

A bedroom by Billy Cotton includes a custom Macassar ebony patterned tester bed on a leopard patterned carpet – perhaps a nod to Madeleine Castaing. In the corner by a portable record player is Brooke Astor’s red telephone stand by Maison Jansen.

Dineen Architecture + Design combines creamy furnishings and finishes in a masterful Bedroom. A subtle custom painted wall treatment and a multitude of finely realized furniture and decorations keeps your interest while still being a restful cocoon. I didn’t want to leave.

The 45th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House

The 2017 Show House runs from May 2 through June 1, 2017. It is located at 125 East 65th Street, between Park & Lexington Avenues, on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

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Portrait of specialist David A.  Gallager
SVP/Executive Director, Furniture & Decorations
Furniture & Decorative Arts
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