Kips Bay Decorator Show House

07 Oct Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Show me the money!
and indeed they did. If searching for evidence of America’s financial woes, this is not the place to be looking.

New York’s annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House, which showcases a splattering of the very best designers in a wandering address each year, was one of the best shows yet. This year saw the iconic Villard Houses, now part of the New York Palace property, home for the 2014 show.

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Designers are each given a room or other habitable space, a blank canvas and six weeks in which to fill it. But this is not a reality TV show, pitting decorator against decorator. The prestige of being invited is only the beginning – reputations are on the line. To say the stakes are high would do the Kips Bay Decorator Show House a supreme injustice. You can read about the designers in the official press release. Source: Matthew Quinn

Decadent, whimsical and indulgent

The finishes are decadent in a way that you just want to touch it, feel it, smell it, immerse yourself in it, all while sipping a Vodka Martini.

Bravo’s ‘million dollar decorator’ Martyn Lawrence Bullard with a
wildly-marbled paper from his line for Schumacher.

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The interiors are whimsical fantasy; an indulgent excess with such stratospheric price tags that one can’t help thinking it does not smoothly translate to Australia’s more subdued lifestyle and disdain for largesse – alas, how I wish it would.

In addition to that fireplace (below) by Ron Arad, a colossal structure made from a whorl of steel rods costing more than $1 million, Atlanta based kitchen designer Matthew Quinn, created a kitchen ensemble that would retail for somewhere upwards of $400,000. Then there are seven or so pieces in John Douglas Eason’s grand stairwell – insured for a cool one million, and Christopher Peacock’s 15-by-10-foot ‘Lady Penelope’ dressing room that would run up a price tag of $60,000 – and that’s without the Pucci accessories that adorned the shelves and dresses in the closet. Gorgeous darling, simply g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s!

Ron Arad’s one-of-a-kind fireplace surround, a giant’s thumbprint of polished steel rods,
in Ingrao Inc.’s room, which will find a new home in Aspen at the end of the show.

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Old school decorating was on show in all its splendor and so too were the designers that tended to every last detail. Each designer, only too happy to talk through their respective master pieces, which for me, was a highlight.

Below are some of the key rooms that were a stand-out for me. I encourage you to watch this short You Tube video for a walk around the house and a chat with some of the designers.

Sheer Scale

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It’s hard to depict with pictures just how big the rooms actually are. A vintage shoulder-mount zebra seems almost delicate in scale in William T. Georgis’ room before you realise it’s hanging more than a metre above a towering secretary, with more than a two metres above it and, that it is a full quarter of a zebra.

The front parlor

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The blood-red front parlor that the architect William T. Georgis had imagined, wickedly, as a retreat for Cardinal Spellman, the ambitious and controversial archbishop, Vietnam War booster and pal of Roy Cohn who died in 1967. A fitting inspiration since St Patrick’s Cathedral is visible from many of its windows.

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In John Eason’s grand stairwell, a Thomas Struth photograph seems modestly scaled despite its almost three metre height.

Eason tells me as we meet on the stairs, it is a photograph of the inside of a nuclear core reactor. Wow, just wow!

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Lady Penelope’s Dressing Room by Christopher Peacock

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Inspired by FAB 1 – the pink six-wheeled Rolls Royce as seen in the 60’s British Sci-Fi TV series, Thunderbirds, is ‘Lady Penelope’s Dressing Room’ by Christopher Peacock.  I can just see International Rescue’s London Agent, Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward in this very space.

The finishes are breathtakingly perfect. The ultimate extraganza has to be the custom 24k gold hammered hardware which was not only a visual treat, but a sensory one. These are the details that elevates glamourous luxurious.

It seems too, I am in a Pucci period: two days prior, a friend insists I purchase a Pucci classic in Sydney, prior to departing for New York.

Two weeks later, an invitation by Peacock Home to the Kips Bay closing party with more Emilio Pucci. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Matthew Quinn’s grand kitchen and butler’s pantry

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A sample of Matthew Quinn’s grand kitchen and butler’s pantry, complete with Silestone benches in a suede finish (that actually feelslike suede), his and her corner sinks and those pretty amazing Luna Globes by Downtown at Profiles.

The mobile timber breakfast bar by Grothouse Lumber Company, is on hidden casters, though frankly, this is meager in a room full of off-the-chart features.

Upstairs and down, and in spite of the unique points of view of the 22 designers, it’s as if it were all commissioned by some staggeringly wealthy, young-ish über-power couple, where one of the two is art-driven and slightly minimalist, the other a bit more Old World and layered – both moneyed and daring, if not slightly eccentric. Though multi-faceted, it all seems remarkably planned and a visual treat.

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House runs annually in the spring in New York City. For a complete range of images see the North Shore Interior’s dedicated Pinterest Board or enjoy the official images show below.

William T Georgis

See more at the William T Georgis website.

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Ingrao Inc.

See more at the Ingrao Inc. website.

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Villalobos Desio

See more at the Villalobos Desio.

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Juan Montoya

See more at the Juan Montoya website.

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Young Huh

See more at the Young Huh website.

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Gideon Mendelson

See more at the Gideon Mendelson website.

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Kirsten Kelli

See more at the Kirsten Kelli website.

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Darryl Carter

See more at the Darryl Carter website.

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Markham Roberts

See more at the Markham Roberts website.

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ODADA

See more at the ODADA website.

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Alexa Hampton

See more at the Alexa Hampton website.

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Edward Lobrano

See more at the Robin Sacks website.

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Robin Sacks

See more at the Robin Sacks website.

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Span Architecture

See more at the Span Architecture website.

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Vincente Wolf

See more at the Vincente Wolf website.

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Meyer Davis Studio

See more at the Meyer Davis Studio website.

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Carrier and Company

See more at the Carrier and Company Interiors website.

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Cullman & Kravis

See more at the Cullman & Kravis website.

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John Douglas Easton

See more at the John Douglas Easton website.

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Photography: A mix by Ask Patrick’s Patrick J Hamilton, The English Room’s Holly Hollingsworth Phillips, and Kips Bay Decorator Show House’s own official images.

About Linda Delaney and North Shore Interiors

Linda Delaney is the owner and manager of North Shore Interiors, a company that provides interior design, decorating, styling and project management services to Sydney’s lower north shore and greater Sydney metropolitan area.

Linda has been seen in Habitus, Inside Out, Grand Designs Australia and Money magazines. She is also a regular contributor for leading Australian interior design publications, Home Design and the annual Design & Decoration. Watch out for more of Linda’s work featured in the media.

Contact Linda at  Linda@nsinteriors.com.au or on 0432 716 558.

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