(Image credit: @kbshowhouse)
For the first time in three years, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House returned to New York, with thousands of interior design enthusiasts flocking to see the work of twenty two of the most celebrated interior designers from around the world. The first Kips Bay Decorator Show House was produced in 1973 by patrons of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls club to raise funds for after-school enrichment programs for the children of New York City. Since then, the event has become an annual affair, marking one of the premier interior design industry events of the year and a showcase of what is considered to be some of the most inventive designs of the moment.
As the Kips Bay Decorator Show House has become an institution over the course of its 50 years of existence, a Palm Beach, FL, and Dallas, TX, version were launched in 2017 and 2020, respectively. For an in-depth explanation of interior design show houses, read our two-part series on what show houses are and a follow up post on how to use them to boost your interior design business.
This year, the New York Show House, which was open from May 11-June 6, was located at 377 Riverside Drive at 106th Street, a beautiful beaux arts townhouse built in 1902. The historic mansion sits across from Riverside Park, the strip of plush greenery that separates the built environment of the city from the Hudson River. With a facade adorned with landscaping by Janice Parker Landscape Architects, the townhouse itself is five stories, all connected by a central staircase. With twenty two separately designed spaces, all a delightful sensory experience on their own, choosing ten favorites was no easy task. In fact, I encourage you to explore the house further to find your own.
With that said, here are our top 10 favorite spaces from the 2023 Kips Bay Decorator Show House New York:
Foyer and Powder Room by Yellow House Architects
Upon passing through the threshold of the stately brownstone, I was greeted by an entry lobby both dramatic and moody, yet playfully inviting. The millwork, painted back and adorned with wavy black glass paneling, and the gilded ceiling are offset by the organic forms of the chandelier and wood furniture. The adjoining powder room is covered entirely in fabric that features a continuous floral print that is abstractly chinoiserie. When the powder room door opens, the juxtaposing aesthetics fit together like puzzle pieces.
First Floor Parlor by David Scott Interiors
Directly off of the foyer is a formal parlor by David Scott Interiors that has a neutral color palette but many layers of texture and style, rendering a subtle depth that reveals itself the longer you linger. The heavy window treatments and soft, warm lighting create a relaxing atmosphere, while the seating composition, spare and comfortably spaced, make it feel like a place for quiet solitude.
Staircase and Den by Halden Interiors
Ascending from the Main Stair Hall to the second floor, I am immediately immersed in another world, a green field of white flowers painted with a painstaking hand on richly textured woven fabric, illuminated by large, hanging murano glass lights. The stairs open up into a grand room where the wall and floor coverings are continued, all by Halden Interiors. The sheer scale and cohesion of the experience made it one of the most defining designer contributions to the entire house.
Parlor by Ghislaine Viñas
Ghislaine Viñas showed her talent for championing the handicraft of the artisan. She covered the walls with custom plaid wallpaper further adorned by felted murals that layer atop a large scale print plaid wallpaper. The furniture features unconventional shapes. The crumpled paper aesthetic of the two large pendant lights tie many bold shapes and colors together by giving off an air of informality.
Catering Kitchen and Elevator Bank by Lillian Wu Studio
Also branching off of the green Halden Interiors designed den is a jewel box of a catering kitchen by Lillian Wu, who also did a masterful job transitioning the two spaces with her design for the elevator bank separating them. The paneling in the millwork is decorated with wallpaper that shows scenes of a forest drawn in blue and white.
Library by Jay Jeffers
Dining Room and Lounge by Georgis & Mirgorodsky
I could have studied the dining room and adjoining lounge by Georgis & Mirgorodsky for hours as there were so many interesting details in every square inch. They used silk, mohair, and cowhide to create a thick, rich atmosphere. The furniture featured inlay and the patterns on wall and floor coverings reflected an aesthetic of where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Middle East.
Bedroom by Mary McDonald Inc.
Mary McDonald is a master of layering patterns and interpreting the traditional style in an individualist way that makes it impossible to pinpoint the era of her work. Her bedroom design makes impressive use of the relatively modest sized room, fitting in three distinct functions: work, social, and sleep- neatly delineated by different fabrics.
Primary Bedroom and Hallway by Sasha Bikoff Interior Design
Sasha Bikoff kicked off her mega career with her contribution to the last New York iteration of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, back in 2020. Transforming the staircase into a 1980’s Memphis themed playland earned Sasha critical acclaim around the world, and her follow up in this year’s edition did not disappoint. The pastel, pearlescent color scheme was dreamy and the clamshell bed and accompanying pirate ship pendant light were delightfully subversive in what would be considered the primary bedroom of the townhouse.
Kitchen by Wesley Moon, Inc.
The custom details of Wesley Moon’s kitchen were breathtaking, from the finely detailed and finished cabinetry down to the plaster moldings that anchor the space like bookends from the Presidential library. The expanded palette for the adjoining casual dining nook helps differentiate the space and bring some electricity to the tableau.
Visiting an interior design show house is an invigorating experience for anyone interested in design and architecture, regardless of whether or not you work in the industry. As the original interior design Show House, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House New York will forever be a hallmark of the world of interior design.
The event is typically held in May through early June, so be sure to plan a visit for the 2024 edition next year. We can’t wait to see what’s next!