My Favorite Things from the Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2018

Well better late than never! I've been wanting to share my Kips Bay Show House tour with you since forever, but have been side tracked with my full-time job-- what a pesky little nuisance it's been (not the helping people part, the amount of time it takes from my day part). Thankfully I'm planning to go part-time in the fall, and should have more opportunities to do things for Trulery, like keep up with the blog, see consulting clients, teach, and do research on dress and emotional functioning. I'm really excited about getting the chance to do  different things so I'll keep you posted. But back to the Kips Bay! This year I went back with my friend Maribel fully expecting to see fun, quirky, and chic designs I can steal. I brought my camera this time, but of course neglected to take my wide angle lens, making it kind of difficult to capture full rooms or wider spaces. So instead of featuring full rooms, I've captured favorite aspects of rooms I really like-- which is what I'm usually drawn to anyway when I go to show houses. I look forward to taking bits and pieces of rooms I can store and use in my own space.

This year's show house was beautiful-- a 19th century Upper East side mansion originally designed by August Hatfield in the neo-Grec style (think stately Brooklyn brownstones with simple lines and incised, carved ornamentation). This year there were lots of lady-like spaces with Chineoiserie, mixed in with edgy, alluring, and colorful interiors. Here are some of the spaces that caught my eye.

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This room, simply entitled "Bedroom" was designed by Katie Ridder. It feels sweet and inviting with it's bohemian mix of prints, textures and styles. I really appreciated the stenciling on the walls. It didn't feel hokey, and was a crafty way to add visual interest to the top part of the room, which kept it from being too bottom heavy.

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Here is the other side Ridder's room. It's modern, fancy, and proper with the mirrored wall making the space feel more expansive and dramatic. The abstract, modern artwork ties in all the colors nicely.

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There was a lot going on in this room and I found it quiet enjoyable (I'm kind of a maximalist although I try not to be). This room, "Cherry Bitters", designed by David Netto, has a mix of modern, mid-century, and ornate furnishings with white wrapped books for a strong architectural statement.  I'm not exactly sure what the name Cherry Bitters is referring to but the cherry wood walls make the white and bits of color stand out for an overall modern statement.

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This little corner of Phillip Mitchell's room, "Drawing Room", was just one of the cozy nooks in this room. The elaborate picture frame with the cheeky picture, the rattan with floral printed cushions, the wall of art, and the moldings all create a space that feels both upscale and relaxed at the same time.

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Designer, Brian Del Toro calls this "Laura's Room." And I don't know who Laura is but I can imagine Laura living here. This traditional Chinoiserie room with it's recognizable bird, floral motif is offset with modern, graphic lines like the scalloped tufting of the headboard, angular side table, and boldly shaped chandelier.


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All the pretty extends to the other side of Del Toro's room. This must be where Laura gets gussied up for her date with... Tod (?). 

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"Olympia Folly" is the name of this room designed by Alexa Hampton, and it pretty much describes the essence of the room. The room draws from the classical period (think Greek and Rome architecture during BC or the early centuries) and brings it into the 21st century. I like the  pairing of orange and red, and the mural wall covering.

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Sasha Bikoff's "Stairway to Heaven" hallway was a showstopper. I'm only sorry I didn't have my wide angle lens to capture it more fully for you. But as you can see it's a smorgasbord for the senses. She incorporated black and white artwork of hip hop artists on the walls giving it an edgy, party-like-a-rock star feel.

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I dig these chairs, and together with the waterfall mirror, they capture the ultra modern, fantasy vibe of the hallway. 

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I really loved this "Look of the Day" dressing room by Marcia Tucker. The muted colors, cushy padded walls, feminine details, clean lines, and bold lighting did it for me. Just goes to show a chic dressing room doesn't have to be decked out with glitzy, glammy furnishings and stand out colors.

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This rainbow ceiling in Barbara Ostrom's "Art and Ala Carte" room is so ooh-aah, and pleasantly unexpected in this grand, first lady style space. 

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This is the entryway to the show house, and I loved the mural against the black and white fabric. I actually planned to put a black and white forest motif mural in my dining room, but after seeing this colored one, it's changed my mind about colored murals. 

What part of the show house do you like the most?

Highlights from Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2017

Hi There! A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House for the first time. I made it to the show house last year but couldn't go in because I had my baby with me (no kids under 6 admitted). I'm sure you can imagine the frustration of getting all the way there only to be turned away. So I was even more determined to go this year, and went with my friend Maribel. This year the event was held in a 1905 Upper East Side mansion that just happens to be on sale for a modest $26,800,000! (no biggie) It was an absolutely beautiful home with a winding staircase, elevator, and 12 feet high ceilings. Here are some of the highlights captured by my premium iPhone 6 (unfortunately, I left my camera).

This room was designed by Nick Olsen of Nick Olsen Inc. and I loved his bold mix of patterns,  textures, and styles. It's as if someone just effortlessly threw a bunch of stuff from different decades together and it works. Oh, and that wood veneer wallcovering?! It made me want to go to a tile store and start putting up floor tile on my walls. It's such a creative alternative to wallpaper or paint. 

I adored this room by Billy Cotton with its luxurious fabrics and moody vibe. Word has it that (and I may be botching this up a bit) the room was inspired by a heartwarming story involving a fashion designer and a elderly woman.  The fashion designer became fond of an elderly homeless lady nearing the end of her life and decided to put together a room for her using all the old fabrics and trinkets she acquired throughout her lifetime. I loved the story and could really envision this bedroom belonging to an elderly woman who lived her life to the fullest, and had the remnants of beautiful fabrics to show for it. 

This black marble bathroom by Scarpidis Design is everything. Its so luxurious, and I love that they accessorized it with cactus plants. It gives the bathroom a slightly bohemian vibe and makes the full-on glamour space feel accessible. 

This is one of the hallways in the home. I've been looking for a settee like this with its feminine lines and luscious velvet texture, for some time. It feels like something that could be from the 80's or from the 30's, and I could see it in a bedroom with a stack of books next to it like so, to keep it from looking too precious. 

This room designed by Neal Beckstedt of Neal Beckstedt Studio, had a modern worldly vibe to it. It feels like the home of someone who has traveled, and each piece is a stand-out. 

Duo design team KristenKelli put together this room packed with pops of color and patterns. I imagined this being the home of a really tanned Miami couple who loves to party.

This room by Ken Fulk was just about my favorite, and it comes complete with a full back story. The theme of the room is M'adame's Magical Menagerie; and as the story goes, the lady of the house, Madam F., outlived three husbands and is known for putting on colorful dinner parties. She lives in a well-appointed home with a lovely garden and has a growing secret collection of wayward zoo animals in her garden. There are fully fletched out secondary characters like Mikhail, the butler who believes in doing things the right way; and even the animals have names and traits like Frances, the unforgiving elephant, and Genevieve, the languorous leopard. Don't you just love when a room is inspired by an elaborate story? It really helps to make the room come alive and in this case, feel magical. See more pics of this room below.

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This double width staircase makes the space feel so grand, and that decorative wall? It's hand   painted.

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The delux basement was kept dark, moody, and upscale with it's sumptuous fabrics, and gold and black marble finishes (see below). It's perfect for a Great Gatsby style party. 

And I leave you with this striped ceramic parrot. Its a cool way to update a traditional accent, don't you think? All in all, I really loved all the patterns and textures in this home and felt inspired to incorporate some of it in my own home like the leopard print wall-to-wall carpeting or black marble. What inspired you the most about the show house this year?