2020 Design Trends from the Kips Bay Show House: Part 2

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Last post we shared some of the interior design trends we spotted at the Kips Bay Show House in Manhattan. Here’s more of what we saw:


Rugs were a custom story everywhere and were often part of the eye candy of the room, to include a few wonderful round rugs and truly to-die-for stair runners.

Sisals, though present, were not the biggest story. The “rug as art” was ever-present, all in support of the modern, fresh palettes and themes.

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In keeping with current  interior design trends, there was a true range of casegoods seen at this year’s show house. From gilded golden and silver finishes in sleek modern shapes on sideboards, media cabinets or accent tables to the mid-tone stained pieces, shapes, for the most part, were clean and simple.

As in last year’s Kips Bay house, the occasional antique accent piece showed itself, amidst a seat of modern or at least transitional shaped.

The occasional limed wood piece showed itself, but it was no longer the main story.


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Upholstered shapes continue to bend into kidneys, or curl into channel tufting, with a fair amount of horizontal channel tufting showing itself – including a channel tufted kidney.

Tufting overall remains in good form (thank the design gods.) Upholstered textures range from mohairs and velvets to clean workhorse fabrics to the look of lambswool shorn right off the lamb in the field.

Clean, simple, straight lines remain important in upholstery as well, so the track arm and tuxedo arm remain classic stories. The wing chair modernizes into straighter lines with some designers as well, but absent is the sock arm and rolled arm.

Mid-century modern and 60’s retro remains the most substantial push for interior design trends.


Window treatments shapes remained clean and streamlined, thankfully, with only one designer trying still to bring back the swag and jabot.

Embellishment on the treatments remains a strong push for the Kips designers; from stunning leading edges that had silk velvets, to appliques to embroidery.

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Trims, called passementerie, such as tassel trims,  and tapes, could also be seen on treatments here and there. Romans and shades still live on, and pattern is also showing itself at the window as well.


Treated and Embellished Walls

Designers were pushing the white wall into new territory with the addition of millwork crowns and bases that were flattened and modernized. However, the most exciting push was the occasional scalloped plasterwork that dominated the entire whitened wall. Truly exciting.

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Wallpapers were rarely the simple applied grass cloth paper – unless it was at the back of a bookcase and even there, it had some patterned nuance to it.

Most exciting were the hand-painted papers and wall treatments that were heavily dimensional, built up like award-winning frosting.

Fireplace Surrounds as Eye Candy

Gone were the traditionally treated fireplace surrounds and mantels.

We spied built up marbles, unusually inlaid marbles as well as grand floor to ceiling marble sweeps. Some fireplace surrounds likes like works of art themselves with layer and layers of paint and varnish, but always with clean, rectilinear forms.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Kips Bay Design Show House – kudos to all of the incredible designers.

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*Professional photography by Nickolas Sargent & Marco Ricca

Did you miss Part 1?