Kips Bay Show House 2016


There should be a saying: “The 44th show house is the charm,” because baby-cakes, this year’s Kips Bay Show House, the 44th since inception, was fan-tab-u-lous.

As a foreword for those who are not familiar with this annual event, the Kips Bay Show House is the NYC show house “mecca.” Laypeople and professional designers flock there in great numbers to catch a glimpse of the fine work done by both leading and rising design teams. If nothing else, it’s an ideal place for trend spotting and inspiration gathering. Many of this year’s designs came directly from the trends I spotted in Paris last year.

Here for your enjoyment…the KIPS BAY SHOWHOUSE TRENDS & ACCOLADES

TREND #1: Walls & Ceilings Push New Territory

The highly lacquered walls of the last few years nearly vanished, replaced by all manner of wallcoverings: naturals like cork papers and leather upholstered walls; glam soaked walls cleverly covered in mirrors and millwork; a few designers reached to the rich past with elaborate and traditionally inspired mural papers while others splashed their walls in fabric. Grass cloth, a former staple, barely showed itself. And lastly blackboard paint and chalk showed up in one outrageously innovative design.

Lacquering and shine did show itself, but at the ceilings, such a splendid way to alight a city interior. And on this note my dears, we spotted a fabulous new Farrow & Ball product, totally worth checking out: Slipper Satin paint in full gloss. W.O.W. Great look, far less labor intensive than polished plaster or multi-layered lacquering. (PS…Calling the brave suburban client who will go for this yummy device?!? Mmmm!)

For your viewing pleasure…


Here, chalk “millwork” hand-drawn on blackboard paint! This wow was in a sitting room by Garrow Kedigian Interior Design. Drama! But…keep the kids, pets and drunken uncles away.

The ever-bold Jamie Drake, now in a new partnership (Drake/Anderson) pushed millwork one step further by covering every inch of millwork in fabric! Seen here, the crown molding is covered in the same slubbed silk that covers the walls, drapes and corona (the name for the bed’s demi canopy). JAMIE! We have long loved you…and now your partner Mr. Anderson too…

Can’t see it? Look closely at the crown molding and even millwork surrounding the doorway, all meticulously covered in fabric. Thank you to the brave installer who must have hated this painstaking task…Kudos!


Here in this sweetly confident bedroom by Timothy Whealon Interiors, the perfect lavender and green palette and luxurious canopy was perfectly framed by the lavender painted crown molding and handmade wall covering.


Trend #2: Materials: Rustic Glam, Stone, Glass & Metals

Metals in total remained warm and golden, with a continued mix of gold with silver in accessories and fixtures. Continuing on the trend curve is natural stone, so big in Paris’ recent design shows, and seen here in the faux stone painted walls to look like malachite, while the floor tile looks like slivers of just mined stone in a widely spread inlay.


Here’s a wonderful example juxtaposing the rough with the glamorous, shown here in a fireplace surround done in reclaimed woods highlighted with metallic paint.


The glass trend continues for counters and accents. Clive Christianson used Lalique accent panels in their daring kitchen.


Here in the stupdendous powder room by Gil Walsh, notice the sparkly counter top of crushed glass pressed between 2 solid glass sheets; a perfect shimmering foil for the rough and natural cork wall paper.




Another big trend take-away from Kips Bay 2016 is that window coverings are becoming more elaborate. (That thud you just heard was a mass of fainting: Design Clients just deduced that their already ulcer-creating-window-covering-costs just went up.)

Peeps, the simple window treatment on a rod was more the exception than the rule. There were panels hung beneath lambrequins; panels hung beneath wonderful valance tops, and panels with LED lighting imbedded in them (yes!).

Check out the show stopping Italian stringing in these curtains by Alexa Papachristidis Interiors, replete with double contrast velvet piped trim and rosettes. These treatments were stars in an already star-studded dining room and room favorite for me: One half of the oversized room became the intimate dining room while the other side became the dining room lounge, perfect for pre-dinner cocktails and more boozy schmoozing after the meal. (Or after dinner coffee if you’re a lightweight like me!)


Victoria Hagen took window coverings into the 21st century. Their “trim” was imbedded, strung LED lights. In her award winning living room, every custom detail, from the rug to furnishings and lighting was spot on. Our iPhone photos do not do the room justice; the drapery panel lighting didn’t shout as it does in our iphone photos show. Instead it whispered with a glow. Wow.


Special kudos to:

David Collins Studio: This entry foyer was another team favorite. It boasted a colonnade of ceiling high mirrors framed in elaborate slate blue millwork, to include applied moldings on the mirror surface. Their breathtaking rhythm was punctuated by notice-me-red-shade wall sconces and drop-alive-gorgeous marble and onyx floors. (My girlfriend Natalie dislikes the expression “drop dead”…hello Natalie…) This foyer said: Old Money with A New Vibe. Where do I sign?


Last But Not Least….Kati Curtis Design:

Congratulations to up-and-coming designer Kati Curtis, who is fast gaining notoriety. Kati’s sweet spot is the direct opposite of sleekly rhythmic, tailored interiors. This talented designer soars in her preferred mode: a boho cacophony of texture and color, where pattern collides with pattern and detail builds upon detail. Yet miraculously, in the end you shake your head thinking, “how did she make this all work together?” But she does: Perfectly curated, bold and effervescent.


Congratulations to all of the 2016 Kips Bay Show House designers. You are bravely, brilliantly and boldly …2016 design rock stars and we thank you! XOX – d