Kips Bay Showhouse 2011

How would you like to accompany time to the KIPS Bay Show house? Actually, if you would some time – that’d be neat! (Shoot me an email and i’ll let be sure to invite you for the 2012 house.!)  Actually- if you are reading this – you just missed the 2011 Kips Bay Show House –  but I’ll let you  “sneak a peek” with me right now for the high lights and the low lights and everything in-between.

Show Take Aways & Trend Spotting
Brass is back baby and is it not apologizing. Unlike the shiney sharp brass notes of the 80s and 90s, this brass is more yellow, more mellow and at times weathered and  antiqued  – yet at others done in a luxurious tone that rivals the color of fine Italian 18 karat gold. There it was. All this rich brass.  On faucets, on chandeliers, on lamps and on on furniture. No longer the “out of date left over” child,  the 2011 KIPS Bay designers sprinkled it about to great affect and the result was a warm, subtle richness. (Are you listening all of my oil-rubbed-bronzy, brushed nickel sweethearts out there?”)

Color, with the exception of a few rooms and designers, remains the seasoning and side dish, not the main event in the decor story. That said, bold color choices showed up in the upbeat pink bedroom done by Amanda Disbet Designs. There was also a boudoir done in french blue and scads of fabric by Barbara Ostrom, which was a yummy, girls only, whipped merangue puff.   Hard to live in day-in-day-out given the small room’s proportion and the profusion of fabric and furnishings placed in it by the oh-so-talented Ms. Ostrom.  But hey, this is a show house, not a home house…if you get my drift. Part of the fun of doing a design show house is the ability to flex a design muscle or four.  In fact, almost all of the KIPS Bay designers flexed their muscles with great prowess and provided a happy concert for us all, most of them working amidst a sea of rich neutrals like gray, charcoal, toast, vanilla and so forth.  Shape reigned supreme above color in these interiors – and reign it did.

Special Kudos

Hands down for me were Matthew Patrick’s Smyth’s drapery wrapped dining room. It was a stunner – and I was unable to get a photo, alas!  I asked the designer if I could evesdrop on this conversation with two of his colleagues (i’d make a terrible spy!) and he agreed because, I’m nice.   It seems that the show house came with the stipulation that the dining room’s custom mural wall paper could not be disturbed or altered.  And so,  Mr. Smyth chose to wrap the intensely muraled walls in cream drapery banded in a slim gray stripe.  Hung in the corners and wafting mid way through each wall, the banded curtains elegantly revealed a repetative a peek-a-boo-view of the fine wallpaper in breathtaking rhythmic succession.   In effect Mr. Smyth updated and framed those mural scenes. Gutsy and great!

Upper and lower gardens were not only outstandingly well done, but they were in perfect respect to the spaces themselves.  Take a look at this one view of the upper landscaped terrace by Gunn Landscape.  The photo barely does the whole terrace justice, but beautifully demonstrates the proper and well heeded respect for the proportion of the space.  Somebody!  Slather me with SPF and don’t feed the sheep.

It’s the little things:

  • Loved the nail heads used in the custom carpet and stair runnere in the foyer. So smart looking. Note to self…
  • Loved this “necessity is the mother of invention” clever twist used in the space-pressed master bath. Check out this towel bar crafted in the corner – a custom sink made from stone with a built in towel rack.  Why didn’t I think of that?

In total, this years Kips Bay Show House did not capture in full quite the same way as last year’s house did.  But the high notes were high and the bright notes were bright. Congratulations to my wonderfully talented colleagues who braved the deadlines and the expense in order to design  – both for our pleasure and for a great cause – the 2011 Kips Bay Show House.