This year marks the 46th iteration of The Kips Bay Decorator Show House, a month-long event for which designers do their best work in the interest of a good cause. Now open to the public at 110 East 76th Street in New York City, the show house features rooms by such design notables as Mark D. Sikes, Alexa Hampton, and Alessandra Branca, with proceeds from ticket sales benefiting the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.
Can’t make it to NYC? Don’t worry. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite rooms below.
Hand-painted Gracie wallpaper envelopes this dreamy boudoir by Mark D. Sikes. Inspired by Sleeping Beauty, the room walks the line between tradition and glamour with a mix of antiques once owned by the likes of C.Z. Guest and Bunny Mellon, textiles from Mark’s own fabric line with Schumacher (stripes, blue velvet), and an English dhurrie rug.
Alexa Hampton dubbed her room the “Olympia Folly.” The designer’s appreciation of neoclassicism is on full display with trompe l’oeil tented walls, photographs of Greek architecture, and a tailored compilation of antiques and patterns ranging from paisley to Le Tigre.
“Art and à la carte,” says Barbara Ostrom when asked about her salon-style space. Envisioning it as a place of refuge for a pair of avid art collectors, she included works by John Mellencamp alongside cases filled with first-edition tomes and a Han Dynasty horse. Oh, and the ceiling? Frank Stella prints refashioned as wallpaper. Peachy walls glossed to perfection yield divine complexions for all who enter.
Rome-born designer Alessandra Branca has long created spaces that combine classic beauty with everyday comfort, and her Kips Bay bedroom is no exception. The sunshine-infused palette of yellow, gold, and blue fashions a serene atmosphere. Old World touches such as a sculptural gold console were paired with such contemporary anchors as an acrylic-and-brass four-poster bed.
A surreal stairway aptly reflects designer Sasha Bikoff’s creative genius. Nods to the Memphis Group abound with walls covered in zigzags, squiggles, and triangles, while a seemingly endless carpet transports the mind to Alice’s Wonderland.
“Laura’s Bedroom” by Brian del Toro began with a hand-painted Robert Chowder screen from the 1960s and blossomed into a tranquil setting with an arcadian twist. Shagreen nightstands, a midcentury mahogany desk chair, and shades of fern green result in a boudoir primed for morning and evening routines.
Parisian romance meets New York sophistication in this living room by show-house chair Bunny Williams. Oak paneling flecked with gold picks up on the shimmer of a silk rug and Louis XV chairs dressed in Fortuny. As to inspiration, it wasn’t a pied-à-terre or a Park Avenue penthouse that came to Bunny’s mind, but a treehouse—“one where you can look at the sky through gilded leaves and watch a spider make a giant cobweb,” she says.
When dreaming up a room for those with good taste, David Netto looked to the work of his own design idols. Mario Buatta, Albert Hadley, and Ellsworth Kelly are just a few whose influence was felt in some shape or form. The glossy tortoiseshell walls, in fact, were inspired by one of Buatta’s circa-1980 Kips Bay rooms, which featured lacquered red walls and molding.
A vignette in a guest room by Katie Ridder speaks to the designer’s take on a place of solace within the confines of a city. Here, a curvilinear settee with a wavelike effect is anchored by an Oushak rug locked in elegant conversation with the room’s many pinks and reds.
A sculptural light from Semeur d’Étoiles reads like a string of pearls in this dressing room by Marcia Tucker. Casually stacked books on style and a pair of Chanel pumps give guests a clear idea of the woman in Tucker’s design vision.
“A room should be filled with things you love,” says Philip Mitchell in discussing his drawing-room design. Packed with collections of things old and new—art by today’s darlings and yesterday’s masters; shelves lined with far-flung treasures; vintage textiles on fresh upholstery—the space evokes a person with an eye for beauty and a magpie mind.