Saturday, December 3, 2022 Dec 3, 2022
64° F Dallas, TX

D Home’s Take On The Kips Bay Decorators Show House

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This from Virginia Bauer, D Home‘s former New York editor, with whom I had the pleasure of touring this year’s Kips Bay:

“Last night the 39th Annual Kips Bay Designer Show House closed its understated Neo-Federalist doors. It had a short run — just four weeks. The pedigreed four-story mansion on East 63rd Street hosted a parade of seemingly recession-proof Upper East Siders, curious designers, and aspirational types from the suburbs (but “no strollers please”). Twenty-two interior designers, landscape architects (yes, even in the city), and photographers carved up 16 rooms with varying degrees of success.”

Three rooms — by top tier designers — stood out:

Richard Mishaan's living room was awash with art; chic, tailored furnishings; and gilt accessories. It was gorgeous. What made the room even more memorable was the wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries Ltd. Trellis Pattern #5912 orange stitching criss-crossed on ivory manila hemp. You can't see in this photograph, but the ceiling has a pale peach cast, a brilliant foil for the walls. If you look in the left corner, you'll see the only miss: crystal teardrops cascading from the wall, which in another context might have worked. Here, no. (Photograph courtesy of Laforce+Stevens)

Elegant, yet whimsical touches were found in Celerie Kemble's first floor library. Her starting point was the home's studious 1950s Norfolk Pine paneling which she twisted with Lucite shelving and accessories; a pink tete-a-tete, and an over-the-top (pun intended) gold leaf verre eglomise ceiling. I learned that Lucite shelving can't tolerate weight; it bowed under very little duress. (Photograph courtesy of Laforce+Stevens)
Barbara Ostrom must have gone to the Sistine Chapel as a child. All of her work gives big - really big --play to ceilings. In the Kips Bay guest room, she used a sky motif, which -- along with the mirror -- enlarges the room substantially. The room originally was dark and featureless. She created custom woodworking throughout. It's difficult to see here, but this is a tiny room (at least by Dallas standards) but manages to be welcoming and opulent with a sumptuous canopy bed, a sitting area complete with a fireplace, and a desk. Very European. (Photograph courtesy of Laforce+Stevens)