photos: Nickolas Sargent/Sargent Architectural Photography
One of the things I love most about decorator show houses is the opportunity for unbridled creativity. There's no client to please, no parameters, no "too many cooks in the kitchen scenarios." There are, essentially, no rules... and as a rebellious spirit like myself, this speaks to me!
Truly, it's right there in the name. It's a "show". One that's meant to inspire, entertain, and garner oohs, aahs, and applause. A designer show house is where participating interior designers — a prestigious bunch at that — can let their imaginations soar and really show us what they're made of.
And who doesn't love a feel-good show? I know I do!
Situated in West Palm Beach's Old Northwood Historic District, the Fifth Annual Kips Bay Palm Beach Decorator Show House features twenty-four acclaimed and sought-after interior designers and architects, each of whom is invited to imagine a room or area within the property. Bolstered by sponsorships by big brands like Benjamin Moore, Cosentino, The Shade Store, and JennAir Appliances and others, it's one of the country's leading design events of the year. It's also a major fundraiser for Kips Bay Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, attracting 15K visitors each year. All proceeds benefit the Clubs, which offer innovative after-school and enrichment programs for thousands of youth.
I highly encourage you to visit in-person if you can, but it's only on view for one month. So, if Palm Beach isn't in your iminent itinerary, here's a quick tour:
Craig & Co.'s stunning seashell-encrusted foyer takes a deep dive beneath the waves. Done in teal and turquoise, it features an amazing handpainted octopus mural and eglomise wall panel by MJ Atelier, and an extraordinary gilt chandelier by Eve Kaplan that looks as though it might have been raised from the sunken Titanic.
Peter Pennoyer Architects' hospitable drawing room is appointed with beautiful antiques like the decorative folding screen and delicate bar cart. A restored, downscaled fireplace anchors the space with a warm focal point.
The dramatic bar area by Palm Beach's own Jim Dove — featuring backlit quartzite set against DeGournay's fabulous "Deco Monkeys" wallcovering — boasts all the swank of such "Island" institutions as Ta-boo and The Leopard Lounge.
Paloma Contreras' sunroom, flooded with Florida daylight, is a love song to old Palm Beach. Tailored valances, vintage rattan furnishings upholstered with Schumacher's verdant "Dogwood Leaf" fabric, and trellis-covered walls make a style statement that's very "Colony Hotel" chic.
Beth Diana Smith's wondrous dining room is infused with tribal influences, intentionally mismatched velvet upholstery, thoughtful touches, and an intricate ceiling worth straining your neck muscles to stare at endlessly.
Phillip Gorrivan's Italian Modernism-inspired gathering area is wrapped in Fromental’s breathtaking Bruyère wallpaper. Mauve-dusted Roman shades by The Shade Store, a sculptural lacquered ceiling treatment, and tiger print poufs with incredible "animal magnetism" adorn the luxurious space.
Bakes & Kropp' s kitchen demonstrates how Hamptons style is perfectly at home in Palm Beach. Using a soft hand to pack a powerful punch, it's a calling card for the impeccable craftsmanship and sleek original finishes (accented with satin brass hardware by Armac Martin) within the fine cabinetmaker's capabilities.
Montgomery, Alabama-based interior designer Ashley Gilbreath's master bedroom earns its stripes with hints of nautical and lots of loving attention to detail. A stunning shirred headboard, rich woods, monogrammed linens, and specially commissioned artworks punctuate this exquisite, timeless space.
Adored Nashville-based interior designer Sarah Bartholomew's guest bedroom — tented, tassled, and textured to perfection — adds yet another layer of charm and sophistication to the home.
With spectacular stone and tilework — plus a gorgeous garden of bronze lotus sconces from Currey & Co. stretching the length of the ceiling pretty maids all in a row — makes Boca Raton, Florida-based interior designer Nikki Levy's master bath a gleaming jewel of the home.
San Francisco-based interior designer Noz Nozawa tells a narrative through her design that's a familiar one nowadays: leaving city life behind and relocating to South Florida. Collaborating with contemporary artist James "Sexer" Rodriguez (appropriately, a Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club alumnus), she incorporates one of his evocative graffiti street pieces into her eclectic sitting room design.
Chicago-based interior designer Tiffany Brooks' playful lounge is infused with nostalgia and tropical references. The crafty HGTV star imagined and made the swing bed herself. Very impressive!
Maryline Damour and Mel Jones Jr. of New York's Damour Drake dreamed up this stylish toddler bedroom. With artistic, lofty fabric clouds both affixed to — and suspended from — the ceiling, it's nothing short of heavenly.
Kelly Finley, CEO and Creative Director of Oakland, California's Joy Street Design, brings her signature urban flair to this sultry bedroom. The designer also taps into the metaverse, marking her territory in the guest house with NFTs and digital art.
Houston's Pearl Design Interiors' whimsical patio showcases a chic black & white palette enlivened with pops of pink. The fringe chairs, scalloped umbrella, and fireplace detailing make this storybook space such a delight.
Cabana stripes, Boho parasols, chinoiserie vases, and mod graphic poufs comprise Richmond, Virginia-based interior designer Janie Molster's poolside retreat — an eyecatching reimagining of the pink paradise that is Palm Beach.
The Kips Bay Palm Beach Decorator Show House — located at 3001 Spruce Avenue, West Palm Beach — will be open to the public through April 3, 2022. A 3D virtual video tour is also available.
For further information, visit: kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org