If, like us, you wait with bated breath for the perennial enchantment that is Kips Bay Decorator Show House, we have fantastic news for you: now in its 47th year, the Show House is back—and better than ever.
Sprawling over two conjoined townhouses at 36-38 E. 74th St., the Show House—which, each year, invites a roster of the foremost décor talents to outfit different rooms, stairwells, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces of a vacant townhouse carte blanche—donates all proceeds (in the form of ticket sales) to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.
This year, 23 interior and architectural designers refurbished the house’s 12,425 square feet in a pastiche of styles, ranging from le goût Rothschild to understatedly feminine. (And, by the way, the the six-story house—complete with an elevator and a dramatic spiral staircase situated below a skylight—is currently listed for just under $30,000,000, should you be in the market!)
The Show House often skews flamboyant—which is partly what makes it so joyful to experience. This iteration followed suit. With delights abounding around every corner, it’s nearly impossible to play favorites.
But this year, among the most resonant rooms were two unconventional spaces that enchantingly caught us off-guard.
Starting from the bottom—blue-print wise—Sheila Bridges Design, Inc.’s “garden floor”-level ornamentation neither barked nor bit, but still managed to be categorically canine. The room, decorated as if it were dedicated to an in-house dog-walker, housed biscuits, a large volume of dog portraiture overlaid on a hand-painted doggy mural, and—spoiler alert—an easter egg in the form of barking dog audio that’s triggered when visitors enter its bathroom, outfitted by sponsor Kohler.
Up on the double-width Georgian townhouse’s “parlor floor,” Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates, LLC paid tribute to femininity in a genuinely lovely way. The practically imperceptibly pink walls (painted with “Pink Swirl” courtesy of sponsor Benjamin Moore) gave way to a floral wallpapered ceiling. Described by Jenkins himself as a “lady’s lair,” he intended the room’s affect to allow one to “feel like she’s on a movie set.” With its ornate details (think: luxuriously plush furniture and plenty of gold-toned trim), Jenkins achieved just that.
A sign of the times, the Show House finds itself, every year, leaning more-and-more into digital culture. Of course, its décor is unequivocal Insta-bait, even though the happening predates the platform. But additional measures have also been taken to align itself with our collective digital proclivities. For one, upon exiting Charlotte Moss’s set-up, visitors learned they could take her experience home with them—at least in the musical sense. “You can download the playlist on Spotify!” Moss said.
Kips Bay Decorator Show House is on view at 36-38 E. 74th Street through May 30. Admission is $40/person, all proceeds benefitting Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. Tickets available here.