Bunny Williams, the chairwoman of this year’s 40th annual Kips Bay Decorator show house explained to the New York Times why visitors pay admission to visit this famous show house.. because they enjoy the “fantasy, the playfulness, the flair of artistry.”
Mario Buatta, the decorator who chaired the Kips Bay show house for many years put it more bluntly to the New York Times; “The regular Joe or Carol doesn’t have the magic,” he opined. “It’s great that everybody can go to Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn and buy the furniture, but how to make the proportions right and put it together is what most people just don’t get.”
This year 32 designers were given five weeks to come up with design schemes, decorative rugs, furniture, art work and all the accessories to make the box like concrete spaces feel like home.
The decorators were asked to furnish rooms with unpromising architectural features inside two duplex apartments (priced at $15.9 million and $16.9 million) within a 40-story condominium building above the old Penn Central rail yards. There are the views, of course, but the rooms did not feel like home and the 32 designers had just five weeks to transfrom them.
I have chosen the 12 rooms with the most interesting decorative rugs.
1. Brian del Toro. In this study a contemporary rug with alternating high and smooth texture squares in cream, grey and gold support a vibrant blue sofa with green silk pillows. The walls are painted the same shade of blue as the sofa so the artwork and the decorative rug and pillows pop. Image courtesy askpatrick.blogspot
2. Neal Beckstedt. A Le Corbusier chaise sits on a cream and brown decorative rug in this corner lounge. The brown leather chairs pick up the brown accents in oriental rug. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
3. Raji Radhakrishnan designed this “Home Office for The Met’s Head Curator” with a cream and brown Arts and Crafts rug and large photo murals. The Designer told the New York Times, “The great thing about Kips Bay is that they let you run with your imagination. You can turn a bedroom into a meditation room or a lounge.” Image courtesy the New York Times.
4. Patrik Lönn designed a “Room for supper” on a contemporary rug with large squares of purple with silver grey abrash. A contoured white sofa and polished brown round dining table and chairs create an intimate dining room. Image courtesy the New York Times
5. James Rixner chose an Art Deco rug with a dark blue, light blue and beige celestial pattern to complement the green walls and bright yellowish green pillows.
5A. James Rixner. A close up view of the beautiful details of the sofa, round coffee table and navy blue decorative rug. Image courtesy askpatrick.blogspot.
6. Bunny Williams, Brian J. McCarthy and David Kleinberg Design Associates collaborated in the design of “The Gentleman’s Quarters: An Homage to Albert Hadley”. Just the tip of the tail of Albert Hadley’s iconic hand hooked Zebra rug is visible on the dark carpet. Albert Hadley, beloved by the interior design industry, recently died, at 91, and this year’s show house is an homage to him. Image courtesy the New York Times.
Bunny Williams spent more than ten years as an associate at Parish-Hadley the legendary firm of Sister Parish and Albert Hadley and told the New York Times, “When I first started, all of us worked for firms, we trained. We were assistants. It never occurred to us to just begin decorating.” And now “everyone wants to be a famous decorator by the time they’re 30.” concluded Mrs. Williams.
Interior Designer Mario Buatta chaired the Kips Bay show house for many years, and is quoted in the New York Times, recalling an occasion years ago when Albert Hadley visited Buatta’s New York apartment. “There was a tub chair in the room,” and after we were there for a while, Albert said, ‘Do you mind if I do something?’ And he got up and moved the chair two inches and it completely changed the feeling of that room.”
7. Drake Design. Jamie Drake chose a solid grey contemporary rug and white sofa with grey piping to showcase his signature vibrant colors against neutral backdrops. The mirrored right wall reflects the Hudson River and expands the feeling of space. Image courtesy the New York Times.
8. Thom-Filicia chose a contemporary purple, emerald green and white decorative rug with a large scale ikat pattern to provide the foundation for this room. The walls and ceiling are painted in a lacquer-like green paint and the drapery is of fabric Filicia designed for Kravet. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
8A. Thom-Filicia. A close-up view showing the ikat patterned decrative rug in purple, emerald green and white. A cream and brown zebra patterned rug can be seen in the adjoining space. Image courtesy CasaSugar.
9. David-Scott’s Man’s Study has a cream and blue zebra rug, a Vladimir Kagan chaise and menswear-inspired textiles from Holland and Sherry. The Greek key border on the drapery complements the George VII writng desk. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
9A. David-Scott’s Man’s Study. The blue and white decorative rug provides a lively contemporary backdrop for the antique traditional writing table. Image courtesy askpatrick.blogspot.
10. A beige and brown oriental rug and dark brown screen warms this bedroom in a contemporary apartment building with large windows. Image courtesy CasaSugar.
10A. A close-up view showing the marriage of the dark brown curved desk with brown paisley pattern of the decorative rug. The white bedspread has been bordered with a beige and brown band to tie it to the decorative rug. Image courtesy CasaSugar.11. Charlotte Moss chose a pale bluish green decorative rug as the backdrop for her garden-like master suite. The walls are painted a leafy green and the wall behind the sofa is a faux boxwood hedge. The image below shows the opposite wall with large-scale photo murals of manicured gardens. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
11A. Charlotte Moss. The opposite wall with the photo murals of manicured gardens and bird cages. Image courtesy The Washington Post.
12. A beige and green wool and silk decorative rug warms up a hallway seating area. The green drapes and salmon colored pillows tie in with the green silk border of the decorative rug while the purple sofa creates a contrasting pop. Image courtesy CasaSugar.