Since 1973, designers from around the country have joined hands to transform a luxury Manhattan location into a showhouse to benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club of New York, raising over $21 million through the decades. The success of the New York showhouses has led to other locations, including Palm Beach and in 2020, for the first time, Dallas.
The grand home, situated in Woodland Estates, an enclave of Dallas’s historic Old Preston Hollow neighborhood, is full of color, pattern, and creative ideas sure to inspire. While some traditional Kips Bay showhouse events were cancelled due to Covid-19, the organizers opened the house to design enthusiasts like me who thrilled to see the work of 27 creatives in interior design, architecture, and landscape design.
Here I’ve gathered some of my favorite spaces with photography by Stephen Karlisch and Douglas Friedman and snapshots of floral moments by me.
All window treatments by The Shade Store; find a complete list of sources here. To see more of the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in Dallas, purchase tickets for a virtual tour. Proceeds benefit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, Dwell With Dignity, and the Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries.
“Chasing Nature: A Boy’s Retreat”
Trish Sheats Interior Design
I met Fort Worth designer Trish Sheats in her sophisticated teen boy’s bedroom in a rhapsody of green. Inspired by the two sides of a magnolia leaf, she chose copper and rust accents to complement the greens. I loved the grasscloth wallcovering from Kravet and the rich Brunschwig & Fils mohair.
“The Garden Within”
The foyer and staircase by Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio evokes the gardens of Dallas with magnolia custom hide rugs by Kyle Bunting, custom floral wallpaper by Trove, and a majestic fall arrangement on the entry table.
“I loved looking down on the magnolia-inspired rugs from the second floor.” — Alice Doyle, FLOWER
“Bathed in Moonlight”
Doniphan Moore Interiors, LLC
Doniphan Moore Interiors redecorated a large bathroom and dressing area using custom de Gournay wallpaper of irises and a gleaming moonlight feel with a modern edge. The dreamy intimate seating area beckons one to stay a while.
Below, a vase of black calla lilies and deep purple blooms brings to mind the night sky—a perfect counterpoint to a silvery wallpaper moon. The embroidered window shades are also from de Gournay and crafted by The Shade Store.
Cathy Kincaid Interiors
In the dining room, Cathy Kincaid brought floral magic with custom embroidered slipcovers from her debut collection with Penn & Fletcher, a ceramic lamp with botanical detailing, and orchids sprouting from a pagoda centerpiece and blue-and-white porcelain vases. I was amazed how she made such a large room so inviting.
“Flights of Fancy”
Traci Zeller Interiors
Charlotte, North Carolina designer Traci Zeller brought botanical charm to walls and a bath in the space dubbed the “Gossip Room & Powder Room” with chinoiserie-inspired fabric from Bassett McNab. She embellished the wall fabric with three-dimensional butterflies, birds, and flowers by artist Stephen Wilson. Under the soft light of a glam chandelier from Currey & Company, I could easily imagine a gathering with champagne and lipstick touchups.
Michelle Nussbaumer’s writer’s retreat transports us to another heady world. Her wallpaper collection for Paul Montgomery and fabric collection for Clarence House bring her wanderlust inspiration to life. A floral wallpaper wraps the glamorous closet by The Container Store (I want that space and what’s in it with accessories from Forty Five Ten!)
An inlaid chest with yellow tulips and other fresh flowers including roses are part of the exotic mix. The designer certainly knows how to travel without leaving home!
Melissa Gerstle Design
The dreamy landscaping by Melissa Gerstle stopped me in my tracks. What a lovely vision of green and white cast in an Italian garden villa attitude. In one vignette, Adirondack chairs circled a custom fire pit, while a Dedon tree swing called out to daytime nappers. Over by the pool, I found plenty of Bevolo lanterns to cast a spell between a pair of canopied daybeds.
A row of cypress and sculptural urns framing the pool completed the Italian garden villa look.
“I was sorely tempted to make myself at home in one of the Sutherland chaise lounges by the pool.” — Alice Doyle, FLOWER
“Guest Room for a Sophisticated Traveler”
Lauren Hudson of Wells Design Group in Houston created an inviting atmosphere in a guest bedroom with fresh color and patterns. The details included monogrammed bedding from Leontine Linens, abundant florals, lots of Rose Cumming chintz (recently featured in Flower magazine), and bespoke trims from Samuel & Sons. The gold botanical embroidery on the bed cover made my heart sing.
“Garden of Erdem”
Dina Bandman Interiors
For this cheerful bedroom, Dina Bandman paired a beautiful blue-and-white canopied bed with a de Gournay wallpaper designed by fashion genius Erdem Moralioglu (read Flower’s feature on the collection). The garden theme continued in the bathroom in a quieter manner where Dina collaborated with The CEH on the bathroom vanity with the beautiful trailing ivy detailing also by de Gournay (a personal favorite of mine) and of course fresh flowers.
Mark D. Sikes
California designer Mark D. Sikes brings his blue-and-white aesthetic to the showhouse living room with a symphony of varying shades of the favorite palette. The Mediterranean atmosphere is inspired by La Fiorentina with a hand-painted wallcovering from Iksel Decorative Arts. The rug made me do a double take, as it reminded me so very much of this one from designer Heather Chadduck Hillegas’s home.
An explosion of daises in the fireplace, flower-filled antique vases, and a towering arrangement of oak branches on a stately table at the room’s center imbue the space with a sense of lushness that makes you want to linger on the cozy furniture, which comes from Mark’s collection for Chaddock recently featured in Flower magazine.
“We Tell Ourselves Stories”
For the large informal den, Michael Viviano used velvet chaises from Perennials and Sutherland and menswear wool flannel in espresso for the Roman shades by The Shade Store. I loved the decorated stone mantel with its lush dried garland that includes eucalyptus and hydrangea. Created by Ciuri, a floral design studio belonging to Michael and Catherine Viviano, the garland is just what’s needed to soften the space.
“The Emerald Garden”
M Interiors‘ Melissa Morgan reimagined the back staircase as a type of indoor garden—a place perhaps for one to repose before the next task or for houseguests to enjoy. A lively wallcovering from Gracie Studio teems with hedgehogs, butterflies, and birds. While windowless, the space has the illusion of windows thanks to two sets of drapes; I appreciated Melissa’s trick and the fabric panels add another decorative layer.
By Alice Welsh Doyle | Principal photography Stephen Karlisch and Douglas Friedman
Kips Bay Sponsors: Arteriors; Benjamin Moore; Brendan Bass Showroom; Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty; Caitlin Wilson Design; Cambria; Kohler; Materials Marketing; Monogram; Retorra; Sewell; Stone Boutique; Susan’s Jewelry; The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas; The Rug Company; Zephyr Gin.