Kips Bay shines, yet again

It’s likely design enthusiasts already have the Kips Bay Decorator Show House on their radar.

But even the most casual décor fan will likely find plenty to admire in this perennial design destination on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The 45th annual edition is now underway, as a dazzling collection of fine furnishings, art and technology from 18 leading interior designers and architects fills a distinguished Lenox Hill property.

WAG got a pre-opening walk-through of the show house earlier this week and can report that it’s another winner.

As always, the highlights are many – and we could have spent hours in a few of the rooms. Yes, the designs were that amazing.

We’ll revisit the show here in coming weeks, but for now, our strongest initial impressions came from The Parlor Room by Richard Mishaan Design of New York, a study in layered design, textiles and art where the sense of heritage is palpable; the sweet-smelling and playful “Madame’s Magical Menagerie,” from Ken Fulk of San Francisco and New York, a flower-filled delight where whimsical animals join the fun via murals; the elegant oversize room by Kirsten Kelli of Dallas, Greenwich and New York, an elegant mix of bold moves and colors, modern art and gilding like you’ve never seen (check out the birch branches in the fireplace); and the serene Bamboo Court garden designed by Janice Parker Landscape Architects of Greenwich. Parker took what had been a derelict traditional Chinese garden and brought it back to life.

“Traditional Chinese gardens usually have a moon gate,” she told us, and here, Parker and her team have fashioned a very large one out of pussy willow branches.

It’s a welcoming note that sets the scene for the serene space that still finds a way to dazzle in bold red strokes in homage, Parker told us, to influences as diverse as Bermuda to the famed designer Tony Duquette.

As she said, “I think this garden was a gift. It had so much soul to begin with.”

(WAG was also pleased to receive a copy of “Designing A Vision,” a forthcoming book from Images Publishing devoted to Parker’s work, that we’ll feature more in depth here soon).

Visitors can tour the show house through June 1. The $40 ticket, which includes a souvenir journal, will be sold at the door, at 125 E. 65th St. Proceeds, as always, benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

For more, visit kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org.

– Mary Shustack

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