Forbes - March 2022
By: Regina Cole
The 2022 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach
Celebrates A Colorful Heritage
I think old houses, and the people who love them, are fascinating.
Located on Spruce Avenue in the Old Northwood Historic District, the show house is open to the ... [+] NICKOLAS SARGENT (SARGENT PHOTOGRAPHY)
The Fifth Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach officially opens to the public Saturday, March 5th at 3001 Spruce Avenue in West Palm Beach's Old Northwood Historic District.
The house showcases the creativity and design expertise of 24 of the nation’s most acclaimed interior designers and architects. From March 5th until April 3rd, the house will be open to the public as the nation’s leading design event, while functioning as a major fundraiser for Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.
The showhouse will also offer a 3D virtual video tour for those who are not able to attend in person. Visits to the House must be booked in advance to ensure proper social distancing, and the wearing of face masks is required for all visitors. Tickets for the Show House can be purchased here.
Not surprisingly, this years’ crop of designers celebrates Palm Beach’s storied and colorful past with references to jungle motifs, lattice work, shells, underwater scenes, architectural window cornices, pink-and-green color schemes and, of course, bars.
There is a bar in the 30-foot drawing room designed by Peter Pannoyer, the dining room by Beth Diana Smith includes a bar at the end of the table, of course there is a bar in the ‘Sala Exotico’ devised by PhilipGrorrivan, the sleek, modern home office created by Trish Mills includes a bar, and then there’s Jim Dove’s Monkey Bar, a room lined with DeGournay wallpaper and entirely given over to the pursuit of adult beverages.
But there are great spaces designed with children in mind, too. The Craig & Company entranceway, inspired by the song Octopus’ Garden, is a happy amalgam of deep, watery blue, shells and ocean motifs picked out in the tradition of a Sailor’s Valentine. Maryline Damour and Mel Jones of Damour Drake created a ‘Toddler’s Haven’ that has puffy white clouds floating on the ceiling and descending in mid-air, and Nikki Levy’s ‘Happy Year Round’ bathroom is an ode to childhood in onyx.
The biggest story in this year’s showhouse, however, is the boisterous use of color. Bedrooms, sitting rooms, closets, bathrooms and terraces are pretty in pink, green, yellow, deep blue, fuschia and purple. These designers are ringing the death knell of beige and gray rooms and showing us that strong, saturated colors are cheerful, enervating and great expressions of creativity. Even in a relatively monochromatic room like Ashley Gilbreath’s primary bedroom, a boldly striped blue and white rug brings color and contrast; Pearl Design Interiors turned an outdoor patio into a black and white dining and lounging area whose classic design is punctuated by pops of hot pink. The only room in the house that does not get an impactful punch of color is the kitchen. The handsome cabinetry by Bakes & Kropp is coolly on trend in white, black and gray. But in the guest house, the kitchen cabinets and the dining room ceiling are painted a glossy leaf green while the jungle informs the wallpaper and fabric Catherine Austin chose for the casita. Classic in the main house is Amanda Reynal’s terrace, with its lime green, lemon yellow and blush pink upholstery.
The showhouse also looks to the past: Elsie deWolfe’s spirit lives in the sun room, which Paloma Contreras designed as an homage to the spirit of Palm Beach with lattice, pelmets and botanical fabrics in green and white. Tiffany Brooks created her ‘Bloom Lounge’ using that singular hallmark of early 20th century aspirational design, Chinoiserie wallpaper. An antique French secretary displays 1950s Rookwood pottery in Chris Goddard’s guest house living room. In the Lewis Design Group’s reimagined closet, accessories are arrayed like works of art against a lush, hand-painted palm tree wallpaper. Sarah Bartholomew looked to England’s Brighton Pavillion for inspiration for a bedroom. Several designers, including Joy Street in a bedroom, utilized Italian modern furniture for a contemporary note.
Robert Bell of Bell Designs ably turned limited space around the house into a lush garden; to keep with the spirit and the aesthetic of the place, he built a domed, latticed booth where visitors can line up and buy their tickets. Pink and white stripes dress up the seating areas around the pool, as designed by Janie Molster. Throughout the show house, The Shade Store worked directly with the designers on all of the window treatments.
A primary reason to visit a show house is the chance to see something unexpected, a new way of doing or seeing something, and this house has a number of examples. One is Noz Design’s unexpected lavender, lilac and tomato red sitting room, another is the bold walls in Robert Brown’s ‘Petit Salon.’ Amanada Reynal’s lush outdoor room is the embodiment of genteel old Florida, and, in Andrea Schumacher’s vibrant blue powder room, butterflies floating across a wall turn out to be individual sculptures fashioned from recycled aluminum cans.