The Kips Bay Decorator Show House opens in New York

Of the 20 rooms decorated for the event, here are a few. Visitors can pay a $30 fee to visit the house and proceeds benefit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.
By Jura Koncius
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 14, 2010

NEW YORK -- The Kips Bay Decorator Show House, which takes the pulse of the design world each year, opens Oct. 14 with a list of modern living essentials you'd expect to find in a $28 million townhouse. Twenty design firms dished up their best on six floors in the 1876 house, which has a circular marble staircase and seven bathrooms. In New York, a bit of fantasy is part of the fun.

Urban sanctuary? The firm 2Michaels styled a room with a 1960s daybed and a steel meditation chair positioned in front of a stack of Buddha heads carved from New York City phonebooks. "The last few years have been so stressful," said Jayne Michaels. "Everyone needs a place to decompress."

Yoga room with cushioned floor? Jennifer Post decided families don't want to look at gym equipment they feel guilty about not using. She outfitted the penthouse with massage tables and a black walnut floor for saluting the sun, which you see from the adjoining roof terrace.

Trophy kitchen? Eve Robinson's space is aubergine and celery green: Two walls of purple wallpaper accentuate high ceilings, and a backsplash of green glass makes white cabinets pop.

Theme rooms are a perennial favorite. Cullman & Kravis's dining room was based on "Dinner at Eight," honoring eight New York chefs with stacks of cookbooks and featuring art that celebrates foods such as ice cream and pizza. Elizabeth Pyne of McMillen Plus created the Room for Daydream, an aqua confection filled with tricks such as a TV screen that appears in a framed mirror and a ceiling combed with pearlescent paint.

Darren Henault limited furnishings in his-and-her dressing rooms to a dozen per room. "I call it Proustian minimalism," said Henault, "as opposed to, 'How many lousy little knickknacks could you fit in a tiny room?' "

The show house at 106 E. 71st St., New York, is open daily through Nov. 11. Admission is $30; proceeds benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. For more information, call 718-893-8600, Ext. 245, or visit

© 2010 The Washington Post Company