The fourth annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach is all about color, pattern, whimsey, drama and personality. If we follow the lead of the 20 designers whose work is showcased in the 4,400 square foot Mediterranean villa located at 7417 South Flagler Drive, we will reach for saturated color, big patterns, wallpaper and fabrics that are scalloped, fringed and tasseled. Lighting fixtures will be the dramatic jewels to a room’s décor; floors and ceilings will be fifth and sixth walls, to be decorated with as much abandon as the four walls enclosing a room.
The Show House is open to the public April 8- May 9, 2021. Due to the Corona virus, this year’s Show House is a hybrid event, offering both first-hand and virtual experiences. For those visiting in person, the Show House is implementing precautions to protect participating designers and guests, including limiting the number of attendees. Admission tickets will be sold for specific dates and times to ensure that guest count allows for ample social distancing. In addition, all guests and employees of the house will be required to wear masks and health screenings will be conducted for all staff, as well as increased cleaning and sanitation throughout the house.
Entering by way of Palm Beach-based Fernando Wong’s Hollywood-inspired front motor court and pool terrace, we step into a two-story foyer, staircase and hallway designed to evoke a Colonial hothouse by Casa Gusto of West Palm Beach. Vines wreathe along the walls between ceramics, and colorful mosaics frame antique botanicals.
The living room by Kentucky’s Benjamin Deaton has azure walls, a chocolate lacquered fireplace mantel and an inviting bar. Lorna Gross, a DC-based designer, made the dining room lush with a décor based on a gorgeous silk rug populated by whimsical, colorful critters. A step to the rear courtyard and garden is hardly a step down: SMI Landscape Architecture, a local firm, pays homage to the historic Palm Beach slat house of the Hotel Royal Poinciana with teal vine-patterned lattice, a pebble mosaic koi pond, a limestone and gravel checkerboard floor, potted maho trees and, hung on the walls, masses of yellow orchids.
The kitchen designed by Atlanta-based Mark Williams is the only neutral room in the house. With traditional tiled walls, white oak cabinets and marble-hued Consentino countertops, the room has a horizontal orientation that makes for a sense of luxurious calm and ease.
Laundry meets luxury in the utility room, reached via a pair of custom walnut and brass barn doors. HW Interiors installed a dramatic onyx floor backlit with LED bulbs, an extravagant counterpoint to the very practical dog shower. Another small space with huge impact is the powder room designed by Atlanta-based Forbes+Masters, where gray marble-like tiles tinged with pink and cream line the walls.
New York City’s Mikel Walsh created a primitive, modern family room furnished with his own Cradle Chairs and crowned with a tasseled chandelier. Next door, the vestibule leading from the public family room to the private bedroom is called “Flock Hall” by designer Harry Heissmann, also of NYC.
The primary bedroom, by Courtney Giles of Atlanta, is all about the Palm Beach location with palm tree wallpaper and a beachy vibe. The primary bathroom was designed by Miami-based Nicole White with dark, moody colors; the adjoining closet showcases Afro-chic glam with dramatic art and lighting.
The guest bedroom by local design firm Kemble Interiors is a stunner with larger-than-life hand-painted flora and fauna on the walls and a metal bed that mimics a bougainvillea vine. No less colorful and dramatic, the adjoining guest bath and closet by Ontario-based Alexandra Naranjo is a symphony of blues and tropical vegetation. Another guest room evokes a modern European sensibility as interpreted by Houston designer Nina Magon. A guest suite by Amy Morris of Atlanta has a bed placed in a corner and a pale blue painted floor. Westchester-based Brittany Bromley treated another guest room to hand painted scenic wallpaper and classic French elements. The adjoining bathroom is drama itself, mirrored with Mercury glass.
A second-floor seating area is lively and sunny, yet serene. Massachusetts designer Mally Skok, who is also a fabric and wallpaper designer, lined the walls with her latest botanically-based wall covering, while the ceiling and trim wear a sunny shade of terra cotta.
The house is blessed with a number of outdoor spaces, including a loggia off the guest bedrooms designed by Atlanta-based Anna Braund and featuring a custom banquette, as well as an awning-covered balcony designed to evoke Caribbean chickee huts by Ellen Kavanaugh of Palm Beach.
Tickets for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach must be purchased on line at www.kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org/palmbeach. General admission hours are Monday through Sunday,10a.m.-4p.m. All proceeds will benefit Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx, New York and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, who together serve 20,000 youth, ages six through 18.
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