May 25, 2015

Kips Bay Show House 2015

The main reason I went to NYC last week was to attend the launch party for Steven Stolman’s newest book, 40 Years of Fabulous, about the Kips Bay Show House, which is actually celebrating 43 years in 2015. Of course, I couldn’t do that without also going to see this year’s house.

The book party was held at the venerable John Rosselli Antiques on 61st Street, and as good hosts do, both John Rosselli and Bunny Williams were there to greet each and every guest. And of course, there were rooms and rooms of stunning pieces to check out. nyc rosselli (14)One of the first people I spotted was the author himself, and before the hoards arrived, I had the chance to say a few words to Steven Stolman, who is one of the most positive and delightful people I’ve ever met. It was also fun to see some of my NYC buddies, including the talented Emily Evans Eerdmans, and the famous Boy Fenwick, of Reggie Darling fame. nyc rosselli (5)

The book is beautiful with more than 200 pages of pictures, each more gorgeous than the next. It is fun to see which rooms have endured, and which are dated.
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On Thursday, my friend Jonathan and I met at the Show House, this year in the Arthur Sachs Mansion on 66th Street. We got there at the strike of 11:00, right when the house opens, and I was so glad we did. The house filled up quickly. Although the guides suggested we start at the top and work out way back down, after looking at the stairs, we decided to work our way up!Kips Bay (46)

The entry hall, by Jamie Drake, features an interesting sculpture which looks like clouds reflected against an inky sky. Kips Bay (71)

Beyond that was the huge stair hall, soaring up five floors. Kips Bay (11)

We headed up to see the room everyone’s talking about – the red room by Mark D. Sikes. Kips Bay (1)Kips Bay (2)Kips Bay (4)

The red room I liked even more was Alessandra Branca’s with its red and white ticking on the walls, as opposed to Mark’s checks.
Kips Bay (5) Kips Bay (7)

The detail was really lovely, too.Kips Bay (6)

The next room I loved was the master bedroom. It’s very masculine, but there was a softness to it, perhaps from the beautiful Cowtan & Tout grey plaid on the walls. The room was Designed by David Pheonix.
Kips Bay (15) Kips Bay (17)

I just loved the marble mantle and the alabaster urns. Kips Bay (19)

To give you an idea of the scale of this room, Jonathan’s about six feet tall and the closet door towers over him. I love this image. Kips Bay (24)

I almost liked the library shelves, but I am such a purist that it makes me cringe a bit to see books used solely for decoration, with no regard to their contents. Kips Bay (14)

The details in this room were just stunning. Kips Bay (21)

There were two garden spaces, one which I liked and the other which I didn’t. One made great use of space through curtains and mirrors. Kips Bay (51)

The other was a lot of mosaics and art. Kips Bay (54)

Another room I liked was more simple than many of the others. It was by Cathy Kincaid, and featured the most gorgeous inlaid bone bed. Kips Bay (37)

Here’s a little of the detail. Kips Bay (39)

I loved the calmness of the room, and it didn’t seem like it was trying too hard.
Kips Bay (36) Kips Bay (35)

The five-story staircase had everyone talking! Because the elevator “didn’t work”, people were trooping up and down this staircase all day long. It’s lined with art works, hung over a beautiful grisaille wallpaper, which I thought would have been enough on its own.Kips Bay (10)Kips Bay (12)

The kitchen, which was on the ground floor, was pretty amazing, although totally impractical. We counted that it was 22 steps from the stove to the fridge and back! This backsplash is all inlaid mosaic marble tiles. Certainly not your standard subway tile!Kips Bay (70)

And this juxtaposition of the rough edge of the wood and the smooth marble was interesting. Kips Bay (68)

Here are some more images, which I can’t credit, since I can’t figure out which is which! Sorry!Kips Bay (28)Kips Bay (31)Kips Bay (40)Kips Bay (49)

All in all, lots of fun, lots of stunningly beautiful pieces, and a great few days away!


  1. Elizabeth SpeicherMay 26, 2015 at 5:03 AM

    I'm with you on your choice of red rooms. The staircase is beyond fabulous, not so keen on the crowded artwork. And when will designers learn that shelves are for books, books are for reading and they don't have to "go" with the decor? Thanks for taking me to Kips through your post.

  2. The second red room was very pretty, and the bathroom with Venetian mirrors. But I am up to my eyeballs with beige and greige. When will the designers give it up? They call it "restful", but in truth, it's just boring.

    1. The bath with the Venetian mirrors was great, but hard to shoot.

  3. Looks like an interesting house - I love a show house and this one looks pretty good -but not enough that i'm booking my train ticket anytime soon. Love seeing everyone's coverage!

  4. Meg I love both Mark and Cathy K's rooms so much. A gorgeous show-house! I met Steve Stolman when he was in Kansas city promoting his book Scalamandre Haute Decor!

    The Arts by Karena
    Coco Chanel: Three Weeks

    1. It was a terrific house. And I LOVE Steven!

    2. Steven is a star among STARS!!! Seriously! He is the best! He was fabulous as a clothing designer; with his own stores (I owned 15 of his skirts.......where the hell are they???); He was the head of Jack Rogers...a classic shoe company. Maybe his greatest triumphs; were the beautiful and breathtaking parties he planned and executed!

      My darling Mary Brittain's wedding! Beyond belief! And many other parties. this man is the original multi-talented genius!!


      His peak so far (and there will be more)was that he was the President of Scalamandre...myfave company in 44 years as a decorator!
      Now writing hit books!


      did I miss something! Please fill in Steven!!!

    3. Hi ! Just so you know...I adore Steven! ADORE!!!

  5. Steven Stolman is my favorite human (relatives excluded!!!) What a delightful man; a multi-talented man.....and both of his new books are SUPER!!!
    I am sorry to miss this year's Kip's Bay!
    Wonderful that you met Bunny and John Rosselli....they are true treasures!!! Can't wait to see Bunny's new space in the Fine Arts Building.....SOB!! Treillage is no more. time marches on!!! Brilliant post!!!!

  6. Did you have dinner with Reggie Darling? Any word on his late blog? Especially why it is "late!"


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