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Take a Peek Inside the Stunning 2023 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas

The Big Reveal

BY // 11.09.23

The formerly yellow exterior of the sprawling, 1940s house on Hathaway Street in Old Preston Hollow has been drenched in inky charcoal. The change is striking, but it’s only a small taste of the transformative design beyond the grand facade. For the site of the 2023 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas, 22 talented creatives designed 22 unique spaces layered with incredible details and finishes. Bunny Mellon, Parisian chateaus, and even a teen girl’s bedroom from the 1980s serve as inspiration for top designers from Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, New York, London, and Los Angeles.

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas co-chairs are Jean Liu and Chad Dorsey; Laura Lee Clark and Trish Sheats serve as vice chairs. Jamie Drake, Jan Showers, and Veranda Editor-in-Chief Steele Marcoux are honorary chairs.

Of course, the true purpose of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House — Dallas’ design event of the year and a nonprofit organization — is to raise funds for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, as well as for local charities Dwell with Dignity, a nonprofit dedicated to creating soothing, inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty, and The Crystal Charity Ball, another Dallas-based organization whose mission is to aid, support, and make contributions to children’s charities in Dallas County. Since the founding of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in 1973 in New York, Kips Bay Show Houses in Palm Beach and Dallas have been added, collectively raising more than $29 million for the organization.

For those who want to donate to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club but can’t visit the Show House, donations are accepted on the website and are deeply appreciated.

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas is open through Tuesday, November 14. General admission tickets (starting at $50) are available at kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org.

Inside the 2023 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas

To craft a grand entrance worthy of a Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Los Angeles firms MLK Studio and Jackson Paige Interiors designed an entry in conversation with the home’s new charcoal exterior, drenching the wood trim in Benjamin Moore Graphite 1603 and papering the walls with bespoke ink blots from Porter Teleo.

The duo maximizes space in a small powder room with grand touches, like a custom marble vanity carved by Il Granito and artwork sourced from local galleries.

Dallas designer Kirsten Kelli knew this space would be used as the heart of the home, so she filled it with as many seats as possible (there’s even a dog bed). It’s a true blend of comfort (much of the seating, including a 12-foot long settee recovered in Australian shearling, was sourced from the Round Tops Antiques & Design Fair). Ceilings are covered in Embossed Crocodile by Phillip Jeffries. The show stopping mantel is crafted from cerused ash wood and a patinaed copper banding creates a plaid motif.

For his bathroom-turned-bar, Dallas designer Jase Jones worked with Kirsten Kelli, who designed the adjoining family room,  to ensure his vision of Art Deco opulence flowed with her cozy aspirations. Every inch has a touch of glamour, from the leather-covered JennAir Noir appliances and Calacatta Picasso marble slab counters to a French mural wallpaper by Pierre Frey. A Ferrari deck lid is turned into wall art by Dallas-based artist Costa Christ.

A former hallway, the space was a true blank slate that Richmond, Virginia designer Sara Hillery was able to run with. After touring Tryon Palace in North Carolina, she was inspired to create a space that fosters conversation.

Dana Gibson, illustrator Charles Gibson’s great-granddaughter and a client of Hillery’s, drew up a handsome leopard artwork for the Tea Room, complete with two distinct bamboo tables from, in Hillery’s words, “a great little dealer in Nashville’s Belle Meade neighborhood called Canterbury Cottage Antiques.”

Benjamin Moore’s high-gloss Cotton Balls OC-122 was crucial to Charlotte design firm, Pursley Dixon Ford’s palate cleanser of a primary bedroom, where durable textiles by Perennials and Sutherland allowed the team to indulge in cream-hued furnishings without worry. The room also serves as a showcase for North Carolina’s many great artisans, such as Adrian Land Furniture, Hubbard Ironworks, and Morgan Chair upholstery.

“We wanted to create something you would emotionally connect to. Hopefully, you walk in and feel very serene — ready to jump right into bed,” says designer Bronwyn Ford.

For the primary bathroom, Dallas designer Ginger Curtis, Urbanology Designs, took a different aesthetic approach, carving a modern, dark pink world using Aria Stone Gallery marble. Rich brown hues, art from Neighborhood, and the soft glow of Arteriors lights bring Urbanology’s “organic modern” ethos to life.

To the left, a tranquil shower is constructed from crushed stone material applied like plaster.

Don’t miss the primary closet, tucked away but beautifully built out by the team at California Closets, designed by London designer Kate Riverie. A streamlined setup has thought of every dressing need, from valet hooks to bespoke dovetail drawers. Art Deco wallpaper by Philip Jeffries and a vintage mirror from Wolf Hall Antiques add a posh feel befitting the London-based design firm.

A former sunken living was transformed into a warm, European kitchen and scullery by Kurt Bielawski, whose company More+ also served as the contractor for the 2023 Show House.

Terracotta hues, warm wood cabinetry, and a patinated, patterned floor by Artistic Tile craft an old-world feel, while mixing beautifully with top-of-the-line JennAir appliances and modern Kohler fixtures.

“I made this kitchen for myself,” Bielawski notes. “I like to be able to read the paper, have a coffee, drink some wine …  so I wanted to create a place you could just be.”

For the dining room, LA designer Mark D. Sikes enveloped the cozy space in timeless blue-and-white — a signature of the well-known designer. The multipurpose room also features special pieces acquired at auction from Givenchy’s country retreat outside Paris, Le Jonchet, and his seaside villa, Le Clos Fiorentina, on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Dallas designer Laura Lee Clark constructed her sophisticated space around the Gracie wallcovering, Kano Garden, that papers the room, while a high gloss ceiling makes the eight-foot room feel taller.

Some of Clark’s favorite moments include the shimmering cast -glass fireplace mantel by Stephen Cavallo and the rare Viola coffee table by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne. “I found this at Sputnik Modern three months ago and knew they wouldn’t hold it for me to use in the Show House, so I bought it,” Clark shares.

Up the stairs, architect Tanner Morgan and design partner Jennifer Laouari, based in Kansas City,  transformed an unremarkable hall landing and a former closet into a mystical, mirror-filled lounge and wet bar filled with tapestry-like textiles and ethereal lighting.

“The space is inspired by Stevie Nicks primarily,” shares Laouari. “Also Annie Dillard, who writes a lot — and very well — about the natural world.”

“Harking back to the ’70s in my whispering brain of yesteryear,” says Fort Worth designer Julie Hayes of her Kips Bay space. “I’ve channeled a young adult daughter coming home to a fresh, joyful, girly space.”

The feminine bedroom, featuring a new fern fabric by Quadrille, includes a closet outfitted by Merry Vose (Hayes designed her trio of West Lovers Lane boutiques: Cabana, Canary, and Clover).

Nashville designer Chad James uses luxurious drapery and warm textiles to transport visitors to The Fox Den, a room based on James’ cherished recollections of his then-teenage sister’s mid-’80s bedroom.

Drawing inspiration from the feel and imagery of Marrakech in the 1970s, Los Angeles designer Kristi Nelson, KMNelson, crafted a decadent bedroom with Fromental’s Travertine hand-painted silk wallpaper and a custom headboard upholstered in Perennials Big Softy mohair.

The bathroom celebrates Morocco’s love for patterns and tile, with Fromental’s Fiamma in Ambra wallpaper strikingly alongside a Vagli Rosata slab from Artistic Tile.

Inspired by the lavish Château de Groussay outside of Paris, New York designer Darren Henault tented his Show House bedroom in custom-pleated drapery from The Shade Store, newly introduced fabrics from Gracie, and hand-painted silk wallcoverings from Fromental. A Madeline Stuart four-poster bed from James Showroom grounds the room.

New Orleans design studio, Rivers Spencer Interiors,  dedicated this guest room, dubbed Les Fleurs du Marécage (The Flowers of the Bayou), to its hometown. Featuring monograms and magnolias, along with NOLA-based artisans Leontine Linens and lighting designer Julie Neill, the bedroom suite is laid out like a gracious Southern home — one with a spa-like bath, of course.

Many have drawn inspiration from style icon and horticulturist Bunny Mellon, but for her room in the 2023 Kips Bay Show House, Dallas designer Cathy Kincaid wanted to focus on a specific space: the icon’s library in her Virginia home. The result is a lovingly layered office with a daybed (and dog bed) to keep things cozy. Lisa Fine’s Persian Garden fabric covers the ceilings while Casci Plaster’s custom bookcases are filled with tomes on gardening and preservation. Kincaid tapped Mirth Studio to hand paint the wood floor and complete the dreamy look.

Drawing inspiration from David Hicks and Suzanne Rheinstein, Houston designer Julie Dodson lined the family TV room in Zoffany wallpaper and custom drapery from The Shade Store that strategically hides a flat screen.

From the Ground Up’s Dan Houchard and his team set out to transport visitors to another realm, transforming the once-overgrown grounds into a lush, green oasis. Highlights include a 19th-century Belgian limestone water feature, a magical moon gate, and mushroom-shaped stones throughout.

Todd Fiscus, a top Dallas party planner, turned his attention to design when the pandemic began, honing skills that are on full display beside the home’s glittering pool. Sphinx structures and an antique French fountain were sourced from Pittet Architecturals, while a newly constructed fireplace with reclaimed wood mantel beckons guests during cooler months. In place of a former pool shed, Fiscus crafted something dear to his heart to create balance in the sideyard, filled with textiles from Perennials and Morris & Co.

“I built a folly, which basically means a room with no purpose,” Fiscus says. “My mom passed away in May, so I named all of this after her. She loved blue and white so I did it all in blue and white.”

Dallas designer Melissa Gerstle landscaped the front lawn to be in symmetry with the uniquely shaped house. A wall of 12-foot shrubs backs a sculpture called “Gone” by New York artist Carolyn Salas, whose powder-coated aluminum work depicts a woman fleeing.

“We called this The Garden Arrival because this is the space I pictured the woman running to,” shares Gerstle.

Poufs and sofas by Brown Jordan and Sutherland surround the sculpture, while a nearby seating area is covered in lanterns and surrounded by a bed of sedges, ferns, Liguria, and Flax Lilies.

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