Home + Design / Design Notes

Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas Insider Secrets — a Real Estate Maven Gets Some Behind the Scenes Answers

Industry Scoop From The Experts

BY // 08.25.21
photography Sees Design

Fall is near and with that, those in the home and design world are working overtime to prepare for the second annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas, which takes place September 24 through October 24. This year the Kips Bay bunch decided to stay in Preston Hollow and selected 5138 Deloache Avenue as the house of honor.

In the latest edition of luxury real estate agent Christy Berry‘s special Call on Christy series, Berry decided to “phone a friend” to get some first-hand insight into what it takes to design a Kips Bay show house room. What do the designers go through in the months, weeks and days before the big show?

Berry sat down with Corbin See and Matt Mazur of Sees Design to get the play by play of how they put together a successful room in the 2020 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas. Here is Berry with the designers:

Where did you pull your inspiration for your room?

The primary inspiration for our space came from Bunny Mellon’s grand potting shed in Upperville, Virginia. The trompe l’oiel was brilliant and the space felt casual yet sophisticated. We created a play on the trompe l’oeil treillage with a hand painted design that was printed onto wallpaper. It was an irreverent and whimsical nod to the past that made the small bar space feel more intimate.

We knew we needed something special and were struck by the Victorian-esque, celestial cover art on the Smashing Pumpkins 1995 album: Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The planetary design worked well with the pendants we’d already selected from the sponsor Arteriors. We enlisted Newlon Collection to create a planetary design inspired by the album cover and printed on a metallic paper that we applied to the ceiling for a literal over the top surprise.

How long do you have to brainstorm, design and install your room? Do you all collaborate?

I think it all came together relatively quick as far as concept to actual design goes. We all work together very well and were able to take abstract ideas and help bring them into reality. We each have our own specialty, but all speak the same design language.

We agreed on the concept almost immediately. If I had one word of advice to future participants, it would be to not hesitate. Decide and move forward. There isn’t time for anything else.

How many hours did you put into your room? And how much time do you have for the install?

I don’t think we have a budgeted amount of time spent for any project. It’s a constant ebb and flow. We were on a very tight timeline for Kips Bay and thankfully our inspiration fell into place right away. We were given one official day of move in and any time we were able to scrounge up thereafter.

We worked with our good friend Jimmie Henslee to style and finish out the space with a collection of antique terracotta pottery and interesting garden objects. He took if from good to great. It really proved it is a team exercise. It has to be. It’s a very compact timeframe and excise, and you must remember we have to keep our existing business running and clients happy all the while too.

KipsBay_Day1_1211-COMP (Photo by Stephen Karlisch)
Bar designed by Sees Design. (Photo by Stephen Karlisch)

Describe the 24 hours leading up to opening night?

Organized chaos! It was an absolute mad dash to the finish line with designers and their trades working feverishly to put the final touches on their spaces. Major anxiety and excitement in the air but a good feeling of overall comradery too. A lot of the trades are shared so the last few day really are a symphony of work. It’s a testament to cooperation.

Describe the breakdown process after the house closes?

Just as with the installation, the breakdown was staggered times between all designers. It was very interesting to see the spaces go from lavishly decorated and lively back to more somber and vacant. It vividly illustrated the impact we all had on our spaces. Though the bones remain, it’s proof that the devil is in the details.


If you know Berry at all, you know that she is just beyond excited for this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas. The fact that they have selected a classic Georgian in her very own neighborhood of Preston Hollow is just icing on this real estate maven’s cake. And while Berry herself fancies an ice-cold IPA, she cannot help but to be oh-so-intrigued about whomever is given the go ahead to decorate the property’s wine cellar. Oh, the possibilities.

To see the full list of this year’s Kips Bay Designer Show House Dallas designers, click here. Tickets can be purchased here.

Do you have a real estate question for Christy Berry? Submit them to callonchristy@papercitymag.com for your chance to have your question featured in this monthly series.

For much more on Christy Berry, check out her website. No one knows luxury real estate in North Texas better.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - Call on Christy