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Then and Now — 2021 Kips Bay Show House Designers Look Back at The Must-See Event

An Inside Look Into What The Experience Is Really Like

BY // 08.15.22

Grab your tickets. Opening Day for the 2022 Kips Bay Dallas Designer Show House, the city’s must-see event for the design world’s most talented display of interiors, is just a few weeks away. This year’s team of designers is working around the clock as they put finishing touches in place, preparing for one of their biggest career moments and opportunities of a lifetime as they showcase their one-of-a-kind design styles.

We sat down with five of last year’s Dallas Kips Bay Show House designers to get an inside peek into what the weeks during the countdown are really like, just before the doors open to the public. From last-minute challenges to why the Show House continues to be a highlight of their careers, these talented designers’ taking on the Kips Bay experience makes us readier than ever for the start of the 2022 season.


Javier Burkle

PaperCity: How is your perspective different this year as an alumnus vs. last year as a designer for Kips Bay?

Michael Aiduss: I can’t think of anything more exhilarating than participating in a Kips Bay Show House! As a designer, it’s an unparalleled opportunity to create a vision solely based on your own design. Given the circumstances and challenges in the furniture and shipping industry post-Covid, we all faced difficulties across various fronts with vendors to meet our deadlines and allow for timely installations. I’m always amazed how each designer pulls together a space of sheer perfection, especially given the number of details that need to come together. This year being on the other side, I have loved the chance to support the 2022 designers by sharing insight and advice as they complete their rooms. I can’t wait to see everyone’s work in person!

Javier Burkle: When I began working on my room last year for Kips Bay, I viewed it as an incredibly exciting project. I had no idea, however, how much bigger the experience would turn out to be! Not only is the opportunity unmatched professionally, the experience affords the chance to form relationships with many of the most talented people in the business. I walked away with an incredible network, connections, and true friendships. As I’ve been watching this year’s team of designers work on their spaces, I can’t help but think about the many exciting things in store for them!

Dan Houchard: Across the board, relationships were the highlight of the entire experience for me at Kips Bay. From meeting the patrons to gaining a new network of friends in the industry, I can’t think of a better way to make connections. Honestly, it felt a little like summer camp! We were in close quarters for a relatively short period of time, and yet we got to know each other so well, thanks to such a shared experience.


An exotic guest bedroom by Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design (Photo by Stephen Karlisch)

PC: What was your favorite part of the Kips Bay experience?

Caroline Gidiere: My favorite part — without a doubt! — was the friendship and camaraderie shared amongst the designers. There’s nothing like the stress involved in the short timeline of a show house and working closely together that lends itself to forging really strong friendships! The laughs we shared and commiserating about experiences brought us all fresh perspective and got us through the working-around-the-clock moments.

Javier Burkle: Installation week was one of the most fun times of Kips Bay! Getting to see how everyone’s hard work came together, as well as watching the way each space took on the designer’s individual personality, was truly incredible. The house was full of camaraderie and unity as we all had the chance to meet one another and share what we had created.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard: It’s a special opportunity to see and experience each designer’s work, as well as celebrate and welcome the wonderful design enthusiasts who come to support the show house and charity.


Kips Bay Dallas 2021
A French salon by Michael Aiduss Interiors + Architecture for the 2021 Kips Bay Show House Dallas. (Photo by Stephen Karlisch)

PC: What struck you about the individuality that each designer brought to their space?

Martyn Lawrence Bullard: The individuality that exudes from each different designer is a wonderful thing to see. Every room is an expression of a designer’s character that highlights and oftentimes, their own personal journey. Having been locked down in a pandemic for nearly two years, my own room was an expression that exuded the fantasy of travel — even when you can’t travel afar, you can create feelings of that experience at home, achieved in my own space with a magical, scenic wallpaper depicting views of Hindustan that coordinated with Francis Elkins-inspired faux ivory twin beds and an Indian rose pink lacquered ceiling. The room exuded the most romantic glow.

Dan Houchard: A Kips Bay show house is not a model home — it’s the Met Gala of the interior design world! By nature, it’s super interesting and out of the box. I loved the way that each part of the home, from the outdoor spaces to even the closets, spoke to the imagination.

Michael Aiduss: I found it remarkable how cohesive the house felt last year — it’s not typical for the rooms in a show house to flow as if they’d been planned through a conscious thread of design. Almost intuitively, last year’s designers worked in sync, making the spaces feel connected.

Caroline Gidiere: Each space was certainly unique, but what struck me was the level of play — it quickly became clear to me we were playing in the big leagues and everyone had brought their A-game.


A room designed by Caroline Gidiere.

PC: Favorite spaces or displays in the house last year?

Martyn Lawrence Bullard: The majesty of Alexa Hampton’s primary bedroom was perfectly matched to the grandeur of the house and adjacency to Brant McFarlin’s glorious primary bathroom that afforded all the comforts of a five-star hotel. Also, the neoclassical proportions of the main living room by Michael Aiduss were warm, inviting, and retained the glamour a main reception room demands.

Javier Burkle: I never tired of gazing at John Bobbitt’s entryway, from the color scheme and chandelier to the antique portraits. I also adored Meredith Ellis’ play on pattern (and the linens she chose by Leontine!).

Dan Houchard: Pulp Collection created an interesting collection of random rooms that truly were surprisingly cohesive, thanks to the design story and theme they created for the space. I loved its collected, beautiful, and out-of-the-ordinary feel.

A custom bar designed by Javier Burkle.

PC: We heard that last year’s house had more than 10 bars… is that true?! Which one was your favorite?

Javier Burkle: We definitely weren’t short on places for happy hour, that’s for sure! Ken Fulk’s room topped my list for a drink — I mean, who doesn’t want to sip a cocktail surrounded by that velvet wallpaper?

Michael Aiduss: My personal favorite was the bar by Liz MacPail. I adored the banquet with bouillon fringe and the moodiness of the space — the dark and cozy atmosphere made it a really relaxing place to unwind at the end of the day.

Caroline Gidiere: My hands-down favorite bar was the speakeasy room by Yates Desygn — incredibly fabulous!