Home + Design

What Does It Take to Design the Kips Bay Show House — Top Dallas Designers Tell All

The Highlights and the Challenges

BY // 10.18.21
photography Jonathan Zizzo

Designers to the starting line. It was the launch of a week’s worth of fascinating Texas Design Week (TDW) programs with “What It Takes To Design A Kips Bay Show House Room.” I actually heard one of my favorite 80s hits on the way to Arsin Rug Gallery, Modern English’s “I Melt With You” and the words were somewhat prophetic: “The future’s open wide. There’s no [design] that we don’t do.” Pardon me for paraphrasing.

On the dais was a panel of decorating gurus: Cathy Kincaid, Michelle Nussbaumer, Chad Dorsey, and Doniphan Moore moderated by PR extraordinaire Chesie Breen. All four designers had rooms in the inaugural Kips Bay Show House 2020. They shared the highlights and challenges (call it a designers anonymous group) of putting together their spaces in the insanely short amount of time (barely two months). It was a Monday morning, so we were all able to excuse some expletives —Moore reminisced when accepting the honor of taking part in 2020’s home: “S**t, I bit off more than I could chew.” Then Kincaid chimed in that “we generally don’t share with clients that we get show houses done in six to eight weeks in fear that they might expect the same for their own homes.”

Cathy Kincaid, Chad Dorsey, Michelle Nussbaumer, Doniphan Moore, Chesie Breen (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)
Cathy Kincaid, Chad Dorsey, Michelle Nussbaumer, Doniphan Moore, Chesie Breen (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)

The audience quickly learned that those six to eight weeks weren’t done during banker’s hours of 9 am until 5 pm. Many late nights were in the cards for all designers involved. A sweet and silly moment occurred when Nussbaumer grabbed Moore’s hand and recalled how they once said during the lead-up to the inaugural show house: “What are we doing up until 1 am every night?” Apparently, some of the tequila that Nussbaumer had kept in her room was great to have on hand in those circumstances.

Spotted in the crowd hanging on every word from the designers on stage included: Lloyd Princeton, Jane Scott Hodges, Tanner Moussa, and relatively new Dallas transplant Eduardo Natal.

Light Up Your Holiday Season with Christmas at the Anatole
Hilton Anatole

Curated Collection