LifeStyle & Design




The opening cocktail party at 583 Park


The townhouse on 125 East 65th  street in Manhattan, a brick Georgiandesigned by Charles Platt looks unremarkable on the exterior, but inside is an explosion of fine design for uncertain times, many of the rooms reflecting darkness, nostalgia,  and even angst.

Newport Seen's Linda Phillips & Newporter Ellen Barnes

All in all, it was a delectable 45th AnniversaryKips Bay Decorator Showhouse,trés engaing, with a breathtaking garden by Janice Parker Landscape Architectsfeaturing a unique patterned pebble floor and explosions of colorful plants, entered through a tradition Chinese Moon gate of bamboo. (The townhouse was formerly the China Institute of America.)  Newport Seen could’ve spent hours there.

But the opening night cocktail party was held elsewhere, at 583 Park Avenue, in an attractive vaulted space  with a lighted ceiling, where first nighters mingled and talked before crowding into the Showhouse two blocks away.

A poster of the Showhouse behind the bar at 583 Park

Once there, guests crowded in each room. Some memorable rooms were Stairway to Savage, a black and herringbone floored second floor landing by Jonathan Savage,  Kirsten Fitzgibbons and Kelli Ford’s  contemporary gilded-age living room, with reflective surfaces and touches of gold  (even in the fireplace logs) Neil Beckstedt’s  French-Scandinavian rustic mid-century dining room,  the firm of Robert A.M. Stern’s 1930’s inspired period room,  and Susan Ferrier of McAlpine’s serene sitting room, dense with archaeological prints. Nick Olsen paid homage to Yves St. Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé’s brimming Paris apartment, and a saucy and rather louche looking nook by Powell & Bonnell  in the entryway featured a mysterious painting in a first floor nook with black walls. 

All the rooms had exciting design ideas to take home to one’s personal castle.

Designer extraordinaire Bunny Williams served as Chairman

Lighted and vaulted ceiling & slide show at cocktails

“Each year, theKips Bay Decorator Show Houseproves to be an unparalleled display of incredible interior design talent, raising critical funds for New York City children through theKips Bay Boys & Girls Club,” saidJames Druckman, President and CEO of the New York Design Center, and President of the Board of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

Proceeds from the Show House, which attracts an estimated 15,000 visitors each year, benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which offers innovative after-school and enrichment programs for more than 10,000 youths, ages 6 through 18, in ten locations throughout the Bronx.

Martha Stewart was dazzled by the foyer

This year’s Decorator Showhouse is electric, eclectic, moody, attitudinal.   The Showhouse runs until June 1.  For tickets and information, and to see it all (don't miss the basement)  go to

                                                                      — Linda Phillips


Flowers were everywhere  in an elegant room by Richard Mishaan Design


Ellen Barnes by a floral arrangment


Publicist Michael Mcgraw & Austin Miro


Kirsten Kelli's spacious sitting room




Dark Foyer by Powell & Bonnell



Kirsten Kelli





 inspired by Brooke Astor’s iconic library, a room by Albert Hadley with  elegant brass detailing



Dream kitchen by Bakes & Kropp



Janice Parker in her Chinese inspired garden


A sculptural element in the garden


The gift shop was a small paradise


With glamorous style, architect and designer Yorgos A. Scarpidis designed the second floor staircase, adjoining gallery and “his” bath  into dark design


Mid Century living room by Robert Stilin


A sleek, dark bath with fixtures by Kohler, by Scarpidis


Vignette by Nick Olsen, Inc.


Serene bedroom by Dineen Architecture & Design



Susan Ferrier's print wall


Susan Ferrier's striking sculpture


The Savage Staircase to the Jonathan Ssvage landing


Powell & Bonnell's wild wall of tortoise shells


Visitors outside the Showhouse



Jonathan Savage's superb second floor landing


All images copyrighted to Newport Seen









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