Showhouse season is an exciting time for interior design enthusiasts.  Showhouse rooms tend to be the most magical of interiors.  Designers aim to impress.  Plus, they no longer have clients to negotiate with.  And, in a sense, the designers participating in a showhouse are (more or less) in competition with each other–spurring the level of creativity to new heights.  For my money, the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse is the most inspiring and 2016 did not disappoint.  Spawned by the spectacular rooms decorated by the likes of Alex Papachristidis and Garrow Kedigian, here are 5 decorating ideas you can steal from this year’s extravaganza…

Use Color to Create a Flow

5 Ideas to Steal from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse 2016

Entry hall by David Collins Studio via

Color is often a polarizing phenomenon in interior design.  The neutrals camp is steadfast and the color lovers are passionate.  However, the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse was renovated on what seems like common ground.  It was surprising to see the so-called “King of Color”, Jamie Drake (who recently partnered with Caleb Anderson to form Drake/Anderson) put forth a fairly neutral bedroom.  In fact, the majority of the most commonly used living spaces (bedrooms, living room, dining room, and kitchen) exhibited neutral palettes.  However, the lesser used spaces and arterials were peppered and (in some cases) drenched in daring color.  If you subscribe to the theory that color can be overwhelming, then this approach makes sense.  Loads of color is refreshing in those seldom used spaces.  Meanwhile, the most used rooms are restful.  A colorful hallway can also draw out the occupants and usher them into the next room, creating a pleasing flow to a home.

Embellish the Embellished

5 Ideas to Steal from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

Dining room by Alex Papachristidis

Even if you’re not a maximalist, it’d be hard not to admire the lavish attention to detail that Alex Papachristidis bestowed on his (also surprisingly neutral) dining room for the Kips Bay Showhouse.  Gilded chairs and even sofa cushions were hand painted to echo themes from the custom wallpaper.  A chandelier, already dripping with crystals, was further adorned with strings of ceramic beads made by Eve Kaplan.   Even the glamorous brass coffee tables were elevated thanks to the work of Nancy Lorenz, who used mother of pearl, lacquer, and gold leaf to create a unique surface.  And these are just a few of the details.  To see the rest, visit Quinessence, the source for these delicious details and the images above.

Trade in Your Rug for Statement Flooring

5 Ideas to Steal from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

Petit Salon By Sawyer/Berson via AD

Flooring trends these days seem to veer towards Middle Eastern textiles like kilim and dhurrie rugs.  So the terrazzo floors in the Sawyer/Berson decorated room of the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse was a unexpected choice but brilliant choice.  The shades of rust, terracotta, and tumeric  are the perfect compliments to the moody teal walls and their warmth is reinforced by the gilded and brass touches throughout the room.  Judging by the sheer amount of Instagrams featuring this floor, Sawyer/Berson may well have stolen the show.

Upholster Something Unexpected

5 Ideas to Steal from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

2016 KBDS bedrom via AD

5 Ideas to Steal from the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse 2016

Drake/Anderson Bedroom via AD

Renowned design firms Olasky & Sinsteden and Drake/Anderson must have been on the same wavelength when decorating for the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, because they both doubled down on upholstery.  In the case of the Olasky & Sinsteden, the duo chose to install oversize twin beds, wrapping their lofty, scalloped frames in fabric.  Drake/Anderson, on the other hand, took the use of upholstery a bit further.  This design powerhouse covered the room’s moldings in fabric identical to the wall treatments, drapery, and canopy.  The effect is almost cocoon-like and yet another unexpected delight to behold.

Create a OOAK Wall Treatment

5 Ideas to Steal from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

Phillip Thomas’ “lady lair” via HouseBeautiful

5 Ideas to Steal from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

Garrow Kedigian’s room via Newsday

Phillip Thomas and Garrow Kedigian were also in tune when they transformed ordinary rooms into  luxurious, showhouse-worthy lairs, tapping artists to help create one-of-a-kind wall treatments.  Thomas’ space was a feminine office, rich with patterns and pops of color, set off by tagged walls courtesy of a graffiti artist.  Kedigian also enlisted the help of an artist, but–instead of paint–chose humble chalk as the medium and neoclassical architecture as the subject matter.  This combination may be unorthodox, but you can’t argue with the results.  They are simply stunning.  (This is an approach Kedigian also employed in his Montreal home.)

I’m sure there are more lessons to be gleaned and ideas to be lifted from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse.  Hopefully, these 5 have gotten your creative juices flowing or encouraged you to explore more of the showhouse coverage.  Happy decorating & DIY-ing!