Hitting it Out of the Park – 2019 Kips Bay Show House

Left to right: Björk, Maren Morris, Anna Wintour

What do Björk at the 2001 Oscars, Maren Morris at the 2018 ACM Awards, Anna Wintour at The Met Gala this past May and the 47th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House have in common? They delivered a stunning, sensational, extraordinary moment of creativity that was sans pareil – they hit it out of the park.

The Kips Bay Show House is the crème de la crème of design show houses. As a devotee for three decades, this year’s visit left me in awe.  Twenty-three designers created twenty-two rooms of inspiring designs, brilliantly executed with gorgeous colors, distinctive textures, elegant antiques, state-of-the-art pieces, sumptuous fabrics and more: impressive draperies, sophisticated lighting, remarkable hand-created wallpapers, cascading sculpture, handsome hardware, regal decorative painting, the best carpets and artifacts with real souls.

My philosophy is, more is better, emphasizing this only works when all the design components, petite and grand, are their individual best. This year’s Kips Bay designers, like great conductors, orchestrated a moment (in reality, a month) of remarkable creativity. Welcome to my hall of fame!

Show House photos by Tess Giuliani unless otherwise noted.

Dining Room

Design, Cullman & Kravis Associates www.cullmankravis.com; Custom curved benches, Anthony Lawrence Belfair www.anthonylawrence.com; Acrylic table top, Sublime Living www.sublime-living.com.

A tour de force! Multilayers of gold acrylic paint, hand-applied on the backs of these blue velvet curved two-seater upholstered chairs, along with the soft, abstract embroidered gold design on the draperies are but two of the brilliant design elements in this dining room.


Photo by Nicholas Sargent. Design, Gluckstein Design www.glucksteindesign.com.

Time for anticipation and reflection, difficult in our hectic lives, became an experience on this stairway. I stepped slowly, taking in the classic, yet asymmetrical spiral of the carpet, 4 stories of cascading hand-cut brass flowers, and the intricate two-tone faux-painted moldings on elegant gray grass-cloth. Upward, downward, inward. What a feeling!



Design, cabinetry and custom hardware, Christopher Peacock www.peacockhome.com; countertops, Cambria, www.cambriausa.com; sink, Kohler, www.kohler.com, cabinetry paint, Benjamin Moore Ashwood Moss, www.benjaminmoore.com.

Handsome is the new kitchen in town. Christopher Peacock designed this space in a relatively small, windowless room creating a reaction of “I must have this kitchen!” Sophisticated and clever, he used mirrored openings to simulate windows, moss green painted cabinets, dark wood accents, Cambria countertops, stainless steel appliances, a state-of-the-art Kohler sink, and the most handsome custom hardware, which he personally designed. Bravo!

Marble Bathroom

Photos by Matthew Williams. Design, Studio DB www.studiodb.com; fixtures, Kohler, www.kohler.com; floor and wall tile, Artistic Tile, www.artistictile.com.

Urban + romantic = totally cool in this bath featuring a marble vanity, under-mounted sink to the right, vanity apron of undulating tiers of marble, black iron legs, brushed brass fixtures and floor and wall tiles from Artistic Tile’s Alison Rose Collection. The high marble backsplash and floor base molding are so old, yet so new.


Design, VW Home By Vicente Wolf www.vicentewolfhome.com; tub, Kohler, www.kohler.com; tub platform, Cambria, www.cambriausa.com; andirons, John Lyle Design, www.johnlyledesign.com.

This non-bathroom/bathroom was totally conceivable with a curvaceous and sleek tub and contemporary chrome faucet, Cambria tub platform, an exotic, inlaid chest of drawers with marble vessels atop and sensational andirons. Sophisticated and transporting.


Design, Corey Damen Jenkins Associates, www.coreydamenjenkins.com; ceiling wallpaper, Cole & Son www.cole-and-son.com; antique chandelier, Newel www.newel.com

Ceilings have great design potential and this study immediately drew your sight upward toward the multi-floral wallpaper accentuated with an antique brass and crystal chandelier. A return to romance.

Bedroom Vignette

Design, Paloma Contreras Design www.palomacontreras.com; Japanese garden wallpaper in original design colors on sterling gilded paper, de Gournay www.degournay.com; brass wall sconces with red shades, Visual Comfort www.visualcomfort.com; custom millwork, Innovate New York, www.innovateny.com.

A refreshing take on classic traditional style, this bedroom was wrapped in refined, custom millwork highlighted with hand-painted panels depicting a Japanese garden design. In a word, timeless.

Bedroom with Seating Area

Design, Charlotte Moss www.charlottemoss.com

Dreams of exotic sounds and travels filled the air. The regal Coromandel screen, the Chinese porcelains, the blue and white canopy bed, antique rattan table with wicker chairs and Dutch hanging lantern left me with a rekindled sense of wanderlust.

Wet Bar

Photo by Matthew Williams. Design, Studio DB www.studiodb.com; leopard runner, The Rug Company, www.therugcompany.com; hand-painted mural, de Gournay, www.degournay.com.

Black and white leopards on an emerald green runner guide you into an enclave of deep green walls with dramatic marble floor moldings. The hand-painted mural on shimmery paper was a showstopper. I had to catch my breath. Fortunately, this room was a wet bar.

Designer Tess Giuliani/Principal of Tess Giuliani Designs Inc. in Ridgewood www.tessgiuliani.com

About the designer: Tess has been awarded many of the kitchen and bath industries’ top design honors, including 1st Featured Kitchen Designer in America for Viking Inc., Best Kitchen, Best Bathroom and Best Furniture Design for The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). She holds a BA from Georgian Court University, a Certificate of Design from New York School of Interior Design and is a Certified Kitchen Designer with the NKBA. Her designs have been published in Design NJ as well as globally for residential inspiration and product promotion.