In Real Life: Designing for the Kips Bay Show House in Palm Beach

Just in case our lives weren’t exciting enough with cross-country design projects for clients, we added another destination to the list: Palm Beach. And I’m not mad about it. At the end of February, we spent several sun-soaked weeks (okay, and some studio time) putting the finishing touches on our design for the 5th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House.  

The Joy Street guest suite includes a newly designed bedroom, bathroom, and work space, and I am LOVING how they turned out.

More importantly though, our vision for this space is so aligned with the Joy Street mission that it genuinely feels good to put it out into the world. It’s an incredible juxtaposition of present and future, equality and diversity, technology and humanity — and I can’t wait for you to see it. But first, what is the Kips Bay Show House…and why should you care?

kips bay designer show house palm beach 2022
The Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach (source)

Design for a Cause: The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House has been an annual and highly anticipated event in the interior design community for 48 YEARS. Each year, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club invites a roster of interior designers to makeover a space within one of their three luxury homes in Manhattan, Dallas, and Palm Beach. These show houses are open to the public for everyone to enjoy, with proceeds supporting the Boys & Girls Club and their children’s programs.

You know I’m passionate about design for a cause, but what’s also interesting about this event is its role in the wider voice of the design industry. New trends or industry shifts appear in these show houses every year. There’s this fascinating exchange of ideas and a powerful ripple effect that occurs over time, as what designers do here in the show houses start to echo in real, everyday homes.

This is also why it was so important to us that Joy Street’s mission and values be reflected in our space — it’s our vision for the future, and we believe in the power of design to create change for good.

“In Real Life” Guest Suite Design for the Kips Bay Show House

joy street design kips bay designer show house black heritage nfts diversity relaxation

The In Real Life guest suite is designed as a respite from everyday life. It envelopes its inhabitants in warm dichromatic colors, cozy fabrics, and modern features while also bringing certain elements of the metaverse (digital art, NFTs, etc.) into the real world and bridging the gap between the spaces that we inhabit physically and the spaces we inhabit virtually.

joy street design in real life kips bay designer show house bold modern design past future

The bedroom suite is separate from the main house which allowed our design to be bolder and more modern. We moved away from the traditional Palm Beach aesthetic and used saturated reds and purples to create a space that is enveloped in warm colors.

stunning geometric bathroom and guest suite bar area white black red bold joy street design atlanta

Our intention was also to create a self-contained space that would allow you to retreat away from your problems — an energetic bathroom, space to use as a work area or vanity (with a bar, of course), and a very joyful bedroom — but also allow you to be engaged and connected with the world in a variety of ways.

joy street design in real life guest suite kitchenette and bathroom

We used very linear elements to elevate the space, including the custom wallpaper and bathroom tile. These black and white elements help infuse the space with contrast while not taking away from the overall effect of the warm colors. I personally love using black accents, as they really punch up the design in every way — boldness, elegance, groundedness, etc.

joy street design digital art moody red pop wallpaper closet inspiration geometric tile shower luxury

We also wanted to tap into the exciting “new” field of NFTs and digital art, like the digital print above, inviting inhabitants to redefine and broaden their concept of art. It’s this exciting blend of history, future, possibility, and imagination.

I personally love the idea of the NFT marketplace because it provides a way for underrepresented and previously overlooked persons and communities to have a seat at the table. By creating a more equitable and accessible forum, more diverse and talented individuals will be discovered and recognized for the artists they are. (More on this in my next blog post.)

kips bay designer showhouse room of the future bedroom red walls geometric ceiling tech

Another big concept we addressed was the fact that the metaverse currently only exists in our phones, tablets, and other digital devices. None of it ever really translates to the existing physical environment, so much of our daily life can feel like it is happening on this whole other plane of existence.

To address this challenge and make the space more future-forward, we worked with emerging brands to create digital displays that show a variety of digital art and video. We also included prints and traditional frames to represent the way these two distinct things can live in harmony.

custom bedding "by the way" moody red velvet custom bed frame modern luxury bedroom

We also recognized that bringing technology, screens, and buttons into the space could result in a space that would feel cold or inhuman. Not on my watch. We balanced this by creating a space that would also be a calming, soothing respite. The deep red color assists with this. Then, everything was topped with luxurious fabrics, like the custom bedding, sumptuous custom bed frame, and window treatments in soft velvet.

kelly finley joy street design kips bay show house moody dramatic soothing bedroom

Last but not least, we couldn’t have done it without our gracious sponsors who donated their time and/or products to help bring this space to life. A big shout out and thank you to:

That’s a wrap, but if you’re anywhere near Palm Beach, go see it! Or you can purchase a virtual ticket here to see all the beautiful rooms in this house. It’s worth it, and again, that ticket goes to a good cause, so DO IT. ]

— Kelly

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