For this year’s Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House, 25 rooms of a 1923 Italian Renaissance mansion on Spruce Avenue in Northwood Village, have been transformed into a tropical paradise. The 24 featured interior designers and architects have injected vibrant colour and high-class drama into the spaces, from Chris Goddard’s playful, contemporary take on ‘French salon’ style in the guest house lounge to Catherine M. Austin’s ‘Jewel of the Jungle’ dining room and kitchen where the Côte d’Azur meets Palm Beach.
Despite the level of flourish and embellishment in the rooms, in many cases the rugs take a back seat, adding texture and tonal balance. This year it is the ceiling that is the star of the show. In view of this, Domino magazine’s review of the event refers to ‘fresh takes on the “fifth wall”’ but for us rug enthusiasts—who have already labelled the floor the ‘fifth wall’—the ceiling will be called the ‘sixth wall’ for decorating.
Statement ceilings include Damour Drake’s kids’ bedroom with three-dimensional clouds by Sienna Martz, Chris Goddard’s Yves Klein Blue beam work in the French salon and Tiffany Brooks’ ‘Bloom Lounge’ with a lime green ceiling. The Rug Company Verge Ice rug by Kelly Wearstler does not try to compete with the Thibaut wallpaper and ceiling shade but makes its own subtle statement below.
Philip Gorrivan’s ’Sala Exotico’ features a structural ceiling installation in high gloss chestnut paint and is also one of three spaces with a statement rug, featuring Erik Lindstrom’s new Retreat carpet in the Rose colourway designed by Allison Kunath. In Beth Diana Smith’s ‘Wonderland Dining Room’, our eye is also taken to the floor and the ceiling while the walls are neutrally adorned. A joyful pink and red rug by Lulu and Georgia balances the bold colours from above and invites us into the space.
Red tones are making their mark in this year’s rooms, none more so than in Kelly Finley of Joy Street Design’s bedroom that features walls in deep scarlet and an opulent velvet red bed. The dark pink shades of the ombre rug by New Moon Rugs compliments the decor perfectly.
Bathrooms are rarely spaces for statement rugs but Andrea Schumacher’s blue ‘Flutter Loo’ bathroom features a beautiful Moroccan rug by Afrikesh, that harmonises with the Liesl Flutter wallpaper and added butterflies.
The colour and decor of this year’s interiors constantly remind us that this is Palm Beach not New York, particularly with the use of plant fibre flooring in many of the rooms like The Lewis Design Groups’ exotic and inviting space called ‘The Closet Reimagined’. Catherine M. Austin’s ‘Jewel of the Jungle’ exuberant kitchen contains jute rugs by Stark, while the sunny and joyful spaces of Paloma Contreras and Amanda Reynal use Patterson Flynn rugs abaca designs that complement the green tones of the two spaces.
The layering of rugs is used by Darmour Drake in the child’s bedroom, where a sisal rug by designer Maryline Damour herself sits on top of another by Patterson Flynn. In the ‘Drawing Room’ Peter Pennoyer a traditional design by Arsin Rug Gallery sits on top of a New Moon rug, balancing bold design with calm shades.
Kips Bay Palm Beach is on until 3 April 2022.
All photos: Nickolas Sargent (Sargent Photography)