This year's Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse is a bit of a break from previous incarnations of the Upper East Side institution. While last year's mansion featured a few contemporary pieces by Damien Hirst or the occasional breakout Brooklyn artist, this year's showhome was filled from ground floor to penthouse with art by edgier-than-average photographers, conceptual artists, and sculptors. We picked up several ideas for using artwork to up the ante in a room.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Contractor Stephen Fanuka collaborated with Electrolux on this mod, space-age laundry room bathed in blue light. Lozenge-shaped cutouts in the wall make the closet look like installation art.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Mounted on a bookshelf, an abstract painting in high-key neon green stands in sharp contrast to this traditional room by Celerie Kemble.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

In the eastern half of the penthouse, designed by Brad Ford, a massive live edge coffee table sprawls across the floor. Philia Audio Corporation designed the inset record player — a unique and functional detail.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Across the way from Brad Ford's room, the west side of the penthouse features a colorful tableau of artwork and found objects that enliven Robert Stilin's neutral interior.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

The showhouse's standout piece was arguably the Marilyn Minter photo that designer Amanda Nisbet chose for the bedroom. Hung above a glamorous tufted headboard and framed in the Neo-Federal mansion's original carved wood molding, the photo pops against a background of pink and white wall upholstery from Chelsea Workroom.

The Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse is located at 163 East 63rd Street, open to the public from April 28 – May 26, 2011. All proceeds from the Decorator Show House benefit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.

Photos: Sarah Coffey