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