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Kipps Bay Show House
4 East 75th Street, New York City
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
April 25, 2006 Bookmark and Share

Let’s face it, the whole point of a show house is an exercise in masochism and self-loathing – about your own apartment’s inadequacies.  To see all those beautiful rooms, immaculate and perfect, is to realize why Madonna said her most favorite part of the day was when the maid had just finished: Everything’s right with the world.  Not a speck of dust or Manhattan grime to be found, everything’s shiny and new. 

To wander through the rooms of 4 East 75th Street, the site of this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House, is no exception: these are rooms which inspire flights of fancy and visions of romance.  These rooms are the repositories of the one true New York fantasy: real estate.  And just as soon as we get our penthouse in the sky, this is how we’ll be living. 

Here, in alphabetical order, are our five favorite rooms in this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House.

Thom Filicia, Inc., Modern Times:  An immensely long room overlooking the garden, this is a naturalist’s sanctuary of earth tones and stone and natural materials.  An ornithologist’s haven with eagle pedestals.  Here lives a connoisseur of the outdoors and a collector of the visual artists who bring the best of the natural world in.  A room remarkably void of capitalism’s more incessant distractions, it would appear that the most modern are those who focus on the world outside. 

Larry Laslo Designs, What Is...Black, White, and Suite/Vanity Fair:  A Hollywood master bedroom from the silver screen’s most elegant eras.  Art Deco marble sculptures and a 1940 mahogany desk and chair, a George III leather chair, and Giacometti twig tables – and on the floor, wall to wall goat’s hair in white.  Sumptuous and soothing.  Lest you feel bound to the Forties, there’s also a 50” plasma flat HDTV above the Gio Ponti Modernist cabinet.  Ensuite, the bathroom with Kohler’s masterful hatbox toilet.  Who wouldn’t wish to wake in this room every morning for the rest of life?

Katherine Newman Design, The Living Room:  Larger than the majority of Manhattan apartments, this living room has seating areas for no less than eight individual groups of chattering magpies, along with a dining table set for eight.  This is where Barry Lyndon and his entourage might convene should they find themselves in 2006.  And yet with room enough for forty or more, this room still possesses niches for intimacy and secrets.  A room for the gloaming hour, cocktails and after-dinner drinks, the sort of room which keeps you long after your bedtime. 

Campion Platt, Mr. Woo’s Lab:  When you need to be alone, when you need to work, when you need to create and be inspired, this is the room to which you retire.  With ambient lighting and surround sound, and not one but four recessed plasma screen televisions, and a Pullman-car-like enclosure, perfect for reclining and more, and a clear acrylic desk, streamlined and moderne, it’s hardly noticeable there’s no window, for everything here is generated from deep within the creative mind and soul.  Look for me in the lab, indeed.

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