By Louise Hart for GQ.
For the 44th year in a row, the country's best designers and architects united for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House to transform a raw N.Y.C. space into a maximalist's Shangri-La. If you're in New York between now and June 9, stop in for a visit or to make an offer--the 10,000-square-foot space (with another 5,000 outside) is for sale for $49.5 million. If you're a little light on the cash, then just rip off a few of its design ideas for your own palace.
Hate your floors? Try painting them like Alex Papachristidis did in a chevron pattern in the silver-and-gold dining room. We can't guarantee the rest of your room will look as dramatic, but this simple step can brighten and improve any floor.
While you may not be able to cover your walls in velvet like David Kleinberg Design Associates did in the library here, you can try using hyacinth baskets from Waterworks to help organize and elevate an otherwise simple bar. Bonus points for splashing out on Asprey tumblers.
Flannel--good for suits, unexpectedly masculine as a wall covering, as proven by Eve Robinson's art library. You could try DIY-ing it yourself by buying fabric from an upholstery store and practicing on a single wall, but there's no shame in getting the pros involved. You wouldn't tailor your own suit, you know?
Just don't know what to do with all those Rembrandts you have lying around? Sawyer | Berson suggests removing the masterpieces from their gilded frames and hanging them naked--in this case, against a custom brass panel from Remains Lighting. For those who don't have Guggenheim-level collections, know that Billy Cotton glassware and this brass bar cart from Bermingham & Co deliver a different--but just as valuable--buzz.
It's a little bit playhouse here, but employed judiciously, an intense color like this blue--used by David Collins Studio in the front hall and called "Lutyens Blue"--can prevent your pad from being off-white and boring. (If you want this exact paint for yourself, check out Farrow & Ball, where it goes by the name Cook's Blue.)
Here's even more proof that you shouldn't be afraid of color: The ombré curtain fabric brings some hippie vibes to an otherwise conservative master bathroom by Groves & Co.. Even if you don't have windows with a view, look-at-me towels like these ultramarine blue ones from Hermès liven up the bathroom without forcing you to commit.
While not everyone will be able to source their own petrified-bamboo-root table sculpture, like Daniel Richards did at Home Nature, there's no shortage of unexpected objects you could use to liven up your tabletops. Anything's better than a pile of mail, certainly.
Whether you have an "urban refuge" like the one that Hollander Design created or just a "backyard," don't sleep on this outdoor bar station from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens. Anything that keeps the booze flowing freely is worth the investment.
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