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The Carlton House Townhouse at 19 East 61st Street in New York City’s iconic Lenox Hill neighborhood.

Stepping into the Kips Bay Decorator Show House enlivens all of your senses. For an average, non-designer type like myself, I started to feel things I didn’t know I could feel from design. I didn’t know you could pair those textures with that color, or use chalk to create a room. It was such a wonderful little escape from the bustling, unforgiving streets of New York City and we had the best time getting lost inside the designs.

A few of our favorites were Phillip Thomas’s Lady Lair, Garrow Kedigian’s lounge retreat, David Kleinberg Design Associates’ library, and Gil Walsh’s powder room.

Inspired by his hard-working mother, Phillip Thomas, created the ultimate lady escape.  Keeping true to his goal of designing a multi-purpose retreat for the women of the household, he transformed this small space by including a desk for working, a daybed for resting, and two lush chairs for catching up on your guilty pleasure TV shows.  He only had a small space to work with but he created a larger than life design.  One of the ways he opened up the small space was by covering the walls in pattern.  “We upholstered the walls of our ‘Lady Lair’ in a beautiful cream fabric, which was then graffitied by Andrew Tedesco Studios. The layering of graffiti paint and the play of the sheens create the illusion of depth,” Thomas says.

Phillip Thomas's Lady Lair

Phillip Thomas’s Lady Lair

Garrow Kedigian’s lounge retreat combines just the right amount of transitional elements and contemporary elegance.  He designed the space with Napoleon in mind.  “Napoleon’s campaign was about beauty and his appreciation of fine things, which is what design is today,” Kedigian says.

Garrow Kedigian's Lounge

Garrow Kedigian’s Lounge

Rajiv Surendra's chalk art

Rajiv Surendra’s chalk art

The most captivating, yet playful aspect of the design are the lounge walls.  They are done in chalk.  Yes, chalk.  The chalk lines were all hand done by artist Rajiv Surendra, who might be the only one that isn’t worried about smudging the walls. “Life is transient, and Kips Bay is transient. It will only be here for one month.  People are in awe of chalk art because of its impermanence.  But that is the beauty of it.  It’s like fresh flowers — you enjoy it and its fragility. So if the wall gets smudged, deal with it,” says Surendra.  Rajiv Surendra is already famous for one-liners though because he played the mathlete Kevin G. from the 2004 cult classic Lindsay Lohan comedy, “Mean Girls,” where he dropped his iconic line: “Don’t let the haters stop you from doin’ your thang!”  I think all show house attendees would agree that Surendra should keep doing his thang.

Gil Walsh's Powder Room

Gil Walsh’s Powder Room

Gil Walsh stormed onto the show house scene this year. She is a non-New Yorker newcomer with a small space, but she didn’t hold back. She took inspiration from J.Lo, a Kips Bay kid, and went glam with her powder room.  “Powder rooms are some of my favorite spaces to decorate,” says designer Gil Walsh. “Because of their small size, you can be indulgent with materials and finishes.”

If you are looking for an escape from the New York rain or heat, there is no better place to get lost in a wonderland of senses than the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.  I mean what better way to spend your time then cruising through a five-story, $49.5 million limestone townhouse where the proceeds go to a remarkable charity.

The show house will be open just one more week, so please head over to http://www.kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org for details on planning your trip.  Not going to be in the New York area?  No problem, visit their Instagram or the hashtag #kipsbayshowhouse16.