Bi-coastal design

I’m pleased to have been working with Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in New York City for three years now. This year, I took over design for the entire Decorator Show House, their largest fundraiser of the year. The event is quite extraordinary as it’s really a season of events, kicking off with a black-tie dinner, followed by a pre-renovation party and then opening night celebration. Throughout the month-long run of the Show House, they hold lectures, kitchen demonstrations—etc etc etc—and finally a closing night celebration.

This year was especially remarkable as Kips Bay secured the landmark Mansion on Madison for the Show House. As this was indeed such a score, the committee requested a design that might incorporate and/or reflect the venue.

Easier said than done. The decorator show house “logo” is not a logo, but a watercolor rendering of a door. How to combine two architectural elements?

After an extensive Google image search (and a creatively charged beer), I settled on an architectural-style drawing of the venue’s facade with a die-cut window for the black-tie dinner invitation. For the other elements, which need to be both consistent yet distinctive, I picked up some patterns and details from the interior. Enter patience and some Adobe Illustrator skills.


And no, I don’t make this stuff up. That would be cheating.

Above: Mansion on Madison, exterior view, and dining room floor detail, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Some of the other graphics I created perhaps don’t make it into the see-what-an-amazing-designer-I-am pile, but I will pat myself on the back for staying true to their branding and colors while relaying the various events.


Oh and did I mention attendance across the event was up 100% and then some?

So, what does one do after they’ve completed this volume of work? Go to Disneyland? Nope, it’s time to board a plane for NYC and see this all for myself. I mean, hey, it’s got to be worthwhile to see your design on Madison Avenue.


I must say, the Show House is definitely something you have to tour to fully appreciate, and appreciate how much effort goes into this—I’m certainly not the only one working hard. Photos are not allowed inside the show house but if you are really and truly interested, check out the feature on Curbed.

I (heart) New York {sometimes}. It’s a lovely place to visit, especially with some dear friends to host me and coach me and make up for the wardrobe deficiencies I’ve developed after 14 years in Los Angeles. You know, like loan me an umbrella (which I don’t own anymore) and teach me how to wear 4” heels in the big city (which you don’t actually wear; you carry them in your big New Yorker purse—which I also don’t own—and then you change into them on the sly at the closest Bank of America).

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