PHOTOS: Check out this stunning West Palm Beach show house makeover


When the local Red Cross chapter last year pulled the plug on its designer show house after 40 years, it opened a vacancy in the world of wishful thinking and aspirational home envy.

Into the breach stepped the 44-year-old Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Decorator Show House, a New York City institution since 1973.

RELATED: MORE PHOTOS OF THE KIPS BAY SHOW HOUSE

The day after Thanksgiving, the organization opened its first designer show house outside New York in a historic home in West Palm Beach’s El Cid neighborhood.

“We have been looking for a way to expand,” said Nazira Handal, director of special events for Kips Bay. “We knew there was a void down here to be filled. This seemed a great opportunity to expand the brand.”

Seventeen designers, nine with offices in Palm Beach County and the rest from New York, Atlanta and Chicago, have spent weeks at Villa Belmonte, a 1925 Mediterranean Revival home owned by the Donnelly family of Palm Beach.

The house is secluded behind lush foliage on an El Cid lake block, between Flagler Drive and Olive Avenue. With loggias, courtyards, balconies and a red tile roof, the home has many of the earmarks of Med Rev architecture. Several additions have given the home a meandering floor plan, which adds to its eccentric charm.

While the design theme is loosely tropical, designers have interpreted it in more than a dozen ways.

There’s the on-the-nose, treillage in the “Orchid House” dining room, a restrained lilac and pale pink homage to 1970’s Palm Beach in the family room, and a sitting room’s fresh take on the mid-century barefoot chic era, in tart yellow, sharpened with pop art.

There are also a few designer flights of fancy, including a hot pink second floor dog den and a sculptural black toilet with ambient lighting and a heated seat that opens automatically when someone enters the room.

While most of the furnishings will return to retailers and designers’ warehouses, the home owners will keep a sleek new kitchen.

If Kips Bay becomes a regular event on the area’s social calendar, it will introduce a rotating crop of new designers to the deep-pocketed, style-concious Palm Beach crowd.

While the Red Cross Show House had a reliable stable of mostly-local designers who contributed year after year, Kips Bay allows designers from around the country to apply only once every three years.

Handal said the show house has been so popular, with better-than-expected attendance, that the organization would like to return next year, provided someone volunteers a suitable house for designers to transform.

Proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County and Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in New York City, which together serve about 18,000 children.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community

BAFTA Film Awards 2018: See the complete winners list
BAFTA Film Awards 2018: See the complete winners list

Check out which films, stars and directors won big Sunday at the 2018 British Academy Film Awards in London.  Best film: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" Outstanding British film: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: "I Am Not a Witch,"...
WATCH: Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game baffles viewers
WATCH: Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game baffles viewers

Grammy award-winning recording artist Fergie was tasked with the pre-game national anthem for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night. On paper, that sounds like a great choice, but many viewers thought it could have gone better. Critics pointed out that Fergie’s voice was oddly erratic during the anthem. One sequence even led Warriors forward...
Why car horns, planes and sirens might be bad for your heart
Why car horns, planes and sirens might be bad for your heart

The roar of a jet plane, the rumble of a big rig, that shrill scream from the siren of a speeding emergency vehicle: The common but loud noises that keep you awake at night and agitate you throughout the day may have a notable effect on your cardiovascular health, experts say. Researchers say noise pollution may increase the risk of heart disease,...
A cancer ‘vaccine’ is completely eliminating tumors in mice
A cancer ‘vaccine’ is completely eliminating tumors in mice

A new cancer treatment experiment at Stanford University that used immune-stimulators to target tumors in mice had remarkably encouraging results. After injecting a combination of two immune boosters directly into solid mouse tumors, the research team said the vaccination eliminated all traces of the specifically targeted cancer from the animal&rsquo...
Bacteria in milk, beef may be linked to rheumatoid arthritis
Bacteria in milk, beef may be linked to rheumatoid arthritis

Milk is good for bones, but joints are another story for some people, according to a new study. A strain of bacteria commonly found in milk and beef may be a trigger for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in individuals who are genetically at risk, according to researchers at the University of Central Florida. The bacteria — mycobacterium avium...
More Stories