Inside the Design-Minded World of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas Preview

High Style and Saucy Stories

What is it that people always say: the sequel is never as good as the original? Well, in the case of Kips Bay Decorator Show House Part Deux, I beg to differ. Congratulations are in order for the honorary chairs of the 2021 edition — Jamie Drake and Bunny Williams in addition to co-chairs Steele MarcouxJan ShowersJean Liu, and Chad Dorsey as well as vice chairs Trish Sheats and Laura Lee Clark Falconer.

The day-long VIP preview party was brimming with the most soignée crowd. I won’t go on and on with my recounting of all the stunning details and fabulous rooms. You can read about those from my more design-savvy colleagues. I’m just a dilettante. However, I can share saucy moments from the party.

The marvelous Mr. Fulk (Ken to his dear friends like Aurelia Heppner, who I bumped into in his room) had a handful of shirtless male bartenders (always appreciated) serving up cocktails next to a table with a mystical tarot card reader. I bumped into Houston’s fabulous Becca Cason Thrash in Dennis Brackeen’s (of the Dennis Brackeen Design Group) breakfast room (I dare say you would never call it a “nook”). The room was a symphony of shades of yellow with some blue and white porcelain vases atop Grecian pedestals. And did I mention the black pagoda buffet? Becca’s comment when seeing my mouth drop: “isn’t it divine?”

I made my way downstairs and found myself in one of my favorite people’s rooms — Janet Gridley‘s “live from Preston Hollow” homage. Filled with references to her grandfather, “Doc” Gridley, a country doctor and lifelong horseman who lived and rode into his 100th year. This study cum record room cum podcast studio had all the warmth and whimsy I would expect from Gridley. And some wit, of course, when she commented, “doesn’t every jack ass now fancy themself enough to have their own podcast?”

Some other familiar faces in the crowd included Chad DorseyZara TaittLloyd PrincetonEduardo Natal,  Brian Bolke andFaisal HalumJane Scott Hodges (whose Leontine Linens were spotted in many a room), and Selwyn Rayzor (who had dashed home for a quick outfit change after being at Planned Parenthood functions all morning).

As I was waiting in the valet line, I spied Zoe Bonnette breeze in on the arm of the always-dashing designer Doniphan Moore. I recalled that she was wearing the Thom Browne dress that I had spotted in the lavish dressing closet Moore had designed for the inaugural Kips Bay. Yes, readers, I always remember a fabulous and poignant fashion moment.