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8 Ways the Kips Bay Showhouse Proves Maximalism Is In

Less is no longer more when it comes to fabulous design

Written by Anna Logan
  • Nickolas Sargent

    Less is no longer more. Layered design choices and sumptuous fabrics are finally making their way back into the wider design world. We’ve long been fans of maximalism, as traditional design is steeped in the beauty and elegance of classical pieces, which were often maximalist in their design. This year’s Kips Bay Showhouse is located on a quiet street in New York City’s Upper East Side. Talented designers gather every year to flex their design muscle, dabbling in the extraordinary reaches of their mind. This year’s showhouse in particular featured the resurgence of maximalism, and we’ve selected the best rooms to show you just how to do it the right way. 

    Phillip Mitchell’s room is the definition of maximalism. Each part of the large family room presents a separate and decadent vignette. Inspired by his childhood splitting time between his Canadian and Los Angeles homes, the room features places for families to gather comfortably, but never sacrificing that comfort for the sake of good design.

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Family Room by Phillip Mitchell 

    Between the stacked books and mountains of pillows, Mitchell’s room conveys a sense that more means more when each piece comes from a collected and curated life. 

    Design: Phillip Mitchell, phillipmitchelldesign.com.

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Staircase by Sasha Bikoff

    Sasha Bikoff’s Memphis-style staircase is undoubtedly the showstopper of the entire house. The moment you ascend the staircase you’re enraptured by the bright colors and frenetic shapes. 

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Staircase by Sasha Bikoff

    While the staircase might be a place where most designers decide to play it safe, Bikoff went the complete opposite way. Embracing the mission behind the house—to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club—she endeavored to make the space fun and exciting for the kids. The colors are electrifying and the space has an energy to match.  

    Design: Sasha Bikoff, sashabikoff.com.

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Sitting Room by Barbara Ostrom

    Maximalism isn’t defined by the number of objet or books that adorn the room. It isn’t defined by outrageous scale or ostentatious furnishings. It is defined by the willingness to use a room—to use it for all it’s got. That’s exactly what Barbara Ostrom did in her dining and sitting room. 

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Sitting Room by Barbara Ostrom

    When you first walk in, you notice the wonderful warm color—which Ostrom says gives everyone the most photogenic glow, “like a good tan.” It’s only when you look up do you notice her maximalist tendencies. Like a game of Candy Land, the ceiling is washed in sherbet colored designs. The art deco-inspired shapes add a sense of flamboyant modernity to what is a classically designed space. 

    Design: Barbara Ostrom, barbaraostrom.com.

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Landing by Dan Fink

    Just beyond the entrance hall of the showhouse is a small open space. The landing and first level staircase were designed by Dan Fink. Unlike the other maximalist designers in the showhouse, Fink kept his space in a color range. 

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Landing by Dan Fink

    His claim to maximalism comes in the scale and breadth of the pieces in his landing. A larger than life dining table extends from the right wall. On it, a collection of goods inspired by the Goddess Diana. Had she lived there, what might she have collected? Books, hides, and pottery all adorn the table. 

    Design: Dan Fink, danfinkstudio.com.

  • Marco Ricca

    Lounge by Drake/Anderson

    Take a step into the color of the moment with Drake/Anderson’s space. This ochre color, which has been appearing all over the home décor world this season, represents power and luxury. This is reflected in the one-of-a-kind chandelier from Mathieu Lustrerie and the Lelievre fabric wall covering that is covered in hand-sewn beads and sequins. 

  • Marco Ricca

    Lounge by Drake/Anderson

    In the lounge bar, a five-tier Murano glass chandelier steals the show. Everywhere you look in this room, you’re greeted by a sense of sophistication and appreciation for the finer things in life. 

    Design: Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson, drakeanderson.com.

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Sitting Room by David Netto

    David Netto’s sitting room, just off the kitchen, is a reminder of the gritty and glamorous 1980s New York. He drew inspiration from Brooke Astor and Mario Buatta—scions of the New York social scene in the 80s. Without their influences, the warm colors that adorn his room would be without reason. 

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Sitting Room by David Netto

    Netto is drawn to red—a color typically reserved for moody libraries or, when used sparingly along whites and blues in a coastal home, nautical getaways. He embraced it for what it is: a power color that demands respect but can play well with others. His use of mahogany with deep red undertones speaks to the sense of glamour and decadence of the 1980s. 

    Design: David Netto, davidnettodesign.com.

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Terrace by Nievera Williams

    New York, notoriously cramped, doesn’t seem like the place for a maximalist garden of any type. But, that’s exactly what Nievera Williams did. 

  • Nickolas Sargent

    Terrace by Nievera Williams

    Mario Nievera utilized Schumacher, Stori Modern, and the Rug Company to play up the exciting topiary designs adorning the back wall of the showhouse’s outdoor space. 

    Design: Keith Williams and Mario Nievera, nieverawilliams.com.

  • Marco Ricca

    Butler's Pantry by Wesley Moon

    Wesley Moon’s butler's pantry is a multipurpose space composed of three separate vignettes. Combining the wet bar, elevator landing, and butler’s pantry, Moon linked the three spaces together. 

  • Marco Ricca

    Butler's Pantry by Wesley Moon

    The maximalist focus comes from the giant and breathtaking mirror. We’re obsessed with how it takes up the entire space. The organic lines works well with the soft lines of the wallcovering, as well as the bench. 

    Design: Wesley Moon, wesleymoon.com.