12 Brilliant Decorating Ideas to Steal From Designer Showhouses

Designer showhouses provide a valuable glimpse into emerging trends and the current decorating concepts captivating professionals. Participants use these spaces as a canvas to create interiors that not only stretch imaginations but also challenge creative boundaries. With minimal direction and blank slates, these untouched environments serve as a preview of upcoming design trends in the near and distant future.

Certain rooms in these showhouses prioritize both form and function, while others indulge in whimsical and charming elements. Below, discover the 12 standout moments from designer showhouses that will serve as points of reference.

Wesley Moon, Inc., the AD PRO Directory designer, took on the task of reimagining the kitchen at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House New York’s River Mansion.

In a thoughtful approach, Moon paid homage to the historical home’s Edwardian roots while embracing a vision for its future. To honor the space’s origins, he collaborated with Hyde Park Mouldings to craft custom molding that resonated with the Edwardian era. Moon seamlessly blended the past and present by incorporating contemporary elements, including hand-painted cabinetry from LaPolla Designs and Top Notch Millwork, along with a textured Ann Sacks backsplash. Additionally, the existing fireplace underwent a modern refinish with a frame that integrates harmoniously into its surroundings.

In the dining room of the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens, designer Alexandra

Kaehler from Chicago showcases a creative approach to the ceiling, often referred to as the fifth wall by designers. This season, many showhouse interiors captivated attention by utilizing contrasting paint, bold patterned wallpaper, or additional architectural details to draw the eyes upward. Kaehler’s design incorporates a plaster ceiling medallion, serving as both a practical solution and a sculptural element. She describes her inspiration as imagining a dandelion puff, aiming for the ceiling medallion to evoke the image of petals scattering in all directions. When illuminated, the light fixture creates a captivating display against the Tranquility-painted ceiling by Benjamin Moore.

Bedroom by Eneia White Interiors at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach

In contemporary times, the significance of establishing private moments within one’s home remains prominent. We’ve been delighted to witness the inventive approaches designers are taking to craft tranquil spaces around the house. A recent standout example is the shutter-wrapped cabana bed created by New York-based designer Eneia White for this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach. Drawing inspiration from childhood recollections, White describes the escape as having a somewhat fort-like ambiance, but with a mature and modern twist. The cabana bed is elegantly coated in the serene Prescott Green shade by Benjamin Moore.

Home Theater by Indigo Pruitt Design Studio at the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens

Shimmering geodes, polished rock spheres, and slender obelisks have consistently been selected as artistic embellishments, and the current emphasis on wellness in homes has heightened the demand for these decorative elements. In her home theater design for the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, Marie Cloud, the founder of Indigo Pruitt Design Studio, demonstrates that crystals can be more than mere accessories. She utilized light-filled natural stone pedestals as bases for busts, illustrating a fusion of aesthetics and well-being. Cloud notes the intentional focus on wellness, well-being, and spirituality among the current generation of homebuyers, leading designers to incorporate geodes and natural stone in unconventional ways beyond traditional uses like countertops and flooring. This sentiment is echoed by other participants at the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, with Wyeth Ray featuring a striking light fixture adorned with hundreds of quartz pieces in her dining room design, and Evan Millard opting for a rose quartz installation along the stairwells.

Staircase by Halden Interiors at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House New York

Each interior design project has its inception, often rooted in a cherished wallpaper pattern or a significant heirloom artwork that sets the tone for the overall color and material choices. In the staircase of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House New York, designer Kesha Franklin from Halden Interiors not only found inspiration in a captivating photograph by South African photographer Pieter Hugo but also took it a step further. The striking portrait’s floral field background transcends the confines of the artwork, seamlessly extending onto the stairwell walls. This extension, achieved through a mural hand-painted by artist Judith Sipos of Nona Art, transforms the staircase into an immersive space, going beyond the limitations of a two-dimensional experience.

Study by Coy & Company at the San Francisco Decorator Showhouse

The ability to discern the perfect equilibrium between contrasting elements is a distinguishing factor that sets a good designer apart from a great one. In his study at the San Francisco Decorator Showhouse, Geoffrey Coy skillfully juxtaposes curves and lines, creating a harmonious interplay. This is evident in the arched doorways, the gracefully curved wood desk, and the linear millwork ceiling. Coy describes the latter as a “custom oscillating ceiling detail inspired by millwork of the 1800s.” The room is finished with a matte limewash paint in Color Atelier’s Seine, a serene choice that contributes to the creation of an organic yet sophisticated space.

Playroom by Shelley & Company Interior Design at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase

In the game room, designers are embracing creativity wholeheartedly. Shelley Cahan, the principal designer at Shelley & Company Interior Design, went all out for her playroom in the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. She crafted a plush playground set against a full-scale mural featuring Christian Lacroix’s “It’s Paradise” wall covering. Within this vibrant scene, pillow trees give the illusion of growing, accompanied by handmade kites from Tulu Textiles. Meanwhile, at the Southeastern Designer Showhouse, Elizabeth McKay of Venture Games adopted a similar color-packed approach in her game room. A custom magenta pool table was coordinated with a rainbow of artworks and sculptural toys, creating a lively and visually dynamic space.

Covered Terrace and Side Porch by Danielle Rose Design at the Hamptons Designer Showhouse

Rockville Centre, New York-based designer Danielle Chiprut seamlessly blended the indoors and outdoors in the Jeweled Veranda at the Hamptons Designer Showhouse. Describing it as “a transformative response to a tech-paradise era we’re currently experiencing,” the covered terrace features a trio of hammered brass Arteriors pendants and playful CB2 hanging chairs. The focal point is the custom Calacatta Capraia marble tables from MD Tile and Granite, characterized by vibrant emerald, indigo, and berry veining. The ceiling, enveloped in Farrow & Ball’s Brinjal paint, an enchanting warm purple, extends to the side porch, providing another relaxed space for entertaining amid Four Hands furniture.

Entry by Ware M Porter & Co. at Ivy House, the Flower Magazine Designer Showhouse

Ware M Porter & Co. made a captivating statement in welcoming visitors to the 6,000-square-foot Georgian-style Ivy House in Baton Rouge. The New Orleans designer curated a striking entrance featuring elements such as a hand-knotted Patterson Flynn rug and a pair of striped Christopher Spitzmiller lamps. Notably, the designer adorned the walls with “Check,” a geometric pattern from fashion designer Christopher John Rogers, a Louisiana native, for Farrow & Ball. This staircase-spanning wallpaper, part of the Carte Blanche collection, served as a “sophisticated and whimsical backdrop for fine art and period antiques,” according to Porter. The space effectively conveyed a genuine narrative, seamlessly merging elements of fashion and interiors.

Primary Bathroom and Closet by Arianne Bellizaire Interiors at Ivy House, the Flower Magazine Designer Showhouse

Baton Rouge designer Arianne Bellizaire drew inspiration from English gardens for the elegant primary bathroom and accompanying walk-in closet at Ivy House. Incorporating products from Currey & Company, Lee Industries, Marmi, and Waterworks, Bellizaire created a harmonious blend. The primary bathroom features a freestanding bathtub, artfully juxtaposed with dreamy artwork from decorative painter Connie Harris, evoking a dramatic ambiance. This aesthetic seamlessly extends into the Farrow & Ball-swathed dressing room, adorned with a 1970s-reminiscent mirrored vanity, an icy blue and white carpet from The Rug Company, and vibrant blooms arranged by the locally-based Hummingbird Floral Studio.

Living Room by Laura Lee Clark Interior Design at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas

Named the Kano Garden, the living room in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas, designed by local designer Laura Lee Clark Falconer, derives its name from a lush, hand-painted Gracie mural wall covering that establishes the aesthetic for a captivating blend of contemporary and vintage pieces. Notable elements include a soft pink Jan Showers sofa and a Julian Chichester Indian rosewood bar cart, seamlessly paired with a Philip and Kelvin LaVerne coffee table and an assortment of Japanese cobalt porcelain. To enhance the visual impact of the eight-foot-high ceilings, Clark Falconer opted for a glossy finish, complemented by The Shade Store’s sage-hued pleated silk draperies.

Bedroom by Cathy Kincaid Interiors at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas

Dallas designer Cathy Kincaid drew inspiration from the library in the late gardener Bunny Mellon’s Virginia home for her versatile bedroom design at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas. The room features a desk, daybed, and window seat, envisioning a space filled with books dedicated to art and horticulture. Kincaid enveloped the room with Lisa Fine’s botanical Persian Garden wallpaper, a collaboration with Italy’s San Patrignano, complemented by Hector Finch lighting, Casci Ornamental Plaster bookcases, and a floor hand-painted by Charleston, South Carolina’s Mirth Studio. Kincaid expresses her fondness for the room, stating, “What I love most about the room is that I could lose myself within it for hours on end, surrounded by subjects I love and inspiration from a woman of great style.”