Thursday, April 23, 2015
40 Years of Fabulous
I want to bring to your attention a new book that I think many of you will enjoy: 40 Years of Fabulous: The Kips Bay Decorator Show House by Steven Stolman. Established in 1972, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House may not be the oldest show house in the country, but it is certainly one of the most prestigious. Held every Spring, Kips Bay, which benefits the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, always boasts a roster of America's leading designers, who work their magic in an effort to transform their show house spaces into rooms that will impress or, at the very least, get people talking.
40 Years of Fabulous recounts the history of Kips Bay, taking the reader on a journey through some of the event's more memorable rooms. In addition to coverage of more recent show houses, the book takes a look back at the rooms conceived by such design legends as Mario Buatta, Albert Hadley, David Barrett, and Irvine and Fleming. It's these way-back rooms that are sheer delights, as they represent the changes in taste over the last forty years. I would argue, though, that many of the rooms from the 1970s and 1980s still look good today.
As far as the book's author goes, Steven Stolman is a worthy person to write 40 Years of Fabulous. While reading this book, I could sense Stolman's unabashed enthusiasm for both Kips Bay and the important role it has played in American design history. And the icing on this book's cake has to be the brief chapter on the late Rella MacDougall, who served as chairwoman of the show house for decades. Without the stewardship of MacDougall, would Kips Bay have become the vaunted tradition that it is today?
*To purchase a copy of this book, please visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
All photos from 40 Years of Fabulous by Steven Stolman, 2015, Gibbs Smith publisher