Fifteen designers, all clients of Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting, the interior designer-focused firm, enjoyed an expert-guided tour through the Kips Bay Decorator Show House last week. Led by showhouse designer Kati Curtis, who has been attending the firm’s Interior Design Summit since 2008, the tour introduced the group to a behind-the-scenes look at not only the rooms, but also the process of designing for a showhouse.
Christine Newes, Gail Doby, Juanita Strassfield and Nancy Dale in the foyer of Kips Bay Show House
Explains Gail Doby, co-founder of the consulting-coaching firm, “Kati spoke about spaces and the issues designers experienced as they were creating the spaces. We also had the opportunity to meet with several designers who shared their thoughts, their process, what they were doing and why they were doing it, and some of the elements they felt were really special and unique.”
Kati Curtis explains the selection of Farrow & Ball paint colors.
“It was about really supporting one of our clients, who has really achieved a new level in her business,” continues Doby. “When you’re able to do a showhouse, and have that visibility, that’s a fairly big step in a designer’s process of growth. It was also an opportunity for us to meet some of our designers, and give them the opportunity to see a project that was done by a designer in our group.”
Kati Curtis with a Clive Christian representative, explaining the bar construction
“When I first started working with Gail,” Curtis tells EAL, “one of the things she advised me was to find my own voice as a designer. What an honor to be able to lead a tour of the Kips Bay Show House and to take other designers through a space that I designed with a style that is truly my own, one which Gail empowered me to find.”
Kati Curtis, Daniel Richards and Gail Doby on the roof deck
Kati Curtis explaining the "Path to Enlightenment" to John Eason
Close-up of the hand-painted wallpaper designed by Kati Curtis
Curtis created the showhouse’s two main staircases with her theme “The Path to Enlightenment” in mind. The space featured patterned de Gournay wallcoverings, gothic side chairs and a contemporary burled wood cabinet with blue lacquer trim. As the staircase ascends, butterflies and flowers appear and the wallcovering’s detail recedes in favor of a sea green shade, which symbolizes the top of the staircase, and the end of the titular “path.”
Clockwise from left: Christine Newes, Juanita Strassfield, Gail Doby, Kati Curtis, Nancy Dale and Karen Wolf
As Doby shares with EAL, “What I love the most about an event like this is that you have people who are pushing the limits of creativity, exceeding what they believe they can do.”