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No surface in this year’s fifth annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach, Florida, went untouched—including the ceilings. “It almost hugs you,” Alabama-based designer Ashley Gilbreath shared as she walked me through the main bedroom she created (each of the 24 participating designers and architects is tasked with transforming a different room in the house). Her aptly dubbed “Tented Retreat,” pictured above, is cloaked head to toe in caramel brown striped drapery and wallpaper by Schumacher. But Gilbreath wasn’t the only person I saw at the event—which benefits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Clubs and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County—who took advantage of the fifth wall. In the guesthouse stairwell, Catherine M. Austin drew the eye up with tasseled pendant lights and verdant green paint, while Maryline Damour of Damour Drake opted for a 3D cloud installation by Sienna Martz in the kids’ room. 

In case you can’t make it to the Show House in person (it’s open until April 3), here’s a look at some of my favorite moments that really raised the roof. 


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The Yves Klein Blue One

You would never know now that there used to be a popcorn ceiling (!) in the guesthouse lounge space that designer Chris Goddard from Arkansas transformed into his take on a French salon. Intricate beam work, swathed in lacquered Yves Klein Blue paint, is a far cry from the previously dated surface. 

The Outdoor-Approved One

For her “Green Gardens” twist on this airy sunroom, Paloma Contreras clad the walls in a square-patterned treillage, opposed to the more traditional lattice pattern. 

The Tetris-Like One

Sourcing a lightweight material was key to the ceiling in Philip Gorrivan’s sitting room. The New York–based designer tracked down a company in Holland that makes dense Styrofoam that can be cut into different forms (surprisingly, there are only four shapes total at work here). “This is something you could do at home with a little imagination,” Gorrivan pointed out. 

The One That’s Like Glamping

Sarah Bartholomew also aimed for an all-enveloping feeling by wrapping her Tangier-inspired guest bedroom in Guy Goodfellow’s moss green Taza striped fabric, which was perfectly executed by upholstery company French Finish. The coordinating drapery was a collaboration with The Shade Store, as were all the window treatments in the show house.


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The One With Serious Jewelry

San Francisco–based creative Noz Nozawa made Trueing’s three-globe brass chain chandelier the star of her ceiling by setting it against a subtle backdrop (the sandy-toned wall covering is from Soane Britain). 

The One Made for Alice

Beth Diana Smith’s version of Wonderland called for a classic coffered ceiling, swathed in a whimsical aqua hue. But it’s the in-between spots, covered in the Vale’s Mighty Jungle print, that really make this a feast for the eyes.