Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2013

A seating area by Sara Story Design at

A seating area by Sara Story Design at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club 41st annual Decorators Show House in Manhattan. (May 1, 2013) (Credit: Linda Rosier)

From dark rooms to leather floors to snakes on the wall, the just-opened Kips Bay Decorator Show House on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a benefit for the Bronx-based Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, will help homebodies get trendy with fresh ideas in interior design.

COOKING IN THE DARK

Connecticut kitchen designer Christopher Peacock cooked up a new look at the show house -- a brown kitchen. He gave the quartersawn oak cabinetry a dark finish and painted the walls brown.

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DIY TIP "Don't be afraid of deep colors in the kitchen," advises Peacock, who is actually best known for designing white kitchens. "Lights will be on, no matter what, in sunlight or rain." If brown doesn't suit your taste, try a monochronistic palette of charcoal grays, sage greens or other earth tones, he suggests.

WESTWARD HO!

The fourth-floor landing features a Christian Lacroix wallpaper called "Voyage," inspired by old French maps. New Jersey designer Judy King says that whenever she shows the high-end wallpaper to clients, it ends up somewhere in their home.

DIY TIP "Go out and order books on Amazon, and start ripping out maps," she says. "Put them in a group or cut them up into a triptych." She suggests displaying maps on colorful walls.

ALL ABOUT MATH

Sara Story Design of Manhattan freshened up the geometric look in the "Bamboo Story" room. "It's a little more abstract . . . funkier . . . edgier," says senior designer Pamela Dailey. There's geometry in the modular flooring, Asian-inspired wallpaper of Story's line, vintage binary interlocking tables and custom-designed fractal sofas.

DIY TIP "Always add a soft touch to warm it up," says Dailey," or throw it off a bit, so it's not so perfect."

LEATHER COVERINGS

Even the floor oozes drama in the architecturally intriguing atrium. It's made of leather. "It has a certain softness to it -- hide can be soft" says Manhattan designer James Huniford, who has a home in Bridgehampton. Leather also makes a statement on the walls of Manhattan firm Garcia/Maldonado, Inc.'s lounge suite. Each of the 15 buffalo hides in the space cost $1,500 just for the material, says Louis J. Garcia-Maldonado, who has an East Hampton home.

DIY TIP "There are wallpapers that look like leather," says Garcia. "That would be a much cheaper alternative." On the floor, try rubber, which is more affordable but can be just as stylish, Huniford says.

SLITHERING AROUND

Atlanta designer Robert Brown turned Lee Jofa python-printed linen into a wall covering in the receiving room. "It's a nod to fashion," says Brown, explaining that in terms of home design, the pattern provides texture and a neutral palette. "It's a new substitute for the typical zebra or cheetah print," he says.

DIY TIP He suggests covering an ottoman or dining chair cushions with the trendy print. "It's a pattern that can mixed with florals, polka dots or stripes," he says.

If you go

41ST ANNUAL KIPS BAY DECORATOR SHOW HOUSE A fundraiser for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx.

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, through June 4, at 161 E. 64th St., between Lexington and Third avenues

INFO $35; no entry a half-hour before the show house closes; no children under 6 (including infants) or pets admitted; for special events, such as chef appearances in the kitchen, go to kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org/events; tickets may be purchased at the door or online at kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org); 212-755-5733.

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