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Studio Thomas James to Participate in Kips Bay Show Home

Studio Thomas James will design the entry, gallery and foyer in the West Palm Beach Kips Bay Show Home. 

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A rendering of one of Studio Thomas James' Kips Bay spaces.

The Dallas-based interior design firm Studio Thomas James is pleased to announce participation at the 6th edition of Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach, scheduled to open to the public on February 24, 2023.

This upcoming edition of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House is a 7,524 square-foot waterfront villa in West Palm Beach's Northwood Shores neighborhood, comprising six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a formal living/dining room, and expansive views from its location on the Intercoastal Waterway.

Studio Thomas James will design the entry, gallery, and foyer — three primary spaces welcoming guests upon entering the much-awaited event. 

The name of the studio’s concept is a reference to The White Lotus, whose recent second season played into the mystique of Sicily and Italian culture. Impressed by the home’s strong contrast of light and shadow, the studio felt that the coastal lifestyles of Sicily and Palm Beach were one and the same.

“The architectural style of the home immediately reminded us of Italy and our recent summer trip to various cities across the country, where interiors feature mixed items from vastly different stylistic movements,” said Philip Vanderford, principal designer and founder of Studio Thomas James.

In true Italian style, Vanderford and his team embraced the limestone clad walls and flooring as springboard for their color schemes. Using the organic texture of the material and its classical appeal, they integrated rich, unapologetic tones — poised to make a big showing in 2023. 

Studio Thomas James accented the classical architectural elements with New London Burgundy by Benjamin Moore to bring depth and visual interest to the space and continued this regal aesthetic by lining the gallery walls with a plush burgundy velvet from Kravet.

Looking upwards, the ceiling is anything but neglected. Richly-pigmented inks and a variety of blending techniques make up the studio’s custom ‘Silk Scarf’ burgundy-forward wallpaper by Porter Teleo. The hand-painted, meticulous level of detail and extravagance gives a nod to the numerous Italian ceiling frescoes they encountered on their travels.

Welcoming guests into the foyer is a sculptural Memphis Milano style bench by one of the studio’s favorite Italian designers, Luigi Saccardo. The bench is in lacquered steel and leather and adds eclecticism and a sense of playful experimentation. In that spirit, the ‘Cocodrilo’ Rug, designed by Charlap Hyman and Herrero for Schumacher, evokes a whimsical mood with a toothy grin. 

Beneath, hand-loomed geometric ‘Nelvin’ runners by STARK with custom sawtooth detailing incorporate edge and drama. Together, the pieces suggest the ancient mosaic tile patterns often seen in the foyers of Italian palazzi.

The dome entry is adorned with the Vetro Chandelier by Baker Furniture, which features carefully handcrafted dovetail-shaped Murano glass. In addition, a series of alabaster and antique brass pendants by Visual Comfort set the stage for a dramatic welcome as though entering a monumental 16th-century hotel palazzo on Venice’s Grand Canal.

The symmetrical layout of the entry creates a visual play in which one side reflects the another. Curvilinear lacquer commodes by Mous Studio, coordinated with bespoke mirrors designed by Studio Thomas James, are on each side. In front of each mirror, a brass chain suspends a 17th-century lacquered floral panel in the Pietre Dure style from the Wolf Hall Antique Collective. Arrangements of hand-thrown custom ceramic pieces by BZIPPY complete the ensemble.

 For the selection of art, Studio Thomas James collaborated with Jennifer Klos of the boutique art advisory firm Collector House to showcase the blend of old and new in a layered and collected style, who curated works of art by Rachel Livedalen from Erin Cluley Gallery. These works reflect the artist’s passion for art history, particularly Greco-Roman cultures, juxtaposed with contemporary elements of pop culture. 

Concluding the Italian journey is a 19th-century carved marble bust that stands tall on its pedestal, evoking warm memories of Italian vacations.

Vendors supporting Studio Thomas James’ “White Lotus” concept are Stark, Porter Teleo, Kravet, Shade Store, Schumacher, Taylors Dallas, Baker Furniture, Mous Studio, Wolf Hall Antiques, Jennifer Klos/Collector House Inc., Erin Cluley Gallery, BZIPPY, and Benjamin Moore.

“The noble principle of quality and craftsmanship that is infallibly at the core of Italian design —  regardless of period and region — guided our selection process,” said Vanderford. “We’re grateful to have encountered vendor partners that share that vision.”

Studio Thomas James previously participated at the inaugural Dallas edition of Kips Bay Decorator Show House in 2020 with “Wicked,” their dark, edgy approach to the Powder Bath inspired by the glam of the 1930s. They have completed homes worldwide, including in Paris, Aspen, California, Wyoming, the British West Indies, and Shanghai. This will be their first time participating at Kips Bay Palm Beach.

The historic Kips Bay Decorator Show House began in 1973 in Manhattan and launched a Palm Beach satellite edition in 2017. For more than four decades now, it has been a must-see event for thousands of design enthusiasts, renowned for sparking global interior design trends. 

This upcoming edition, which benefits both the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Clubs and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, is additionally replete with a chef’s kitchen, an oversized balcony, a covered loggia, and a separate guest suite with a full kitchen that sits above the garage, bringing together the most luxurious elements of both indoor and outdoor Florida living. 

The show house will be open to the public every day 10 am until 4 pm through March 19, 2023, with media preview days held February 21-22, at 3240 N Flagler in West Palm Beach.

To find out more about the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach 2023 and to purchase tickets, visit: kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org/pbplanyourvisit

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