The Kips Bay Decorator Show House is considered to be the premier showcase of professional interior design. This event has grown tremendously, from a fundraiser benefiting a local Boys & Girls Club, to a must-see experience for industry professionals and thousands of design enthusiasts! Kips Bay has been setting the style, challenging its participants and inspiring visitors for thirty three years strong. The Show House has raised over $13,000,000 since launching in 1973 and all profits go directly to the 9,000 members of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. The Club provides essential after-school and enrichment programs for underprivileged children.
European Country Kitchens (ECK) was formed in 1988 (as “American Hearth & Home”) and has thrived by creating magnificent custom kitchens, inspired interiors and great furniture. Founders David Peer and Joan Picone have perfected their formula for “social spaces”–those designed to let friends and families enjoy life and each other. They actually design around lifestyle instead of room style by putting people in the picture. Their clients enjoy certain comforts from the deeply-rooted lifestyle of the European countryside. ECK has appeared in numerous consumer and trade publications ranging from exclusive insider journals to highly renowned worldwide publications.
ECK was invited to participate in the prestigious 2005 Kips Bay Decorator Show House this year. Kips Bay is globally recognized as the premier interior design showcase, benefiting the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the South Bronx. Senior Designer, Joan Picone, took a moment to speak with Animal Fair: “We called our room Up With Down. The kitchen was in the basement and it had a wonderful outdoor courtyard. It was a flip on the upstairs, downstairs. After all, everyone would rather be downstairs because it’s more comfortable and relaxed. My daughter in law (a huge animal lover and rescuer) suggested a dog/pet area, so we created this bricked in mud space. There was a large sink with a funky hose, so you could feed the dog back there, a stainless steal bin for dog food, play toys, leashes, etc. It was great to see so many pet lovers and their response to our concept.”
Joan has two cats at home, Mac and Osi. “Mac is the talker of the two! He is happy only when he has your undivided attention. He is also a vegetarian and loves greens. My son taught Osi dog tricks, which he has never forgotten. He begs and plays dead! Osi also learned to jump on the roof of the car when you pull into the driveway and waits until you open the door. If you don’t do so immediately, he hangs over the windshield to remind you he’s waiting! He’ll then jump onto your shoulder, so you can carry him into the house.” As a kitchen designer, Joan is very involved with her clients and their day-to-day lives. “Kids and pets are a huge part of it. Animals are often fed in the kitchen, so we always provide a convenient place for this to happen. I’ve done dog beds, pull out dish racks, leash racks and a hanging space for pet coats.” No matter what ECK is working on, it all comes down to taking the time to enjoy what’s simple and good about life.