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.
Robin Bell is a force to be reckoned with. She has run a renowned interior design firm for the past fifteen years, (Robin Bell Schafer Associates) and in 2003, McMillen Inc. appointed her as Senior Designer. Bell’s work has been featured in House Beautiful, Interior Design Review, Elle Décor, Florida Design, Town & Country, The New York Times, etc. “My favorite part of being a designer is the dynamic. The style changes, the client changes. I love never doing the same thing twice and the challenge of what each day brings. Of course, seeing your ideas become a reality is extremely rewarding. We are very blessed in the design world because we can use our ideas and affect change. Most of my clients have pets. I rarely have a client that doesn’t have pet requirements. I’ve designed dog beds, doghouses and even pet apartments adjoining a client’s house!” she says.
As for participating in The Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Robin tells Animal Fair, “It was a great experience. It requires a lot of discipline, organization and planning. My room was called The Crystal Cabinet. It’s also a poem by William Blake. The space was expected to be a guest room, but I was thinking about an urban retreat for today’s person. The greatest luxury in New York is space! I wanted the room to be a combination of pampering oneself and working hard, which is what today’s person does.” This beautiful boudoir includes a tasseled custom dog cushion, a dachshund-shaped Italian ceramic sink, a treadmill, TV, weights and more!
Robin’s inspiration comes from her beloved dachshund, Thumper. “Thumper is thirteen-years-old. She travels everywhere with me. She’s been to CA, Paris, Milan, Bahamas, you name it! She comes to the office with me. I call her my design assistant. She’s a comfort more than anything else. Everyone remembers me because of Thumper. She’s very memorable because she’s champagne colored and very friendly. Everybody loves her. We are soul mates. She’s the wisest dog I’ve ever met. Her vocabulary comprehension is unbelievable. Whenever I pull my suitcase out, she drags her air bag from under the bed… and she can close the zipper with her teeth! She’s my angel… my forever dog.”
Photo credit: Dennis Krukowski All Rights Reserved.