Dallas’ third annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House officially opens today. The event, put on by New York City’s Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, invites 24 of the country’s best and brightest interior designers and architects to transform an otherwise run-of-the-mill mansion. The designers are assigned a space—one person might have the primary bedroom, another the grand staircase, another the kitchen—and given free reign to show off (it is a show house) the best of their skills. The home is then opened for a month so the public can come and enjoy it.
This year’s house—at 9250 Meadowbrook Dr.—was slated to be open Sept. 23–Oct. 23, but that run was shortened to just four days due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to a Kips Bay press release.
A boon for Dallas’ interior design world, Kips Bay opened its Texas iteration in 2020. The event raises money for Kips Bay in New York, as well as local organizations Dwell with Dignity and The Crystal Charity Ball. The first two years went well: Kips Bay Dallas hosted more than 8,500 and 11,000 attendees in 2020 and 2021.
“We’re so grateful to have been welcomed by Dallas the way we have,” Kips Bay’s director of special events and corporate partnerships Nazira Handal told D Magazine’s Ellen Daly this past summer. “Maybe it’s the Southern hospitality.”
It seems, though, Kips Bay might have outstayed its welcome. Construction was well underway on the 12,470-square-foot Sunnybrook Estates home this August when a “stop work order” sign appeared on the property’s gate. The reasoning for the order, however, is murky. The order originally was because the home didn’t have the correct plumbing and electrical permits, per a Dallas Morning News report. However, Handel told the News that the city of Dallas attorney’s office classified the problem as improper land use. The nonprofit fundraiser was considered a “commercial event.”
According to several reports, the permitting issues were instigated by grievances from neighbors. Leading the charge was Leland Burk, Inwood-Northwest Homeowner’s Association’s president. Designers promoted their finished rooms on social media and their respective websites, which was listed as a complaint by the local neighborhood association in a June letter to Councilwoman Gay Willis.
Burk also told the News that last year’s event—the 2021 house on Deloache Avenue is less than a half-mile away from this year’s estate—caused excessive traffic congestion, parking issues, and trash in the neighborhood.
Kips Bay compromised with the city and the neighborhood association for a four-day event.
“While we have experienced tremendous setbacks this year, we’re incredibly excited that the showhouse is now open to the public,” said James Druckman, president of the board of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, in the release. “The designers and architects of this year’s Show House have worked incredibly hard to finalize the showhouse in time for opening, and we couldn’t be more excited to open the door to the public.”
Friday and Saturday tickets are on sale for $125, and Sunday tickets are on sale for $40. Kips Bay is also offering a virtual tour for attendees who cannot make it in the shortened timeframe and a place to donate online to local charities. Parking on the street is not allowed—the sides of Meadowbrook are lined with “Towing Enforced” signs. Instead, visitors are to park across the street in the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church lot.
Scroll through the gallery to get a sneak peek at the various spaces in this year’s showhouse.
Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…