Designer showhouses offer an insightful peek at the next big trends, as well as the decorating ideas that are enchanting professionals right now. Within their walls, participants devise interiors that stretch imaginations and push creative boundaries. As blank slates and with little, if any, direction, these untouched spaces foretell what’s to come in design in the immediate future and beyond.
As 2023’s showhouse register comes to a close, it’s time to look back on the inspired interiors. Some rooms foregrounded form and function, while others slathered on the whimsy and charm. Below, find the 12 designer showhouse moments we’ll be referencing well beyond this year.
Kitchen by Wesley Moon, Inc. at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House New York
(Shown above) When reimagining the River Mansion’s kitchen, AD PRO Directory designer Wesley Moon paid homage to the historical home’s past while embracing its future. As a nod to the space’s Edwardian origins, for example, he worked with Hyde Park Mouldings to create an of-the-period custom molding. He then integrated more contemporary fixtures, such as the hand-painted cabinetry by LaPolla Designs and Top Notch Millwork, as well as a textural Ann Sacks backsplash. The existing fireplace is refinished with a modern frame to blend more seamlessly with the surroundings.
Chicago-based designer Alexandra Kaehler’s dining room at the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens makes great use of the ceiling—or the fifth wall, as designers often dub it. Whether it was through a coat of contrasting paint, a boldly patterned wallpaper, or an added architectural detail, many showhouse interiors this season drew eyes upward. Kaehler uses a plaster ceiling medallion as one part practical solution, one part sculpture. “Imagine blowing a dandelion puff. I wanted the ceiling medallion to read [as though] the petals are flying everywhere,” says Kaehler. When the light fixture is illuminated, the installation shines against the ceiling, painted in Tranquility by Benjamin Moore.