December 8, 2017

Designer Susan Zises Green Participates in the Inaugural Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House

Susan Zises Green's wields her deft hand at her ninth Kips Bay Show House, this time in Palm Beach. The show house is open through December 19th!

by New York Spaces

Susan Zises Green
Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.
Susan Zises Green, Nazira Handal, and Ellie Cullman
Susan Zises Green, Nazira Handal, and Ellie Cullman.

NYS: We are so excited the Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House will debut this year! How did that come about?

Susan Zises Green: Every year the Show House serves as a design destination in New York City. But New Yorkers shouldn't be the only ones able to enjoy this spectacular event. The satellite location in Palm Beach is a brilliant idea—opening the experience to a new audience, and inspiring a completely different style. Plus, this benefits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, which benefits more than 18,000 underprivileged youth collectively. It is a win-win situation!

NYS: What made you decide to participate in a Kips Bay Show House for the Ninth time?

SZG: I'm always thrilled to be asked to participate, and I thoroughly enjoy the Show House process. Show House

susan sizes green
Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.

projects are fantasies—and fantasy is fun! There are no boundaries, and as designers, we just let our imaginations soar!

NYS: What has your experience been in the Kips Bay program? Why did you decide to join the board and what changes do you hope to see implemented?

SZG: I have long been involved with Kips Bay and have had the opportunity on numerous occasions to visit the Clubhouse in the Bronx. It is a beehive of activity where I see joy on the faces of the young people there. And I see a future for these young people. They're learning values and building confidence. I joined the board because I like to be a part of these values for the children. The programs at the Clubhouse are fantastic; the results are obvious. You can't fight success and the Kips Bay program is eminently successful. I want to see it continue to grow.

NYS: What can we expect to see in your room? What is the theme?

Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.
Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.

SZG: Color, pattern and lots of whimsical energy! I knew exactly how I wanted the room to look as soon as I saw the space: It instantly made me think of a studio apartment replete with an Anglo-Indian sensibility with palm trees and a glass of gin! It's beautiful, bright, and sunny with all the comforts of home in a small space. It oversees beautiful gardens with egress through gauzy, white linen curtains on French Doors so there's plenty of light. There are glorious large pillows in varying shades of mauve, blue, indigo and a splash of accents in "Caliente", Benjamin Moore's Color of the Year 2018, to accent the white sofas. And while Caliente doesn't match the other colors, it adds a glorious pop of unexpected color in the room. The space includes a dining area complete with dining chairs covered in a crisp indigo and white print and a rug that makes a major statement.

NYS: What were some of your past themes and what have you learned by taking part in Kips Bay show houses over the years?

SZG: My past themes were all signs of the economic times that we lived in. Some years the rooms were

Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.
Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.

incredibly opulent and in other years they were sparer. But I always brought to my rooms a sense of comfort, beauty, a little bit of whimsy with the hope that whoever viewed these rooms would want to live in them. You asked what I've learned by taking part in the Show Houses over the years: I've learned that my work has evolved and grown and importantly—much like kindergarten, I work and play well with others!

NYS: In what ways does the Kips Bay Palm Beach differ from the New York show house?

SZG: The Show House location—Villa Belmonte, a 1920s Mediterranean home in Palm Beach—is a completely different style from the Manhattan residences we typically work on. There is also a quintessential Palm Beach feel in many of the spaces; I love that designers paid homage to classic and vintage Florida design in their spaces. The Show House also offers a mix of design talent from all over the country, so the caliber of design talent is truly top notch.

NYS: What has your experience been like with your fellow designers?

Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.
Design by Susan Zises Green; Photograph: Sargent.

SZG: This was my ninth Kips Bay Decorator Show House; the entire process has been at once collaborative and rewarding. One of my fondest memories of participating in Show Houses is the camaraderie of the group of the designers. One might think it's competitive, but experience and memory clearly indicate the opposite. For Kips Bay Palm Beach, it's been especially wonderful connecting with talent from various cities and seeing our visions materialize. The anticipation and excitement of the "curtain going up" on Opening Night is electrifying. We designers are all in this project together with the end result being a fabulous showhouse for our visitors.

NYS: Can you give us a hint as to which rooms are absolute musts to see?

SZG: All of them need to be seen! Show Houses are like art; every one sees them differently. They all have something special about them and must be seen!

NYS: What else are you working on now?

SZG: One of my projects, the famous "ham-and-cheese" house in Palm Beach won the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach's most recent Ballinger Award for historically sensitive renovation. For my part in the project, I received the Florida Preservation Award 2017 from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. We are still happily working on this project, as well as several new ones. We are starting a fabulous project on Nantucket, as well as a new one in Palm Beach. And I am finally writing a decorating book and can't wait to see it published!

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