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Kips Bay Decorator Show House Back on Schedule

By Amy Zimmer | April 21, 2011 7:48pm

By Amy Zimmer

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — After a real estate snafu delayed the annual April rite of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House last year, the high-profile fundraising event — where well-known interior designers renovate a townhouse  — is back on schedule.

The event, set to open next week, is expected to raise roughly $1 million for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

The nonprofit was worried last year when it had to scramble after a townhouse on West 76th Street, which the decorator show thought it had booked, was sold just weeks before opening day.

The show went on — but six months late.

It is now returning to its usual Spring time slot, kicking off next Thursday night with a black tie dinner and preview at the 10,000-square-foot mansion at 163 E. 63rd St. before opening to the public from Apr. 28 – May 26.

Nineteen top designers and landscape artists will be transforming the neo-Federalist-style mansion that formerly housed John Hay "Jock" Whitney, a diplomat and art connoisseur, who acquired such opulent details from travels abroad as Versailles parquet flooring and a Norfolk pine library.

The 16-room, four-story home is no stranger to the whims of decorators.

The famous interior designer and socialite Sister Parish — the first interior designer brought in to decorate the Kennedy White House — redecorated Whitney's top floor on the directive of Betsy Cushing Roosevelt Whitney to create "a very special place for a very special husband," adding art from Picasso, Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec.

The show house's four week run draws roughly 20,000 visitors a year. It has raised more than $17 million since starting up in 1973 for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which runs after-school programs at 10 locations in the Bronx.

Tickets for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, from Apr. 28 to May 26, costs $30.