Ahmad AbouZanat, our lead designer of PROJECT AZ, was selected to participate in the prestigious Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York City, his second participation in the Kips Bay Showhouse program. If you aren’t familiar, this show house transforms luxury homes into an elegant exhibition of fine furnishings, art, and technology, and benefits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club’s after-school and enrichment programs for children all over the US.
This year’s show house is located at the historic River Mansion in the Upper West Side of New York City and will be open to the public for one month beginning Thursday, May 11th, 2023. This is home for Ahmad, and therefore this showhouse is a particularly special occurrence where his personal friends and family can take part in this experience with him.
“It’s an honor to be invited to participate for the second time. Supporting the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Scouts Club is very rewarding and the show house brings together peers from the industry in ways that no other design event does.” -Ahmad AbouZanat
In this article, we’ll discuss details from Ahmad AbouZanat’s experience, as well as his design inspiration, and tips for aspiring interior designers who are looking to be featured in a showhouse in the future.
Inspiration and Concept of River Mansion’s Bathroom Project: “Untitled”
Ahmad AbouZanat’s design for the River Mansion bathroom, “Untitled,” was inspired by the historic setting and architecture of the house. He wanted to pay tribute to the past while looking towards the future, so he decided to use materials that represented the exterior of the house. The material changes in the space to be forward and bright, representing change and giving the space a new life, much like the house itself is gaining by hosting the show house.
AbouZanat’s design concept also focused on creating a lifestyle that fits the mansion. Bathrooms have functions that must always be there, so he didn’t reinvent the wheel regarding functionality. Instead, the critical input was creating a concept that translated into a lifestyle that fits the project.
Out With the Old, In With Maintaining History
As this is a show house that’s reviving a historic property, Ahmad AbouZanat opted not to incorporate any advanced technology in the bathroom space. Instead, he focused on creating moments of nostalgia, intrigue, and luxury defined by the material application and spacious layout of the room, among other custom details added to space.
When designing for a show house, it’s essential to have creative freedom while keeping in mind that the design should appeal to as many visitors as possible. AbouZanat approached the project with the idea of creating a timeless design that’s not following any trend, especially when it comes to hard surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms. These spaces need to be aesthetically pleasing for years to come, and refreshing them often to keep up with trends isn’t as practical as other rooms with soft furnishings.
All About the “Why”: Local Communities and Social Causes
Interior design is an impactful field that affects how we use the spaces we live and work in. Ahmad AbouZanat is grateful to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Scout Club for bringing interior design to the forefront of its fundraising mission. He believes that highlighting the importance of design in our everyday life and opening up the eyes of designers to the wonderful opportunities to contribute to local communities and social causes is crucial.
When designing for the River Mansion bathroom, AbouZanat had sustainability in mind and chose to highlight Fireclay, a B-corp tile manufacturer based in the US. The design centered around using their product and having it be the highlight of the space. AbouZanat believes that making a design statement using Fireclay’s product is his way of paying it forward to shed light on their great mission.
Tips for Aspiring Interior Designers
For aspiring interior designers dreaming of participating in prestigious events like the Kips Bay ShowHouse, Ahmad AbouZanat advises trusting one’s instinct while designing the space assigned to them. Designing for a show house is an opportunity for designers to have creative freedom and be their own client at the same time. It’s also essential to approach the project with the idea of creating a timeless design that appeals to as many visitors as possible, as already mentioned previously.
In conclusion, Ahmad AbouZanat’s experience designing for the Kips Bay ShowHouse reflects the importance of paying tribute to the past while looking towards the future, creating a timeless design, and supporting local communities and contributing to social causes. Aspiring interior designers can learn from his tips and apply them to their projects to create impactful designs that stand the test of time.
Interested in Learning More?
This show house would have never been possible without a few notable mentions: First, the River Mansion itself, boasting with years of intriguing history to delve into. Additionally, Kips Bay Show House for organizing the event, securing the location and designers, and driving attention towards the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. Last, and certainly not least, we invite you to check out our Kips Bay page where we include our generous sponsors who partnered with PROJECT AZ to bring Ahmad’s vision into a reality.
Don’t forget to get your tickets here for the show. We hope to see you there!