Interior designer and Palm Beach resident Jim Dove provided a visual ode to the room at this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach for the Monkey Bar — the old Elysee Hotel in Manhattan that was closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dove is the only Palm Beach resident whose work will be on display at the showroom, which opens Saturday at a historic home in the Old Northwood neighborhood of West Palm Beach.
Dove, who runs Jim Dove Design showrooms on the South Dixie Freeway in West Palm Beach and Short Hills, NJ, adapted the Monkey Bar’s primate theme when designing the rooms in the showrooms.
While New York’s Monkey Bar features a hand-painted monkey mural by cartoonist Charlie Wala, Dove’s rendition features “Deco Monkeys,” a hand-painted DeGournay wallpaper that was his inspiration.
“In my designs, I like to use color, and I love DeGournay’s work,” says Dove. “I wanted to do something tropical with a touch of the tropics – people love animals. I wanted to do something that people would feel unique. Then I found this wallpaper and I started flying.”
Dove is one of 23 designers from across the country who transformed the rooms and grounds of the 1923 house on Spruce Avenue, known locally as “the mansion.”
The fundraiser benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County and the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club of the Bronx, New York City. The West Palm Beach project debuted in late 2017 as a satellite project for New York’s renowned Kips Bay Decorative Showhouse.
For Dove’s bar – an 11 x 11 foot space – his goal was to create a charming place to sip while celebrating the end of the day.
In addition to the wallpaper, he custom designed a glowing strip made of Primastones’ Cristallo Sunshine quartzite and manufactured by Granite & Marble Factory.
Other items in the room include a Kohler faceted Brinx bar sink; a bar stool by LeJeune Upholstery covered in Groves Bros.’ ‘Sally’, a hand-screened cotton; and a cantaloupe silk taffeta curtain by The Shade Store Samuel & Sons trim band.
Overhead is an Art Deco Sillage chandelier by Currey & Co., while a Starke rug with a classic chamois pattern beneath it.
With 32 years of experience in the design industry and 25 years specializing in kitchen design, Dove has created many bars and bathrooms. He holds a Master of Architecture from UCLA, has appeared on NBC and HGTV, and has seen his work published in numerous design publications.
He describes his design approach this way: “The kitchen is a highly technical space and it helps (in my kitchen design) to be an architect. It’s like building a house within a house. Being an architect , I first respond to the architecture of the residence and each client’s needs. If there is already a renovation, I will respond. If not, I will create a physical environment (to reflect) my client’s ideas, my past experience as well as the physical environment and light quality.”
Dove is an alumnus of the Kips Bay Showroom: He attended a 2019 fundraiser in New York. His work was also featured in the Hamptons Designers showroom last fall. In New Jersey, he attended six Mansion Designer Showhouses and several Stately Homes-by-the-Sea Designer Showhouses in May.
“I love design, I love showing my work, and the showroom is a living advertisement,” he explained. “Everything I do is (in) private (houses or buildings), so people are excited to see the designer’s work in person.”
The home that hosts the fundraiser is home to at least one previous showroom, back in 2012, when the American Red Cross sponsored the annual event. After the Red Cross closed its showroom, Kips Bay officials filled the void, opening their first program in West Palm Beach in late 2017.
The house was formerly the home of former West Palm Beach Mayor Jerry Muoio and her husband Charles. In June, Muoios sold the house to a married couple, Stephen Quinnant and Romina Polanco.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the two-story house was built by Orrin Randolph in 1923 and is the largest original residence near the city’s northern end. The residence has three plots totaling about half an acre on land once occupied by a pineapple plantation. The house is also a frequent visitor to the annual vacation home tour sponsored by the Northwood Homeowners Association.
Dove said the house provided a wealth of creative expression opportunities for participating designers.
“It’s a Mediterranean style (home) with lots of natural light, so you can add colour. I see[rooms]with a lot of texture, organic outdoor vibes, a lot of hand-painted wallpapers — and every room probably has one bar.”
He added that home bars “have become a big thing” for people who are spending more time at home than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because they don’t go out, they want something great in their house. For a long time, bars were seen as decadent, but now they’re pretty little jewel boxes in the house, and that’s what I’m at Kip what Swan did.”
If you go: The Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach at 3001 Spruce Avenue in West Palm Beach will be open daily through March 5th through April 3rd. General admission is $40 and can be purchased in advance, while virtual tour tickets are $20. A special ticket-only “Preview Day” will be held today. For tickets and more information on the fundraiser, visit KipsBayDecoratorShowhouse.org/PBPlanYourVisit.