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Kips Bay Dallas with Kristi Nelson

Kristi Nelson's "Memoir of Marrakech" stands as one of the most celebrated rooms at this year's Kips Bay Dallas. Drawing inspiration from the bohemian allure of Marrakech in the early '70s, an era synonymous with nonchalant decadence, Nelson's design brilliantly brings this bygone era to life.

Our hand-painted silk wallcovering, Travertine, serves as the canvas for this captivating narrative. Brushed and layered washes of iridescent metallic paint skillfully evoke the enchanting sand dunes in the last golden hour. In the en-suite bathroom, our Fiamma in Ambra—a flame stitch pattern meticulously crafted with hundreds of brushstrokes—creates a dynamic juxtaposition, introducing texture and harmony. Seamlessly merging with the serene atmosphere, it enhances the overall ambiance of the space. This thoughtful fusion of elements elevates the room into a unique and evocative experience, beautifully embodying the spirit of Marrakech's rich heritage.

Did you have any specific inspiration in mind when designing your space?

The wallpaper certainly gave me this sense of the sand dunes in the Moroccan desert and reminded me of the images of Talitha and Paul Getty on the rooftop of their villa in Marrakech that I love so much. That sparked the idea, and then as I delved into researching that period of time in Marrakech—the 60s and 70s when Yves St Laurent and Pierre Berge moved there—the parties and people and laid-back, bohemian decadence that was lived by a very elite group of creatives. It was so seductive.

The concept became about that romantic golden hour, an experience of place and time. I imagined being on the rooftop of a riad, enveloped as much by the sandy, dusky hues in the sky as by the lush emerald greens of the plants in the garden below, the sparkle of brass, cushions casually strewn about, the textures, and the meld of the Moorish and European. The YSL museum in Marrakech also became a touchpoint. Its exterior is stunningly beautiful; the typical artistic and architectural emblems that are so intrinsically tied to the Moroccan heritage are simply and gracefully abstracted, implied through color and form. Evocative, not replicating, which was my intention in designing here.

What is your personal favourite design element in your room?

The wallcoverings. I have been in love with the wallcovering we used in the bedroom, Travertine, since the first time I saw it. That is an instance of pure experiential inspiration. It was like being in the last moments of twilight, “The Golden Hour,” with its shimmering silk, metallic elements, and pale cloudlike white streaks. It gave me the feeling I wanted to create in my bedroom: quiet magic, a sense of place and time, very evocative and dreamy.

Are there any interior design trends you tapped into or are forecasting that are included in your room?

I don’t work from trends per se, but I often find inspiration in what is going on around me whether that be from my travels, fashion, the art world, or memories thereof. Some of which may be current, but it’s not about trending, it’s about what captures my imagination that I want to explore and experience creatively, both literally and figuratively.

Why did you decide to participate in the Kips Bay Showhouse?

The educational and developmental programmes of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, Dwell with Dignity, and The Crystal Charity Ball support are close to my heart. The fact that our show house funds will impact the lives of youths and families struggling with homelessness made it an easy yes. Beyond that, I’ve always admired the dedication of the designers, chairs and sponsors that set the highest bar in show houses. Being invited to participate in Kips Bay is a milestone. I’m truly honored.

Room photographed by Stephen Karlisch

In this article:

Room designed by Kristi Nelson and photographed by Stephen Karlisch

Travertine in Mimas

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Fiamma in Ambra

Fiamma in Ambra

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