NO matter how elegant in concept and statement, decorator show houses are rich lodes of interior-design ideas for anyone who visits them. Since good decorating always involves problem-solving with inventiveness and imagination, the show houses can be viewed at many levels, including sheer theater or as treasure-troves of helpful ideas.
And wherever show houses are set up, they usually serve as fund-raisers to benefit various good causes. Most of them are annual events that require months of volunteer time and effort to put together and sponsor.
The Kips Bay Boys' Club Decorator Show House, on view at 4 East 62nd Street in Manhattan through May 19, is a case in point. This year the show house chairman, Mrs. Allan MacDougall, hopes to net, through $10 admission tickets, $500,000 to benefit the boys' club. The club, which is located in the Bronx, provides programs for more than 3,000 disadvantaged boys and girls, ages 6 through 18.
The success of the Kips Bay show houses over the past 13 years can be measured by the fact that the first such Women's Committee project netted $45,000 to help these young people.
Each year this show house is a bellwether of current decorating trends, particularly as they apply to big-city life styles. This spring the emphasis is on floral chintz, antiques of many periods, black lacquer furniture with gold gilt trim, and huge pots and vases. Old lace, the golden glint of yellow metals, overscaled seating pieces, the usual superabundance of objects and art, and new hand-done painted effects on both walls and furniture are also in evidence. Stenciled borders have high visibility here, too.