Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse

Sotheby's Designer Showhouse

If some of you are not on SoMe (social media), you probably do not know I was invited to participate in the Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse at their international headquarters in New York City.  I was asked to do the entry foyer and an adjacent gallery.

Unlike other Designer Showhouses in the US where designers are given carte blanche to design rooms in an existing mansion, the Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse consists of an actual life-size apartment built on the 5th floor of their building in NYC.  Yes, that means a real sized foyer, dining room, living room, family room, master bedroom, master study, kitchen, etc.

Sotheby's Designer Showhouse-Rabel-rendering-2

Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse pre-installation room rendering

Sotheby’s allows each designer to select at least 20 items of property consigned by their clients to incorporate into each room.  This includes furniture, paintings and decorative arts.  An auction catalogue is produced with these items. And then a live sale of the consigned property is scheduled for the last day of the Showhouse.  This gives visitors the chance to buy the Sotheby’s pieces seen on view.

We all know that a proper lived-in room cannot only consist of art, so in order to chic it up, each designer is allowed to make aesthetic changes to the walls, floors and bring their own props to make the designated room(s) come alive.

Sotheby's Designer Showhouse-Rabel-rendering-1

Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse pre-installation room rendering

It’s a privilege that a once uber fierce competitor (as many of you know I was a SVP at Christie’s for years), would invite my practice to be part of their signature event.  I’m honored that Sotheby’s sees my work as befitting their role as purveyors of great art.

Sotheby's Designer Showhouse-Rabel-rendering-3

Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse pre-installation room rendering

If you’re in NYC from 9-17 April, please stop by the Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse.  The details are listed in the flyer above. But if you want a sneak peak, take a look below.

My feature and interview on

My room rendering published by Architectural Digest

Finished room photos by Joshua McHugh


Richard Rabel is a New York Interior Designer and Principal at Richard Rabel Interiors+ Art Ltd., a studio offering residential design, decorating and art advising.

image credit: Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse, Sotheby’s New York.