When Doniphan Penn Moore IV was just 4 years old, he helped pick out wallpaper for his grandmother. Though he did not understand the design world at such a young age, he says his desire to create beauty was already foreshadowing his future career — one that would lead him to a prestigious honor he never expected.
After graduating from Daviess County High School in 2003, Moore headed to college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Nearly 17 years later, Moore is still there — a decision that has led him to see one of his dreams come to fruition.
“I am a Moore through and through, so I am a roots person,” he said. “If I wasn’t going to be in Owensboro, I might as well be where I first planted roots outside of my hometown. It suits me.”
After finishing his degree at SMU, Moore started work for an event company in 2008, helping with high-end weddings and event productions. Although he worked in every facet of the business, Moore said he found himself gravitating towards the design department room.
“I went through all this training because I thought I would end up doing some sort of managerial position,” he said. “The stock market had some issues. The job I had been hired for did not have the ability to pay the salary. I was not interested in wedding planning. A realtor friend asked me to stage a house, and that’s how I started doing some freelance decorating jobs.”
That led Moore to where he is today — principal of Doniphan Moore Interiors. As a designer, he specializes in creating timeless, textured and edited environments. With projects spanning the country, Moore is proud to showcase his creativity for designing spaces.
“I would think about my grandfather’s advice,” he said. “He taught me if you procrastinate on one thing you will have to do it the next day. I had the idea that I wanted to turn my ideas into a serious business. When you start your business in 2008 you can’t go anywhere but up.”
In the world of design, there was an opportunity that always stood out to him. The Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, which debuted in Manhattan in 1973, opened as a way to raise critical funds for the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club. When Moore heard the Kips Bay Designer Showhouse was coming to his hometown for an inaugural debut, he knew he wanted to be a part of it.
“The designers are in charge of coming up with the money to finish the space,” Moore said. “I had over 60 partners who donated their time and resources. I never in my life considered myself to be a salesman but it goes back to my family history. I am so enamored by the fact that I was able to pull this together.”
The Showhouse opened on Sept. 25 and will continue through Oct. 25.
Moore created “Bathed in Moonlight,” a master bath with his and her dressing suites featuring hand-painted wallpaper by De Gournay. Moore describes his hand in the process as painfully luxurious, calling the space he created aspirational, truly beautiful and special.
“It’s been a roller coaster up, down and sideways,” Moore said. “I learned every lesson the hard way, maybe some lessons more than once. I certainly have not arrived but I am blessed by this opportunity to show people who I am, how I see things and how I see the design in the future.”