Saturday, October 26, 2013

...about the kindness of strangers (and friends): Holiday House, 2013

So, I might have mentioned that I'm doing my first room at Holiday House. And while it takes a village to raise a child, apparently it also takes a village to furnish a 10 x 10 room. And what a village!!  

I am ECSTATIC about the generous, generous folks who have stepped up to do literally tens of thousands of dollars worth of work for my first ever entree into Holiday House, the annual Manhattan show house with which I've been smitten and obsessed since my first stroll through the Academy Mansion, a chic stone's throw from Central Park. 

JAB Anstoetz has provided a staggering amount of yardage, for window treatments, sofa upholstery, upholstered screen and pillows, and the lovely Caroline Vaughn in their Design and Decoration Building showroom has proven an elegant and REMARKABLY helpful (and even-keeled) cohort, sounding board, and collaborator.

Wrapping the room will be an INCREDIBLE Arte Wallcovering, courtesy Bibi Mohammed at  Studio K New York, the redubbed D&D Building outpost for the entire Koroseal line.

My favorite boys who do windows, Michael Tavano and Lloyd Marks of MT Custom will be providing their couture-brand of window treatment, using a JAB fabric that's been hand-painted by the lovely ladies at Coleman Taylor to craft a custom Roman shade (You, WIll. DIE.). The gents are adding their signature dress-making detail to lush drapes that would have Scarlett O'Hara ripping them out of the window in delight. How these boys do it, I don't know... their generosity and creativity seems to know no bounds, just recently rocking Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, setting a stunning tablescape for Bilotta, and stealing the show at the annual Masquerade Ball to benefit the Alpha Workshops Studio School. And that was just October, while running their renowned work room for window treatment fabrication.

Speaking of workshops and work rooms, my friends at The Alpha Workshops are bringing my wood work to life, and Chase Tyler of The Workroom will be creating a custom upholstered screen, room-spanning and eight feet tall.

And then there are the "loaners:" furnishings, antiques, and artwork from a Dream Team of some of the design world's most venerable showrooms and brands, artisans and artists. Avery Boardman, Donghia, Lee Calicchio, Ralph Lauren Home, John Lyle DesignJonathan O'Hea Antiques, Treillage, and O'Sullivan Antiques, to name drop a few.

Some of these brands are brand new collaborations for me, allowing me to use sources I've only ever dreamed of using before, a testament both to the exceptional reputation of the House and the generous spirit of the New York design community. Among the new (to me) sources are Anthony Lawrence Belfair (the couture upholstery work room in Chelsea, providing a STUNNING antique chest, helping to tout their under-the-radar antique restoration services... thank you, industry advocate and ALB good-guy Mario Villamar!!!) and Chesney's, the only place from which I ever dreamed of getting a fire place mantle, for this room or, well, ever. I instantly knew I was in good hands the minute I met the lovely (and funny!) Katherine Perino in their soon-to-be-headed-upstairs D&D showroom.

And in the SHORT window of prep time from announcement to Gala opening, I had all but written off the idea of ANYTHING custom, but Stephen Mitchell of uber-swank DESIGNLUSH is providing a custom version of his signature Modernist bench, and stunner Andreea Avram Rusu, of Avram Rusu Studio, is handcrafting the ultimate jewelry for the room, one of her brass and gemstone lighting confections. I first met Andreea at a past Holiday House in her burnished and sexy take on New Year's, where she first launched the design. Andreea's lighting fixture isn't the only piece of her collection in my room, but I won't spoil the surprise.

Since I hit some of my favorite retail sources pretty heavily each year for Design on a Dime (and THOSE sources don't get their wares back at show's end!), I tried to go light with them for Holiday House, but I couldn't imagine a room without Currey & Company, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and Wisteria, so once again I came knocking... and they all said yes, finishing the room off with lighting, accent pieces, and tabletop items, to give the room the details that round out a show house's narrative.

But, as is true with past Design on a Dime rooms, my Big Window Challenge, and my own interior designs, I'm perhaps most jazzed about the artwork... a Martin Schoeller photo from my own collection framed by Steven Amedee Fine Custom Framing, a room-anchoring photo from Daniel Cooney FIne Art, a custom-framed print from J. Pocker, a work on paper from Dan Romer, and a GORGEOUS and poetic piece from Jefferson Hayman.

The beloved Dennis Scully of Avery Boardman deserves an extra special shout-out, for performing nothing short of a miracle (and for being outrageously gracious to me when, with the tenacity of a Norfolk Terrier at suppertime, I refused to take no for an answer).

And since I'm heeding Ally Coulter's advice and having a bar, I'm ecstatic to be partnering with Waterford, who will be kitting out my bar with a gorgeous mix of old and new designs. Joining Waterford on my table tops will be the floral illusions of NDI/Natural Decorations, Inc.

Here's my complete list of (current) sources... and I have a feeling the list will grow before the Gala opening on November 20, 2013.

Then there are those who won't have an item or trade represented in the room, but people without whom I'd not have had the introductions, shoulder and support: Stephanie Somogyi Miller, Tyler Hamilton and Jen Abramowitz of Miller/Hamilton Companies/Spread PR, Jan MacLatchie of JanMacBrands, Jennifer Skoda, Ruth Gottesman, Suzanne Sokolov of Showcase Kitchens, Robert Contini and Jason Lowe of the D&D Building, Vicki Hubbard of Traditional Home, and design genius, good friend and RISD co-alum Douglas Morris, of Poulin+Morris Design. Not to mention the generous designers who gave me such sage and smart advice.

And throughout the whole process, I've managed to make or strengthen friendships with some wonderful designers, showroom personnel, artists and craftspeople. So, when the house opens for Press Preview on November 19th, the Gala on November 20th, or throughout its month-long run, my room will be full of friends. Even when nobody's in it.

Holiday House NYC is held in the Academy Mansion, 2 East 63rd Street, New York, NY. The opening night gala is November 20th, 2013, and the house is open to the public daily from November 21 through late December. All proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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  1. fabulous that so many people are rallying around you. i look forward to the finished results

    1. I am in heaven, Christian, but with such gorgeous things, the pressure to deliver is, shall we say, fairly intense!!!

  2. Really can't wait to see all this talent and furnishings pulled together in your room, Patrick. You are DA MAN!