Holiday House designer show house in NYC: Tips and trends

A focal point of Manhattan's Weitzman-Halpern Interior Design's A focal point of Manhattan's Weitzman-Halpern Interior Design's Sweet 16 bedroom is the graphic wallpaper made from Instagram photos. (Nov. 18, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

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A Vince Lombardi Trophy tops the four-floor Holiday House, the annual decorators' event that opens this week in Manhattan. It is displayed in a room with AstroTurf-covered floors outside a luxe high-ceilinged club room abuzz with flat-screen TVs, National Football League memorabilia and five pieces of Charles Fazzino's official Super Bowl XLVIII 3-D pop-up art.

Designer Ally Coulter chose " 'Tis the Season" for the theme of this sixth Holiday House -- as in the football season, which also becomes a symbol for the disease the designer show house benefits. The event raises funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Photographs of breast cancer survivors in football gear "in the battle of their lives" -- like Woodmere native Iris Dankner, founding chair of Holiday House -- line the staircase leading to Coulter's space in the Upper East Side mansion hosting the event. It's a well-timed theme as the Super Bowl heads for the New York-metro area's MetLife Stadium next year.

Other surprises await those looking for fresh ideas at the show house, where the rooms are also loosely inspired by holidays.

IT'S A DIGITAL WORLD

The images in the wallpaper in Manhattan's Weitzman-Halpern Interior Design's bedroom came from an Instagram account -- one belonging to designer Amie Weitzman's 16-year-old daughter. So apropos for the space, called the "Sweet Sixteen" room. With the help of Brooklyn's Flavor Paper, Weitzman and partner Michael Halpern decided to use the blown-up photos from Maya's snaps in black and white on a classic Instagram grid to create a more graphic pattern for the space.

DIY TIP "I imagine that this will be something that will become popular," says Halpern, who suggests researching companies that create decals and posters from Instagram accounts.

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SEE THE LIGHT

The "Christmas in Casablanca" living room features eight 2 1/2-foot-tall molded silver-based glass sconces uplighting the walls of the exotically sophisticated space. "They are used almost as art objects," says Randy Kemper, who designed the room with Tony Ingrao.

DIY TIP "Use lighting as a piece of art," says Kemper, who owns a home in East Hampton. Those who cannot afford the 1950s Murano palm chandelier in the center of the room should look for light fixtures that are unexpected. "Don't be afraid of trying things you're not used to seeing," he says.

WHERE'S THE SPARKLE?

It's in the birthday-themed room of Manhattan-based firm Cullman & Kravis, itself celebrating 30 years in the interior design business with a new retrospective book, a faux leopard cake and 30 bright orange balloons in a cage on the ceiling. There's couture silver, gold, black and pewter woven fabric in the window treatments and pillows, shimmering silver paper on the walls and a shiny gold love seat and chair. "All these reflective surfaces catch the light differently," says Ellie Cullman, who founded the firm.

DIY TIP Start with jeweled tape, suggests Cullman. "You can put it on drapes and pillows," she says. "It's something you can do yourself."

SAY IT WITH SPRAY

The "Celebrate the Holidays" daybed room announces itself in a breast-cancer-appropriate pink neon sign. But, really, it's the spray paint that decor aficionados will likely remember. Scarsdale designer Gregory Allan Cramer graffitied the walls of the space, pairing the pink-blue-green-yellow-lime-orange-lavender free-form scheme with well-chosen antique furniture and finely tailored silk curtains.

DIY TIP If you want to try graffiti in your house, start with an accent wall, Cramer recommends. He used high-end graffiti paint imported from Germany, but any over-the-counter spray paint will do. "The good thing about it is that there are no mistakes, and the kids can do it, too, as long as they wear vapor masks," he says.

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IF YOU GO Holiday House, the sixth annual designer show house to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days, Nov. 21-Dec. 18, at the Academy Mansion, 2 E. 63rd St., Manhattan

INFO $35; 212-472-3313, holidayhousedesignshow.com

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