If you just can't get enough of designer show houses, here's one more for you before year's end -- Holiday House 2011, which just opened in Manhattan.
Long Island native and breast cancer survivor Iris Dankner, a designer, started the fundraiser for the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure four years ago. The event features whimsically decorated rooms and tabletop vignettes inspired by holiday themes, some not so traditional.
Whatever the celebration, some trends emerge:
You've heard of home design based on feng shui, the Chinese system of arranging elements to improve the flow of energy. But what about chakras? In creating the Mother's Day-themed living room, Manhattan and Newport, R.I., designer Ally Coulter drew on Hindu and Buddhist principles that the body contains seven energy centers, each represented by a different color and meaning. She chose whites (for purity) and pinks (for love), as well as carefully placed rose quartz, amethyst and crystals, to communicate a message to her two daughters -- "I want to make sure they know I have a lot of love for them." If she were tackling a home for a couple experiencing marital problems, she says she might paint the bedroom blue to stimulate the throat chakra, which represents communication.
Manhattan designer James Rixner's Valentine's Day sitting room offers the latest take on suddenly popular-again Lucite furniture -- a coffee table etched from underneath in a crackle pattern. "You don't usually see this texture," says Rixner. Or the density: The tabletop is 2 inches thick.
For a most unusual ceiling, look at Connecticut designer Suzanne Eason's "Dark and Stormy" Halloween room. She designed the wallpaper to look like birds flapping away as night falls. Most cannot afford to commission a custom design such as this one, so she suggests decoupaging images out of magazines to create your own look. "It works in a room where you get to sit and observe," she says.
Brown makes a statement in the show house. It is paired with pinks and creams in a particularly striking way in the Birthday Celebration dressing room by BITTT a New York networking group for women in design which stands for Bring It To The Table. Designer Bonnie Steves, who worked on the space, cautioned about picking the right shade of brown. "It can't have too much black," she says. Instead, look for hues that contain some white to help reflect light, she says.
The impressionistic wallcovering in Huntington designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd's "Sunday in Repose" room uses peel-and-stick wallpaper from Black Crow Studios in California. Boyd collaborated with the company in its design. In his Chinese New Year room, Manhattan designer Inson Dubois Wood uses Benjamin Moore's Advance paint, which looks like high-gloss lacquer oil enamel while being water based and hiding imperfections.
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day — except Tuesdays and Thursdays, when it is open until 8 p.m. — through Dec. 11 at 2 E. 63rd St., Manhattan
INFO $30, which includes a journal-cookbook; go online for details about special events, such as a wine tasting Nov. 22 and holiday shopping nights (Nov. 29 and Dec. 6); 212-472-3313, holidayhousenyc.com