This year's Holiday House NYC took over a 12,000-square-foot town house on East 65th Street in Manhattan designed by renowned architect Charles Platt. Several designers in the show house, built in 1904 and currently on the market for $22.5 million, had to work with older features already in place — sprinkler pipes on the lower level and a 1980s bathroom upstairs — and used their creativity to make it work with their designs. Others transformed the spaces around a unique theme.
Woodmere native Iris Dankner, who created Holiday House in 2008 as a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, put together a fourth-floor wellness room in conjunction with Sara Touijer of Touijer Designs, based in Rye, New York. There will be yoga and meditation classes held at the show house, along with the tours.
DIY tip Touijer often uses accessories from retailers such as Crate & Barrel and CB2, which tend to be more budget-friendly.
IN WITH THE NEW
Glen Cove-based Barbara Lewis of The Lewis Design Group couldn't remove the taupe marble bar in her lower-level space, so she designed around it, finding wallpaper depicting partying monkeys from a company called Astek and creating a jungle-themed lounge she dubbed Cafe Society. A wall of shelves held liquor bottles, cocktail glasses and framed images of "Mad Men" character Don Draper.
DIY tip If there is an older architectural feature that you don't have the budget to remove, Lewis suggests designing around it by adding more modern accessories to bring it into a more current time period.
ROLLING WITH RED
Port Washington designer Keith Baltimore had to negotiate sprinkler pipes in his basement kitchen, a collaboration with Bakes & Kropp, which designed the custom cabinetry, so he painted them bright red as one of a few vermilion accents to his black-and-white color palette, including a black bar cabinet with a red interior.
DIY tip Baltimore advises homeowners to draw attention to something in a room that doesn’t work, such as a column that can’t be removed or visible pipes. “If you want something to disappear, paint it red,” he says.
Tara Kantor, a native of Roslyn whose interior design business, Tara Kantor Interiors, is based in Scarsdale, New York, created a third-floor hallway and powder room inspired by phases of the moon, which she dubbed "Celestial Chic." It includes a crescent light fixture and a sculptural “celestial” bowl.
DIY tip Kantor suggests browsing the online marketplace 1stdibs for artisan furnishings and artwork. "Every once in a while, you will find a great deal."
For her art collectors' reception room, Miami Beach-based Jasmine Lam, who has an office in Manhattan, filled a ground-floor sitting area with large pieces of art, including a massive black-and-white painting by Southampton artist Jeff Muhs.
DIY tip For Lam, artwork is key to a great design, and she notes that Artspace.com, a digital marketplace for contemporary art, is a great place to find emerging artists. "Photography is also a great way to own art and it's not as expensive as a painting," Lam says.
Mariem Horchani of MHM Interiors in Manhattan had a pink theme for her downstairs powder room, but it wasn't related to breast cancer. She was inspired by the International Day of Pink, an anti-bullying initiative that started in 2007 after a student in rural Canada was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Horchani depicted various incarnations of pink, from feminine to female empowerment, with framed photographs and a display of Barbie dolls.
DIY tip Horchani had to chase down Barbies from various time periods online, but it was a relatively inexpensive way to make an artistic statement. "Collections are great,” Horchani says. “Anything from plates to Barbies, it can be done in a quirky, eclectic and fun way."
IF YOU GO
WHAT The 12th annual designer Holiday House NYC show house to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday through Dec. 15, closed Nov. 27 and 28, at 125 E. 65th St., Manhattan
INFO $40; 212-472-3313, holidayhousenyc.com