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Project Design show house benefits Ronald McDonald House

Matthew Patrick Smyth's Mets-themed room for Project Design

Matthew Patrick Smyth's Mets-themed room for Project Design 2013 at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. (Oct. 4, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Project Design 2013 isn't your typical decorator's show house. For one, its New Hyde Park rooms are open to the design-loving public for four days only, atypical of the usual months-long events. Often, decorator's show houses are in luxury homes for sale for seven figures.

This one opens Friday at Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, a temporary shelter for sick children and their families. Usually the children are receiving medical treatment nearby and need a place to stay with their parents.

"You see how much this house is appreciated and how it becomes a home away from home," says Anthony Baratta, creative director and the original designer of the home that about 1,000 families stay in each year.

Eighteen bedrooms in the 42-bedroom house, as well as a kitchen, breakfast room, five common areas, first-floor bathrooms and three laundry rooms, got a makeover by stars in the design industry.

Here's a peek inside.


The house has always had a Mets room, complete with a comfortable space for kids to watch a baseball game, but nothing like the one created by Manhattan designer Matthew Patrick Smyth. The orange and blue pops with lots of white -- wainscoting, picture frames, tables and chairs. Whimsical details abound, from wainscoting incorporating the design of a baseball diamond to the team's logo patches tastefully woven into the design.

DIY TIP Lots of memorabilia, such as baseball cards and pins, all purchased on eBay, decorates the space. Smyth displayed them in matted frames, which can be purchased off the shelf easily and cheaply.


Long Island's own Stephen Fanuka, star of the DIY Network's "Million Dollar Contractor," collaborated with Manhattan designer Eric Cohler on a Moroccan-themed bedroom. Fanuka's hand-carved wooden headboards -- the shapes of which are inspired by the kingdom's arabesque rooftops -- are built into one wall of the room.

DIY TIP Get the look without the expensive craftsmanship by projecting an image on the wall and painting it, using the image where the headboards would be, suggests designer Andrea Conrardy, who worked on the room as part of Cohler's team. Fanuka suggests even trying to stencil a design.


Manhattan designer Bunny Williams tackled the playroom, creating a magical, mystical space where children can watch TV, play video games, raid the dress-up closet, make art and just hang out. The peach walls and light blue curtains are serene against the brightly colored beanbag chairs, carpet, storage bins and handcrafted mural.

DIY TIP The design proves that a playroom can have a finished look, which Williams accomplished, in part, with details such as the radiator covers she designed. "It architecturally changes the room," she says. Make your own or buy some, but definitely cover the radiators if they are not aesthetically pleasing, she says.


Manhattan designer Jon Call says his bedroom is meant to embrace the families who stay there, from the charcoal walls to the indigo sofa. He says he used dark colors to help create a "cocooning" effect.

DIY TIP The artwork on the wall is actually framed pieces of hand-painted wallpaper left over from a design project. "When you're looking for large-scale art, it can be very complicated and pricey," says Call. Such scraps can be featured alone or in groups, like the quad in this space.


Geometric patterns combine with herringbone and stripes to create the light blue bedroom by Port Washington's Anne Tarasoff Interiors. Despite the hodgepodge, the result is peaceful, which most of the designers say they tried to achieve for the families that stay there.

DIY TIP The walls are painted using a two-step process that Tarasoff shares: Starting with white walls, paint blue vertical stripes, using tape to keep the lines straight. Once those have dried, use pearl paint for horizontal stripes.

If you go

WHAT Project Design 2013, a designer showcase -- cosponsored by Kravet Inc. and New York Cottages & Gardens magazine -- to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, 267-07 76th Ave., New Hyde Park

INFO Suggested donation $25 ($10 for students); 516-775-5683,

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