For more than a decade, a showhouse in New York City has been doing more than just highlighting fabulous design. Founded in 2008 by interior designer Iris Danker, who is a 20-year breast cancer survivor, the annual Holiday House raises funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF).
This year’s magnificent house is located on the Upper East Side of New York City at 118 East 76th Street. Danker called it Holiday House because after surviving breast cancer, every day is a holiday. Each year, she asks designers to draw the inspiration for their space from a special moment in life. The 2018 house features 23 designers who transformed the spaces into luxurious living, entertaining and relaxing rooms. The house is called “a celebration of life, beauty and optimism as an antidote to cancer.” Whatever you call it, it is full of spectacular design and we were wowed at every turn. Here’s an overview of most of the rooms in the house.
This self-described “rock star” lounge was designed by Susan Glick, who worked around a silvery gray palette accented with muted blue-gray accents and bold black and white art photography. Glick’s fashion background must have contributed to the expert combinations of plush, sophisticated textures that envelop the room, from the walls to the upholstered pieces.
This dining set, part of the sitting room by One Kings Lane is an artful mix, just as the rest of the room. This was the first time the company participated in a showhouse and the designers mixed a variety of vintage styles designs with contemporary pieces. The result is a layered look that is comfortable and effortless. The streamlined table setting is a wonderful pairing with the woven dining chairs.
A quiet and very enticing oasis in the city, this outdoor terrace off the sitting room was designed by Robin Kramer. The soothing hues of the cushions combined with urban chic design of the furnishings are casual and comfortable, which is absolutely key for an outdoor space. This is our ideal retreat!
The living room was done by Timothy Brown, and is chock full of antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces. The sectional belongs to Brown himself and is the perfect piece for grounding the space. Muted tones help to create a relaxing and sophisticated space that is still comfortable and highly livable. A restrained use of accessories maintains the ease of the room, which is well accented by the cut flowers and bamboo branch.
Brown also decorated this room because no one else wanted too. This bar space has a full wall of shiny metallic and orange tile in a very retro geometric design that was rather jarring, so he covered all the walls with dark drapes, creating a bar area that has a private club feeling. You can just imagine standing around the stone console with your guests, sipping a cocktail and chatting.
At the very top of the house is a special space by designer Vanessa DeLeon: A pool area. The pool and walls have a lovely mosaic design and are accented by large silver sculptures. At the top of the space, a balcony area has a lounge for relaxing and entertaining, all with a view over the pool. Comfortable furnishings in a neutral palette keep the focus on the pool and make for an easy space.
After a swim, maybe you want a massage? The spa space, designed by LGC Interior Design of Long Island, is designed for relaxation. The moody space has luxurious silk draperies that can cover the entire wall of windows that look out onto a balcony. In nice weather, the outdoor space is set up for continued relaxation too. The calming space is great for spa treatments or even just quiet meditation.
Designer Natalie Kraiem looked to Paris for inspiration when designing this master bedroom. A recent trip there had fired up her desire to create a bedroom that is a get-away inside your own home. In fact, she called it “Getaway in Paris.” The space is filled with luxurious pieces that are a mix of modern and vintage. A serene color palette is amped up with textural variety, from the leather headboard to the textured walls and modern, patterned upholstered furniture. It certainly has that “Je ne sais quoi” that invites you to laze away the day, relaxing.
Another space you may never feel the need to leave is this amazing closet by Rio Hamilton. Painted in a color that evokes a soft sunset, the animal print carpet by Stark adds a touch of trendiness. Aside from being a beautiful space for storing your wardrobe, the closet also has a few surprises: A built-in coffee machine to make your morning routine more pleasant along with an automatic valet that steams, cleans and freshens your precious fashions.
The home’s family game room by Eric Haydel is a colorful and comfortable space for hanging out or for entertaining. The mixed prints of the upholstery and rugs are further boosted by the bright artwork and pops of red. In fact, the melange of textiles on the sofa prevents it from being too much.
Just off the family game room is this quiet garden, located on the lower level. Designed by Adam Alexander and Lauren Kovacs of the Spiezle Architecture Group, the space is Zen-like with Asian accents and a very natural vibe. Clean lines and minimalist accessories keep it modern with not a whiff of Jungalow to be found.
Mark Addison’s game room is part collection and part homage to the cocktail, as well as fun play space. The wall of shelving displays bar accouterments and sets of glassware. At the center is a game table from Blatt Billiards, surrounded by geometric and colorful chairs. By the fireplace, two modern suede armchairs in a regal shade of purple repeat one of the accent hues in the game table chairs.
“Fun” is the perfect word to describe the kids’ bedroom that was designed by husband and wife design team Dean & Dahl. The black and white graffiti walls are actually a mural by artist Carrie Ellen of Utah and create a great backdrop for the dark and dramatic bunk bed. Accented with gilded climbing holds above the bed and up the wall at the foot end of the bed are an addition any kids would love. The artistic focus of the space and its eclectic mix are what a kids’ room ought to be.
One of the numerous bedrooms is this one called “In Anticipation of Spring” designed by A List Interiors. A light and neutral color palette is highlighted with unexpected textures like the feathers that top off the elegant bedside lamps. A touch of gold in the lamps and mirror frames are just enough glitz. Across from the bed, built-ins flank a generous dressing table and ample light for getting ready. We particularly love the unique handles on the closet doors.
Ariel Okin’s Guest bedroom is a garden vision sure to please any guest. The light and flowery space is defined by the unique wallpaper, which Okin said is her lighter and daintier take on chinoiserie. She worked with the wallpaper vendor — de Gournay — to create the custom pattern of blooms and trellis. The rest of the very inviting space is furnished with pieces from CB2 along with some vintage pieces, like the nightstands.
Having seen how a Hästens bed is hand-stitched, we agree that it is appropriately center stage in the bedroom. Touijer Designs agrees and made the luxurious mattress-as-work-of-art the focal point. Lighter neutral round out the space and create a very relaxing bedroom. Behind the headboard is a wooden wall that is a work of art in and of itself that was created by Hakwood. The layers of wood are cut out and arranged into a dimensional backdrop that is soft and gentle. The company is known for its top quality wood flooring and wall tiles.
The lower landing at the bottom of the very grand – and very tall — spiral staircase is super stylish and inviting. Interior Marketing Group created the space, which features a curved sofa and artful accessories and mirrors from Arteriors. The textured wall that runs the entire vertical span of the staircase takes on extra drama when lighted from the sides. It’s also a strong visual counterpoint to the line created by the underside of the stairs.
With a fun — and fully equipped — laundry room like this, we wouldn’t mind running a few loads. The room, created by Joyce Silverman. It’s highly organized but still plenty of fun with its bubbly ornamentation and accents of balloons and glass orbs. The appliances are all from LG and include another automatic steamer like the one in the master bedroom closet.
We’ve seen our share of showhouses and this one is one of the best. The swanky location in Manhattan’s upper East Side doesn’t hurt, but also the 23 designers and companies that dreamed up these spaces have created a fantastic space that is not only inspirational but highly livable. And to top it off, the proceeds benefit a breast cancer research, a critical cause that still needs support.