Design on a Dime 2013 Recap

Well, once again the Housing Works organization pulled it off!… A whopping $1.1 MILLION dollars was raised for this charity through the generosity of so many individuals… This exceeds the amounts tallied in the past years, and I couldn’t be prouder to have been a part of it again! In this 9th year of Design on a Dime, the amount of talent was awe-inspiring!

The thing that makes this event so special is that all of the designers are creating vignettes based off donations! This is literally the most creative showcase out there because we are manipulating items that may not necessarily go together; but need to make a cohesive story within those 3 walls. It is an intense 3 months of heavy duty begging for all the designers… We are calling on our favorite vendors, pleading with workrooms we’d like to work with, and also accepting donations from small artisans just wanting to be a part of a great charity, so we pack in as much product as we can. It’s one of those times where less isn’t more, MORE IS MORE… We want the overfilled look of a room, because the more stuff in the space, the more stuff to sell, the more money earned! All the donations were priced at least 50% off their retail pricing! Un-freaking-believable!

The sad and gratifying part is seeing the room literally get ripped to shreds in a matter of moments, as the items that are small enough to fit in a shopping bag can be paid for and taken immediately! It’s an amazing feeling to see people clamoring for the pieces that are within your vignette! It can also get a little heated too! No sooner did the announcement that shopping could commence, there an altercation in my space about who reached the sale tag first on a Walnut & Leather Banquette. It gets intense! Hehehe! I mean who doesn’t love phenomenal deals!

The prep time for the event is always very daunting as well… This year though we got 2 days! Oooohhhhhhh!… I know, crazy time frames to make everything just so, to only get torn up! It’s so ridiculous and so worth it!…

Here’s just a few shots of what this year’s festivities were all about!

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The preparations despite feeling rushed are always so much fun! This year I extended an invitation to my FB/Twitter followers, asking for volunteers to help with the set up, in return they would get a pair of VIP tickets for the event, a $400 value! Not bad right?!… I got the lovely Andrea Brooke to help me out… Not only was she a great help, but a useful extra set of eyes, and can I just tell you, totally HILARIOUS! What a good time we had! Thank you Andrea!

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Here’s a shot, just as we were wrapping up the 2nd installation day and before all the price tags were attached… I was quite happy with the results. I think I managed to create an environment that you could literally move into!

What I mentioned in a previous post is all the fun people you can see at the event! Below is a shot of one of the co-chairs this year, HGTV’s Sabrina Soto, along with the uber talented designer Patrick Hamilton…

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How deliciously gorgeous is she?!… Love her! Also someone else I love and have great admiration for is my buddy the Million Dollar Contractor, Stephen Fanuka, who came specifically to show his support for me, which I am flattered…

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The evening was full of cameras and bulbs flashing buzzing around as Lara Spencer walked one way, while one of the NY Housewives was walking the other… Wait, isn’t that Menswear designer, John Bartlett?… Oh yeah, at the bar, right in front of the Novogratz… Yeah, that kind of night! But the thing that meant the most to me was that my boys, Adrian and Paolo were there to celebrate with me!

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This was my 2nd year at the event, and I will do this event until HIV/Aids and homelessness is not a problem in NYC… I will always be right there to give to a cause that gives back to others! With the million+ dollars raised at this event, it will furnish Housing Works Jefferson Avenue Residences and help to break ground on the new Hull Street Housing project… So wonderful!

None of what I accomplished could have been done without my generous donors! Thank you to:
Bright Chair, Maxwell Blake, imm Living, Sandringham, LTD, Sandback Fabrication, Dennis Miller Associates, O’Hara Studio, Matthew Studios, Ceil Diskin Studio, Wexel Art, Duane Hosein, White Faux Taxidermy, Lux Archive, Edelman Leather, Tucker Robbins, Ray Ferrer, Arteriors, McGuire Furniture, Sacco Carpet, Interiuers, Lesley Anton, Jaime Derringer, Profiles, The End of History, Ko IRKT, Phillip Jeffries LTD, Julian Chichester, Holly Hunt, Michael Giordano and Andrea Brooke!

My mind is already swirling with the ideas of what I can do next year! I’m very proud of the accomplishment of all who took part in Design on a Dime! Thank you again to my family at Housing Works for having me! Till next year!…