by Marisa Marcantonio

Showhouses are a wonderful way for designers to showcase their talent, and in many cases they create spaces with off-the-charts dramatic power, since they are not under the watchful eye of their client.  A newer showhouse hybrid, creating permanent residences for those in need, is a way for design to truly affect the lives of others, providing well-designed functional spaces that enhance the experience of design for wellness. In its second year, The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island has tapped a stellar group of design talent to transform over 40 living spaces of the home away from home for families and patients going through treatments at the hospital next door.  Through donations, hard work, determination and design leadership, the spaces come together, the results being uplifting and smile-inducing. Creating a permanent showhouse, participating designers can truly share their talent by touching the lives of those going through challenging long days and uncertain outcomes. The power of design is once again at play, and the spaces designers dream up is nothing but awe inspiring. There were so many great rooms, here are a few that had drew me in with their joyous color, pattern, comfort and ultimate livability. Want to get involved in the next permanent showhouse? Check their website for their lottery entry section.

Lindsey Coral Harper, a colorist of the most joyous order, created a bedroom with pops of orange, horizontal blue and white striped wallpaper, colorful photographs shot in India and a bit of pattern.

A colorful orange desk provides a place to get things done during the downtime

 Harper's forte is to create unexpected but wonderful color combinations, and she always dreams up interesting headboards, as this chartreuse and navy combo proves to be as exciting as anything she has created before. The nightstand? A splatter painted customized Ikea dresser done by her close friend and frequent collaborator, Jay Lohman. 

Another view of the full size beds

This chair had me swooning. Curvy and comfortable with a scroll arm, the fully-blue chambray upholstered piece was freshened up with the addition of a yellow contrast trim.

The wall facing the beds features another custom Ikea piece, and a neo-traditional grey mirror from Oomph. 

One's to watch, the rising design duo Henry and Co. created an  ethnic-tinged upbeat bedroom with clean lined four poster beds and just the right amount of pattern and texture.

Mixing a playful Uzbeki throw pillow and Kravet geo print, the beds were made in Serena and Lily linens. 

Interesting art, like this radiating circular flower print creates a focus above a black and white bone inlay chest. Nickel swing arm lamps add ample reading light and a trad touch.

Fresh Dahlia's a fun children's read and stylish accessories add a whimsical touch

I know these gals love a Maidenhair Fern just as much as me, so I was pleased to see one perched on one of my favorite Hwang Bishop ceramic stools

Designer Jennifer Flanders created a space in the palest pink and grey to play of masculine and feminine aspects. Featuring extensive customized bookcases and a workspace,  a cheetah spotted rug, Greek Key detailing on the ceiling (to mask the slightly off-kilter shape of the rooms) and solid blocks of color, the details added a layer upon layer lushness.

A closer look at the millwork and cozy bed

I experienced a sense of total calm upon entering Michael Adams completely white, pristine and clean space. It really made me feel the power of what an all-white interior can do, and for a moment I was a convert to the white out "way".  

The photographs showing watery landscapes also had something to do with my transporting moment, I'm sure of it

Showing design friends can make great collaborators, Danielle Colding of dcdny, Drew McGurkin and Young Yuh worked together to create a lounge area, featuring the festive new Hunt Slonem bunny wallpaper from Kravet.

Nothing proves design ingenuity like small spaces. The ability to make a small area workable is part of what makes a good designer. Here, Lisa Mende and Traci Zeller, both bloggers and interior designers, partner up to create a diminutive work area in purples and greys.