by Marisa Marcantonio

With over 60 designer vignettes, this year marked the 10th anniversary of Housing Work's Design on a Dime charity design event. As usual, the festive design event, a harbinger of spring,  did not disappoint. It never does, since it raises money for a wonderful charity, and offers steep discounts on incredible home accessories, furniture and artwork. Every year designers up their game, creating fully-realized 3-wall vignettes that are (practically) move-in ready. This year there was no shortage of creative genius, as designers crafted spaces that amazed and delighted. Jubilant color, custom upholstery and covetable deals on art were everywhere you turned. At the opening party, designers we know and love clamored for their favorite pieces, some even brought their own sold signs to place on goods. The trick, you see, is to preview the event during the cocktail hour and select a desirable find you want. After settling on the item or items in a vignette, patiently wait  in front of the cordoned off  area, and grab it when the shopping bell is goes off. What starts out as a civilized affair ramps up to all out aggressive shopping in no time.  With donated deals at up to 70% off retail,  and the funds going to benefit homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS, the event has raised over $7 million dollars since its inception in 2005.  Ahead, some of my favorite designers who worked tirelessly to create inspired vignettes, packed with fantastic steals. 

Miles Redd creates such a cohesive vision every year. This year, primary colors reigned, and Matisse-like collages were suspended from the ceiling. 

There was no shortage of beautifully-framed poppy art, classic tables and clean-lined upholstery

This low scroll table in red painted linen made me swoon. But then again so did the pale pink Spitzmiller lamp and diminutive chairs 

I chose to stick around Mark Cunningham's lavender and white booth. A master in the art of accessory placement, Cunningham had some jaw-dropping pieces, many of which came from generous antique and art dealers.

There were more terrific sofas this year than I could count. Every silhouette was pared down and chic.  This wall of art was snapped up by a big designer who immediately recognized the Eliott Puckette on the far right. 


The space was like walking into a summer-ready vacation home

Leslie Banker for Pamela Banker Design Associates created a well- balanced living room with cobalt blue walls, touches of gold and zingy paintings 

De Gourney panels were beautiful against the strong blue walls


I spy another Spitzmiller lamp! There were so many classic pieces in here, perfectly suited for apartment living

Sara Gilbane worked with Studio Four NYC, using a great green and white bestiary wallpaper and black and white graphic geometric rug.  A chartreuse velvet settee had such charm, and was flanked by two different etageres, filled with sweet watercolors by Kate Schelter, and artist whose work I have recently started following.

A black lacquer Moorish bench was such fun, flanked by two Alex Mason prints

Cool bright vintage glassware mixed with traditional Chinese porcelains

Harry Heissmann's vignette included a killer Serge Mouille sconce and streamlined cream sofa

A pair of creme etageres were in demand-- a line formed for them almost immediately

A cool pair of vintage chairs covered in a Fortuny fabric also drew a lot of interest

Photo courtesy of J + G Design

Photo courtesy of J + G Design

Jennifer and Georgie of J + G Design created an ultra femme space with black and white with a touch of pink. Check out the customized wall finish-- it is really well done

Photo courtesy of Ron Marvin

Photo courtesy of Ron Marvin

Ron Marvin, a DOAD first timer, created a sexy downtown vintage-mix lair, with touches of metallic. Arresting art had me wanting!

Well-stocked accessories

Rich blue walls trimmed in gold added some glam to a masculine seating area from Flair

A "Yes"neon sign in Antonino Buzzetta's booth was captivating, along with a dramatic selenite fireplace filler

Tamara Stephenson created a dining room vignette which included a stunning chandelier

Angie Hranowsky's vignette was filled with wonderful vintage finds, including a square coffee table I coveted. 

A cane-sided day bed with colorful pillows anchored a wall with a pair of interesting art pieces


A pink and white strie striped wall provided the backdrop for Patrick J. Hamilton's glamorous, deco-inflected vignette

Pale pink Valspar paint and fuchsia velvet upholstery from Ethan Allen by Nicole Gibbons were femme but not too girly when balanced with black-framed prints

Lake Forest, Illinois-based designer Megan Winters also made her DOAD debut, with a fuchsia , navy white and gold schemed booth 

Photo courtesy of HB Home

Photo courtesy of HB Home

Graphic black and white abstract patterns dominated the teal and chartreuse scheme in Healing Barsanti's space. Two teal velvet sofas of perfect proportion held sway in HB Home's accessory filled vignette. That center pillow and its twin went home with me. They are now happily ensconced on my teal velvet sofa.