April 24, 2014

Design on a Dime: Priceless Philanthropy!


Last year, Design on a Dime, Housing Works’ annual fundraiser, raised over $1.1 million for its philanthropic efforts. Tonight, the 10th unveiling of vignettes created by some of New York City’s hottest designers takes place with an opening reception at the Metropolitan Pavilion and I’m excited I’ll finally get to see the spaces created by some of my favorite design stars, including Tamara Matthews Stephenson and Tyler Wisler.

The designers crafting spaces put their hearts and souls into their vignettes, which means they’ve sourced some remarkable products—all of them donated by the manufacturers or retailers and for sale when the spaces open to the general public on April 25 and 26. Proceeds benefit the organization’s Hull Street Residence, a housing development which will contain 30 units of permanent housing for formerly homeless adults living with HIV/AIDS. It’s now in the pre-construction phase in Bedford-Stuyvesant so any products purchased from the #DOAD event, in case you want to search for eye candy, will further along this excellent cause.

Tyler Wisler

Tyler Wisler, one of our favorite Blogger’s Choice participants.

I asked Tamara and Tyler to share the inspirations behind their vignettes with Global Lighting blog readers and it looks as if this year’s efforts by these two visionaries will be enchanting in very different ways.


Robert Allen’s Truro in fuchsia inspired Wisler to add a touch of femininity to his space.

Tyler’s jumping off point was a floral fabric he found, Truro by Robert Allen. “I wanted to step outside my comfort zone a bit, and do something slightly more feminine in feel,” he explained. “The past two years have been obviously masculine so this year I wanted to blend the masculine with some feminine undertones in an unexpected way. Robert Allen agreed to give me all the fabrics I wanted, which was beyond generous! So I’m creating a dark Bohemian space—kind of spooky but well curated all the same.” I’m certain the very well curated space will have that eclectic but well thought-out look that Tyler, one of our former Blogger’s Choice participants and a Design Star once upon a time, is so adept at! We featured products he placed in his 2012 space on the blog two years ago; take a look if you’re in a #ThrowbackThursday mood!

Tamara DOAD

Tamara is bringing all the flavors of the French seaside to the table in her vignette.

Tamara, who has shared with our readers her thoughts on inspired design in the past, says of her space, “I chose a French seaside dining room theme and procured over $60,000 worth of beautiful items, all donated from generous design industry brands.” I asked her why she chose an ocean-side setting and she explained, “I wanted to showcase a beautifully set table and design a dining room that felt both elegant and casual at the same time. I knew it would be fun to bring in lots of small, interesting objects this way. The French seaside theme came bit-by-bit, starting with a vintage set of French Limoges plates with fish painted on them. The design grew organically from there, and although I love anything nautical, the French element brings in a completely different aesthetic. I found myself channeling sunny days, sipping rosé barefoot while dining al fresco somewhere beautiful.” Count me in for all of the above!

Tamara Stephenson

Tamara Matthews Stephenson

If you doubt exceptional buying opportunities exist, take a peek at her list of items that will be for sale: “Farrow & Ball gave me a gorgeous archived wallpaper to cover the walls (I have extra rolls for sale in the space); Thos. Moser gifted a handmade (Made in Maine) dining table; I have several upholstered pieces from Pearson and Mecox Gardens; white-washed dining chairs from Restoration Hardware; a gallery of original art (including a gorgeous sea-inspired commissioned piece from Jerry Teters); a lovely fireplace mantel; a Carole Gratale chandelier; Circa lamps; Troy sconces; and a plethora of beautiful tabletop accessories. Designers such as Bunny Williams, Alessandra Branca and Celerie Kemble have donated items to my room as well. I am also donating several vintage pieces from my own personal collection.” Wow: I’ll race you to the Pavilion: finders/keepers!

Tamara Matthews Stephenson at DOAD

Tamara’s 2014 vignette for Design on a Dime.


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