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"Start Your Day With Glamor" – Design On A Dime 2016

Last Thursday April 21, Housing Works hosted NYC’s most popular interior design benefit – DESIGN ON A DIME – at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the heart of Chelsea’s design district. The event showcased more than 60 of the world’s top interior designers. Julie Schuster Design Studio was among the lucky few selected to create a unique vignette pieced together from custom created/curated and donated merchandise which was then auctioned off and sold for charity! Proceeds from the event support Housing Works’ newest initiative – the Hull Residence – a “from-the-ground-up housing development project transforming a vacant 6,000 sq ft. lot into beautiful and safe housing for 28 single formerly homeless adults living with HIV/AIDS.”

This was my second year at Design On A Dime. My vignette this year was inspired by an article published in Elle Décor earlier this season entitled “Bathrooms That Feel Like Living Spaces.” I loved the idea of combining bathroom and dressing areas in a beautiful, feminine way and “starting your day with glamor.” With this notion in mind, I started sourcing functional pieces of furniture that would work within the context of the room, but that could also be easily sold and transported in and out. We made the wardrobe cabinet and vanity in collaboration with TransFORM. These key pieces were designed to work within the context of an New York apartment and could be easily moved to their final site fully intact. Our wall décor, amazing gilt mirror and light fixtures had an Art Deco feel to them and were grounded by lovely oriental carpets which became the inspiration for the eggplant color on the walls.

As the only Feng Shui practitioner represented at the event, it was important for to me to fully embrace the five elements in my design:

- METAL: golden walls and art, oval shape of the freestanding tub

- WATER: mirrors, water in the art

- FIRE: animal print upholstery, lighting (chandelier and sconces), artwork depicting beautiful/sultry women

- WOOD: long/lean shapes of the bath vanity legs, tall wardrobe cabinet

- EARTH: matte finish of the marble vanity top, “grounding” quality of the tribal carpets, long/low side-bench

As always, gathering donations in the months leading up to the event was a huge undertaking. As gratifying as the curation of so much custom product can be, it is certainly a daunting, and at times overwhelming, process. Slowly but surely, all the pieces came together at installation, which took place the night before the Opening Gala. None of it would have been so successfully executed but for the amazing work of my Interior Design Team Leader Amanda D’Orazio (what a wonderful project coordinator!) and the generosity of my wonderful sponsors and vendors:

- Tufenkian Carpets (2 x kazak tribal rugs)

- Metropolitan Home Hardware & Bath (Neptune freestanding tub, Artos Severin towel warmer, St. Thomas 1-piece toilet)

- Lefroy Brooks (nickel-plated faucets, fittings and accessories)

- Robern (custom Balleto bathroom vanity with marble top and self-lit medicine cabinet)

- Debbie Viola (custom art)

- transFORM (custom wardrobe and vanity)

- Crystal Renaissance (custom chandelier and sconces)

- Waterworks (dressing room accessories)

- DeAnn Arce (custom framed photograph)

- Tilebar (50 sq ft of Carrera marble tile)

- Consign It On Main (antique animal print chair and bench)

- And last, but certainly not least, the amazing custom created wall décor by Steven Peabody; and his lovely, sultry oval artwork

- Photos courtesy of Julien McRoberts Photography

The event itself was a huge success, with nearly every piece selling – an absolute feeding frenzy! Thank you to everyone that came out to show their support. At the end of the day, the most satisfying part of it all was tying so much wonderful custom work together in one amazing room – all in the name of charity. I feel so much gratitude for the trust that’s placed in me through the generous acts of support and donation.

Cheers to yet another wonderful year!

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