What do you get when you combine innovative design, furniture and decor markdowns, and a good cause? One of New York City’s most-beloved fundraisers: Design on a Dime. The non-profit organization Housing Works hosts this designer-showcase-and-shopping event every year to the delight of the community, and it ran from April 20 to April 23.
This year, under the leadership of Founding Chair James Huniford, Housing Works partnered with 50 designers to each style a room — where everything in it would be for sale at up to 80 percent off the traditional retail price. All of the proceeds directly benefit healthcare and housing for New Yorkers living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. So, there was really no reason to leave anything behind!
It was my first time attending Design on a Dime, and as someone who can never say no to an amazing deal, you can bet I sprinted from room to room like a runner competing in the New York City Marathon. First, there was a gorgeous marble tulip table that I knew I wanted from Room 25, designed by Brittany Marom. As soon as the shopping period began, I went after it. But across the way, I spotted some of my favorite Assouline coffee table books marked down for half off, so I darted over to grab those, too. I even experienced some friendly competition in the form of a charming British man who was eyeing the same velvet marigold sofa that I had fallen for — it ultimately went home with him, but it’s okay, I’ll continue to dream about it.
Before the shopping free-for-all, I was able to take a look at each of the creative spaces that had been designed for this special event. One that particularly inspired me was the room by Rayman Boozer of Apartment 48: His display used multiple types of wallpaper, and each print was separated by strips of wood for a patchwork effect. Some portions of the wall were kept white, which prevented the setup from appearing too busy and allowed the patterns to shine even more.
Given that wallpaper doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, this is an excellent way to experiment with the trend and create a design that’s artful and unique. It also eliminates the struggle of having to choose just one wallpaper from your various picks.
Whether you use an iconic pattern like Clarence House’s “Tibet,” seen above, or a more subtle design, this is an idea that will result in a one-of-a-kind look. I love the idea of incorporating patterned wallpaper into a living room, but I think it could also shine somewhere more unexpected — like a home office. It would make for a pretty cool Zoom background, don’t you think?