New England designers help raise funds for breast cancer research – Design New England


A 1921 mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan served as the setting for Holiday House NYC, where Newport, Rhode Island designer Ally Coulter created ?? A Roman Holiday ?? theme in the living room, which features a barrel vaulted ceiling, wood-paneled walls, and a stone fireplace. Coulter brought in sumptuous furniture and evocative paintings. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

By Jill Connors

The numbers are there and the 2014 New York year-end show house known as Holiday House NYC ?? with rooms decorated by top designers, including two New England companies ?? raised over $ 200,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. ?? Not only did we have a glamorous setting, but we were able to help this great cause, ?? says Ally Coulter of Ally Coulter Designs in Newport, Rhode Island, who designed the salon for fundraising.

The setting was The Academy Mansion on East 63rd Street, a four-story limestone building from 1921 across from Central Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Breast cancer survivor Iris Dankner, a New York interior designer, founded Holiday House Design Show in 2008, to celebrate life, with each designer choosing a party or special moment in life as inspiration for its design.


A mirrored coffee table in Ally Coulter ?? s ?? A Roman Holiday ?? the room reflects the ceiling and the fireplace. Photograph by Robert Farber, ?? Dream ?? rests at the top of the fireplace, and a baroque painting framed in gilding leans against the paneled wall. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.


An antique console topped with marble serves as an elegant bar in Ally Coulter ?? s ?? A Roman Holiday ?? room. Books and a painting framed in gilding adorn a console on an adjacent wall. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

Coulter, who has designed rooms for the Vacation Home for several years, created ?? A Roman Holiday ?? in the mansion living room, inspired by the expansive and curvaceous space, which features a barrel-vaulted plaster ceiling with gilded ornaments, paneled walls, and a carved stone fireplace. Inspired by the quote, “Nothing happens unless you first have a dream,” From a poem by Carl Sandberg written a year after the mansion was built, Coulter injected his own brand of exuberant decor, bringing in lavish Italian Baroque paintings, black leather sofas, a zebra print throw, a piano in tail and even a shiny red Vespa ready to exit through the glass door to the courtyard. Above the stone mantle, she hung an evocative contemporary photograph titled ?? Dreaming, ?? by Robert Farber. ?? I like the scale and the architecture of this room, ?? Coulter said, ?? and wanted to evoke the passion of the Italian Baroque era. ?? She brought works from FENDI Casa, Newel Antiques and Dakota Jackson.

Boston designer Gary McBournie has created a “Caribbean Island Holiday”,? transform its showroom into a brightly colored tent. ?? The general inspiration was to conjure up a tropical vacation at Princess Margaret at Mustique, or a fabulous cabin on the beach, ?? said Bill Richards, Marketing Director for Gary McBournie Inc. The piece was literally tented using hundreds of yards of McBournie ?? s exclusive ?? Tides Stripe ?? cotton in ?? Lagoon ?? colors for Antilles Designs. A Merida jute rug and Gary McBournie Home sofas were added to the island look, covered in white Glant fabric.


Striped fabric set up like a tent creates a vibrant beach hut look in ?? Caribbean Island Holiday, ?? a bedroom by Boston designer Gary McBournie at Holiday House NYC. A jute rug by Merida and bamboo shelves by S. Julian add to the island theme. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.


A teak sideboard anchors a wall in Gary McBournie’s bedroom, where a bright focal point is Michael Rich’s abstract painting titled ?? Of Song and Blossom. ?? Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

The story behind Antilles Designs fabric is colorful. Inspiration for the fabric line came from McBournie senior designer Lee Harrington, whose father lived in Antigua and designed island-inspired clothing in the 1960s. The fabric line was introduced last year and Richards announces that they will be adding outdoor fabric to the line this spring.


The sofas by Gary McBournie Home are upholstered in crisp white fabric with crisp decorative cushions; all lampshades are from Blanche Field of Boston. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.


The Gary McBournie for Antilles Designs collection of Antigua-inspired fabrics will soon be available in outdoor fabric.

Speaking of spring (and who doesn’t, given this miserable winter?), The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Boston Hot Pink Party is scheduled for May 14 at 6 p.m. at Seaport World Trade Center. This is the 10th anniversary of the Hot Pink Party in Boston, and event organizers include Dee and Tommy Hilfiger. Fundraising includes the presentation of the annual Humanitarian Award. According to the foundation, more than $ 53 million in grants have been awarded to New England scientists since the first round of grants in 1994.

Great design is always at hand! Read Designing New Englandthe january / february 2015 issue online!


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