April 29, 2014

Housing Works’ Design on a Dime Raises $1.1 Million


Reddymade Design amassed multiple chairs to furnish their space.

Weaving around a cocktail table and stacks of books at last week’s

Design on a Dime

fundraiser for

Housing Works

, I spied a set of silver julep glasses at the host’s own booth. As I rushed to claim them, shopping basket and glass of wine in tow, cruel fate intervened and another hand reached for a tumbler at the same time. Looking into the stranger’s eyes, there was a glimpse of humanity before she ripped the item from my hand. So close, and yet so far.

Such was the enthusiasm at the three-day event, which marked its 10th anniversary and included 60 booths ssembled by the likes of

Harry Heissmann


Laura Bohn

, and

Miles Redd

to showcase donated furnishings, all for sale. Popular booths included


neon-enclosed space, where faceted glasses distorted views and made for a slightly disorienting experience. The booth of

Cooking for Others

, inspired by El Día de los Muertos, came complete with tastings of mescal, making for an easy audience favorite.

As a first-timer to the sale, I could not have anticipated the chaos of hundreds of people scrambling for their favorite pieces. Even the designers were itching to get in the mix. Designer

Nicole Gibbons

remarked, “I’m going to have to abandon my booth soon to get some shopping in!”

I was certainly surprised to have a glass snatched from my hand, but I’m hardly bitter. Seeing people so aggressively eager to give to a good cause is heartening. Housing Works has been an active organization fighting against HIV/AIDS and homelessness for almost 25 years. This year’s proceeds—a staggering $1.1 million—will go to the development of their Hull Street Residence in Brooklyn.


Prop stylist Erin Swift’s vignette for Housing Work’s Design on a Dime fundraiser incorporated painted turtle shells.


Valspar, a major sponsor of the event, used their vignette to showcase their new Reserve line of paint.

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