Each winter since 2008, select designers have participated in Holiday House NYC. Their interest in the showhouse has been centered on helping raise awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a cause for which Holiday House founder, president, and creative director Iris Dankner has been committed since the showhouse’s inception.


Regarded as one of the finest designer showhouses in the country, this year Holiday House relocated from its past Upper East Side venue to two state-of-the-art-mansions on 40-50 Sullivan Street in SoHo. These mansions are part of the 10 Sullivan development, designed by NYC-based architects Cary Tamarkin and Montroy Andersen DeMarco. This new downtown location, with its stunning modern aesthetic, has stirred up quite a buzz. “Soho has been great. It’s gotten us a lot of new eyes,” says Iris. “We have followers who have come downtown, but so many people from the new area are coming to see the showhouse and supporting the designers and the cause.” Holiday House SoHo has truly been a harmonious fusion of creative minds and design styles.

Room designed by Ryan Korban, a design chair for the event. See more from our Holiday House photoblog HERE.

Iris Dankner’s interest in selecting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation as Holiday House’s charity was based on their rating by Charity Watch, with 91 cents of every dollar going towards research. This year, over a million dollars has been raised by Holiday House. Iris, a breast cancer survivor herself, founded Holiday House because she felt there was a lack of high-profile design events benefitting women’s health issues. She shared her story, saying, “I was diagnosed at age 40 during my first routine mammogram. Early detection saved my life.”


Through Holiday House, Iris has received an immense outpouring of support from the community. “It makes me feel so good, but it’s a little bittersweet because everyone knows someone who has been touched by breast cancer. What I love is that I reach the top editors and publishers, but also the artists and designers, even wallpaper hangers and everyone in between, because everyone has been affected in some way. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate,” she notes.

Bedroom designed by Juan Carretero. Photo by Alan Barry.

Iris has been an inspiration for many of the designers who have participated in this event. “Iris was a very soothing presence throughout the crazy days before the opening and an inspiration to all of us,” expressed Holiday House designer Juan Carretero, whose junior master bedroom design evoked both elegance and coziness. Harry Heissmann, the designer behind the whimsical black-and-white themed room, shared a similar sentiment, “Working with Iris is like working with a family member or a friend. Since this is my third Holiday House (all good things are threes) we have worked together previously and it’s always been a dream. She makes it easy and fun and she is also a true professional.”


The design chairs for 2016 are Geoffrey Bradfield, Robert Couturier, Alexa Hampton, and Ryan Korban. Textile design guru Christopher Hyland is the committee chairman, while fashion icon Iris Apfel is the honorary chair and Jared Seligman is co-chair of the event. Incollect is proud to be the exclusive presenting sponsor of Holiday House SoHo for the first time. When asked what surprised her the most about this year’s event, Iris said, “The support from so many new designers, and new sponsors like Incollect. It’s really true. Incollect has been amazing; the developer has been amazing. Without the support of all the sponsors we couldn’t have done it.”

Room designed by Geoffrey Bradfield, a design chair for the event. See more from our Holiday House photoblog HERE.

The designers this year have outdone themselves, and raised the bar yet again. Among the talented interior designers who contributed to this year’s showhouse are Campion Platt, Ryan Korban with Brandon Maxwell, Geoffrey Bradfield (Bradfield & Tobin), Joan Dineen (Dineen Architecture + Design), Tori Golub, Joyce Silverman, Patrick Mele, Tina Ramchandani, Patrick McGrath, Scarpidis Design, Harry Heissmann, Fernando Santangelo and Juan Carretero.


Participating in Holiday House allows designers to transform spaces with their visionary ideas while also drawing attention to a worthy cause. Some of the biggest names in the industry contribute to this event each year; for many, this is a cause that’s close to the heart. We were able to catch up with some of the talented innovators who proudly contributed their creative sensibilities to Holiday House SoHo and supported the BCRF.


Q+A With The Designers

What does it mean to you to be involved in Holiday House, supporting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation?

Rooftop designed by Joyce Silverman.


Joyce Silverman: It meant a lot to me! I was so proud to be accepted to be part of the Holiday House and work amongst so many talented, giving people. My idea was transformed into reality when I was able to express a fantasy on the rooftop using an Alice in Wonderland theme. Iris Dankner is an amazing woman to know. It's great to have the opportunity to give back by giving women a chance of survival because we are supporting breast cancer research.


Tori Golub: I was so pleased to be be a part of Holiday House as research is the way to a cure for breast cancer. It was wonderful to be able to put my creativity into something that benefits such an important women's cause.


Scarpidis Design: We are taught to put our own mask on first, before helping others, because by the time we’ve helped everyone else, we may not know how to help ourselves. Beautiful spaces boost our strength to help others. This is at the core of Iris Dankner’s Holiday House; bridging her love of design and her efforts to help women in need. We at Scarpidis Design create spaces that elevate the clients’ living experience through architecture and design, promoting their creativity and passion to help others. Although, thus far, my family has been spared, breast cancer affects us all. While medicine advances are providing hope, it is clear that those directly affected benefit from the support of their loved ones. I recall a tale my father shared with me when I was young, emphasizing that a single twig is easy to break, but a bunch of twigs are unyielding. Many agree that the best ally in the fight against cancer can be the love of family and friends. We wish to add to that positive energy the beauty, harmony, and inspiration afforded by our design.

"Black Friday" themed dining room designed by Campion Platt. Photo by Robert Wright.

How important is it as a prominent designer to give back to the community?


Juan Carretero: Extremely important. Your biggest reward is the realization that you’ve made a significant change in someone’s life; and if not significant, then a positive change nevertheless. Holiday House allows you to be part of a community of like-minded designers and what a wonderful thing it is to give back through your talent and expertise.


Patrick McGrath: I think it’s super important for the interior design community to give back—just as it is for any other industry.


Campion Platt: We at Campion Platt are especially keen to support showhouses for important charity causes but equally important is to support vendors in our small design community. Many vendors either don't have the advertising budget or reach to properly market their designs, and our support of their unique products goes along with all the press generated for the Holiday House to help them get their next order.


Tina Ramchandani: As designers, we're always improving the homes and lives of our clients but we don't often have a chance to give back to a larger community. Showhouses and other benefit events are our chance to give back in a way that is personal to us, and allows us to raise money and awareness in an interesting way. Cancer, and breast cancer specifically, is an awful disease that affects nearly everyone. And while I can't help people individually as a doctor would, if I can help even one person with the money raised through Holiday House I'll feel as though we accomplished something.

The Wilde Study by Scarpidis Design. Photo by Costas Picadas.

How would you describe your Holiday House room in two words?


Juan Carretero: Tailored and sensual.


Joyce Silverman: Playful and surreal. My room at Holiday House is a transformation into another world.


Patrick McGrath: Subtle; elegant.


Scarpidis Design: We could describe it in one word: limitless. [The Wilde Study] is the smallest room in Holiday House, and even though the restricted space might limit others, we saw it as an opportunity to exploit our imagination and creativity.


Do you have any funny anecdotes about your Holiday House design experience?


Campion Platt: Most people were shocked at the crow as our dining plate décor, but happily so when they realized through the design our concept of “Black Friday”!


Juan Carretero: Well, we were missing a delivery that our vendor was convinced had already been installed at the house. After many hours of deliberation, we realized our shipment had been delivered to the same room but in the other town house next door! I can’t tell you what a relief it was when we solved the mystery.


Tina Ramchandani: Does designing and installing in ten days count?! The stone side tables. Everyone kept thinking that they weren’t real and would try to move them as though this was a simple task. Stone is heavy…really heavy. The looks on people’s faces as they realized that was pretty funny to me.

Room designed by Tori Golub. Photo by Francesco Lagnese.

Tori Golub: As one of the last designers to come on board, I designed the main foyer and parlor of the Holiday House. I had less than a month to make magic! Many of the best dealers of art and design on the Incollect marketplace rallied to give me everything I needed to create my Winter Solstice themed spaces. It was so under the wire that we were still unrolling the carpet as the first guests arrived on opening night!


Harry Heissmann: I wanted the headboard of the Tommi Parzinger four poster bed from Lobel Modern to be visible and opted for a low profile inflatable mattress, which I special ordered. I stored it in the closet adjacent to my room and when my friends from E. Braun & Co came to dress the bed in their beautiful linens, I went to the house the day before to prepare. Needless to say, the box with the mattress had disappeared一someone apparently really needed a mattress一so in the spirit of Christmas I decided to embark on a blow-up mattress hunt all day…


What’s your favorite design element in your room?


Campion Platt: I have two, the Marc Lafia painting by Cure8Group at one end of our room bookended by the floating “coins” venetian plaster wall by Ricardo Brizola.


Juan Carretero: Ran Ortner’s amazingly realistic ocean painting. You can immerse yourself in it for hours. You can almost smell and hear the waves. It’s almost interactive and deeply moving.


Patrick McGrath: The six John Currin etchings on loan from Gagosian Gallery!

Room designed by Tina Ramchandani. Photo by Jacob Snavely.

Tina Ramchandani: I would have to say the ombre paint effect on the walls and ceilings of the space. I wanted visitors of the space to feel welcomed, and at the same time feel as though they are constantly discovering the space at every turn and angle. Our talented painter used four different Farrow & Ball paints and turned them into nine colors, allowing for a seamless transition of color. If the viewer isn't focusing on the details they quickly assume the paint is a lighting effect, but upon closer inspection they notice that every angle of the space is a different hue. It's very exciting!


Tori Golub: The art in my spaces is definitely my favorite element and was the driving force behind the whole design. I selected artwork with female subjects, by artists namely Cooper and Gorfer, Marilyn Minter, Ellen Carrey, Cig Harvey, that are thought provoking, human and give a feminine quality to the dark and moody winter spaces they inhabit.

Bedroom designed by Harry Heissmann, with furnishings from Liz O'Brien, Valerie Goodman Gallery, Lobel Modern, and others. Photo by Peter Rymwid.

Harry Heissmann: My favorite element is the first one I selected for the room, the late 19th century German carousel zebra by Karl Muller from Yew Tree House Antiques.


Scarpidis Design: The Wilde Study has been carefully curated by our team, so every element in the room plays a vital role in the story we are telling. The wall paneling in our room is an architectural and interior design element we chose to bring from Oscar's life in London and Paris, reinterpreted in a clean and modern context, using paint. We ran out of time, and as we hope Oscar would say, used our wit, and made our wall paneling out of tape.




With a little more than a week left until Holiday House SoHo closes on January 8, 2017, there’s still time to tour the masterfully executed rooms created by the country’s foremost interior designers. If you can’t attend in person, you can view Incollect’s firsthand account of the event in our photoblog. Holiday House SoHo is open through January 8, 2017 from 11:00am – 5:00pm (closed on Mondays). For more information, visit www.holidayhousenyc.com, call 212.472.3313, or email info@holidayhousenyc.com. Follow Holiday House on social media @HolidayHouseNY.

Roric Tobin and Geoffrey Bradfield of Bradfield & Tobin, with Iris Dankner, founder of Holiday House. See more from our Holiday House photoblog HERE.
Dineen Architecture + Design. Furnishings from Valerie Goodman Gallery and others.
Patrick McGrath Design with furnishings supplied by Maison Gerard and others.