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October 23, 2012

Holiday House Returns to New York

By Erin Schumaker | Philanthropy

Holiday House Returns to New York
Peter Rymwid Architectural Photography

For five weeks every fall, the Upper East Side’s Academy Mansion comes alive during its annual Holiday House fundraiser—a design showcase benefiting breast cancer awareness and research.

This year’s installment (opening October 25) brought together more than 25 designers, including Charlotte Moss, Eric Cohler, Stephanie Odegard and Vicente Wolf, who each got a room in the 91-year-old manse to decorate. Inspiration flowed. Carefully placed piles of bird seed and a chicken-coop light fixture steals the show in the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” room on the ground floor, while an ode to Alexander McQueen took up the carnivale-themed dining room. On the fourth floor, a room called “A Holiday Luncheon and Gift Exchange Hosted by a Modern Day Marie Antoinette” comes complete with a glittering chandelier affixed with dozens of female fairies.

While many of the designers conceptualized their rooms for weeks or even months, the physical implementation of their ideas came together in just a few days. “It’s a madhouse, but in a good way,” says Suzanne Easton, whose “Origins of Life,” a birthday-themed studiolo, is awash with moody blues and greens and features a Garden of Eden–inspired serpent rug. “There’s a lot of camaraderie.” Admission, $30; October 25 through November 18; 2 E. 63rd St.; 212-472-3313; holidayhousenyc.com.