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Real Simple: Design on a Dime

May 9, 2008

I was invited to the Real Simple Design on a Dime event held in New York last night but couldn’t make it. Now I wish I had. Thom was there! Thom! My hero.

Real Simple: Design on a Dime James Huniford, Designer, Sills Huniford; Kristin van Ogtrop, Managing Editor, Real Simple;
Charles King; Founder; Maggie Gyllenhaal, actress; Thom Filica, designer, Thom Filicia.

This is going to sound totally braggy, but just over the past few month’s I could have mingled with Orla Kiely, attended a taping of the Martha Stewart show, met Amy Butler, Nathalie L?t?, and the crew over at Domino magazine just to name a few. But I feel shy about showing up at these events alone. And last night I could have swapped stories with THE Thom Felicia over at Design on a Dime. Had I known he would be in attendance — I most certainly would have been there. Serves me right for not reading the invitation a little more carefully!

Real Simple, along with co-chairs Maggie Gyllenhaal, designer James Huniford and Real Simple’s managing editor Kristin van Ogtrop hosted Design on a Dime to benefit Housing Works. They are the nation’s largest community-based AIDS-service organization. During the event, thirty designers ? including Thom Filicia, Sills Huniford, Jamie Drake, and Charlotte Moss created room vignettes that people were able to purchase from at 60-80% off the retail price. All proceeds benefited Housing Works. Here are some of the rooms. What do you think? There’s a lot of artistic expression here. Click on each image to enlarge.

Real Simple: Design on a DimeDesigned by: Thom Filicia
Soft, casual, symmetrical. Maybe a little too beige? But I would gladly take tea in this room. But IKEA wouldn’t approve.

Real Simple: Design on a Dime Designed by: Ernest De La Torre
A little too much patriotism for me here.

Real Simple: Design on a DimeDesigned by: NathanEgan Interiors.
I’m not sure I know how to feel about this room.

Real Simple: Design on a DimeDesigned by: Sills Huniford.
What’s on those fish lamp shades anyway?

Real Simple: Design on a DimeDesigned by: Jamie Drake
Hmm. Gold hands, green and lilac?

What do you think of some of these rooms? Do you have a favorite? I like Thom’s best. I think it must be hard when you’re a designer with work constantly in the public eye, must be a lot of pressure to perform, be innovative, and still stick to your own vision.

(Images by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)


  • Reply Samantha May 9, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Well I wish you came too so I could finally meet you Holly! Next time please come and bring Maggie Gy. with you!Love her.

  • Reply Carrie May 9, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I like the lilac room! Possibly minus the gold hands.. which you are right. They are a little creepy

  • Reply Simone May 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    hmm.. these rooms did not mask being designed on a dime. :-(

  • Reply Stephanie DosReis May 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    you ever need a partner in crime..I’m SO willing to be your sidekick!!

  • Reply patricia May 9, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    I’m kind of surprised. I would’ve expected a little more. Thom’s is definitely the best.

  • Reply my little apartment May 10, 2008 at 2:00 am

    most of the rooms just feel like they’re trying WAY too hard. i mean, they all feel like “theme rooms” for goodness sake. De La Torre’s patriotic room and the graffiti room by NathanEgan Interiors just feels silly, while both the Sills Huniford room and Jamie Drake’s lilac room scream 90’s. in a bad way. come on, orange gerber daisies?? and that horrible framed art in Drake’s room…he may as well just put up some Anne Geddes babies!

    i definitely like Tom’s the best, but it seems a little “safe” for me and that rug is too small. I’m actually surprised that he didnt throw one of his telltale plaster eagles in there somehow…but i must say, i love the Lucite take on those horn stools.

  • Reply Honeygo Beasley May 10, 2008 at 2:02 am

    I hate to say it but … ew. The stuff you featured in blue and white and everything else above this post is so much more appealing. NathanEgan’s looks like Fresh Prince of Bel Air meets Target. I’d better sign off before I get TOOOO snarky.

  • Reply Anonymous May 10, 2008 at 2:36 am

    I think the lilac room is terrible. Like my grandma’s house…if my grandma had really bad taste. I expected more. Thom’s is for sure the best.

  • Reply graduatedlearning May 10, 2008 at 4:09 am

    ooh, I LOVE Design on a Dime!
    And I agree, Thom’s is the best!

  • Reply christy May 11, 2008 at 2:27 am

    I love your blog! You are definitely one of my must reads! I sympathize with the going it along aspect of networking events. Work up the courage and go get them. You have just as much to offer.

  • Reply Jerusalem May 11, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Thom’s is the best, if a little too neutral, the rest, well they seemed a little much, or maybe they looked better in person than on film? Maybe? So wish I could have seen the fab Maggie in person!

  • Reply Anonymous May 11, 2008 at 8:32 am

    I may be mistaken, but isn’t Thom on Dress Your Nest? (& not Design on a Dime)

  • Reply emma May 11, 2008 at 8:54 am

    To be honest with you, I think all of these rooms are horrible. The only room I could imagine spending some time in without getting a terrible headache is Thom’s room, but that doesn’t mean that I like it. Sorry.

    I can’t believe this is the best American designers can do? It is so nineties, and totally over matched and way too symmetrical.

    What a negative comment this was, sorry ’bout that.

  • Reply decor8 May 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    i think a few are confused by the name because there is a show on tv called design on a dime right? isn’t it hgtv? this event was called the same thing but had nothing to do with any show on tv.

    yes thom’s show is called dress you nest. it’s a pretty good one too.

    emma i value your comment, no worries. i see your points. i think it was you, when i met you in stockholm, that said that swedish don’t think of american designers as “good”. was that you? i recall someone over there telling me that. i also remember a few ladies i met in stockholm who subscribe to domino tell me they are no renewing because ‘american designers have no style or style intuition, they just follow trends – not make them – since everything here is based on what sells, fame, and getting rich.’

    i wonder if others look at america this way as well when it comes to how they see designers here?

  • Reply Yoli May 13, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Holly we are in love with the same man…sigh. I love Thom’s the best of course!

  • Reply Elaine May 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    OMG! I did a job with Sills Huniford last year! I installed the pool room in the old Woolworth mansion in Oyster bay. Their design aesthetic is pretty fantastic. I really like it.

  • Reply Anonymous May 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Holly – why are you so shy about attending these events on your own? Your taste is obviously popular with a lot of blog readers so you should have every reason to feel confident about what you’re doing. Surely once you start attending these events you’ll get to know more and more other people in attendance so you’ll always have someone to chat to when you arrive.

  • Reply decor8 May 15, 2008 at 2:59 am

    i’m a pretty confident person but i do get a little shy — i think once i get started though i’d do fine. i am invited to 2 domino sponsored events next week, one involved cocktails and meeting john derian (omg so cool) but i can’t make it because of a scheduling conflict.

    i am determined to start doing the whole nyc circuit though, so many people i am dying to meet!!

  • Reply Elaine May 15, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    HOLLY!! Are you going to the Derian event? I am invited too! I really want to meet you. That would be awesome. Let’s email privately if you are, and I can give you my cell phone number so we can say hi. My email address is in my profile.

  • Reply Anonymous May 15, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Sills Huniford’s room was awsome! The 90s are back and retro now!!! I saw it in person the pictures do NOT do it justice! So creative and imaginative!!!

  • Reply Anonymous May 15, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    these guys are all pros and it is for a charity, where is your imagination.

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