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What’s Next in Interior Design? Just Look to This New Decorator Show House

The Bedroom by Ariel Okin Interiors

In 2008, Iris Dankner founded the Holiday House, an interior design showcase that has now been in operation for over ten years. But while similar such showcases had been curating annual exhibitions for a number of years, Dankner’s vision included one important difference: the proceeds from her event would go to breast cancer research, and specifically, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Flash forward to 2018, and the Holiday House is once again in full swing. The building itself, located on East 76th Street, blends in easily with its Upper East Side neighborhood of elegant townhomes. But inside, the showcase is more like a cabinet of curiosities—and a riot of different designers’ visions, all mixing together. So how exactly did this all come about? The 23 participating interior designers, both established and rising, were each given their own room to decorate as they saw fit. There’s a laundry room with inflatable furniture, a top floor spa, and just about everything else in between. And while the event is absolutely open to the public—six days a week, from today until December 2—we got a sneak peek, and gathered some insights from a handful of the event’s expert designers and committee members on what’s coming down the pike, or spiral staircase, in interior design today.

A Return to (Ornate) Wallpaper
“I love how much pretty wallpaper I’m seeing these days. I’ve always been a diehard ornate wall covering girl, but for a while—when it was all-Scandinavian, all the time—my taste seemed very old-lady in comparison! I’m happy to see that grandma-chic is making its way back. Next up: making 9 p.m. bedtimes cool again.” —Nell Diamond, founder and CEO of Hill House Home and Holiday House committee member

The Bedroom by Ariel Okin Interiors

The Bedroom by Ariel Okin Interiors

Photo: Seth Caplan / Courtesy of Holiday House

Accessible Tradition
“I find more and more that my younger clients are asking for a traditional aesthetic, yet on a budget that they can afford, and with some more contemporary pieces thrown in. It was really important for me to show my room in a way that felt accessible (almost all of the pieces in the room are shoppable). I think that so often, traditional or classic interiors can feel inaccessible or hard to replicate, so I wanted to show people that you can create that look without it feeling scary or daunting.”—Ariel Okin, founder of Ariel Okin Interiors and Holiday House participant and committee chair

The Sitting Room by One Kings Lane Interior Design

The Sitting Room by One Kings Lane Interior Design

Photo: Frank Tribble / Courtesy of Holiday House

Layered to Last
“For me, I’d say the trend is really forgetting the idea of a room that is overly “decorator-y,” or specific to any one time or period in design—they’re trite and actually lack personality. It’s all about layering, and rooms that are low key with a touch of grand, or visa versa. Fussy is out. Pretentious is out. I think design today is all about a look that feels airy and polished, but not overly decorated, and never bland.” —Annabelle Moehlmann, founder of Land of Belle and Holiday House committee member

The Wine Room by Interior Monologue

The Wine Room by Interior Monologue

Photo: James John Jetel / Courtesy of Holiday House

Meet the (High Quality) Maker
“The world of interior design seems to have recently put a spotlight on craftsmanship, heritage brands, and quality over quantity. The DNA of my brand, Interior Monologue, is to do just that, to bring awareness to products, designs, and to the people who are producing under the radar. It’s imperative that if a vase is expensive, the interior designer knows its provenance, so that they can explain its value and importance to a client. And after all, what better way is there to honor a maker than that?”—Tanya Zaben, founder of Interior Monologue interior design firm and Holiday House participant

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Bring Back the Trim
“I think we’re seeing a lot more intricate details, like embroidery, trim, and needlepoint, being used in much more contemporary ways. I recently saw a modern sofa with a fringe trim border and thought how great it looked. It was the perfect balance of paying tribute to classic craftsmanship while incorporating fresh ideas. I’m excited about some of the trim and tape being used in [the Holiday House] rooms—on curtains, pillows, and walls.”—Alyssa Kapito, founder of Alyssa Kapito Interiors and Holiday House committee member

A bedroom by Dean & Dahl, LLC

A bedroom by Dean & Dahl, LLC

Photo: James John Jetel / Courtesy of Holiday House

Out with Minimalists
“I absolutely think a return to maximalism is in full swing, which is really exciting. I am a classicist at heart, so it’s really nice to see some pattern and toile and chintz coming back into people’s homes and hearts. I think people are experimenting a bit outside the bounds of the mid-century modern boom.” —Ariel Okin, founder of Ariel Okin Interiors and Holiday House participant and committee chair

The Dressing Room by Rio Hamilton

The Dressing Room by Rio Hamilton

Photo: James John Jetel / Courtesy of Holiday House

Closets As Chic as the Clothes
“There is a big trend right now for fashionable closets. I also see a big resurgence of gem tone colors and luxe textures—cashmere, mohair, velvet, et cetera. Gray tones seem to remain the frequent neutral, while modified animal prints convey power in these types of interiors. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of ‘power rooms,’ and the use of such prints in well designed modern and traditional interiors.”—Rio Hamilton, interior designer and Holiday House participant

Outdoor space by Robin Kramer

Outdoor space by Robin Kramer

Photo: Courtesy of Holiday House

Garden Variety
“We feel strongly that garden furniture is an opportunity to express our clients personality and their ever evolving style. The notion that one must purchase a matching set of furniture for their garden is something we continuously try to avoidExterior fabrics continue to improve each year and are a fun way for our garden clients to add color and texture to their outdoor spaces without the fear of regret.”—Robin Kramer, founder of Robin Kramer Garden Design and Holiday House participant

The Living Room by Perry Sayles

The Living Room by Perry Sayles

Photo: Alan Barry / Courtesy of Perry Sayles

Antique Renaissance
“Bring back the antiques! Contemporary and mid-century types have taken over the homes of young people. I like strong statement pieces—anything Biedermeier, Empire, or Renaissance Revival. When they are incorporated throughout a space, more modern pieces won’t feel so overused or utilitarian. I also think you can make antiques relevant again by upholstering them in drop cloth.”—Annabelle Moehlmann, founder of Land of Belle and Holiday House committee member

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