There are not many things I’m truly greedy about, but it seems like the very clever organizers of Rooms With A View – a visually stunning event for a good cause – know just how to tempt me. Stylish interior design plus fashion, shopping, and food? I’m so there.
When I learned the Honorary Chair was the none other than designer Thom Filicia, dubbed one of House Beautiful’s Top 100 Designers, an International Taste Maker by House & Garden, and an A-List Designer by Elle Décor, I was even more intrigued. Many of you will remember Filicia from his star turn in Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, but since then he has gone on to become one of the country’s most in-demand designers. So I immediately hopped into my car and braved I-95 during rush hour and a heavy downpour to get to the historic Southport Congregational Church to see what Rooms With A View had to offer.
I’m so glad I did. At the forefront is great design, featuring the work of twelve interior designers, each of whom have been given a 6-foot by 5-foot “room” to showcase their design talents. The goal, says Filicia, was to create spaces that “evok[ed] elements that are both sophisticated and refined while also being authentic and unexpected.” And in my estimation the designers collectively succeed.
These inviting vignettes perfectly capture this year’s theme “Americanism: Timely & Timeless Design” and you will be impressed by how much can be achieved in such a limited amount of space. Thom has been involved with Rooms with A View for the past four years and when asked why, he says simply, “This is a great event for a great cause.”
I couldn’t agree more. And honestly? I wanted to sit down and make myself at home in every single one of these charming rooms starting with Filicia’s warm and sophisticated den tableau which features wing chairs in pewter velvet, subtle reflective surfaces, a driftwood sculpture and American Eagle console table.
Stamford designer Carey Karlan’s whimsical family fun-and-games room augmented with puzzle piece elements, giant chess pawns and oversize chairs also caught my eye. So did the work of the stylish mother/daughter design team from Ruger Interiors. Their elegant foyer incorporates shades of cream and silver and features authentic Frances Elkins loop chairs, turn-of-the-century crystal sconces and gorgeous wallpaper panels, all anchored with a Stanley Hura Hollywood Regency mirror.
Nancy Corbett’s unabashedly feminine office space left me swooning and fantasizing about redoing my own home office. Rooms by Westport’s Lynne Scalo and New York’s Bryant Keller artfully blend modern and classic design inspiring thoughts of festive cocktails with friends.
What I loved the most is that if you took the time to look carefully, each room held thoughtful touches and surprises. I especially loved the antique brass coffee bean dispenser in Victoria Vought’s Dog Room that had been ingeniously repurposed to dispense dog food, and Tiffany Eastman’s Gentleman’s Lounge tableau incorporated a subtle chevron stripe using using Farrow & Ball’s Mole’s Breath paint in alternating matte and high-gloss finishes.
This three-day annual fund-raiser put on by the Southport Congregational Church has special events spread out all weekend so there is a little something for everyone and at every price range. In addition to the designer showcases there is an expansive marketplace where you can pick up unique holiday gifts, see craft demos, try food samples and enjoy lunch or a snack at The Marketplace Café. There are also two fashion shows, a champagne tour hosted by Filicia, and a star-studded design book-signing event. And for those with deep pockets and kind hearts, there’s a special dinner featuring a five-course meal and silent auction, with food by Paci Restaurant paired with wines from Mo’s Wine and Spirits, champagne from Moet Hennessey and room décor by Lillian August, that is both understated and beautiful.
Aside from the great design, food and fashion, another BIG reason you should attend Rooms With A View? Over the last 19 years, the event has raised more than $1,150,000.00 to support the Southport Congregational Church and its many missions including the Center for Women and Families, Eagle Hill School Scholarship Fund, Horizons, Janus House, Operation Hope, Project Learn, Prospect House, St. George’s Soup Kitchen, Visiting Nurses of Connecticut and quite literally a dozen more worthy organizations.
I had a fabulous time at Rooms With A View and only wish I could transplant all these imaginative interiors to my home in Wilton.
Rooms With A View runs from November 8 through Sunday, November 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission tickets can be purchased at the door for $20. Special evening events tickets can be purchased online at Rooms With A View 2013.
Southport Congregational Church
524 Pequot Avenue
Southport, Connecticut 06890
Saranda Berisa | Wadia Associates
Nancy Corbett | Corbett Wright
Tiffany Eastman | Tiffany Eastman Interiors
Thom Filicia with Sedgewick & Brattle | Thom Filicia Inc.
Steven Gambrel | S.R. Gambrel, Inc.
Carey Karlan | LAST DETAIL interior Design
Bryant Keller | Bryant Keller Interiors
Carolyn Kron & Tricia Izzo | Shelter Interiors
Francine Murnane | Francine Murnane Interior Design
Claudia Ruger & Amy Ruger Whiteley | Ruger Interiors
Lynne Scalo | Lynne Scalo Design
Victoria Vought | Victoria Vought Designs