Monday, April 28, 2014

Design on a Dime benefit

Last week was a whirlwind, between business, design work and installing our Design on a dime booth, my head was literally in the clouds. As a result, i lost, glasses, camera, one of my projects' floorplans (which we had to redo). To add to the list, the day following the event, we started a HUGE sale at Interieurs.

I am now gearing for my next benefit event which is the highlight of Greenwich Westchester social calendar, The Red Cross Gala. I am designing a table and forgot a major detail...the flower centerpiece, I also designed a fabric pattern exclusively for the table and....the fabric is lost somewhere in transit.The event is on Saturday May 3rd. Mercifully, I am waking up to a beautiful morning and will shortly go and check my favorite nursery for a dose of "gardening fix", as I am in dire need of perennials and replacement roses.

Design on A Dime was an amazing success, The private cocktail for viewing only was packed and socialites, as well as designers, were taking a mental note of what they will purchase. The furniture is donated by each  designer. In my case, I received wonderful items from our vendors, Innergaze with whom we do the most high end cabinetry work, built the white console. Romo donated all the amazing fabrics for the seating, and Mario Valle our wonderful upholster made the pieces. I commissioned the wonderful artist Gerry Mercado to do the two graf. paintings. Robert, at window mode, made tons of pillows for us as well, Design Within Reach and Soho Concept donated the 2 armchairs.Interieurs took care of all the rest of the pieces, rug, accessories, vintage lamp, heating pillar etc....

As soon at the red cords were pulled, the shopping frenzee started. I was stunned, within less than half an hour our entire booth was sold!!! paintings, upholstered sectional, rug, chairs, tables, accessories....everything SOLD!!!! I took a risk by going so bold, when the rest of the booths were rather traditional and it really paid off. The energy within our team was amazing, as exhausted but happy, we felt that we contributed a little to the ones in need. 
Housing Work is truly an outstanding organization and it is so rewarding to see designers come together for such a great cause.

WE had a late start, 11am installing the electrical wires to crate a ceiling

We could not proceed placing the furniture until the canvases were mounted , stressful was the word as the count down - everyone had  to be out by 4pm started. A benefit Gala Dinner was to be held that evening. By 3:30 we hung the paintings.Neighbors were looking at us with compassion and horror, never thinking we would make it on time and commenting on how insane we were to be so calm....

Estera and I with Gerry, a well deserved hug! Gerry was thrilled to see his painting being snatched away

Now the fun starts...

A couple of my favorite vignettes:

A Bientot,


Looking for a designer? Would love to help...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Design On A Dime

This year again, I will participate in the fabulous fund raising event  "Design On  A Dime". 
This April, Housing Works will celebrate the 10th anniversary of New York City most popular interior design benefit.
The event will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. The event last for 3 days and features 50 of the wold's top interior designers. Each designer will create a room vignette and all merchandise will be offered  at 50 to 70 percent off retail. Rosario Dawson, actress and AIDS advocate is the honorary chair, Michael Boodro, editor in chief of Elle Decor will be one of the co-chair.
The highlight of this event is the opening Night Reception on April 24th, with hundreds of VIPs and  celebrities who mingles with us, designers and shop, shop and shop some more...

All profits of Design on a Dime go to Housing Works whose goal is to provide New Yorkers living with aids, housing and services.

Last year, our booth was designed for an imaginary dandy. I was in Africa while my team was putting the booth together. I did most of the creative, donating pieces from my Showroom INTERIEURS as well as relying on our vendors 'generous donations. I had a fond thought for my associates on the night of the party, while sipping wine under the African sky…

This time, for a 10th anniversary, I am going bold, making a statement…. It has been quite a process. Furniture showrooms  were not as generous and I had to rely on our chore vendors. Romo fabrics with whom we have a wonderful relationship provided us with their brand new collection off fabrics…simply amazing! powerful black and white statement. Mario Valle upholstered the sectional whose frames were made by…myself and my dear husband. We learned carpentry in a week-end as we  could not find anyone willing to make the frames… the result between Mario's incredible skills and Romo fabulous textiles is beyond my expectations. Innergaze who is behind our most challenging projects, designed and built a console, while rugs, accessories and accent furniture and lighting came from the Interieurs Showroom. Even my son was involved as he designed a fish tank for the occasion.
The artist, whose name I will reveal after the opening, is working on 2 huge canvas which will be graffiti art. I am really into graffiti… see my Buenos Aires post here.

If you are in New York or planning to visit, please do come to the event and visit our Interieurs booth.

Design on A Dime 2013 inspiration

Interieurs Design Studio by Francine Gardner booth 2013

Below are  the inspirations for the upcoming Design on A Dime 2014

Final rendering for our booth:

Would love to hear your thoughts!!! too crazy ?

A Bientôt,


Looking to design your house? would love to be of help…no worries, my designs can be more tame...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Off on a cruise...

On the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar

This month, Marsha of Splenderosa is really in need of some sunshine and suggested to the members of "By Invitation Only" to share their thoughts on vacationing on a cruise: when to go, where to go, what to wear etc...

I have to admit that the thought of going on a cruise has no appeal to me....sorry... Every year I would treat my parents to a cruise in different parts of the world. When the time comes that I can no longer go on far-away exotic trips, I will only then likely be seduced by the idea of traveling in luxury and being catered to.

My idea of a cruise is to travel quietly with no one on the boat but the required personnel, being able to relax completely without having to think on what to wear, what to eat. Years ago I found myself in an embarrassing situation while booking a short cruise on Ha-long Bay in Vietnam for 5 days . As always, I required total privacy and requested a private cruise. To our horror, the beautiful cruise ship, reminiscent of the traditional Vietnamese teak boats, came to pick my husband , children, our guide an I  and... no one else...only our 2 cabins were occupied. It was a dream as we had full freedom, no schedule, swam in the sea and went to visit an amazing island and traditional vietnamese floating boat-villages by small motorboat.

My favorite cruise was on the Irrawaddy river in Burma. The boat was rather small, perhaps 20 cabins, a beautiful traditional wheel boat that slowly passed through the most magnificent landscapes.  Only an other Canadian gentleman was on the cruise. For hours on end we would watch the local life, get fish from the fishermen, eat on deck... time had stopped ... I felt as one of the characters in George Orwell Burmese Days, a favorite novel which inspired me to take my family to Burma.  Not much had changed since...

I would suggest to anyone to once in their life, visit Burma, an extraordinary beautiful country. 

On deck at sunrise, with my sons

I pack VERY light! Washable items only, sunglasses, a hat, walking shoes, flipflops and my invaluable Prada flats in black, and silver. For this type of fairly exotic traveling, I tend to wear khaki pants or shorts with a white shirt and great belt.

In the evening I love to wear long printed cotton dresses. I tend to collect them from various countries, djellabahs from Marrakesh, Indian Saris, great dresses from Callypso.

A Bientot,


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Please check out "By Invitation Only" members' posts....always inspiring

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