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  • By Jacqueline Hosford, ASID

The designer show house - It's super fun!

Hello dear friends: It’s been a few months since I wrote an official Design Muse installment. In the meantime, you may have clicked on the e-communications about our delightful “Spring Dawn” room designed for the prestigious Holiday House NYC (December, 2017), at the Academy Mansion on East 63rd Street in Manhattan. What a fabulous and festive whirlwind that entire experience was!!!

I know a few of you were able to visit the space in person. Thank you for your support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with your entry fee. And thank you for taking the time to enjoy my and my fellow designers’ creative efforts.

Jacqueline Hosford's "Spring Dawn" sitting room at Holiday House NYC 2017 (photo by Marco Ricca)

All of the designers of Holiday House NYC 2017 -Opening night at the Academy Mansion in NYC.
Jacqueline Hosford with Ryan Closs (playing the lute) and a happy visitor enjoying the room.

How I wish I could package that fully enveloping experience for those of you who couldn’t be there. A picture is worth a 1,000 words – but when it comes to interior design, that’s only half of the reality. A designed space creates a total environment that should include not only the visual, but all of the senses.

I partnered with a small group of awesome NYC vendors, incorporating their fabulous furniture, lighting, fabrics, glass art, scent and, yes, lute music to create this gem of a room that I hoped would invite anyone to enter into a happy emotional space. As this was Holiday House, I worked my theme around spring and Easter time.

I designed a space for respite. The idea of spring as a season of personal renewal led to the concept of ‘rebirth, which is well represented by a traditional ‘Easter Egg’. This was my point of inspiration that led me to imagine the perspective of being inside the lush, soulful and calming cocoon of a glamorous egg!

I’m honored, humbled and gratified by those who set foot into the room. Their comments were profoundly interesting to me, especially given the design intention:

“Wow! I feel so peaceful here. It’s so spa-like."

"Oh, I could sit here all day reading a good book!"

"I don’t want to leave!"

"I wish I could have a room like this..."

" This is my favorite room in the whole show!"

"How ever did you think of this!"

"I love how you did your flowers in the fish bowl!

"That chandelier is stunning, and those chairs!"

"I love what you did on the floor - I just want to roll around in this

luxurious sheepskin."

And, upon demonstrating the multiple special lighting effects designed into the room:

"Wow! So many moods in one space. Who knew lighting had such an impact!"

"This is so romantic. Just two candles and the backlit glass art... perfect for me and my lover."

Perhaps my favorite, totally unexpected response:

“What is this room for?....I think it’s a nursing room for a mother and baby,” expounded one gentleman visitor. How heartwarming to think that this man had perceived the womb-like renewal and calm, interpreting it as something deeply about Mother and Child!

And what else truly surprised me?

"Is that a ruffle up there? I’ve never seen that done before. So unique. How did you do that?"

View of Jacqueline Hosford's "Spring Dawn" design for Holiday House NYC 2017 (photo by Marco Ricca)

Yeah, truly, that comment blew my socks off. For many that ruffled crown was the first thing they saw! Forget the fabulous 48" diameter back-lit glass painting or the Italian Bergamo Mid-Century "tulip" chairs. It was amusing: because that stiff ruffle of fabric sitting just below the ceiling was a last-minute solution to mask an unanticipated disaster! The newly installed and perfectly level wall panels highlighted the awful unevenness of the room's ceiling.

Given the huge positive response to that one detail (from both women and men!), I wonder if the design consumer might be starved for ruffles. There has been a dearth of ruffles for decades–perhaps they should be back in vogue! Is this the start of a new trend–the ruffle, with a twist?

Well, we will see! Here's to more inspired design in 2018! Stay tuned!

Jacqueline Hosford, ASID, principal of Jacqueline Hosford Interior Design, loves working with clients to design their spaces for optimum function and each client's ultimate delight. Jacqueline is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification; and is an adjunct professor of interior design, State University of New York (Purchase, NY). Jacqueline is a graduate of Barnard College-Columbia University, and the New York School of Interior Design with highest honors. She can be reached at

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