Show Houses: Design Inspiration and Charitable Donations

by Rakks | May 19th, 2011

Jarret Yoshida Inc. at Housing Works Design on a Dime
Photo Courtesy of Design on a Dime

Guest Blogger Jarret Yoshida

Completing his studies at the Corcoran Gallery School in Washington, DC, Parsons and FIT in New York and the École des Beaux Arts et Décoratifs in Paris, Yoshida founded Jarret Yoshida Inc. in 2002 to pursue his passion for creating interiors that evoke “accessible indulgence, luxury and well-being — for real, everyday living” (http://jarretyoshida.com/about.html). Yoshida has traveled the world, developing his unique interior design style that has been sought by New York’s creative elite (the heads of W Magazine and Details, the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, Wall Street executives) for their homes in New York, the Hamptons, Miami and beyond. Today, Yoshida shares his insights into the world of “show houses” and Rakks role in these interior design showcases.

Show houses around the country bring out the kinder and gentler side of the interior design community, letting us work for charities while showcasing our work. Annual events in many areas, show houses bring together interior designers, architects, landscape designers and sponsors, who transform a home with their individual design concepts. Usually an amalgam of aspiration and inspiration, show houses are also oftentimes the average person’s only first-hand experience with high-end interior design work. I still remember the first one I ever saw and how it helped lead me into becoming an interior designer! I remember wanting to take things home. But even if I could afford them, no such luck.  Show houses are like museums: look but do not touch.

One of the more interesting show houses Jarret Yoshida Inc. was recently involved in was Housing Works’ “Design on a Dime,” showcasing over 50 of the NYC’s designer’s efforts.  However, unlike a regular show house, every single item shown is meant to be sold. That’s what makes Design on a Dime special – you can actually take that inspiration home with you for anywhere from 50% to 80% off! You often see designers shopping for their own homes, clients and stores at these venues.

Oprah disciple Nate Berkus, Jack Bergamino for venerable English fashion house Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren, Sferra and the like brought their creative and charitable efforts to the weekend-long event benefiting the country’s largest HIV/AIDS services program. In our own firm’s two booths alone, we had over $60,000 worth of furniture and art donated by friends and family from Paris to Honolulu and literally everywhere in between.

Next year, we’re already planning on how to use Rakks shelving for displaying all the beautiful handmade donations we receive. Beyond just being aesthetically pleasing, their various shelving systems are so functionally flexible that they are great for easy reconfigurations to accommodate last minute donations! The combination of Rakks modern aesthetic with the donated handmade porcelain objects and room accents are already giving us a creative jump start on our plans!

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