Once again, the Animal Rescue Fund of The Hamptons (ARF) has enlisted a talented line up of designers to transform the ARF Thrift & Treasure Shop in Sagaponack into a spectacular Designer Show House that will be on display over Memorial Day weekend, launching with a Preview Cocktail Party on Saturday, May 25.
The 2019 Featured Designers will include Allison Babcock and Cristina Peffer of Babcock Peffer Design, Groundworks Landscaping, Patricia McGrath Design, Michael Murray of Rachael Ray Home, along with Tim Croneberger of Halcyon Design LLC and Robin Theismann, Alex Papachristidis of Alex Papachristidis Interiors, Roller Rabbit, Laura Sanatore of LMS Design LLC, and Anastasia Casale of Sag Harbor Florist.
Murray and Croneberger, who are Show House veterans, teamed up with Robin Theismann, the wife of Washington Redskins legend Joe Theismann, for this year’s Show House.
“We did Joe Theismann and Robin Theismann’s farmhouse outside of DC and they had such beautiful things, we replaced them with all Rachel Ray pieces, but they had such beautiful things and Joe was like, ‘What can we do with these?’ They were very expensive and beautiful, so I said, ‘Why don’t we wait until the spring and we’ll do the Designer Show House and Robin can come out and set it up,'” Murray explained. “Robin is quite the designer herself and has an incredible esthetic, Tim’s an industry designer, so we all teamed up and we decided to use some of their existing pieces. Joe signed the draws in all the pieces, so it’s really for the sports fanatic.”
In addition to pieces from the Theismanns, the trio highlighted items that were already in the ARF Thrift & Treasure Shop. “This year we really utilized stuff that was in the ARF Shop. The items in here, almost all the accessories, are going to be from the Shop itself,” Murray noted. “We used everything we could from the Shop.”
Their theme, “Refined Rustic,” was inspired by Ray’s latest line. “Rachel’s newest collection is Refined Rustic, so we’re going along with what her line is,” Murray relayed. “Rachel is a fanatic for animals, she actually spends a lot of her own money because people give more easily for animals than children. She matches every dollar for children. She gave away $17 million thus far for animals and the same for children. She believes in it, so as a brand it’s part of our mission statement and we believe in it.”
“We hope to raise a lot of money for the great cause,” Theismann added.
Babcock and Peffer’s “Animal Kingdom” theme was inspired by the cause and a recent trip.
“Our love of animals, for sure, particularly Hobie [the labradoodle],” Babcock relayed about the Babcock Peffer Design room’s inspiration. “We wanted to do a room about animals that was whimsical and kind of an African vibe. We asked our friend Darius Yektai to create a bust of a dog for us. He used Hobie as his inspiration.” They sourced some of their finds during a trip to Africa. “A recent trip to Morocco, we brought some things back like the animal heads, and rug and these dog collars. They have a super interesting story, they’re made by women in the Masai Mara tribe and I met a woman in Morocco and her dog was wearing one, she started a non-profit, Mastino Believes, to help save dogs in Morocco,” Babcock explained. “It’s like the ARF of Morocco. We bought the collars from her and the money goes directly to help the homeless dogs of Morocco and supports the Masai Mara women.”
“They do such a good job,” Peffer noted about joining the design team in support of ARF. “We hope it’s a huge success,” Babcock added.
Laura Maresca-Sanatore, the head of LMS Design, is responsible for the woman’s dressing room, which will revolve around a “Let us be Elegant” theme.
“I just went out on my own, as of September, and I wanted people to come to my room and feel inspired and empowered. I think because over the past couple of months, because I’ve been inspired and empowered, I’ve had a really great sense of community,” she shared. “People coming together supporting me. It takes a village. That was the inspiration for what I’m doing. All the vendors are local, which is really great because I feel that sustaining the local economy is really important. That local economy has really helped me.”
“Every animal that I’ve ever owned has always been a rescue,” Maresca-Sanatore added.
ARF board member and event co-chair Alex Papachristidis of Alex Papachristidis Interiors will once again showcase his talents. His “Come Shop at Home with Alex Papachristidis” is bound to inspire.
“It’s my favorite colors, which are blue and white and purple, which I love. I’ve seen these things and how they work and I think the best thing to do is have a shop. I’m going to have as much merchandise as I can and make it like a little shop where you can come and buy things,” Papachristidis explained. “I had all my friends, who are decorators, sign books. So I had Bunny Williams, Suzanne Rheinstein, Suzanne Kasler, and David Monn, the amazing party planner who does our event, they sent books, Howard Slatkin, I’m going to donate my own books that are signed. So we have all these wonderful books, pretty pillows from John Robshaw, our dining room table from our apartment, that’s actually in my book, we donated it. Just all kinds of wonderful things that people can buy and use in their house right away.”
For Papachristidis, it was a no-brainer to get involved with ARF. “I’m such an animal person, and I love animals. They’re just so sweet and helpless and amazing and I think it’s important to help them,” he said. “Unfortunately a lot of people don’t treat their animals right and we have the responsibility to save these animals and give them good homes and nuture them because they’re just so wonderful and they bring so much to our lives.”
Papachristidis couldn’t stop singing the praises of the East Hampton-based animal rescue, who has saved over 25,000 cats and dogs since it was established in 1974. “ARF is the most wonderful cause and it’s a great event. We do this Show House, and we’re always looking for new designers who would like to do the Show House, and we have a wonderful dinner/dance that we do in August,” he shared. “That’s our big fundraiser and it’s really a beautiful night. It’s such an important cause to support.”
For the exterior, Groundworks Landscaping’s “The Backyard is Back” theme will showcase a variety of outdoor furniture, pots and other garden items. Patricia McGrath Design’s room will explore a “Tangled Up in Blue” theme.
The ARF Designer Show House is Co-Chaired by Papachristidis, along with Gordon H. Hoppe and Summer Louchheim.
The Preview Cocktail Party begins with a Benefactors Preview Hour at 5 p.m., followed by General Admission at 6 p.m. Partygoers will enjoy wine donated by Kontokosta Winery, hors d’oeuvres by Fig & Pig, and the chance to explore the Show House, as well as purchase items that catch their eye.
The Designer Show House then opens to the public on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets to the Preview Cocktail Party start at $150. Admission on Sunday and Monday is a suggested donation of $10 and free for children.
All proceeds from the ARF Thrift Shop Designer Show House and Sale will support ARF, who actively rescues cats and dogs, and then provides these rescues with quality care and sanctuary until they find their forever homes.
The ARF Thrift & Treasure Shop is located at 17 Poxabogue Lane in Sagaponack. For more information, call 631-537-0400 or visit arfhamptons.org.