Upper East Side’s Holiday House offers design ideas behind each door, all for a good cause

NEW YORK — If you’re looking for something fun to do for the holidays, check out the Holiday House on the Upper East Side.

Top interior designers have taken over two huge penthouse apartments and created magic in every room. All the money raised goes to breast cancer research.

“So it’s important when you’re designing an apartment to set the tone right away, and I think this foyer does just that. We use some bold black-and-white grass cloth on the wall to set the tone when you walk in, and we left the second part of the foyer in white paint so it looks more like a gallery,” interior designer Iris Dankner told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu during a tour.

Dankner came up with the Holiday House 14 years ago after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I came up with this idea, my love of interior design and my passion to eradicate breast cancer, so I thought Holiday House because every day’s a holiday after you have breast cancer,” she said.

All the money from ticket sales goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and so far, Holiday House has raised nearly $2 million.

Each year, it’s held in a different building. This year, it’s at The Kent on the Upper East Side. Eighteen designers went wild with their imaginations, creating 18 stunning spaces, even the terraces.

On one terrace, the designer used mirrors to make sure everyone had a great view no matter where you’re sitting.

“She wanted to reflect the city skyline, and she’s also in love with New York, and this was just her way of saying, ‘New York, I love you!'” Dankner said.

The designer even incorporated a real stove.

“You can have dinner, drinks and even play a little corn hole,” Dankner said.

Elsewhere in the Holiday House, there’s a live wall made out of moss.

“She even put a little pink moss as a call-out to our breast cancer organization,” Dankner said.

The kitchens are beautiful. It’s even tough to tell where the appliances are hidden.

“It’s just so sleek, and then he designed this area almost as if it’s like a coffee shop. Your husband can sit here read the paper, while you could be there with your computer doing your work. This designer added the fireplace and this beautiful light fixture,” Dankner said.

There’s something for everyone at Holiday House, whether you like lots of color or you’re more into neutrals.

“What I’ve noticed about design trends, it’s really do what you want to do. You love color? Go with lots of color. You want neutral? Go with neutral. There are no rules anymore, just have fun with it,” Dankner said. “And I think people are including in their designs the family and the kids, and just have fun with it. I think after COVID, the home is where we’re really living.”

Speaking of kids, there’s even a baby nursery, complete with storks all around.

“It’s the tonal soft colors that bring this peacefulness to this room, and with the contemporary crib with the lucite, it’s just a new way of designing a nursery,” Dankner said.

Another children’s room is called “Dessert First,” incorporating cake, candy and treats into the design, along with an amazing mirror and bunk beds.

“It’s luxurious for a teenager,” Dankner said.

You can visit the Holiday House through Sunday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $40. To learn more, visit holidayhousenyc.com.

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