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Animalistic Design: 6th Annual ARF Showhouse Kicks Off!

Bow-wow and meow! Things are heating up at the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons’ (ARF) Thrift and Treasure Shop in Sagaponack. Seven of the hottest interior designers have lent their talents to the 6th Annual ARF Designer Showhouse fundraising event on Saturday, May 28. Sam Allen, Tracey Cavaniola, Nancy Corzine, John Stedila and Tim Button, Lynda Sylvester and Eldon Wong will each curate a room in the Thrift and Treasure Shop using items donated to the shop and from the designers’ own collections. Unlike traditional showhouses, every item in the ARF Designer Showhouse is for sale.

Says Lisa McCarthy, ARF Board President and co-chair of the event, “Now in its sixth year, the ARF Designer Showhouse is a great kick-off to the summer season! We salute the designers who’ve brought such creativity to their assignment.”

Other co-chairs of the event are Gordon Hoppe, of the Corcoran Group; journalist and author Gigi Mahon; author and lauded interior designer Alex Papachristidis; and one of America’s most respected designers, Marshall Watson. Internationally published interior designer and reality TV star (Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators and Property Envy series) Mary McDonald is this year’s honorary chair.

Each room in the ARF Thrift and Treasure Shop reflects the personal style of its designer. Sam Allen of Sam Allen Interiors began his career when he was just 19. His style is “clean and comfortable and encompasses themes all the way from Organic Elegance to Parisian Hollywood Glamour.” Sag Harbor’s own Tracey Cavaniola will be decorating a “front porch” while another local, Lynda Sylvester of Sylvester & Co., is calling her space “The Library Goes to the Dogs.” There will even be a Downton Abbey-inspired dining room styled by Eldon Wong, titled “Dinner Party at Dogton Abbey.”

All of the designers are pet owners and animal lovers. Nancy Corzine, one of the most sought-after interior and furniture designers in America, says, “I would never say to my dogs that they can’t get on a piece of furniture. My dogs get a lot of attention and exercise. Animals only get destructive if they’re ignored…I’m just crazy about animals! I love all of God’s creatures.”

ARF Showhouse
This year’s ARF Showhouse artwork, by Carolyn Fanelli

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons was founded in 1974 and is the leading animal adoption center on the East End. The shelter itself is located in Wainscott and each year provides food, shelter, rehabilitation and veterinary services for more than 1,000 cats and dogs until they can be placed in loving homes. Funds raised by the Thrift and Treasure Shop provide nearly 20% of ARF’s annual operating budget.

The Designer Showhouse event will begin at 5 p.m. with a preview cocktail hour attended by more than 200 guests, including principals from the design world and the Hamptons philanthropic community. Channing Daughters Winery has donated wine and Chef Peter Ambrose of Endless Summer Catering will provide hors d’oeuvres. Guests at the preview cocktail hour will get an exclusive first look at the designers’ rooms. General admission entry begins at 6 p.m. The evening will also include ARF cats and dogs available for adoption. On Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30, the Showhouse will be open to the public with a suggested donation of $10.

Lisa McCarthy says, “[We] look forward to seeing everyone. Bring your friends—it’s a fun way to support the animals!”

ARF Thrift Shop Designer Showhouse and Sale, 17 Montauk Highway, Sagaponack. Contact Jean Schiavoni at 631-537-0400 or jean@arfhamptons.org. For more information visit arfhamptons.org.

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