Heather Wood, Freelance Writer: articles about interior decorating & redesign, home staging & enhancement, & more
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'Fabulously talented'

Panel, self-guided tour to showcase city's finest designers

By Heather Wood
published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Real Estate section
Sunday, October 7, 2007


Now in its third year, Santa Fe's Interior Design Panel Presentation on Oct. 12 and Interiors Tour on the 12th and 13th promise to stimulate all the senses with interactive dialogue, a pictorial presentation, lunch, and self-paced visits to eight local design projects.

The two events -- which can be attended separately or together -- are presented in conjunction with Santa Fe Design Week by the New Mexico Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers and co-sponsored by local and national businesses, including Santa Fe by Design, a kitchen and bath showroom.

"We feel a kindred spirit with the design community in Santa Fe," says owner Kathy Fennema. "We have some fabulously talented designers here ... and our desire is that they get the recognition that they deserve by becoming more visible."

"It keeps growing," says Edy Keeler, owner of Core Value Inc., and a member of the Santa Fe Interior Designers Presents committee -- the group that organizes the events. "This year we're expecting around 100-plus attendees for the panel discussion, and over 200 for the tour. Last year we had attendees from the East Coast, California ... even New Zealand."

The panel discussion, hosted and sponsored in part by Gebert Contemporary, brings together three cutting-edge influences in the world of design: Mary Bloom, a Dallas, Texas-based consultant for museum shops and private specialty stores; Sherry Donghia, a New York City textile designer and executive vice president/creative director of Donghia, Inc., a furniture, textile and accessory design company; and Ramona Sakiestewa, an American Indian artist based in Santa Fe whose highly respected textile designs are included in private and public collections, including that of the Smithsonian Institution.

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Michael Wollaeger, editor-in-chief of Western Interiors & Design magazine, will moderate the panel and audience discussion.

"We're going to explore how each of us can find our own personal aesthetic pathway and how we can express that in our homes," Wollaeger says. "I think we're all a bit overwhelmed with design information these days, and we want this panel to help people arrive at their own decisions with confidence.

"It's always surprising to see the variety of interiors included on the design tour," he added.

"Santa Fe has such a rich design community, and people are doing a wide range of styles here, from traditional to contemporary. It's fun to take the tour because you never know what you're going to discover."

Keeler agrees. "The discussion is about authenticity," she says "... not being trendy, but true to your own design inspirations. Santa Fe is a sophisticated design environment. There is a move toward incorporating modern design, family treasures and creating a real sense of home."

Courtesy photo
A living room Jeff Fenton designed in a home featured in the Interiors Tour. Courtesy photo
'We believe in the design aesthetic we have in Santa Fe, (and in) evolving that,' says Jeff Fenton, owner of IM Design Studios, 'Designers are helping move Santa Fe style to a new level.' Above is a living room Fenton designed in a home featured in this year's Interiors Tour.

Tickets to the panel discussion ($60) include a continental breakfast before as well as a luncheon at the Railyard Restaurant and Saloon after the session, and admission to the Interiors Tour. Tour tickets alone are $20.

Self-guided tour

This year's self-guided tour, which also is organized by the 15-member committee, includes the work of eight local designers: Joy Brams, Joy Brams Interiors; Pam Duncan, Wiseman & Gale & Duncan Interiors; Jeff Fenton, IM Design Studios; Steffany Hollingsworth, Wiseman & Gale & Duncan Interiors; Edy Keeler, Core Value Inc.; Kris Lajeskie, Kris Lajeskie Design Group; Annie O'Carroll, O'Carroll Associates; and Heather Van Luchene, HVL Interiors.

Fenton, owner of IM Design Studios, says he's been excited by the collaboration amongst the design group.

"We believe in the design aesthetic we have in Santa Fe," he says, "(and in) evolving that.

Designers are helping move 'Santa Fe style' to a new level."

Fenton, who began his practice seven years ago in Seattle, Wash., before relocating to Santa Fe, will show his design work in a private home off Hyde Park Road. The client hired him, he says, because he really enjoys contemporary design.

"She's a New Yorker with an extensive contemporary art collection," he says, and "the design concept was to make a 'frame' for that collection. We kept the relationship between modern and organic, and it has a connection to nature. You still focus on the views from the property, which is why she bought the house."

Annie O'Carroll, another committee member and designer with a house on the tour, has been working in Santa Fe for more than 18 years. She will be on hand at Las Campanas' Club Casitas spec-home development.

"We did all the architectural finish materials and the furniture," she says. "The concept was to have a warm, comfortable, Mexican feel. At the same time, we kept it edgy and current. It's a comprehensive project for us; we were able to take it from beginning to end."


If you go

What: Interior designers' panel presentation, luncheon and self-guided home tour as part of Santa Fe Design Week

When/where: 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Oct. 12, continental breakfast, panel presentation, and audience discussion at Gebert Contemporary, 544 S. Guadalupe St.;
12-1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, lunch at the Railyard Restaurant and Saloon, 530 S. Guadalupe St.;
1-4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, self-guided interiors tour of eight local homes

Price: $60 for full package of discussion, lunch and tour; $20 for tour alone

For tickets or more information: Tickets and reservations are required for both the Interior design panel and tour. Maps for the Interiors Tour will be provided to registered attendees. For more information, visit
www.SantaFeInterior DesignersPresents.com
or call Santa Fe by Design at 988-4111.

Tickets for both events also can be purchased at Santa Fe by Design, Pacheco Park, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 though Oct. 12, and at Wiseman & Gale & Duncan Interiors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 through Oct. 12 and from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 13.

Help for Habitat

According to Van Luchene -- a member of the Santa Fe Interior Designers Presents committee and the legislative liason for the New Mexico chapter of ASID -- a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity.

"The committee feels proud to contribute to an organization that provides interiors for those in need in our local community," Van Luchene says.

Following last year's event, she says, the group contributed $1,425 to Habitat and anticipates donating as much -- or more -- this year.

Heather Wood is a freelance writer who writes regularly for the Santa Fe New Mexican. She can be reached through her website at www.HeatherWoodFreelance.com.

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