Heather Wood, Freelance Writer: articles about interior decorating & redesign, home staging & enhancement, & more
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By Heather Wood
published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Home & Garden section
Sunday, September 14, 2008

Design-lovers, rejoice! The eagerly anticipated Santa Fe Design Week returns for its fourth year -- if in an abbreviated fashion.

Despite the city of Santa Fe's decision to forego funding of the event this year, Santa Fe Interior Designers Presents will host this year's Design Weekend, a four-night, three-day program that focuses primarily on interior design, along with a closing night fashion show. Filling the funding gap, local businesses -- including the American Society of Interior Designers, Center for Contemporary Arts, Chris Martinez/IM design studios, Cielo Design, Santa Fe By Design, Statements in Tile and Santa Fe Trend Magazine -- have banded together to sponsor the event.

The Santa Fe Interior Designers Presents committee is a grassroots collection of local design professionals who meet throughout the year to discuss design, trade issues, Santa Fe as a design center and the group's annual involvement in Design Week.

"For the last three years the city has co-sponsored (Design Week)," explains Jeff Fenton, owner of IM design studios and a member of the committee. "It included many elements of design: fashion, graphic design and interiors. ... This year, the city decided not to co-venture on the event. The interior design community, our committee, decided not to lose momentum and to produce our own event focusing on interiors. It's very similar to the previous years."

"This community is growing as a design center," says Cynthia Canyon, owner-publisher of Santa Fe Trend Magazine, a major sponsor of this year's event. "I'm a member of SFIDP, and when we learned that the city wasn't funding Design Week, the group decided to carry the ball."

Price to speak

A Thursday evening opening presentation by author and designer Victoria Price -- daughter of designer Mary Price and actor Vincent Price, an avid art collector -- will be followed by a party at Victoria Price Art & Design.

Price's talk replaces the previously scheduled 2008 Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture award ceremony.

According to a news release from the Thornburg Charitable Foundation, the sponsor of the competition, "While each of the submissions for the 2008 award presented individual qualities and strengths, none of the projects met all of the ... criteria. The distinguished panel of jurors deliberated long and thoughtfully (making several site visits) but concluded that the award, with its cash prize of $5,000, must be deferred until next year." In place of the award, a public symposium will be held to honor Harnar's work and life on Sept. 18. More information can be found at jeffharnaraward.com.

A Friday morning three-person panel discussion -- "The Feel of It: Handcrafted Design in the 21st Century" -- will be moderated by industry icon David Sutherland. "He's an anchor and a visionary for the design world," Fenton says. "He has a long career in design and manufacturing."

"We have an incredible panel," says Kris Lajeskie, owner of Kris Lajeskie Design Group Inc. "We want it to be open to all ... designers and the general public. We also want to invite the architectural community; that's something we really have our sights on."

Self-guided tour

Lajeskie is one of the designers of Friday and Saturday's home tour -- a self-guided tour of local interior designers' projects. Her featured project is the interior design of a home built by internationally acclaimed architect Ricardo Legoretta.

Although Legoretta is well-known locally for his design of the Art Institute at the College of Santa Fe and the Zocalo condominiums, they're all public and commercial spaces. "This is a private home," Lajeskie says "... the only home he's designed in Santa Fe ... It's a really big privilege to do the interior for the clients."

Edy Keeler of Core Value, Inc., is showcasing her design in a home built by Hurlocker Homes. "It's a contemporary home, the lines are straight and true. It won three out of four awards in the Parade of Homes in its price category," Keeler says.

The highlights of her design include the strong use of color, Keeler says.

"We're not afraid to use strong accent colors, all drawn from nature. It's much more interesting to go with the color of flowers rather than the color of the earth ... mauve, accented with a smoky brown, and brick-red garden walls."

The home also features living-room walls that retract in two directions from the corner, doubling the living space.

The popular tour, which drew nearly 300 visitors last year, has a new feature: a collaborative home-design project with individual rooms created by seven designers. Sarcon Construction built the home, located in Monte Sereno and developed by Red Sky Partners.

"The SFIDP committee is made up of 15 or so people," says Fenton, who participated in the project. "Not everyone can have a house on tour, so this year we looked for a spec home that would be staged by the group, showcasing work in a room-by-room manner.

"The traditional Santa Fe-style architecture of this home will complement and contrast with various designs," he says.

Evening events will be hosted at local venues and allow for networking and socializing. Sunday night's closing party, to be held at the CCA, features an "Experience Design" fashion show, followed by live entertainment from the Sean Healan Band.

$1,000 donation

Fern Finley of The Accessory Annex, who is involved with publicity and advertising for the event, says SFIDP -- which supported Habitat for Humanity the past two years -- has this year made a $1,000 donation to Youth Shelters and Family Services, and will donate all net proceeds from Design Weekend to the shelters.

"We're working together to do the interior décor for the shelter," Keeler says, "so these homeless and parenting teens will have a place to go that feels like a home instead of an institution."

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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