Welcome to The Design House

Posted on May 3, 2013 by


Home is where the peace is. “Because peace on earth begins at home.”

That’s the mission of the Shelter for Help in Emergency‘s annual fundraiser, The Design House.  This year’s house resides in Farmington Country Club, and opens to the public on May 4th. For $20, visitors tour the immaculate rooms of this four bedroom home, designed by 20 interior designers. All proceeds benefit SHE, and the on-going mission that home should be a shelter, “[it] should be bright, airy and welcoming – an inspiring, nurturing environment to foster physical and emotional healing.”

Before the grand unveiling, we were able to tour the house with one of the great volunteers that make this event possible, Ann Horner, and bring to you an exclusive preview of this year’s beautiful Design House.

We also talked with the designers of the Family Room, brother-and-sister team Candace and Michael DeLoach of DeLoach Designs.

© Cville NicheA Q&A with Ann Horner, Chair of the Marketing Committee for Design House 2013

Talk about how Design House was created and the inspiration for its foundation.

2013 is the fourth year for the Design House, presented by the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE).

For over 34 years, the Shelter for Help in Emergency has provided free, confidential services to victims of domestic violence and their families in Charlottesville and the surrounding community. Design House is the Shelter’s signature fundraising event to sustain those services and programs while educating the community about its work.

With Design House, the Shelter for Help in Emergency hopes to offer a tangible reminder of the home we would wish for each person in our community: a haven of love and laughter, free from fear and violence. No matter how different the structures of our dwellings may be, surely they can all share that quality at heart, because peace on earth begins at home.

How have funds in the past helped Shelter for Help in Emergency? Are there any anecdotes that can be shared about the beneficiary and how Design House has been a support for that organization?

The funds directly support the services to victims of Domestic Violence. The event combines fundraising with increasing the awareness of the Shelter in the Community. In addition the event demonstrates a high level of support within the community and therefore supports our fundraising efforts with grant organizations.
The Design House is organized by the Shelter (and a group of volunteers) for the Shelter.

© Cville Niche

In the foundation of SHE, “it was important that the shelter should be bright, airy and welcoming – an inspiring, nurturing environment to foster physical and emotional healing.” How can interior design bring peace and healing to a home?

Below I have quoted from the designer of our Family Entertainment Room:

Inspiration: “Because peace on earth begins at home,” I wanted the entertainment room to focus specifically on family fellowship. Therefore, I created a cozy, family-friendly space devoted to togetherness while working on individual projects or participating in a group activity. There is a reading chair, a conversation area, a hobby and crafting area with a table for a board game or doing homework and a media area for family movies or TV night. The bookcases hold family mementos from travels, homemade crafts, games, and books.

Colors and textures create atmosphere. Our goal at the Shelter is to create an environment of serenity and trust. A space where victims of Domestic violence can feel secure and be reminded of the beauty of the world around them. Many of our designers are inspired by nature and bring the beauty of nature indoors. Visit the house to see how the décor in each room changes your mood or your energy!

© Cville NicheWhat is the mission of Design House – besides being a fundraiser for SHE? What does the Design House stand for in our community?

The Design House is a tangible reminder that peace on earth can begin at home. It is also a real example of the unbelievable generosity and talent in the Charlottesville Community. If you had seen the house on January 1st you would not believe the house you see today would be possible. It is only possible because so many people believe that we all deserve the right to live free from violence and free of fear.

This house is the greatest example of teamwork imaginable and each contributor has made a real difference!

So many designers have contributed to this project! When did the actual design work begin? How long is this project in the works each year?

The Design Process begins in February when local designers visit the home for the first time. They list the rooms in the order of interest and then the Design Committee assigns a designer to the interior and exterior spaces. Within 3 weeks design boards are submitted and approved and the hard work begins.

The work is split into two phases… Physical structural work such as painting, replacing cabinets, changing counter tops, installing lighting and then design installation. The project team coordinates the efforts of the 22 designers and their team to ensure that all goes smoothly. It is a great effort on the part of a lot of people all dedicated to a good cause.

The house is finished on Monday April 29th, photographed on Tuesday and Wednesday and then opens for the Gala evening on Thursday May 2nd! It opens to the public on Saturday May 4th.

The House will be returned to the owner at the end of May so the end is as dramatic as the beginning.

Of course the real work on the project begins in the fall when the house committee starts looking for the house in the first place!

What would you say to someone who needs a little push out the door to step inside the Design House door?

As you stand on the threshold I would ask a hesitant visitor to take a deep breath, close your eyes and open the front door to a magical experience. You are about to see the results of an incredibly talented team who have dedicated 1000’s of hours to bring a dream house to life. As you wander through the home please remember that peace on earth truly does begin at home and each of us can make a dream come true!

© Cville Niche

© Cville NicheA Q&A with Candace and Michael of DeLoach Designs

This brother-and-sister team was bred for design success. “We grew up with parents that were Interior Designers,” explained Candace in an email. “We worked on several show-houses in Savannah with them when we were in High School and College. We were even the paperhangers once.”

Some of their commercial work can be seen in the area at The Inn at Court Square and Veritas Vineyards. Their room – “A Family Room for Dave Matthews” – was inspired by their ‘fictitious client,’ creating a comfortable and relaxing space for all members of the family.

Read their Design House bio »

The room you and Michael designed is inspired by Charlottesville’s own Dave Matthews. Talk about that process – from inspiration and conception to execution.

© Cville Niche

When we design a room we always take into consideration the architecture, the locale, and the client. In the design house we did not have a client so we decided to create one. Having worked for a musician in the past we knew it would add an unusual spin, making the space eclectic and fun. The 1960’s architecture was also a strong influence in our design.

We used many pieces from that era including:

  • the Percival Lafer Earth Chairs, in the original honey colored leather which matches the paneling
  • the turquoise and green lamps, which are almost but not quite a pair
  • the oversized tubular brass cocktail table, where we sandwiched vinyl album covers between a glass top and mirror beneath
  • an outrageous ceramic ostrich garden seat, which our parents purchased in the early 1970’s. We named him “Ozzy” and he became a family member.

What is the “energy” or “mood” of your room?

We strived to create a room that is warm, comfortable, relaxed and fun. The existing chestnut wood and stone fireplace create a woodsy outdoor feeling. We played off of this feeling by using an outdoor garden fountain of an owl, a pair of stone owls, a vintage root table and by bringing in fresh flowers and branches.

© Cville NicheWhat are some of your favorite pieces in the room?

One of our favorite pieces is the abstract painting over the mantel. It is by NYC artist Erin McParland. She has become a favorite artist of many of our clients. We love the strong colors and bold movement, which looks like lava. The room is art driven, which includes:

  • a Calder-style mobile
  • a chrome and brass sculpture by Curtis Jere
  • a wood sculpture by local artist Jean Sampson
  • a collection of vintage owls of different eras
  • a black painting with circles by Brian Barnard
  • a red and purple painting by Ed Young
  • a 1960’s collogue mixed media by Leonard Maurer
  • a decoupage mixed media with owls by Mexican artist Arturo Alcala

Did you get to work alongside any of the other designers through this process? If so, what was that like?

This showcase has been a collaborative effort among the designers and volunteers. We have found everyone very willing to work together and help each other. One designer offered to let us use an orchid plant and when we needed logs for the fireplace – two different designers shared their logs.

“The Design House is a tangible reminder that peace on earth can begin at home.” As a designer, what does a home mean to you?

To us home represents a gathering place for family and friends. This is why we choose the family room.

We have already heard the ultimate compliment when people say “I could just move in and live in this room.”

© Cville Niche

— Words and Interviews by Linnea White, Photography by Katerina Diplas