A Show House for Homeless Cats and Dogs

Every May, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons stages its own show house
Tamara Fraser wanted to create a serene environment for relaxing after a long day at the beach. To that end, she used mostly beige, gray, and taupe. Durell Godfrey

From Kips Bay to Pasadena, designer show houses across the country afford opportunities for interior designers to display their talents while at the same time raising money for a wide range of charitable causes.

Every May, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons stages its own show house, but with two differences. Notable designers draw not only from their own inventories but also from the wares of the ARF Thrift and Treasure Shop in Sagaponack to create unique rooms in the interior spaces of the thrift shop itself. Moreover, unlike traditional show houses, every item in the ARF show house is for sale.

This year’s event will kick off with a cocktail party on Saturday and open to the general public on Sunday and Monday. Nine designers have transformed seven rooms in the main building, a small barn on the property, and an outdoor space, each with a particular theme or point of view.

The participating designers are Rachael Ray Home, Cathy Kincaid, the textile designers Carolina Irving and Lisa Fine for John Rosselli, Richard Keith Langham, Tamara Fraser of Worth Interiors, Jeff Lincoln of Jeff Lincoln Interiors, Ann Pyne of McMillen Inc., Iris Zonlight of Blue Ocean Design, and Kathryn’s Flower Gardens, whose outdoor installation, “Companion Planting,” features plants that best suit a pet-lover’s garden.

Rachael Ray Home has taken over the barn and transformed it both inside and out. While Ms. Ray was not present for a preview on Saturday, two of her designers, Tim Cronenberger and Michael Murray, gave a tour of what was then a work in progress.

“Rachael is an upstate girl, and she’s got a city look and a country look,” said Mr. Murray. “We wanted to make it look kind of upstate but an upstate Hamptons thing.” 

“When I’m doing an interior I have to create a fictional character for it,” said Mr. Cronenberger. “I figure this is a 30-something woman who bought her first cottage in the Hamptons and got a lot of stuff given to her by her mother, who lives on the Upper East Side.”

The furniture, rugs, and beds are from Rachael Ray Home, but many of the accent pieces and accessories came from the thrift shop, as did a full-size canoe frame mounted over the doorway. “Rachael has a real connection to ARF and the North Shore Animal League,” said Mr. Murray. “She’s behind anything that’s a no-kill shelter.” 

Ms. Fraser chose a corner room inside the main building. “I wanted it to be very serene and monochromatic. It’s just beiges and grays and taupes. I wanted to keep it cool.” Much of the furniture and all the accessories came from the shop, including a new table, a daybed Ms. Fraser re-covered with new fabric, and the artwork.

“I haven’t done this event before,” she said. “I’m really excited.” While the main office of Worth Interiors is in Vail, Colo., the company has an office in New York City as well as one that opened two years ago on Main Street in Bridgehampton.

A particular challenge faced Ms. Zonlight: Hers is the smallest room and begs to be designed as a glassed-in porch. “In this case, I was thinking how I could raise as much money for ARF with such a small room. A couple of porch chairs wouldn’t work. I decided to make it a cozy little bedroom instead of a porch.”

Ms. Zonlight calls her room “Black and White Is the New Blue,” a reference to her firm’s name and the fact that every item in the room is black and white. She moved from Southampton to Sag Harbor in May. “I went to most of the vendors I work with there and asked if they would donate to ARF. Everybody was so kind, and I got a lot of great donations.”

Her dog, Jai, whom she adopted from ARF in January, seemed to enjoy the space as well. “After going to ARF, I decided I’m never going to buy another dog. There are so many beautiful ones there.”

On Saturday, an exclusive preview cocktail hour from 5 to 6 p.m. is priced at $250. Admission after 6 is $150. The show house is open Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a $10 donation has been suggested. Children will be admitted free.

Iris Zonlight’s snug bedroom reflects her predilection for black and white. Jai, her former ARF dog, seems comfortable with her design choices. Durell Godfrey
Michael Murray and Tim Cronenberger put some final touches on the rooms in the barn for Rachel Ray Home.Durell Godfrey