Azie Shelhorse for Design on a Dime NYC 2017 | Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan | Verdigreen™

Azie Shelhorse for Design on a Dime NYC 2017

For those of you following along on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) you have heard our exciting news about Housing Works’ Design on a Dime event. George Oliphant, of NBC’s George to the Rescue, asked me to be his designer for a vignette at Design on a Dime this year!

**Housing Works is a New York City based non-profit fighting the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness. Design on a Dime is an annual charity benefit that Housing Works hosts to raise money for their organization. 50+ designers are asked to create styled vignettes full of home furnishings donations that are then open for shopping with all proceeds going towards the Housing Works cause.**

It was such an honor to participate in this event for such a worthy cause! I decided to create a Bohemian Artist’s Studio space with the theme “We are all Immigrants.” I received donations from some amazing vendors and styled my space with a luxe, layered organic aesthetic using many {verdigreen} contributions as well. My total room value was just over 25K – a number I was proud of considering it was my first time asking for donations for an event like this. Here’s an article explaining more.

Since Design on a Dime is sponsored by Elle Decor and Benjamin Moore, I had to choose their paint colors for my vignette. I knew I would want textured walls using Annie Sloan products, so I chose colors that would work with my plan. Here are my walls when I arrived in Dark Harbor and a Dash of Curry:

I used a Royal Design stencil from the shop and Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone and Antico to create the Moorish raised pattern on one wall. Then I used Annie Sloan Scandinavian Pink and a spatula to create the Moroccan plaster look.

On the opposite wall, I taped off the lower half of the wall and painted in Graphite to create a dark, moody look. I wanted the space to feel like a courtyard studio art space with a cityscape view of NYC so I used twine to create the skyline that then turned into the word “immigrant.” I had George help me hammer a few nails because my wall wasn’t “real” so it shook with each nail and by the end of an hour I had hammered my thumb about 13 times.

I had my good friend and master artisan carpenter electrician extraordinaire Tom Blake create a live-edge wood moulding for the base of my walls as shown above to add to the organic feel of my space. Isn’t it lovely? I want it everywhere! He is amazing & donated his time and efforts and the gorgeous handmade chandelier below to my vignette.

We were so fortunate to get donations from amazing vendors!

Our list of donors is below:

Ave Home

Casa Amarosa


Malka Dina

The Dharma Door

So Lucky Fish

Jamie Dietrich

Filling Spaces

Z Gallerie

Vagabond Vintage

Katie Kime

Happy Habitat

Sika Design

Calico Corner

J Herbro

We also had some great local donations from:


Tableleg Home

Marie St Victor


The Pillow Studio

Johanna Howard Home

Niroma Studio

Apple Village

Tom Blake

Sweet Home Montclair

Savannah Hope Vintage

Orange Garden Center

{verdigreen} – of course!

And all professional photos taken and donated by Julie Blackstock of Blackstock Photography.

My colors were raw wood, black, ivory, blush pink, natural fibers, and gold. I layered four rugs to create some depth in the flooring, used a hanging chair for height, and incorporated lots of fluffy textures in the textiles. I had both vintage dried floral arrangement and lovely live plants to add to the Boho vibe. My “character” was an artist so I used the massive artwork donated by ZGallerie as a “storyline” in my space and hung a paint palette next to it so it suggested it was a work of art by the artist who lived there. I arranged some horned taxidermy, hung lanterns, & accessorized a children’s playhouse with lighting, a blanket and a wooden Foo Dog to mimic a fancy boho dog house. I was so lucky that the vendors allowed me to “shop” their sites for products so I could stay within my color palette and theme! It was so much fun!

During the event, NBC NY did an interview with some of the designers, myself included. Watch it here. I was so nervous as I feel awkward on camera so I was pleased to see how edited it was. Ha!

You should have seen the crowd that night. Buzzing with anticipation on the countdown to “shop” – so much so that my vignette volunteer, Gerard, couldn’t remove the velvet rope soon enough! The shoppers plowed it down racing to get their first dibs! Alan Cumming ended up purchasing the Sika Design hanging chair, and a lovely woman named Purely Patricia went home with a gorgeous hanging lantern. Here’s a picture of us with her new purchase, a photo of my hungry husband sitting in my throne, and my team who came to support me on Opening Night.

It was a project/week/night I won’t forget! I spent my Birthday night plastering a wall with Annie Sloan paint that week and frankly I wouldn’t have had it any other way. 🙂 I feel so fortunate to be able to pursue my passion and do what I love while being involved in something much greater in purpose for our community.

Housing Works just released the final number of 1.1million dollars raised!  Amazing!!

BIG THANK YOU to Mel at Housing Works for the opportunity, George for having faith in me, Zoe for encouraging me and helping with installation, Meg for her organization and installation prowess, Beth for repeatedly revamping the design scheme and installing, Donnalyn for painting and my Birthday cake (ha!), Tom for installing and being amazingly talented and generous, Ari for holding down the fort while I was absent, Julie for volunteering her photography skills, all of the generous donors, and Travis of course for cheering me on and helping with installation. I am so lucky to have my loved ones as my team. 

I hope you enjoyed watching the process unfold and seeing the final photos. This was all done with a mega time restraint all while we were running the shop, working on interior design projects, and being people with home lives so it was slightly stressful and adrenaline-fueled but SO rewarding! I made it my career goal in 2016 to be a designer for Design on a Dime in 2017 so I am feeling a bit surreal about the entire experience and I love that I can share it with you.

With Gratitude and a Full Heart,



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