Design on a Dime

There’s nothing better than when you find an event for a good cause that combines all of your Pinterest apartment dreams, wine, and an auction (a deathly mix for your wallet). In all seriousness, the cause was one that I do truly care about. Housing Works organizes the event to raise money to provide help to the homeless and people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The event is an interior design auction. Many well-known designers, donated items, from chaise lounges to neon lamps. They each designed a space with their items.

The vibe of the event is similar to 29 rooms event that is during Fashion Week. The 29 Rooms is a great Fashion Week event to go to and it’s free! Each room reflects the designers unique pieces and each is an opportunity for a unique Instagram post. Yes, I said it. This all about Instagram. Events, now, are about Instagram (and Snapchat, but I like Instagram). They all create a hash tag and a page and repost attendants posts. It’s all about the interaction with the event. So, because this event has an opportunity for many unique Instagram posts, it has an advantage. This is how 29 Rooms became such a phenomenon so quickly. You could post 29 photos minimum and they’d all be unique. Because not only is each room unique, but each attendants interaction with the room is unique. And viola! Hundreds of Instagram interactions just turned into thousands.

29 Rooms is essentially just a very good advertising plan. Each room is sponsored by a company, everyone from Google to Perrier. They make the room personify the brand’s personality and they allow attendants to interact with that brand’s personality. But, in the end it’s just more advertising. It’s not doing anything. Theirs no bigger purpose than just those 29 Instagram posts.

But, imagine if there was an event where you didn’t have to wait outside in 100 degree heat  for 3 hours and get sunburned. You didn’t feel like you were nearing death when you finally entered and you weren’t thinking you might have to be dragged through each room. You weren’t so exhausted by the time you got in there that you actually skipped rooms that seemed unimportant or had longs lines. No. Instead at this event, you were greeted by nice men with a list and great hosts. You got your money’s worth with an open bar full of great cocktails and more importantly good wine. You got to look at each room at your own pace. And, when the floor opened for business you got to interact with each piece in the room. And, if you had the money, or enough wine, you could even buy that piece and take it home and know that your money helped save lives.

Apologies to 29 Rooms for seeming like I’m bashing them. I’m not. I enjoyed 29 Rooms. It was a fun experience. It was free so automatically worth it. And, its a fun way for people to interact with brands through fashion and technology. But, it wasn’t something I would have paid for. Even though Design on a Dime ticket is a bit pricey for a broke post-grad in Manhattan, it’s worth it. It’s going to an open bar. And on a possibly slightly higher level of importance, it’s going to helping people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Oh, and they had shots of lobster bisque and finger food. So, you know, worth it.

Housing Works doesn’t just host events. They also have businesses around the city. Housing Works has some of the best thrift stores in Manhattan. You can find even designer clothes for a great price. And, the money goes to a great cause. Check out Housing Works website and see what you can do to help.


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