As father to a 17-year-old Yorkie named Teddy, Alex Papachristidis makes animals as much a part of his life as interior design. “There’s nothing nicer than pets. They’re good for our blood pressure, and their love is so unconditional,” the decorator, who joined the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) board about five years ago, tells AD PRO.
Typically, Papachristidis and ARF convert their Sagaponack thrift shop into a small-scale designer showhouse every Memorial Day Weekend. However, COVID-19 has forced the organization to conceive of an alternative fundraising plan. The solution: an online charity auction, which, thanks to the designer’s impressive circle of friends, clients, and collaborators, resulted in a trove of decorative items as eclectic as his own signature sensibility. The just-launched virtual event is set to run for two weeks.
“So many people have storage warehouses with furniture, so what I encouraged them to do, and what we always do at ARF, is to go clean them out and bring them to us,” says Papachristidis, adding that many donors have themselves adopted pets from ARF in the past. “I wanted there to be a range of things and styles—something for everyone.”
Hosted by Charitybuzz and in partnership with Christie’s, the sale is comprised of 128 lots, with most bids starting between $200 and $500. Much like he has for Christie’s, Papachristidis styled the lots into vignettes for the catalogue imagery. In one example being sold as a single lot, the designer paired a bowl from Patrick Mele with placemats and napkin rings supplied by Christina Juarez, a pair of hurricanes from Amanda Lindroth, and napkins from Everyday Elegance (an online boutique Papachristidis founded with friend and former ARF president, Lisa McCarthy). For those looking to host an impressive party with a one-and-done purchase, David Monn’s “dinner table in a box” should do the trick.
Among Papachristidis’s client donations are a Cole Porter bookcase, a Bagues/Jansen French commode, and Christopher Spitzmiller lamps. For more designer offerings, Markham Roberts gave a lacquered box from Mario Buatta’s collection; Alexa Hampton contributed a coffee table from her line; Howard Slatkin donated two pairs of custom-designed hurricanes; Nancy Corzine gifted 30 rattan dining chairs from her Hamptons home (sold across three lots); and Ashley Whittaker supplied a white faux-bois mirror that Papachristidis says “could go in a million places.” Fashion designers also got involved: Tory Burch contributed a pink Dodie Thayer Lettuce Ware tea service, while Dennis Basso provided a sterling silver footed centerpiece.
ARF’s current president, Katharine Rayner, gave a pair of brand-new Peter Marino canopy beds as well as paintings by Catherine Warren. Other art highlights include a pair of corkillage obelisks that Marian McEvoy made for this auction, as well as a gold sunburst mirror by one of Papachristidis’s favorite artists, Eve Kaplan, whom he calls “the Lalanne of the future.” Her dealer, Gerald Bland, contributed a 19th-century carved-wood dog sculpture. For those not quite ready to introduce a four-legged friend into their home, acquiring one in decorative form for a cause may just be the next best thing.
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