ShowHouse Santa Fe is two-weekend event in which participating designers each decorate a room in a spectacular home that is empty and on the market. The annual fundraiser showcases both the designers’ talent and the home, while supporting Santa Fe schools with money from ticket sales to tour the transformed space. (Because of the public health situation, ShowHouse is on hiatus and plans to hold its next event in October 2021.)
When interior designers Jennifer Ashton and David Naylor co-founded ShowHouse Santa Fe in 2013, they wanted to create an event that directly benefited the community. The enterprise has succeeded brilliantly. Proceeds go to Dollars4Schools, and to date, ShowHouse has donated more than $200,000 that has been used to fund nearly 300 classroom programs and meet other needs, such as classroom supplies, in twenty-nine Santa Fe public schools. “These funds have helped develop science programs,” says Ashton. “One year, it bought winter coats for kids. It’s always about purpose. It’s very fulfilling.”
Naylor says that approximately fifteen designers participate each year. “Young designers are working alongside veteran designers,” he explains. “The camaraderie is very special.” Emerging designers gain exposure, access to resources and the opportunity to network, all of which can help them embark on their career. Established designers can experiment and go beyond what they might otherwise do. A much-anticipated gala — the traditional reveal of the ShowHouse — always launches the event. Says Naylor, “We throw the best party of the year!”
Alana Grimstad is an experienced, award-winning journalist, writer and photographer based in Santa Fe who loves to meet interesting people and is honored to share their stories.