Vanessa DeLeon Does Holiday House

Vanessa DeLeon is the first to admit she’s fortunate.

“I’m lucky not to have anyone in my family with breast cancer – so for me this was more like playing with the space and the theme,” says the interior designer whose firm bears her name.

She’s talking about her second assignment for the 11th annual Holiday House NYC, created to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“It’s a bi-level, loft-like space overlooking a pool on the top floor,” she says. “I saw the space and it spoke to me and I said: ‘I have to do it.’”

She chose a sympathetic theme of “Speak No Evil, See No Evil and Hear No Evil,” articulated in a series of silver sculptures that stand above a pool in the space.

“I thought it was interesting as symbolizing my wanting cancer to go away and not speak it or see it speak it or hear it,” she says. “The statues are very tall and narrow – and are perfect for the pool because of their height.”

She also created an art installation featuring photographer Laurie Fishman’s “Swimmers” series, depicting small-scale swimmers gliding through open water. The circular grouping was designed to echo a circular chandelier overhead. In the pool, round white LED balls provide an ambient glow to illuminate an existing Italian Sicis tile mosaic.

She used a sculptural furniture line from Room & Board in the Sky Lounge. “We added outdoor furniture for indoor use,” she says. “I wanted a casual hangout area so when people are swimming you can go up onto the overlook with seating and have a conversation.”

A new mom and a small business owner, she faced a short deadline and plenty of challenges in pulling the project together. “I was orchestrating my entire team and pulling favors from suppliers and playing well in the sandbox with other designers in the house.”

Still, it was worth the effort. “I was happy to do it and hope to do it next year too,” she says. “It’s an amazing space – and a great cause.”

Holiday House NYC is open through Dec. 2.

For more, go here.

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Photographs by Alan Barry