About The Showhouse
Hampton Designer Showhouse Foundation, Inc.
The Hampton Designer Showhouse Foundation, Inc. is led and operated by a dynamic team of experts from the worlds of marketing, public relations, fundraising and special events production. This is the twelfth year that they have combined their talents to produce what is now recognized as one of the country’s most successful showhouses. Hampton Designer Showhouse Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) corporation.
Mario Buatta, Honorary Showhouse Chairman
Mario Buatta is one of America's foremost decorators. He was born in New York, studied architecture at Cooper Union and attended Parsons School of Design in Europe. After an apprenticeship in the decorating department of B. Altman & Co., Mr. Buatta became associated with several decorating firms including Elisabeth Draper, Inc. and then formed his own decorating company. Mr. Buatta holds Honorary Doctorates in the Fine Arts from Wagner College and Pratt Institute. He received the 1990 Augustus Saint Gaudens Award for Professional Achievement in Art and Architecture from the Cooper Union Alumni. He received the 1992 Cartier "Pasha" Award for outstanding professional achievement and distinguished public service and was recently named "Dean of Design" by the Chicago Merchandise Mart.
Jamie Drake, Honorary Design Co-Chairman
Launched in 1978 by Jamie Drake, Drake Design Associates (www.drakedesignassociates.com) creates residential and commercial interiors and products striking for bold washes of brilliant color, unexpected deployment of materials, and confident application of embellishment. Drake’s design signature is a joyous embrace of disparate periods and artistic movements into a harmonious, well-integrated present, and an uncompromising modernity in matters of function and comfort. Grounding each fantastic flight of ornament is a deep knowledge of historical periods and styles, as the firm’s renovation and restoration of Gracie Mansion (the official residence of the Mayor of New York City), the Prince George Ballroom (festooned with intricate neo-Renaissance detail), the century-old Vienna Secessionist-inspired premises of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and the soaring public space of The New York City Clerk’s Office and at New York’s City Hall attest. Residential clients of note include Michael Bloomberg and Madonna; other completed commercial projects include headquarters for Sub-Zero, a private foundation in New York City, and two medical facilities in Florida.
Alexa Hampton, Honorary Design Co-Chairman
Under Alexa Hampton’s direction, the world famous firm Mark Hampton LLC has completed a wide range of designs for domestic and international projects, from New York City to Hangzhou, China, including apartments and large residences, private airplanes and yachts. A perennial member of Architectural Digest’s and House Beautiful’s top designers’ list and Elle Décor’s A-list, Hampton’s work is classic, traditional and eclectic. Her involvement in design goes far past her position as President and featured designer of Mark Hampton LLC; she has been named a trustee for the New York School of Interior Design, was one of the three inaugural designers who launched Gilt Group’s Gilt Home Design Boutiques, serves on the design board of MyDeco.com and was the only ever female cast member of “This Old House.” Over the years, Hampton’s work has been featured in many national and regional shelter and design magazines. In recent years, Hampton received an honorary PhD from Moore College of Art and Design and was awarded Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Female Award and Connecticut Cottage & Gardens’ Design Innovator Award.
Hampton also has a growing stable of acclaimed products for the home. These include fabrics and trims for Kravet Inc., her own furniture line for Hickory Chair Co., carpets for Stark Carpet, Lighting for Visual Comfort & Co., and mantels for Chesney’s.
Alexa is also the author of the critically praised book The Language of Interior Design, and she is a contributing columnist for The Wall Street Journal’s Saturday “Off Duty” section.
Tony Manning is the Showhouse Marketing Chairman. He is also president of Mitchell Manning Associates, a full service public relations and marketing agency with a special focus on the home furnishings industry. His realm is the creation of the full scale public awareness campaign that has propelled the Hampton Designer Showhouse to national prominence in three short years, with phenomenal coverage in local and national newspaper media, home design magazines and television. He has also directed the packaging and sales of the various sponsorships that have linked the Showhouse with a variety of corporations in the publishing, banking, home design and related fields.
The administration of the thousand and one details that comprise the planning and the day to day management of the Showhouse are under the control of the highly talented Mary Lynch, whose background as the Director of Special Events at Southampton Hospital for twelve years makes her uniquely qualified to administer the myriad complexities involved in running a Showhouse. These range from supervising the rejuvenation of the house to coordinating the diverse needs of the designers creating their individual “fantasy space” within the Showhouse.