Innovation Celebrated At HCG Design Awards

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Big names in architecture, interior and landscape design packed into Guild Hall on Thursday, August 8, to celebrate the third annual “HC&G Innovation in Design Awards” sponsored by Hamptons Cottages and Design magazine, this year honoring Vicente Wolf.

Innovator Award presenter Preston Bailey described the Manhattan-based interior designer, and his best friend, as hardworking and “absolutely stubborn.” The event designer also credited Mr. Wolf for changing his life—by pointing him down a successful career path and, perhaps more important, transforming his apartment.

“He has, as a designer, the rare ability to see a space and understand exactly what it should look like,” Mr. Bailey said. “We had some battles. We fought and we screamed and we yelled and we called each other all kind of a name. And eventually, I said, ‘You know, Vicente, just do what you want.’ And suffice to say, my apartment turned out to be spectacular.”

To the beat of Robin Thicke’s summer hit “Blurred Lines” and in front of a standing ovation, Mr. Wolf took to the stage and was met with a bear hug from Mr. Bailey.

All smiles, he stepped up to the podium with his Innovator Award.

“I’m blushing,” he said. “I don’t know if you can see it or not.”

His speech was brief and modest. Mr. Wolf thanked a list of colleagues and reminisced about the past, while reflecting on the role of interior designers today.

“Interior designers are seen as frivolous. They’re seen as ‘spendserous,’ as silly, but we really change people’s lives,” he said. “We bring to them style. We bring to them comfort. Wonderful spaces. We open their eyes to things that could have been right in front of them that they never saw. And I think that, to me, people say, ‘Well, are you gonna retire?’ I think, ‘Am I gonna stop breathing? I don’t think so.’ Because I love doing what I do. It brings joy and pleasure every day that I go into the office.”

The overall winner in the Interior Design category was Manhattan-based Erica Millar Design, with first runner-up honors going to Tamara Magel Lifestyle from East Hampton.

The Innovation in Kitchen Design award went to Bates Masi + Architects of Sag Harbor. Bridgehampton-based Barnes Coy Architects was named first runner-up.

The overall winner in the Bath Design category was Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects from Bridgehampton, which also took top honors in the Architecture category. The first runner-up for Architecture went to Russell Riccardi Architect from Manhattan.

The first runner-up honors in Bath Design went to Martin Architects, which also claimed the runner-up award for Innovative Product Design. The overall winner for Innovative Product Design went to Custom Cool Rugs.

Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects took the overall win for Garden Design, with first runner-up awarded to Landscape Details Inc.

“I apologize for not being Beyonce,” Mr. Hollander deadpanned, following a cue from presenter Dennis Howard, who announced the diva’s name after opening the winner envelope. “I want to thank all of the other architects and designers who are here that we get to collaborate with, because our designs really are as good as they are because of the people we work with … So, really, thank you to all of you.”

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