Saturday, February 19, 2011

disegno Karina Gentinetta opens at 1stdibs@NYDC

Everything was very hushed-hushed for the last couple of weeks as there was a lot of exclusive press involved, but when the doors opened for Elle Decor's grand opening party at the 10th floor of the New York Design Center on February 16, 2011, everything was anything but hushed-hushed. That is where I flew off to on Wednesday as my store, disegno Karina Gentinetta, is one of the 53 shops at the newly launched 1stdibs floor at the NYDC (at 200 Lexington Avenue).

As the New York Times wrote on Wednesday, "The online marketplace 1stdibs, which functions as a portal to more than 1,000 art and antiques dealers in the United States and Canada as well as Paris and London, is opening a physical showroom Friday. The new space, 1stdibs@NYDC, will display the wares of 53 dealers and occupy all 33,000 square feet of the 10th floor of the New York Design Center in Midtown.

'We felt that if we could create what 1stdibs is about in real life — a gathering of really good product in one place — that people would be interested,' said Michael Bruno, the company’s founder."

And I am simply honored and totally amazed that I am one of those 53 dealers. In all honesty, it has been a dream come true. I still pinch myself when I think that all of this was simply a distant dream -- an impossible venture sitting atop a pile of magazines on my bedroom floor -- just over a little year ago. In fact, just a year and a half ago, I was still practicing law, day in and day out, dreaming of doing what I truly wanted to do -- designing rooms and restoring beautiful vintage and antique furnishings. And, no, it wasn't that "I knew someone" or that I was connected with the powers that be in some way. I was/am a woman, a dreamer, a believer that all things can happen if you want them bad enough. No, I do not have a second income on which to fall back on (in fact, my husband is working with me right now). I just believe that wonderful things can and will happen. I have an enormous faith in the impossible. I wasn't always like that, trust me. But when events happen, like Hurricane Katrina, or the death of a parent, or the loss of everything (which is really something that happens to many of us in life), you begin to believe that if you can make it through those moments, then everything else in life is easy. As long as my children are safe, happy and healthy.... well, life is good and life is a wonderful gift regardless of all the challenges that come my way.

So I'm here to tell all of you out there who tell me how lucky I am or how much they wish they could do what I am doing, "You can do it too!!!! You are so lucky too!!!!" All you need (and I don't say this lightly because I know it is difficult to believe) is faith in yourself and faith that you can achieve anything you want to achieve in life. The road is not easy and it is scary at times when the bills come your way and you wonder "what the hell did I do??????" But there is always a window, a door to a life that you truly enjoy.

Okay, enough of me, let's show you pics of the 1stdibs floor at the New York Design Center. Previously open to the trade only, the NYDC has unlocked its doors to the public, allowing anyone to visit the 10th floor showroom (just take the dedicated express elevator). Whether you're a designer or a retail shopper, you can tour the fifty-three dealer booths in person.
Here is a sneak peek:

And then, there's my space which kind of looks like a fish out of water amidst all of the mid-century modern and industrial decor. But isn't that the story of my life?????

And as for the party -- well, you can see all the party pics at Patrick . Needless to say, it was a huge event with a huge turnout. Over 2,100 guests were in attendance and the champagne flowed from 5 pm until 9 pm. I was a bit overwhelmed by the crowd but everyone was extremely wonderful, kind and when they saw a piece of New Orleans in the Big Apple, they were taken back. My handcrafted Italian chandelier in the middle of the space captivated everyone's attention.

For me, it was truly an amazing experience and truly wonderful to be able to share a little of my world with the rest of the world.

The showroom will be open to the public and reachable by a dedicated express elevator. Information: (646) 293-6633, or email me directly at

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Oh, Karina! Congratulations! The shop looks absolutely stunning. I know that you worked so hard for it all to come together! Great job!!!!!!

    Bonne Chance!


  2. And!! Karina! I have so much admiration for you!! I just reread the blog post––I knew you went out on a limb to go after your passion, but the way you just phrased it tugged at my heart. There is nothing more beautiful than facing your fears, going after your dreams, those dreams becoming a reality, and having that reality become something more wonderful than you could have ever imagined. Wow. What a great place to be in! A bigbig congratulations from me!


  3. Dear Andrea, your comments mean more to me than you would ever imagine. Thank you for your compliment and support!

  4. Karina,
    What an unimaginable road you have travelled over the past 8 years-with both deep valleys and soaring mountain peaks. Really, I believe that the tragedy you faced after Hurricane Katrina is what gave you the courage to face anything without any hesitation. You're right, why not open a store in New Orleans? why not try 1stdibs? why not open a showroom in NYC with some of the top dealers around the globe? What was there to lose?
    Seriously, you're story is awe-inspiring.

    I can only imagine the sleepless nights as you lay in bed thinking, planning for a space thousands of miles away-where to place each piece, how to ship everything there, what to take, what to leave home??? Not to mention the intimidation of being among the other 52 dealers, but I must say your space is beautiful, and I know 1stdibs had to be so thankful you came. From your painted name on the wall, to the grandiose Italian chandelier, to the paprika colored accent pillows, you DID it and you did it with style!
    Congratulations, I am so proud of you! I wish I could see it all in person.

  5. And I fogot to ask...
    Any chance of a feature in Elle Decor???
    Wouldn't that be the cherry on top?!


  6. Dear Mandy, how sweet of you!!!! You are so young and you have achieved so much already. If you are in awe of me, touche, my dear. I'm in awe of you!

    There was a lot of media floating around and the following day was the press preview where all of the big names (Vogue, Veranda, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest) were in attendance. I don't know what caught their eye, but I'm hopeful one day I'll make it on their pages. I'll keep hoping.

    Thanks for your comment!


  7. Dearest Karina .....WOW and congratulations!!!!!! Fantastic, exquisite and to see your name on the wall and your beautiful pieces ensconced at the NYDC! I hope you had a magical night and I do believe the magic for you is just about to begin my friend!!
    hugs and best wishes always

  8. Dear Karina , what an experience you have had,
    always remember where it started and the magic will flow and flow.
    So much beauty and inspiration. A dear friend of mine who has blossomed into one of Australias best designers is Anna Spiro from Black and Spiro her blog is [absolutelybeautifulthings .blog] an amazing young woman your are all in good company love Beverley

  9. Oh Karina, your little piece of New Orleans is beautiful!! A million and one congratulations to you on such a wonderful achievement! You really are such an inspiration to me to dream big...I'm good at privately dreaming big, but not so good at bringing those aspirations out in public! But I think I'm slowly getting better :)

    Congrats again!! xoxo
    Hope Ava


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