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November 2nd to 24th: world class design show at Long Island Gold Coast mansion

It’s called Design Showcase and a portion of the rooms of one of these sprawling mansions become a canvas worked into art by a group of designers.

One of the most spectacular roads on Long Island is the winding tree-filled Rt 25A. Behind the screen of trees are the mansions of the Gold Coast. Not right off the road – that would be too close – but off the charming country lanes that lead further and further north to the privately owned beaches.

The economic conditions that gave rise to these Gatsby-style mansions are no more, and the houses have been abandoned, donated to charity, donated to the local government, or limp along. But once a year a fund-raiser attempts to save these truly jaw-dropping examples of excessive consumption (which should be saved simply because of their classic and overdone beauty).

The town of Sands Point is graced with the Sands Point Park and Preserve, containing historic homes, vast green open spaces, beachfront, barns and stables, gardens, local wildlife and miles of woods and beach walking trails. It is open to the public and is not only well-used, but well-loved.

This year the Preserve’s Hempstead House is the site of the Designer Showcase. Friends of the Sands Point Preserve will present “Titans of Business & the Best of Design” – a world class design show on Saturday, November 2 through Sunday, November 24, 2013 (closed on Tuesdays).

Leading interior designers have transformed 15 rooms in the 50,000-square-foot mansion. With rooms inspired by their own accomplished clients – the iconic “titans” in the fields of business, entertainment, technology, fashion, and the arts – the interior designers attempt to depict their lifestyle. The word lavish comes to mind.

There’s a full program of events that accompany the Showcase, and all are both fascinating, and worthwhile.

Give in to the fantasy of being a “beautiful person” and peek into how the “other half” might live. It’s both horrifying that so much money could have (and still does) float through our economy, and beautiful to see innovation in design and interiors.

Read the pamphlet here

If You Go: Fly into either Laguardia Airport or Islip MacArthur and rent a car to explore Long Island’s famous Gold Coast. I'd recommend Southwest Air which flies into both airports.