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Sunday, December 20, 2009

One Fabulous Sober House At Christmas

Pete Hathaway has turned his Litchfield County home into a luxurious sober house
"Mr. Hathaway, born Phillips Hathaway, a scion of an old Maryland family, was also emblematic of a time and place in Manhattan’s cultural history, a gatekeeper, as William Norwich, a contributing editor at Vogue, described him, to New York’s halls of power. “ ‘Everything discreetly for sale’ was how Pete operated when he became a big star at Sotheby’s,” said Mr. Norwich, who covered society news for The Daily News in the 1980s"

" Mr. Hathaway’s department at Sotheby’s was responsible for four or five huge sales each year, bringing in at least $20 million annually, he said, from blockbusters like the Versacesale  in 2001 (which brought $10 million for the contents of the murdered designer’s South Beach mansion) to the Duke and Duchess of Wndsor sale in 1998 (which brought over $23 million for the contents of their Paris villa, which had been bought by Mohamed al-Fayed in 1986)."

" Welcome to Mr. Hathaway’s “boutique three-quarter house,” as one friend described the facility that Mr. Hathaway, once a fixture of Manhattan’s social scene, has made of his home here. It’s a six-bed, men-only, “step down” retreat — that is, a residential treatment environment for those who have already completed a 28-day rehab program but, vulnerable to relapse, are encouraged to follow some sort of “stepped down” care. "

" Called Enterprise New Life, “it’s for men like me who aren’t ready to go home yet,” Mr. Hathaway said. The Wednesday dinner, to which Mr. Hathaway invites neighbors in recovery and even some “normies,” is its semi-public face. "

" This is a third act for Mr. Hathaway, who was for two decades a director of European furniture at Sotheby’s. Six-foot-five, wickedly charming and patricianly handsome, he had been the consummate “extra man,” a skilled practitioner of “the night shift,” as he called his after-hours life on the benefit, dinner party and opera circuit, which he pursued full-throttle, as his employers encouraged him to do, for the connections he made there brought the auction house some of its best sales. "

I say,  there comes a time in a rocovery that one has to view alcohol as poison.
The skull and cross bones speak volumes.

His home is obviously decorated with bits and pieces from Sothoby's and Christies.
Just imagine, everything has it's own little story.

A Recovering  man.
With a beautiful and safe place to RECOVER.

This is a recent article out off the N.Y.T.
I just feel that this is just 
so much of the Christmas Spirit.
( that's probably why the N.Y.T. did this article...ya' think?)

This is a cozy pile of patterns.
I would be very comfortable sharing my thoughts and feelings here.
Would You?

The NYT article:click here

Do you think we have enough good places for recovering alcoholics to heal ?
Each one of us has been touched by alcoholism in some way. Whether we realize it or not.
Sometimes it is a co-worker.....
Maybe someone close to you is suffering, or just can't stop drinking when they promise they will.
Maybe you wonder if you are an alcoholic.

This Season Is The hardest Time Of Year For Alcoholics and Recovering Alcoholics.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

After reading this article, and giving it some thought......
I would love to put a huge house together for young woman. 
A beautiful, safe, and loving place for young woman to start over.
How cool would it be if?....... 
WE became the traveling DESIGN BLOGGERS 
taking big old houses, giving them a makeover, (we would need a Huge GRANT of course) and turned them over to the community or town to use for their recovering drug addicts and alcoholics?What a great way to change a life for the better!!!

Oh Look!!!
It is the DESIGN BLOGGERS and their ' Hugh GRANT ' after a ribbon cutting at one of their finished community homes. The Press loves them!!!  

It would be a great thing to do. 
Just one little town at time.
And helping to change one persons 'path' at a time.

Merry Christmas to all my friends XXXX'x

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG.....
credits:,daily mail co. uk
Interior Design, Palm Beach, Boca Raton,Ft.Lauderdale,Design Service, Window Treatments, TurnKey Interior Design Service,Paint selection, Floor-Plans,Online Interior Design,
Design Center of The Americas, D.C.O.T.A., Sober House


  1. What an interesting and beautiful haven! I know we have something similar here in Vero...VERY expensive and hidden away on the river. A friend used to work there, and said many "famous" folks spent some time there. Love your idea of a beautiful home for women!

    I have to say...It never occured to me how hard this time of year must be for recovering alchoholics. Wow.

  2. your posts just keep getting better & better. I can imagine what a difference places dotted about our country that are cozy, homey and comfortable would make for people who want to change their lives and fight the horrible, difficult fight of alcoholism. I doubt there is not one of us that is effected by the disease.
    Just to say, Mr. Hathaway is one tall drink of water (sans the whiskey).

    I'm sooo glad you liked my header.ha!It was quick job. I am flying into Portland, OR tonight. My father sent me a ticket to come say goodbye to mom. He is worried she won't make it to Christmas let alone until my birthday (28th) when I wanted to visit. If I don't get a chance to get online again for a few days, I want to say thank you for being you and for being a friend to me. I am incredibly thankful for your support and fabulous humor. People like you are few and you make the world go round. Warm hugs for a Merry Christmas & to happier times ahead for our New Year. xxx

  3. It is a super idea.
    Maybe it can happen but, it needs a village to do it. That isn't easy. People won't commit. No one
    is devoted to a cause anymore.
    Only their own cause..ME ME ME.
    It is a hard time of year for everyone.
    The servicemen , the Hospitalized,
    people that have lost a loved one,
    Lonely elderly with family who are too busy to include them. familys out on the street that have lost their home.
    People with No food, No Jobs, or Sick Children. Those that have lost faith in GOD!
    Now Say a prayer,
    see if another drink will help??
    I wish you Love,health and a big hug.
    You are a special girl..

  4. I think that it's brilliant and a wonderful place like that to recover and talk things over must be a blessing to many people.....I guess that you need to have a bit of money to go there, so, no good for those not blessed with riches.
    A very timely post and one that we should all think about, and to think of the difficult times that some people are going through at this time of year. XXXX

  5. As some who worked in public relations and then in fundraising for mental health, I can tell you it, is indeed, difficult. In this environment where not-for- profits and schools are not only being cut back in funding but asked to give back prior funding is eye-opening to say the least.

    The Peter Hathaway story is, I think, perhaps the only model that can work. But I always think the impulse to do good can fuel the spirit to make something wonderful happen.

  6. Thanks for the message on my blog...sending a hug back to you!
    xx Trina

  7. renee,
    wow... amazing... i have a dear friend who went to rehab this year and it shocked me... i had NO idea. she hid it from all and i applaud her for turning her life around. your post and all of the comments are really fabulous... i think of christmas as such a wonderful holiday being with friends and family but another dear friend just lost her sister 3 days ago... we will be going to the funeral on tuesday... extremely sad. i see the homeless or friends who have lost loved ones or have no one... and i pray for all of them. i am so blessed and wish you the most wonderful holiday season... you are such a bright spot in my life... xoxo pam

  8. home,

    it is a shame.
    our government can hardly find it's 'arss' with both hands!!!
    much less take care of it's people.

  9. pam,
    it is amazing how people can suffer in silence & in secret.
    for many of the unlucky ones,
    it is a lifetime.

    you my are my little lady bug with sparkles too!!
    merry merry :)
    xxx's hugs 2

  10. That big heart of yours just keeps getting bigger & bigger, you beautiful girl.
    Millie ^_^

  11. renee...

    i agree with dumbwit tellher...well his poison may now be water, but still wouldn't you like to share a glass of water with him...

  12. It is very much in the spirit of Christmas, and what a beautiful place!

    Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

  13. Dear Renee
    I want to thank you for all your wonderful posts!
    I wish you a wonderful festive season and a Happy New Year!


  14. viera
    what a kind thing to say.
    thank you and merry Christmas xxx

  15. I found the Coastal post,
    beautiful.Miami bch looked great
    she put Rockland Maine 's Lobster
    tree, I think it is kinda ugly..

  16. Renee, You seem to be hitting on a lot of topics that are close to home for me. My best friend has been struggling for a year now. I had no idea she was addicted to vicodin or alcohol. She has attempted rehab 3 times and managed to stay sober for 60 days the first attempt. She is now on day 10 of her third attempt. I've visited her each time in rehab and boy could we spend some time talking about drab and dreary places!! You let me know when your ready- I'd LOVE to be a part of that traveling team! ;)

  17. angie,

    i feel for you.
    i know 1st hand what is like to watch someone drown in addiction.
    the best thing you can do is to not 'enable' any bad behavior.

    it took years to for her to get to her (hopefully) bottom.
    and it will take years of constant clean/sober time for her to find out who she really is
    and what she wants to do with her life....with a clear head and heart.
    it is a beautiful thing to see.

    let's hope that the 3rd time is a charm.'

    xxx merry Christmas

  18. This is a great topic for the season. So sad that alcohol is such a trap for people. Not sure what should be done! There are blogs that try to give back like the Katillac Shack???? have you heard of it???
    I participated in a fund raiser this Summer for animals that people had to give up because of losing their sad!
    Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah,

  19. carole,
    i was driving somewhere this morning....
    and on the pbs radio station there was an ad from 'the boca raton humane society'.
    it stated that IN BOCA RATON (like everywhere else) ,
    in 1 out of every 5 foreclosures, the pet owners abandon or drop their pets off at shelters.
    i guess it is the lucky ones that get dropped off at the humane society.
    it so sad.

    xx merry Christmas



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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