Equipped with an endless supply of candy, licorice, and gumdrops, DBI’s designers constructed a marshmallow-festooned gingerbread hotel to participate in Gingertown, a light-hearted holiday initiative that puts the design industry’s talents to work for a good cause. Team DBI, comprised of Interior Designers Jill Albers, Sarah Benjamin, Kaitlin Dyer, Mandy Harshman, Anne Regan, Socrates Tiglao, and Rachel Williams, created its “Runtz-Carlton Hotel” for incorporation into a highly detailed gingerbread town, newly master-planned each holiday season by the event’s founder David M. Schwarz Architects. Other firms participating in Gingertown also fashioned essential buildings for the miniature town.

Team DBI incorporated several clever design features into the Runtz-Carlton Hotel. Always specifying high-quality materials for their projects, the designers created windows from Airheads and candy rope, a rounded and paved driveway from chewy Sweet Tarts, and siding from graham crackers. A Pez dispenser snowman was recruited as the building’s doorman. The roof-top pool, surrounded by rainbow-colored Airhead pavers, was almost as dazzling as the glass (i.e., cellophane) atrium, featuring a mountain vista and a three-story–high Christmas tree bedecked with Twizzlers, Nerds, candy rope—and a Starburst star on top.


The Gingertown buildings are donated to hospitals, healthcare facilities, and local organizations to share holiday cheer with others in the community. Washington, DC area recipients include Children’s National Medical Center, Martha’s Table, Deanwood Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, So Other Might Eat, The Washington Home, and The Wendt Center for Loss & Healing.

Gingertown 2013