Last week I stopped by the 2015 Pasadena Showcase House as the finishing touches were being put in place ahead of next week’s April 19 opening. While there was still work to be done and some spaces were not picture ready, I was able to take some snapshots to share with you and whet your appetites for what is sure to become another successful Showcase House, now in its 51st year.
The 2015 Pasadena Showcase House has seen the limelight once before- 22 years ago as the 1993 Pasadena Showcase House. Once again, the house will be transformed by the area’s top designers and design firms. This year manufacturers/showrooms such have been added to the list of those designing rooms.
Designed by Paris born architect Fernand Parmentier and completed in 1910, the 9400 ft2 residence is an eclectic mix of English Tudor architecture accented with Craftsman influences, and much of what was originally designed and put into place still remains today.
A significant amount of the work done to get the house ready for its debut as the 51st Pasadena Showcase House involved restoring the home’s features to its original condition. Honduran mahogany beams are paired up with a plaster cast Italian design motif in the entry hall and grand salon. Both were meticulously stripped and refinished to bring the ceiling back to its original splendor.
At least a couple of designers I spoke to also mentioned that their intention was to replace the layers upon layers of floor coverings but when the original hardwood floors were revealed underneath, the decision was instead to restore the home’s original wood floor. I agree- an excellent call on their part, as lately there has been a big push in the industry to reuse, repurpose, recycle and this is one movement that I strongly believe in. One can still obtain luxury while still being mindful of the Earth’s resources.
Even though Pasadena is known for its understated elegance, no Pasadena Showcase House is complete without a little bit of bling. One thing that you might find interesting, is that upon walking into a room at the Showcase House, I can almost always tell which rooms are done by Pasadena area designers and which ones are from outside the immediate Pasadena area!
This year’s kitchen, always the center of the Pasadena Showcase House, was designed by my friends, Cynthia Lambakis and Samantha Williams of Ederra Design Studio. I was told that the owners requested that the kitchen be done in a white and grey palette, so Cynthia and Samatha worked their magic and used the gothic mullions as a starting point and mimicked the rectilnear shapes all throughout. These recurring geometric shapes were seen on the custom rolled steel hood and on the backsplash tile, Otto Oxford Gloss, a part of Robert A. M. Stern’s newly unveiled collection for Walker Zanger. You may remember seeing the tile on my coverage of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) last month. Cynthia and Samantha have incorporated the newest and best product into the kitchen they designed!
In keeping with the theme of “reuse, repurpose, recycle”, Reclamation created a custom vintage paper cutter into an occasional table in the Boy’s Suite.
The Artist’s Retreat was equally as charming with a custom desk by Brian Gennett.
The Writer’s Room features traditional elements such as molded ceilings and wood paneling but in simplified, geometric patterns for a more transitional take on traditional design.
Walking into the Master Bedroom Suite felt like stepping back in time to 1910 when the house was originally built. A palette of earthy greens, ochre, brown and rust was used – very similar to the color palette popular in 1910. Rather than being remodeled, “restored” is a more accurate description of the work that was done in the master bedroom and bath by Saxony Design Build. Historically accurate furnishings, upholstery, and lighting were used, and the Master Bathroom was outfitted with fixtures that reflect the style of the time integrated with today’s technology and comfort creature amenities.
When the property was built in 1910, it was designed with the gardens in the central space between the main residence and carriage house so that the gardens could be accessed and admired from either the main residence or carriage house. The layout is unique, in that from the street, the front of the main residence is not visible and the rear of the main residence faces the street. Instead of a separate front and back yard, one central garden containing six separate outdoor spaces are used. Landscape and pool designers renovated each of these 6 outdoor spaces and created a unified space that celebrates the native California landscape and the outdoors. An existing arbored path covered in over half a century-old Wisterias is a highlight of the property and a tranquil space to pause and reflect.
There is much more to see at the 2015 Pasadena Showcase House and what I’ve shown you here is just the tip of the iceberg. The Pasadena Showcase House is always a wealth of information on the latest design features and trends. It is the perfect place to spend the day as there are also plenty of dining options and a Marketplace with a variety of vendors from around the area. The Pasadena Showcase House will be open from April 19-May 17 and tickets are $35-$45. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.