We are two thirds of the way through our second Pasadena Showcase House, and everyone is always wanting to know about the before and after transformation of the home. This year, because of a series of last-minute events, we took on more than the usual one space. We initially set out to design one of two teen suites, but the beginning of March we were asked to tackle the Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry, as the original designer had recently backed out. After designing 2 showcase houses under my belt (last year was my first with the Guest Bedroom), I find that the visitors always take a keen interest in the before and after transformation. Now that we’re two-thirds of the way through this year’s house, I finally have the time to sit down and write and show a little bit of the before and after.
2018 Pasadena Showcase House Before and After Transformation of a 100+-Year-Old House
The 2018 Pasadena Showcase House of Design – Before and After
This year’s house is a 1915 Reginald Johnson Spanish Mediterranean which also had the honor of being featured as a Showcase House in 2002. Much has changed since the last Showcase House. Even though 16 years really wasn’t that long ago, 2002 was the year that Tuscan style rocked the world of interior design, but it has quickly become outdated. Nowadays we tend to mix styles and periods, allowing us to rotate things in and out. When the entire room is Tuscan, there is no rotating, and the entire thing must go.
The first thing to go was the yellow tones, which was replaced with a crisp exterior in classic white accented with a contrasting black trim. In the pool area, sleek and streamlined edges and a Baja shelf with book-matched stone feature wall replaced outdated, rounded coping.
The Olive Court offers a perfect seating area and adjoins the kitchen and dining room areas from the exterior. Perfect for indoor/outdoor entertaining. As a matter of fact, I am hearing a lot of visitors mention that they could spend all their time in the Olive Court and Kitchen with the doors open, as it is such a pleasant and happy space.
The Grand Foyer retained the spectacular Lindsey Adelman fixtures that were recently installed by the current owner, setting the tone for the new direction for the home. Just because there are fashion-forward elements in the room, doesn’t mean that the more traditional, original elements in the home take second fiddle. Different styles can coexist but it is about achieving balance – between style, proportion, color, and texture that make it work.
The kitchen was handed to us at the beginning of March and we were given a blank slate with nothing but a list of appliances and plumbing fixtures that had already been ordered by our sponsor, Ferguson, for the previous designer. We used everything we were given except the hood, which we replaced with a custom design of our own to better showcase the backsplash tile. The house opened on April 22 so we had about 6.5 weeks to get things done.
Before we started the kitchen in March, we had committed to one of the two teen suites.
Dark floors replaced lighter cerused oak floors. To reflect light in the room, we used an accent wall of custom gold mylar wallpaper and a high gloss ceiling. Crown molding and original baseboards were left in place and we infused new life into the room with new paint, floors, and a little bit of wallpaper. To allow each bedroom to have its own en-suite bathroom, doorways were closed up and others were open, changing the configuration of bedrooms and bathrooms.
We created a new bathroom from what was formerly the Ladies Office. We used classic materials – marble and brass, but presented them in a fresh, modern way to keep with the style of the home. The new elements are completely relatable in a 100+ year-old home.
In the Master Bedroom, the current owner had already made the transition away from the strong Tuscan influence with an edgier black and gold wallpaper. Greg Parker and Paul Heinz of Parker West took the room back to its roots but with an updated, edgier twist.
The Guest Bedroom was transformed into a girl’s bedroom a few years back but for Showcase was given an eclectic, ethnic vibe, complete with charcoal grasscloth wallpaper and a feature wall of African masks.
What was formerly another child’s bedroom was completely reconfigured to form the Master Closet and Man’s Office (shown below). Hints of old Shanghai and worldly travels are sprinkled throughout, creating a posh working space.
The before and after of the 2018 Pasadena Showcase House clearly goes to show that it is possible to infuse modern design into a 100-year-old home. It’s all about balance and respecting the original architecture. Embrace the old details and bring them to life by complementing them with the new.
As a bonus, here is the video of the first visitor into the pool – the evening before Media Preview Day. No, this is not a large dog but a brown bear, who made his/her way up the driveway and into the pool for a quick swim. Just wait until I tell you about all the other crazy things we ran into, but we’ll save that for my next blog post.
The 2018 Pasadena Showcase House has a little over a week to go and there is still time to see the property. Make a day out of it and dine in one of three on-site restaurants, run by Sierra Fusion, one of my favorite restaurants in the area. There is also plenty of shopping in the marketplace. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.pasadenashowcase.org
Stay tuned for more on Showcase House. Many people have asked about the product in the rooms we designed and we’ll be posting pictures, details, and resources in the very near future. Subscribe to our blog to be alerted or check back here soon.
I hope to see you at the Pasadena Showcase House or here on the blog!