Today’s the day – opening day at the 2019 Pasadena Showcase House! This year is a little bit different for me as I chose to sit the year out and instead of designing a room (or rooms, as was the case for me last year with the teen bed and bath, kitchen and butler’s pantry) this year I put on my media hat and toured the house to give you an insider’s look before the house opens to the public.
ABOUT THE 2019 PASADENA SHOWCASE HOUSE
This 2019 Pasadena Showcase House is returning to The Boddy House, where it also made an appearance as a Showcase House in 2007. The Boddy House is located within Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge and is perched at a high point in the gardens among a floral paradise of world-class specimens.
The 12,000 sq. ft. home was completed in 1939 at the height of the Hollywood Regency period and at a cost of $50,350. It was designed by James E. Dolena of Beverly Hills in the Hollywood Regency style. Dolena designed the homes for many in the entertainment industry, including the Walt Disney Estate and the home currently owned by interior designer Kelly Wearstler. For this year’s Showcase House, several designers looked back to the original time in which the house was built and added Hollywood Regency style touches while infusing modern elements and amenities.
THE PROCESS- THE 2019 PASADENA SHOWCASE HOUSE
The 19 interior designers and 6 exterior designers started the process in mid-October when they walked through the empty property and were given 6 days to submit their designs for their chosen spaces. Every year there are more designers than rooms available, and not everyone gets their first choice, so it is an arduous process for those on the selection committee.
Over the course of 2 months, the designers finesse their designs to the satisfaction of the Pasadena Showcase House committee. Normally the keys are handed over at the third week of January – after the Empty House Party (the best of the many parties to attend if you are doing Showcase) and then demo gets under way.
THE LIVING ROOM
THE MODERN FAMILY SALON
It gets a lot worse – for about 4-5 weeks, before real progress is seen (if major construction is involved) This year, I am told, there was a 3 week delay as a result of permitting issues (it isn’t Showcase without encountering issues) As with any project when remodeling or construction is involved, issues can come up – it’s par for the course. So as long as one can keep an open mind, maintain calm and flexible, then you are golden.
This year’s kitchen is impressive -a whopping 17 appliances in total!?! I am assuming that so many appliances were used as after Showcase House is over, the kitchen will act as a catering kitchen for events that are held on the property. A clean, white and pale blue palette further emphasizes the size of the space. As they did for last year’s kitchen, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery donated the appliances and plumbing for the kitchen which was designed this year by Samantha Williams and Reliable Cabinets. A true entertainer’s kitchen.
Last year I took on the design of a kitchen that had been taken down to the studs with 7 weeks to go before opening day. I remained calm throughout…but not without more than a few extra white hairs. This year I loved taking a back seat and watching the progress unfold over Instagram!
The Morning Room addresses a part of design that oftentimes is overlooked, but is so important these days. Eco-friendly design – where we look to reuse and recycle when designing our spaces in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint.
The entertainment lounge boasts a state of the art A/V system and hidden speakers that are concealed in the walls and are painted and wallpapered over.
The Master Bedroom pays homage to Mr. Boddy’s Camellia Forest on the grounds of Descanso Gardens with custom, hand painted wallpaper from Gracie Studio.
So much attention to detail in the house including all the furnishings that were custom designed to fit into each nook and cranny in their space. This vignette with footed stool (literally – look at the feet!) was a favorite of mine, viewed both up close and from afar.
The Master Bathroom has a glamorous, yet understated and modern feel. There are so many amenities that aren’t evident upon walking into the space, but as one starts to really look around, open doors, and take notice of all the details, one can see how clever each detail plays into the design of the room.
MASTER DRESSING ROOM
The dressing room was designed by my good friend and one of my oldest friends in the business, Jeffrey Johnson. He used elements such as a hand-forged steel light fixture from Hubbardton Forge and a pair of Nathan Anthony’s award-winning Dali chairs to add a modern edge to the space with eclectic elements throughout.
Lots of layers, textures and a subtle yet powerful contrasting palette of gold/yellow and purple, balanced with cool blue tones make the Lady’s Hideaway another favorite room. I love the use of black and white photography (not a choice most people would use) but it works so well! There is something so comfortable and inviting about this room. So much that goes into the design of a space is about achieving the proper balance, and Maria hits the nail on the head every single time.
So many peaceful spaces in the home to escape the hustle and bustle, especially the Writer’s Haven. Minimal yet warm and inviting.
Blue and white ginger jars and china played a major role in this year’s home. Blue and white is always a winner palette – especially in Pasadena, where the demographic leans towards conservative, and this year’s designers definitely played up to that.
The Teen Atelier is designed for the teen with a particular design sensibility – one that looks to art, writing, and artisanal crafts for inspiration. This space exudes warmth with a variety of wood tones, quirky artisanal ceramics, and hand printed fabrics.
BACK STAIRCASE + CIGAR RETREAT
Before heading down the back staircase we come across the spaces designed by Akiko Studios. A cigar room that is outfitted with a cheeky wallpaper of partying monkeys taking swigs from liquor bottles…with bras hanging from trees. I was surprised that the especially conservative Showcase committee would give it the thumbs up but I am thrilled that they did. Infusing personality into a room is a part of the design process. Admittedly it is not for everyone, but you can never please everyone, and that is ok. I always love infusing a chuckle somewhere in a room – usually a catchy book title, but doing that with wallpaper on the ceiling is brilliant. What a great conversation starter!
Last but definitely not least, decorative painter and designer Shari Tipich transformed a porch on the exterior of the home into a magical space with live birds and a mix of painterly florals and whimsical creatures. Who doesn’t love a handsome prince dressed in green?
THE 2019 PASADENA SHOWCASE HOUSE OPENS TODAY!
The 55th Pasadena Showcase House opens today, Easter Sunday April 21 and is open through May 19th. There is so much more to see that I was unable to cover due to time constraints or my photos not coming out as I would have liked, and I wish I could have included all, but that means that you need to come and see this year’s house for yourself! I know that I will have to return to come see the gardens, which I missed, and I’ll visit the shops and a grab a bite to eat at the restaurant. Included with every ticket to the Showcase House is admission to Descanso Gardens, so that is an added bonus this year.
The details for the 2019 Pasadena Showcase House
- Where: The Boddy House at Descanso Gardens – 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada-Flintridge (drop off and pick up only) Parking is at the UA Theatre – 1919 Verdugo Avenue, La Canada-Flintridge
- When: April 21- May 19
- Hours: Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday – Thursday 10 am – 4 pm, Friday 10am-7pm, Closed Monday
- Tickets: $35-$50, Purchase tickets online at pasadenashowcasehouse.org
- To Benefit: To bring music enrichment programs to children around the San Gabriel Valley.
This year’s house is spectacular. What do you think?
PS – Next up on the blog is an epic recap of High Point Market – Spring 2019 so stay tuned. I am putting the finishing touches to it and it’ll be up tomorrow morning…assuming I have no snafus and that all goes well!