Take a look at these showstoppers, and then make a statement of your own
Make a statement. That’s what designers do in showhouses—those client-free zones where they can really strut their stuff. It’s where they give new twists to time-honored color palettes, transform spaces from elaborate to livable, and turn basic art collections into gallery-worthy exhibits. Take a look at these showstoppers, and then make a statement of your own.
At the Atlanta Symphony Decorators’ Showhouse & Gardens, interior designer Bob Brown made dynamic use of artwork in the gathering room. To guarantee a pleasing arrangement, Brown first created paper templates of each piece. “Placement of art is important,” he says. “Art can’t be enjoyed if it’s not seen clearly.”
At the Pilgrim Hall Museum Designer Showhouse in Plymouth, Massachusetts, interior designer Richard Eustice kept the dining room perimeters clean white. “The architecture is so strong that it doesn’t require any highlights on the decorative ornamentation,” he says. The floor is grounded by a sisal rug bound in navy blue tape. Grouped into a dramatic niche above the fireplace are five oversized blue-and-white 19th-century Chinese export porcelain jars.
Designer Eileen Boyd enlisted a variety of circular shapes to give this sunroom in the Mansions and Millionaires Showhouse in Long Island a sense of movement. Instead of drapery hardware that has little decorative impact, she used large cobalt blue rings to join sections of the white sheers. The fabric melts into the pure white background that frames the arched windows, allowing the hardware to command full attention. A central lighting fixture with intertwining circles and a green throw with white circles tossed on the slipcovered chaise continue the theme.
At the Lake Forest Showhouse in Lake Forest, Illinois, interior designer Frank Ponterio softened the living room’s large expanse with lush, flowing fabrics that express movement. A tufted ottoman in gathered velvet sits center stage between the sofas. Sumptuous silk shows up on drapery panels puddling on the floor. The same fabric was used to upholster original wainscoting, left intact in case of a future restoration.
Clad in geometrics of all kinds, the master bedroom of the San Francisco Decorator Showhouse, created by interior designer Steven Miller, pays homage to the styles of early-20th-century Paris. The space, bathed in natural sunlight, is enhanced by a modern interpretation of a classic blue-and-white color scheme made graphic with paneling and fabric.