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A Tudor gets the royal treatment; From the chandelier to the solarium, designers' creativity reigns at Decorators' Show House

Bedroom walls dressed in celery green microsuede. A chandelier created from wine bottles. A bathroom inspired by Coco Chanel.

It must be Decorators' Show House time.

This year's house -- the Bayliss-Oshei residence at 360 Depew Ave., is a Tudor-style home in Buffalo's Central Park community. It opens to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues through May 22.

The house features three floors of decorated spaces, including seven bedrooms, six and a half baths, a solarium, two home offices, a gender-neutral nursery and more. There's an in-ground pool and extensive landscaping, too, as well as a boutique and cafe.

The event, which takes place every other spring and is co-sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News, has raised more than $3.2 million for local charitable projects since the first show house -- the Larkin House -- opened in 1981.

Local designers and decorators, who were selected after submitting proposals last fall, are joined by landscapers, artists, painters, craftsmen and others to transform the residence (which is for sale).

Maryann Lavin Rodgers, who decorated the solarium, said one of the great aspects of the Show House is the display of local talent, some of whom may be little known to visitors.

Until now.

Interior plantation shutters in the solarium were crafted by Shutterworks of Lockport. The faux sky on the ceiling was painted by Ruth McCarthy. Diane Persico created the "room box" on display, complete with miniature white poodle.

Of course it's hard work and time-consuming for all involved: The searching, buying, borrowing and lugging of materials and furniture. The time away from regular customers.

But the positives, besides being part of a major fundraiser, are the exposure (business cards are stacked in every room) and the camaraderie.

"I like the juice, the excitement," Rodgers said.

Decorators haul in new items from shops and showroom floors, recycled items (furniture hand-crafted from reclaimed wood in the third-floor game room by Reback Interiors, for example), borrowed items (decorators even borrow from each other) and more. Some, including Christopher Hempel, even sew.

As in other years, many of the items in the rooms are for sale, but buyers have to wait until after the showroom closes next month to bring them home.

The exception: Boutique items, of course, but also works from Western New York-area artists displayed on the third-floor landing. These can be purchased and brought home that day. The gallery space was created by Bogue Art Studios.

A few of the other highlights:

*Dragonflies dance across fabric in the black-and-white eating area, which complements the French-influenced kitchen. The chandelier above the round black table incorporates empty wine bottles.

"We wanted to do a contemporary European bistro feel," said Elizabeth Bartolone, who decorated the space along with Maria Jacobi of Homeward Bound on Elmwood Avenue.

*In the dining room decorated by Michael Donnelly and Tony Rogers, a round glass tabletop sits on an organically shaped base, surrounded by high-back upholstered chairs. The table is beautifully set with ceramic flower dishes.

*Unique lighting fixtures (lots of sparkle!) and unusual ceiling treatments are a good reason to remember to look up. In "The Bird is the Word," a bedroom designed for a college-age woman, mirrored circles of various sizes trail across the ceiling. The room was decorated by Christopher's House Interiors in shades of gray, silver, plum and green (including celery green microsuede on the lower portion of the walls).

*An alcove off the living room has been transformed by Sandy Nelson and Carol Schaper into a his-and-her home office. The two desks are robin's egg blue.

*Pure glam -- and the French flair of Coco Chanel -- best describe the bath called "A Touch of Lipstick -- Madam's Bath Salon." Yes, there's a bottle of Chanel No. 5 found here, as well as vintage jewelry, long gloves, mirrored ceiling and much more.

*An elegant bed sits in the middle of the master bedroom designed by Kittinger Gallery and Design Studio. An oversized mirror on one wall is just one of the many magnificent mirrors you'll come across on the tour.

*Gray and white -- with splashes of yellow, orange, blue and green -- can be found in the nursery. The space, which features furniture from BABYroom, a new baby boutique on Hertel Avenue, was designed to be comfortable to both baby (girl or boy) and adults. The room has a cityscape theme, complete with a treatment covering the lower portion of the windows depicting a skyline.

*Real pennies are put to work in a third-floor copper-and-cream bedroom and bath by Julie Dana, of the Home Stylist. The top of a side table is covered with them. They also are used to create a floor mat in the bathroom.

*And don't miss the woman's executive office on the third floor by Buffalo Office Interiors -- with its hot pink embossed crocodile patent leather desk chair.

Some history: The house was built in 1935 for William H. Bayliss, his wife, Bessie Cowan Bayliss, and their children. Their daughter, the late Mary Bayliss Oshei, and her husband, the late Robert C. Oshei, later raised four sons and a daughter there.

Mary Bayliss Oshei lived in the house until her death in September 2009 at age 89. The house, designed by Buffalo architect Harvey Staring Horton, is listed for $529,000 by Hunt Real Estate.

e-mail: smartin@buffnews.com

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