The floors have been buffed. The old wallpaper stripped. The windows dressed and the rooms freshly furnished. Decorators’ Show House 2015 has opened its doors to the public.
This eagerly anticipated event, a major community fundraiser that has taken place every other spring since 1981, runs through May 17. It’s the place where visitors not only can see what’s new in interior decorating but also check out outdoor living spaces and landscaping ideas – and even shop, since many of the items, including artwork, are for sale.
Last fall, it was announced that the Edward H. Webster House at 164 Lincoln Parkway was selected for the 18th Decorators’ Show House, which is co-sponsored by The Buffalo News and the Junior League of Buffalo. After repairs and prep work at the house – and a Sneak Peek for the public in February and a Diamond Ball in March – decorators, along with artisans, contractors, landscapers and others, dug in to create “a masterful transformation of a house that had ‘great bones’ but was long overdue for a facelift” – as Show House chairwoman Rachel Stenclik wrote in the program presented to ticket-holders upon their arrival.
Photos: Before: Preview of Show House
The 6,600-square-foot Arts-and-Crafts-style home, which is currently on the market for $1.3 million, is located near the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and overlooks the Rose Garden at Delaware Park. Numerous windows – some with stained or leaded glass – and built-in cupboards and cabinets are just a few of the interior features.
The main house features a living room and dining room with fireplaces, a foyer with a curved staircase, a solarium with large arched windows, a kitchen with old built-in china cabinets (but a new hardwood floor from M P Caroll), a butler’s pantry and multiple bedrooms, baths and closets. Decorators also have transformed existing rooms and hallways on the second and third floors into a library/music room, an artist’s retreat, an art loft, a game room and other unique spaces. In addition, there’s a decorated carriage house in back.
There’s a lot to see. The outdated mauve walls and tired wallcoverings have been replaced by fresh color palettes: soothing green and white in the master bedroom by Mark Taylor Interiors; crisp navy and white in the master bath by Visionary Baths & More; turquoise and gray in Kittinger Gallery’s “Monet’s Sanctuary” day room; and black and white in a guest bedroom by Calico and Erin Kent Interiors – for those who can’t get enough of this classic color combination.
And visitors are sure to pick up some tricks. In the long kitchen, for example, white faux bead board was installed inside the dark-stained china cabinets to lighten the background to better showcase the MacKenzie-Childs products on display.
“The kitchen is unusually shaped and dark. We wanted to brighten things up,” said Ann Marie Biron, owner of Four Honey Bees Cottage in East Aurora, which teamed with Auburn Watson on the kitchen makeover.
Some other highlights:
• Metallics are used in stunning ways. Chrome, gold and crystals come together in the living room described as “high fashion meets vintage glamour.” Even the accent pillows shimmer. It’s decorated by Tim Boylan and Sue-Jolie Rioux of Tres Jolie Maison Inc., newcomers to Buffalo and Decorators’ Show House but who also work out of Miami and Naples, Fla.
“We were trying to go for a 1940s height-of-Hollywood glam feel but with a contemporary twist to it,” Boylan said.
• Kids’ spaces get plenty of attention. Colorful owl-print fabric, a crib floating in the middle of the room and an occupied fish bowl can be found in the nursery decorated by Mark Taylor Interiors. Pottery Barn Kids created the “Girl’s Bedroom,” complete with a chandelier, butterfly accents, a bed topped with a sheer canopy and framed photographs on the wall. There’s also the “Teen Athlete Closet” decorated by Lisa Braun from the Kaz Companies.
• Play is not just for kids. The Sportsmen’s Tavern-inspired “Buffalo Rocks” game room on the third floor, decorated by Janiak Reback Interiors, includes a billiard table, pub table, bar and more.
• Not to be missed: In a second-floor bedroom, the platform bed, floor-to-ceiling headboard and other pieces were handcrafted locally by artisan/architect/designer Aaron Mach of fiveprime design.
• Room themes are fun to check out. The foyer has been named “A Champagne Reception” by decorator Mary Terese Nasca of MTN Designs – complete with glass-beaded wallpaper, fabrics and more from Buffalo Paint and Wallpaper Design Center. The dining room by Murchison Interiors of Orchard Park celebrates the engagement of a fictional couple. The butler’s pantry is called “From Farm to Pantry: fresh, local, seasonal & clean cuisine.” It was created by Frontier Central High School interior design students. The third-floor “Journey into the Artist’s Mind” by designer Barbara Reformat of babsDESIGN and artist/muralist Augustina Droze has a bohemian theme.
New this year: The Cultural Campus Collaboration. Those who tour the Decorators’ Show House can receive a variety of special discounts to cultural organizations in the area, including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Museum of Science and a dozen more. These include buy-one-get-one free offers, membership discounts and specially scheduled tours. See jlbuffalo.org for more information or pick up an informational pamphlet when you visit the show house.
Some history on the house: The Arts-and-Crafts-style home was designed by Buffalo architects August Carl Esenwein and James A. Johnson and built in 1907-08. It was designed for Edward H. Webster and his family. Webster and his father were partners in their coal business, E. Webster & Son, which later merged with Citizens Ice Co. to become Webster-Citizens Ice Co. The residence has had four owners. A 14-page booklet with the history of the house will be sold for $2 during tours.