• Pasadena Showcase House: A Tale Of Design, Landscape Transformation
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    Posted Friday, April 26, 2013-11:59 am

    By Laura Coleman

    For San Gabriel Valley residents looking for a leisurely way to spend an afternoon, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, which opened last Sunday, offers a particularly inspirational journey for design afficionados. This year’s Showcase House – a repeat from 2000 when it had a white plaster facade – runs until May 19 and takes place in an architecturally ambiguous two-story brick Monterey Colonial in Arcadia that was built in 1941 for the Barker Brothers Furniture family.

    Nearly 30,000 design, architecture and garden aficionados are expected at the Showcase House over the next month, which raises money to fund music programs. In preparation for the public unveiling, The Courier toured this quintessential California-style residence which showcases the skill of local designers and landscapers who were tasked with transforming the house and grounds at their expenses.

    FAMILY TIME —Thoughtful details abound throughout the home, such as this custom-made table in the Family Room that can be made taller.

    The Enchanted Entry: Created by landscape design firm Pacific Outdoor Living to evoke grandeur and tranquility, the entry garden uses the existing sycamore and oak trees to frame the space, adding paving stones, a babbling brook and plantings that include lavender, iceberg roses, sculpted dwarf bushes, ferns and succulents. A meandering stream heralds the peaceful retreat inside.

    The Artistic Garden: Using similar planting materials to continue the grandeur evoked in the entry garden, Sacred Space Garden Design founder Karen Miller chose a variety of colorful, drought tolerant plantings that were popular in the designs of early Southern California estate properties to landscape the area just in front of the house.

    The Powder Room: Inspired by a jewel box, askDECOR founder Nancy Del Santo crafted a chic modern entry hall bathroom using finishes that sparkle, an antique mirror screen and a Corbin Bronze sculpture. Luminous finishes and metallic linen wallpaper marry that light and the dark, giving the powder room a distinctly masculine and feminine feel.

    The Entry Hall, Staircase and Upstairs Hall: Known for transforming the commonplace into the extraordinary, Dolezal Design Group took a classic “Hancock Park entry” approach to the design area, where the large space now commands an intimate sense of welcome with a gorgeous glass-blown blue lighting fixture hanging from the ceiling.

    The Library: Inspired by the world of travel, Michael Fullen Design Group created a traditional library with modern flair using Jim Thompson fabrics, deep charcoal cabinetry and grass paper wallpaper. Vintage books and contemporary art create the stage for a comfortable atmosphere in which to relax.

    BIRDS LIFE—The hidden Pool House Garden includes a place for birds to collect elements to build nests.

    The Living Room: Conceived of as a romantically elegant space for entertaining by Maya Williams Design, the classic “vintage glamour” living room features a color palette of greens, whites and gray. A Steinway piano, designed for the 125th anniversary of BMW, and details such as a luxurious faux silk carpet, pagoda cabinets by Oscar de la Renta and fabrics by F Schumacher further highlight the room’s sensuality.

    The Family Room: Intended to entertain and for media enjoyment, Designers of the Interior created a family room with custom-designed furniture that could be easily rearranged to suit the functionality of the room. Outfitted with an iPad controlled, 60-inch flatscreen TV, a coffee/cocktail bar and reading nook, the room is the very pinnacle of home entertaining.

    The Bedroom Suite: Encompassing an expansive dressing room and spa-like bathroom, the bedroom suite feels akin to a boutique hotel. Crafted by L2 Interiors, the suite boasts a reading nook complete with a workspace and sitting area.

    The College Man’s Suite: The boutique design firm of JTID, Inc. crafted this very masculine room with a twenty-something in mind, making use of luxurious materials and clean-lined furniture in an effort to balance childlike playfulness with sophisticated adulthood.

    The Master Bedroom Suite: This calm, sophisticated retreat offers a lounging area with fireplace, windows framed with silk drapes and a European crystal chandelier. Crafted by Reaume Construction & Design Inc., the suite oasis even boasts a wine fridge next to the bathtub.

    The Family Room: Inspired by the Art Deco movement, G.H. Wood Design created a family room that incorporates custom wood pieces from the designer’s own collection including a fireplace mantel, entertainment center, coffee table and end table to create a streamlined room where the family can gather. Just across the hall, the designer used the same clean, contemporary lines to create a laundry and craft room that is designed to be maintenance free.

    SUITE SIXTEEN —The lounge area in the Teenage Girl’s Suite is designed to be both functional and luxurious.

    The Teenage Girl’s Suite: Interior decorator Tocco Finale indulged a young lady’s dreams of travel and fashion to create a luxurious suite hued in lavender and sage. Filled with a large, comfy lounge, a desk and a custom bookcase, in addition to a custom vanity and a Parisian-style bathroom, the suite is both functional and opulent.

    The Dining Room: Inspired by a collection of modern art, Jon Jahr & Associates, Inc. transformed the formal dining room into a place to enjoy simple meals or “wine and dine” guests.

    The Kitchen: With twin islands boasting pewter countertops, Saxony Design Build created an innovative working kitchen using a neutral color palette of white, black and tan to complement the expansive home. Checkerboard marble and limestone flooring highlight the white cabinetry and quartz covered countertops amidst commercial grade appliances.

    The Office: Inspired by “Mad Men,” Platner & Co. outfitted the downstairs office and adjoining bathroom in the style of the hit TV-series using sophisticated, bold masculine materials to create a chic space. An Hermes fabric chair, hand-done Venetian plaster walls and silk-screened Carrera marble bathroom tiles are among the myriad custom features that the office offers.

    The Garage: Garage Envy, Inc. took a cue from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry to create a place of functional beauty. Recessed lighting and sealed wood cabinetry that requires only a hosing to clean are among the four-car garage’s innovative features.

    FINE DINING—Modern art gives the cleanly designed formal Dining Room a sense of ease and formality.

    A Suite Symphony: Inspired by the British TV-series “Downton Abbey,” this causal, sophisticate bedroom suite by Intimate Living Interiors was designed with the avid reader and writer in mind. Custom wall treatments, built-ins and relaxing furnishings make this an inspirational suite.

    The Reader’s Retreat: This rejuvenating reading retreat by Strong Studio Designs features a subtle organic pattern and compliment iridescent grass paper walls, in addition to reflective finishes and textiles that give this bedroom hideaway a fresh feel.

    Journey’s End: Design Details created a truly relaxing sitting room overlooking the gorgeously landscaped backyard by drawing from visions of an ethereal landscape and nestling birds. A hand-painted mural is just one of the design touches that make this retreat so special and peaceful.

    The Grand Patio: Flanked by two sycamore trees, the patio with an outdoor kitchen and fireplace designed by Jason Lee Design Studio, Inc. is the perfect setting for family brunches. Colorful vegetation creates a spectacular California garden experience.

    The Willow Pavilion: This fragrant “Garden-of-Eden” designed by Form LA Landscaping, Inc. encourages visitors to skip under archways and discover garden art along a meandering path through native foliage, a willow branch arbor and a custom stone mosaic.

    The Pool House: Yorkshire Kitchen’s Inc. created a 1940’s style cabana in blue and green using eco-conscious materials, including a recycled paper-based countertop in the kitchen. An original mural, sauna, a meticulous vibrant touches make this a true repose.

    The Outdoor Kitchen: Yorkshire Kitchens, Inc. and Huntington Pools partnered to create a dynamic outdoor kitchen fully equipped with a grill, pizza oven, an island and everything else you could want.

    The Poolhouse Garden: Gung Hoe Garden Girls and Martin Aguilar Landscapes created an idyllic garden inspired by the 1940’s Hollywood pool landscapes and California beach lifestyle, which they populated with water-wise plants and custom designed iron-and-glass sculptures.

    The Pool: Designed with pool parties in mind, Huntington Pools crafted an elegant 1940’s-era outdoor living area with an updated fountain. Native plants and an edible garden surround the area, creating a quintessential “california casual” feel.

    The Rustic Retreat and Meadow: Mystic Water Gardens’ custom designed rustic gazebo is the focus of this tranquil garden with a babbling brook – a beautiful retreat for a hot summer day.

    A Place for Reflection: To highlight the landscape, LA Farm Hands employed a color palette of mostly white, rust and brick hues. A custom fountain and a minimalistic designed bench add to the serenity of this charming resting place.

    Sixty Six West: KMC interior Design outfitted the Restaurant at Showcase, dubbed Sixty Six West, to evoke Monterey Colonial charm. Estate Catering at the Huntington will offer an electic menue of California fare.

    In addition to the home and grounds, the Showcase House will offer a pop-up shop on the tennis courts featuring jewelry, clothing and gourmet products.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, which are valid for unlimited return visits to the gardens until May 19, visit www.pasadenashowcase.org.

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