Diary of a Show House Designer: Go Big or Go Home
On Monday, I previewed the site for the 2012 Junior League of Boston Show House. This Show House, the Boston equivalent of New York's Kips Bay Decorator Show House, has been on hiatus for six years. Whether due to the economy or the lack of a good site with abundant parking, the Junior League has concentrated its fundraising activities elsewhere. And we've missed it.
I've participated in three show houses, two with Junior League. It's a fabulous experience--hard work and fraught with headaches--but fabulous. A show house presents designers with a blank canvas to show their work: no clients with budgetary constraints; no monstrous family heirlooms to design around; no one to answer to except themselves. The upside? Hopefully, media attention and new business. The downside? The up-front cost. Designers have to pay to participate in Show House, not to mention the costs of materials to furnish our spaces and the labor to prepare them. It's a big chunk of change. Really big. I have to admit, in the past I've groveled with vendors to get things on loan, or best case, for free, in exchange for free publicity.
So I thought I'd chronicle my experience as a show house designer on the blog. That is, if I'm invited to participate. The initial step is to submit a room proposal. I can submit proposals for up to three rooms. The deadline for proposals is June 27th. I have my eye on three rooms; each would be wholly different in design and function. But my mantra this year is Go Big, or Go Home. I had designed small spaces in the previous two Junior League Show Houses: the first year, a guest bathroom, and the second year, a butler's pantry. I loved the rooms I did at the time. But they were cute, and I'm done being cute. So this year, I'm thinking of something on a grander scale. Stay tuned for further developments.
The Site of the 2012 Junior League of Boston Show House: The Potter Estate, 71 Walnut Park, Newton, MA