German Village Gazette

Decorators' Show House

Designers reveal new ideas at '20s era mansion

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The Women's Board of the Columbus Museum of Art is eager for guests to visit the Decorators' Show House at 21 S. Parkview Ave. in Bexley, where this private patio is one element of charm in the $1.8-million home on 1.4 acres. Tours of the Show House continue through May 12.

Those who might be decorating or redecorating a home and looking for inspiration -- or who just can't get enough of the home improvements featured on Pinterest and HGTV -- will find plenty of ideas at 21 S. Parkview Ave. in Bexley. The $1.8-million home that sits on 1.4 acres at that address is the site of this year's Decorators' Show House.

The 20th biennial event, which will be held through May 12, is hosted by the Women's Board of the Columbus Museum of Art and will showcase the work of 16 local interior designers and four local landscapers.

"The Show House is a great way to get some really new, cutting edge design ideas while supporting a cultural organization," said show house co-chairwoman Subha Lembach.

As soon as the show site was announced last fall, designers began cultivating ideas for the rooms. Work started in February and finished in early March.

Each area of the home, from the butler's pantry and upstairs laundry room to the formal dining room and the guest bedroom, showcases a different design team's work.

"With two staircases, the house flows wonderfully and the rooms are large and spacious so the designers had a great opportunity to create beautiful rooms," said Show House co-chairwoman Dawn Franz.

Susan Matrka Interiors contrasted the neutral colors in the living room with pink furniture and blue and white porcelain vases, and John Wilson of CRI/Creations created a dark, masculine bedroom with a custom-painted, bronze-colored ceiling. The master walk-in closet has been transformed by Kellie Toole Interior Design into a vintage sewing room and the formal dining room by Phyllis Craver Fine Designs is set for an elaborate Kentucky Derby party.

Although continuity is discouraged so as to offer a new perspective and provide innovative designs, stripes showed up in more than one room, sometimes on walls and sometimes on furniture and in the carpentry. Multiple designers' rooms have an English manor feel, which Lembach attributes to something she referred to as "The Downton Abbey effect."

Franz said because there inevitably will be guests who want to know the exact paint color of a room or where the rug or bed set were purchased, designers will be on hand to talk inspiration with visitors every Wednesday night. Since the house is for sale, the rooms will be returned to their original condition following the show and designers will be at the house selling their items on May 13, Franz said.

According to public documents, the home has been on and off the market since February 2009, and most recently housed Ivan K. Fong who was sworn in as general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security in May 2009. Built in 1922, it's also been home to Erie Chapman, OhioHealth's former chief executive, and M/I Homes CEO Robert Schottenstein.

Jane Kessler Lennox, the home's listing agent through New Albany Realty, was integral in helping the Decorators' Show House committee find the perfect location for this year's event, Franz said.

"We loved the property as soon as we saw it," she said of the house that is expected to draw as many as 10,000 visitors during its three-week showing. "It's absolutely a beautiful lot and Bexley is great location that has always been popular."

The event co-chairwomen were specifically looking for a property that had a lot of landscaping potential. In finding that, they were able to build a new partnership.

For the first time, Dine Originals Columbus has paired with the show to cater an outdoor dinner series that will feature local restaurants Due Amici, Barcelona, G. Michael's Bistro, The Top Steakhouse, Skillet, Hubbard Grille and The Refectory. Dine Originals will also man the cafe area during the day.

"It makes sense and it gives people a huge dose of what's available in Columbus," said Katharine Moore, Dine Originals executive director. "They're showcasing local designers and we're showcasing local foods -- it's all about local."

Dinner tickets are $35 and include a glass of wine.

May 5, Cinco de Mayo will be celebrated on the house's lawn with Mexican food and margaritas for $35 per person.

Tickets to view the house from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday are $20 at the door, $15 in advance.

All proceeds from the Decorators' Show House will benefit the Columbus Museum of Art.

For more information on the house, details on special events and to purchase tickets, visit