Local Design Community Shines at the 2013 Decorator’s Show House

2013 Decorator's Show House

St Margaret’s Hospital Guild held its annual Decorator’s Show House and Gardens event this past April. The Schnull-Rauch house on N. Meridian Street was offered for the event by the Indiana Children’s Museum, the home’s current owner. As it is each year, the Decorator’s Show House was a feast for the eyes, featuring the creative work of many members of the Indianapolis design community. Visitors were also treated to a view of the historic mansion designed by a celebrated local architect, Bernard Vonnegut.

Every space was open for design, including the hallways and foyers, rooms upstairs and down, and the outside spaces. After some ground rules were set, the designers were allowed to show off their interpretation of each space. With 30 rooms and seven gardens being touched, the designs were quite varied. It would be impossible to pick a favorite, but I can share some highlights from my visit.

Every time I visit the Decorator’s Show House, I am struck by how creative designers can be with tiny spaces. This year was no exception. “The Retreat” room, designed by Diana Bryant and db interiors, llc, was the size of an over-sized closet. The room was painted in a pearly grey to give the illusion of space. Stunning window treatments in a brightly striped pattern highlighted the one window. Over-sized artwork in soothing grey hues added to the calm and welcoming feel.

The smaller spaces seemed to inspire the designers to highlight unique accessories and fixtures. “The Retreat” had a funky chandelier, and the “Hall and Hall Bath” designed by Bob Mead of Bob Mead Interiors, Inc, included a tall, skinny grandfather-like clock hung on the wall.  The focus of “1st Floor Hall and Stairs” designed by JSC Stylish Interiors and Faux Divas, was the gorgeous wood staircase, cleaned and polished to bring out its natural beauty. Faux painting added a unique texture to the walls decorated with well-chosen artwork.

Although the third floor of the Schnull-Rauch House has its own ballroom, in itself remarkable, the room with the biggest wow-factor for me was the “Children’s Playroom”. Designed by Hope Harsin and Faith Felder of Chatham Home, the room seemed to suspend you in air. The walls were painted with a landscape mural, with the large steeply-sloped ceilings depicted as the sky. From the height of the peak hung multiple models of hot-air balloons, brightly colored and in various sizes. An existing raised floor area was turned into a stage, curtain and all. Each space was well-used in the room, even the area created by the off-center placement of the bed. This small space behind the bed, under a small window, became a secret reading nook, with a bookcase and a light. The room made me wistful for my childhood, allowing me to imagine how I would have played in the space as a kid.

The latest in kitchen design could be seen at the Show House as well. The “Ballroom Kitchen”, designed by Chris Beeler from Beeler Kitchens, LLC, had putty-colored cabinetry that offered a soft look to the small space.  The cabinet configuration took advantage of the advances in storage, using deep drawers, pull-out garbage units and hanging baskets. The glass-front refrigerator and microwave/convection oven allowed for easy food prep for a ballroom party.

Chris teamed up with Allan Misch and Reed Bobrick from Misch Bobrick Design, LLC to design the “Butler’s Pantry and Kitchen”. In the Butler’s Pantry dark wood cabinetry with beautiful leaded glass inserts stored the serving platters and glassware. Glass knobs and light-colored granite added to the light feel of the space. With five doors and two windows, the team used every bit of their space-planning know-how to create a workable and beautiful commercial kitchen. An over-sized orb light fixture served as a striking centerpiece for the room. The large center island serves as the workhorse for the space, with the food prep tools, like the sink, stove and ovens, placed on the perimeter. The counters were finished with granite in an undulating pattern, which was pulled up into a decorative backsplash behind the stove. A large wall of tile over the sink prep area highlighted the one large, uncovered wall in the space. Most striking to me however, was the large, rectangular-shaped porcelain tile floors. Easy maintenance was goal behind this material choice, but it ended up being a gorgeous design feature.

Condensing two hours of “ohhs and ahhs” into one article can only give you a glimpse of the gorgeous designs I experienced. My advice? Plan to attend the Decorator’s Show House next year, and let me know about your favorite spaces.

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