After a digital-only iteration in 2020 followed by a fundraiser for a garden party held in place of a show home last year, the Pasadena Showcase House of Design welcomes in-person visitors again this season. “We are thrilled to be open again and audiences are ready to come back,” said Marti Farley, president of the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, the sponsor and volunteer organization.
The 57th Pasadena Showcase House of Design has transformed Oaklawn Manor, a stately home built in 1905 into Oaklawn Subdivision, the historically significant neighborhood designed by Arts and Crafts movement architects Henry and Charles Greene. More than 20 interior designers have reinterpreted the spaces of the 10,000 square foot English Tudor-style mansion, which was originally built for British civil engineer Harry Hawgood. (Many believe the house was designed by Hawgood himself — the structure has an unusual concrete frame that was presumably a product of Hawgood’s engineering expertise, and the records do not identify another architect.) Despite a renovation of the kitchen and the addition of a pool house in the 1950, the original structure has remained intact over the decades.
Featuring multiple travertine-clad fireplaces, original millwork, stained glass windows, and four “baronial-sized” bedrooms, the house is “truly spectacular,” says Farley. However, as the designers of the showcase would probably attest, putting a new spin on historic architecture is all about finding the right balance. Beginning with the entrance to the Front Lawn Home Garden (by Graciela Gonzalez of G&A Artistic Landscaping), “we wanted to respect the neighborhood and the historic character while ensuring that the house met our needs,” says Farley. With this in mind, the designers reconfigured the kitchen and pantry, as well as the main closet and bathroom, to better suit today’s lifestyles. Sponsors including Dunn Edwards Paintings, Monogram, Ferguson, Cosentino, Kohler, West Mission Tileand others have helped to do so.
The Pasadena Showcase House of Design also includes an on-site restaurant and the Shops at Showcase, both of which contribute to the fundraising effort for the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, which has raised more than $24 million over decades to fund music education. programs, among other arts-based ventures. Check out this year’s Designer Showcase below, then stop by for a visit in person until May 22.