For those of you feeling showhouse-deprived since the DC Design House ended its run in 2017 and before the new ASPIRE HOUSE opens in McLean next spring, check out Ellicott City’s 33rd Annual Decorator Showhouse, starting this Saturday and open through Oct. 20.
Yes, for DC residents, the drive will take about an hour, but if you’re looking for a fun day trip as the leaves are changing, this would be it! The best reason to go, aside from checking out the work of some great designers who might otherwise fly under the radar in DC, is to support Historic Ellicott City. Ticket proceeds will go to the downtown nonprofit, which is still struggling to help its businesses recover in the wake of two monumental floods in 2016 and 2018. In fact, the work of several Historic EC businesses and artists are on display here.
Another fun fact: As opposed to a typical showhouse, where the home is on the market to be sold, in this case, the family who purchased it and has been renovating the 1991 home has agreed to give it over to showhouse organizers before they move in. Designers got to interview Jason and Monica Fiegel and their four children to get a sense of their tastes, which became a factor in the decision making that went into each design.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll see:
Stephanie Strott, Jaclyn Miller and Sylvie Crabbe of Arhaus Columbia decorated the foyer, which includes a giant panel of floral wallcovering. Who knew Arhaus sold wallpaper?
Ashleigh Haker of A.S.H. Designs turned to local Ellicott City talent in the kitchen, where she incorporated a live-edge bench by Shoemaker Country; Artwork and faux finishing on the walls by Lisa Brown Malveaux, and seating from Su Casa.
Paula Henry of Simply Put Interiors used pastels in the family room after learning that the homeowners favor those shades. I love how she contrasted the pale hues with deep walnut finishes. She also finished existing white-washed ceiling beams so they would return to their natural state.
Quintece Hill-Mattauszek of Studio Q Designs created her space along the lines of a “modern day Rat Pack.” Mission accomplished! I most love the wall panels she built herself, which incorporate strip lighting within the design.
Just outside this room is a vestibule leading to a bathroom, where Laura Farrell of LMI Studios was met with an ugly Jacuzzi she could’t get rid of. No problem, she thought. Now it’s a 70s-chic reading pit. “I’d like to think Mrs. Roper would spend time in here,” she told me.
Rhonald Angelo was sensitive to the French showhouse theme — Belle Vue — and also to the family members who will be using this library. He stocked it with both kid- and adult-friendly bars, French storybooks for the young girls, Le Monde and Le Petit Journal for the gentleman of the house, 50s-era fashion catalogues for the lady, and a set of Harry Potter volumes and “Boys Life” magazine for the boy.
Tracey Davidson of Woodside Home LLC ensured that the living room would be fully livable for the whole family. “You could sit in here and have pizza and watch TV,” she said. This little vignette includes a richly embroidered pillow that speaks to a daughter’s love of bunnies.
Upstairs, Wendy Appleby created a gorgeous, serene sitting area within the master bedroom. The shelving area on the left is a wine and coffee bar, and the “drawers” underneath is are really a door front that opens out to reveal a niche for the mini fridge.
The youngest daughter is in for a delightful surprise with this bedroom by Lauren Fowler of Echelon Interior Design, which also has its own seating area!
Down the hall, Sheryl McLean of McLean & Tircuit worked with artist Ronald Jackson for the upstairs lounge. Jackson created a custom piece just for this space. The lady is absolutely stunning against panels of Cranes wallpaper by Milton & King (and note the feathers in the ceiling fixture?).
The upstairs hall is lined with works represented through The Artist Gallery of Ellicott City, one of the Main Street businesses that came through the floods:
I was especially enchanted with this artist’s and musician’s studio by Chris Bradford of KHM Antiques and Design, which perches under the eaves.
And finally, outside is a sophisticated slate terrace that overlooks the pool, a wide lawn, and a tennis court beyond. I could lounge all day in this comfy seating area arranged by Kim Asner of Country Casual Teak.
There are many more rooms and spaces in this beautiful home, but I don’t want to give them all away!
Here’s all the information you need to know:
Dates: Saturday, Sep. 21 – Sunday, Oct. 20
Location: 11645 Vixens Path, Ellicott City (Parking is via shuttle from a different location; see web link below)
Tickets: $35 online or at the door
Wednesday through Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm (last entrance @ 3 pm)
Sundays 12 – 5 pm (last entrance @ 4 pm)