Brooklyn Is Getting Its First Decorator Showcase in Years, in a Spectacular Heights Home

Design aficionados, take note. Brooklyn is getting its own decorator showcase, its first in more than a decade, in a spectacular townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. The charity event will spotlight Brooklyn design and bring more visibility to Brooklyn interior designers, who tend to work in the shadow of their Manhattan counterparts, despite the borough’s creative rep.

The Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse will debut in spring 2017, in place of the annual Brooklyn Heights house tour, which ended in 2016 after 31 years. Proceeds will benefit the venerable Brooklyn Heights Association, which helped landmark the Heights, the city’s first historic district.

“The show house is a perfect successor to the house tour because it only involves one home, but takes advantage of the neighborhood’s rich architecture and builds upon the energy and creativity of the design community that exists in Brooklyn,” BHA Executive Director Peter Bray told Brownstoner.

“The combination of a great architectural setting, that evokes that best of the past, with the best of design today will be something that we believe Brooklyn and the larger metropolitan community will embrace,” he said.

Initially a recruitment tool to convince home hunters of the appeal of brownstone living, Brooklyn house tours remain extremely popular since their debut some 50 years ago. The Brooklyn Heights tour ended because homeowners were reluctant to participate, BHA officials said earlier this year.

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Decorator showcases are popular ways for charities to raise money and for designers to advertise their skills by decorating a room in a house for free. Typically the house selected is empty and its owners plan to put it on the market after the event.

In Manhattan, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House has been going for more than four decades and benefits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. In the early 2000s, the Bridge Street Development Corp. held at least four yearly decorator show houses in Bed Stuy, including one where each room was dedicated to a famous person who lived in the neighborhood, including Lena Horne, Shirley Chisholm and Lawrence Fishburne.

The Heights event will be “unpredictable, eclectic, and fun,” promises the BHA website. “There is no single look to Brooklyn, but the BHA’s Showhouse will capture that special Brooklyn spirit: a sense of adventure which also honors the past.”

The showcase will debut with a preview party and run for six weeks. The location has been selected but is under wraps.

“We will be revealing the style of the house down the road,” said Bray. “But keep in mind that from the outside, it is a house that is an integral part of the history of the neighborhood” — and a testament to BHA’s working to landmark “such an extensive historic district.”

There could be some 20 or so rooms, including hallways and foyers. A garden will definitely be included. “In effect, it is another room to show off what can be done with outdoor space,” he said.

The final selection of participating designers has not yet been made. Details about dates and tickets will also come later.

This year’s theme will be to “show the creative talent that exists within the extensive design community that exists in Brooklyn,” said Bray.

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