Brooklyn’s first decorator showhouse in more than a decade kicks off this week.
Design-world star Thom Filicia is honorary design chair of the event, whose purpose is to highlight Brooklyn design and raise funds for the venerable Brooklyn Heights Association, which helped landmark Brooklyn Heights.
The Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse 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.”
Sixteen designers have been decorating the rooms and garden of an 1860s Neo-Grec/Italianate brownstone at 32 Livingston Street in Brooklyn Heights since August, working to meet their mid-September deadline. Earlier this week, greenery and white flowers were being installed in parlor-floor window boxes outside the home.
Inside, AIA chair Glenn Gissler of Glenn Gissler Design, who lives in Brooklyn Heights, has been making over the living room using furnishings and artwork from 1stdibs’ New York vendors, he told Brownstoner.
The other designers are Bella Mancini Design, Brooklyn Heights Gardens, Ciuffo Cabinetry, Deborah Berke Partners, Doreen Chambers Interiors, Fearins|Welch Interior Design, Frampton Co., Harry Heissmann Inc., Henry & Co. Design, Jennifer Eisenstadt Design, Kathleen Walsh Interiors, Kyle Roberts Interior Design, The Rinfret Group, Seaport Flowers & Home and 3walls.
Not all the design firms have offices in Brooklyn, but all have projects in the borough and some of the principals live here. Many of the new furnishings and fixtures featured were designed and made in Brooklyn, according to BHA.
Deborah Berke Design, whose namesake became the dean of the Yale School of Architecture last year, has created a “dining salon” in one of the parlors. The Rinfret Group is designing a bathroom with a blue and white theme using Tanzania wallpaper by Thibault and ikat fabric.
Florist Seaport Flowers & Home is based in Brooklyn Heights and recently expanded into home design. Manhattan-based Henry & Co.’s green-and-white dressing room features a trellis-and-leaves motif and watercolor landscape by Caitlin McGauley.
The showhouse replaced the annual Brooklyn Heights house tour, which ended in 2016 after 31 years.
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. In Manhattan, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House has been going for more than four decades and benefits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.
The showhouse is not Brooklyn’s first: In the early 2000s, the Bridge Street Development Corp. held at least four yearly decorator showhouses in Bed Stuy, including one where each room was dedicated to a famous person who lived in the neighborhood, such as Lena Horne, Shirley Chisholm and Lawrence Fishburne.
The event runs from Friday, September 29 through Sunday, November 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. General admission is $40 ($35 for BHA members).
A preview party happens Wednesday, September 27; tickets are $350. Tickets for the Design Industry and Friends Night on Thursday, September 28 are $150.
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