Despite the challenges of coordinating the overhaul of a 19th century house in the midst of a pandemic, the third annual Kingston Design Showhouse is set to open its doors this month.
The showhouse is hosted by Kingston Design Connection, a network for Hudson Valley area creatives, founded by designer Maryline Damour of Damour Drake after she moved from Brooklyn to Kingston. For the 2019 showhouse, 17 designers and more than 180 artists and tradespeople tackled the interior of a circa 1870s Italianate.
While Kingston is particularly rich in fine examples of 19th century architecture and boasts four historic districts, finding a homeowner willing to lend their home for a showhouse is difficult under the best of circumstances. Delays pushed back the timing of the annual event from October to November this year, but a house was found by the summer and a call put out to artists, designers, landscapers and makers interested in showcasing their work.
“The pandemic has not impacted our creativity,” founder Damour told Brownstoner, “In fact, I think everyone appreciates the opportunity to come together in a safe way and create something inspiring — especially in these times.” That creativity includes collaborations between designers and makers to create custom pieces for the interior.
About a dozen designers have taken over the house, which was recently purchased by former Brooklynites, with the final results set to be unveiled on November 27. The showhouse will be open via scheduled tickets on weekends through December 13. The house has multiple entrances, large rooms and a garden space that will be utilized to allow small, socially distanced groups to visit.
The house the designers have been tackling is another 19th century manse, this one perched above Rondout Creek with views of the tugboat docks below. Glimpses of the interior show some typical Greek Revival-style ear moldings and some later tin ceilings, while the exterior shows the influence of the picturesque bracketed style so popular in the Hudson Valley in the mid 19th century.
The designers tackling the interior include Ana Claudia Design, Ariana Winston, Damour Drake, Jen Dragon, Jennifer Salvemini, KD Reid, Krishna Fitzpatrick, Lava Interiors, Matthew Marchese, Jessica Lynn Williams, Patrick Ryan’s Office and Stone Ridge Landscape.
While the showhouse certainly highlights design, Damour says it is also a vehicle for encouraging collaboration and local economic development. “As more and more creatives move to the Hudson Valley, our organization and the annual showhouse are proving to be a great way for newcomers to connect and create a network of professionals,” she adds.
For more information on opening times and to purchase a ticket visit Kingston Design Connections online.
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