After a digital-only iteration in 2020 followed by a garden party fundraiser held in lieu of a showhouse last year, the Pasadena Showcase House of Design is once again welcoming in-person visitors this season. “We’re so excited to be open again, and the public is ready to get back,” says Marti Farley, president of the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, the sponsoring and volunteer-run organization.
The 57th Pasadena Showcase House of Design has transformed Oaklawn Manor, a stately home built in 1905 within Oaklawn subdivision, the historically significant district designed by Arts and Crafts movement architects Henry and Charles Greene. More than 20 interior designers have reinterpreted spaces within the English Tudor–style, 10,000-square-foot manse, which was originally built for British civil engineer Harry Hawgood. (Many believe the home was designed by Hawgood himself—the structure boasts an unusual concrete frame that was plausibly a product of Hawgood’s engineering expertise, and records do not identify another architect.) Despite a kitchen remodel and the addition of a pool house in the 1950s, the original structure has remained intact over the decades.
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Featuring multiple travertine-clad fireplaces, original millwork, stained glass fixtures, and four “baronial-sized” bedrooms, the house is “really spectacular,” Farley says. Though, as the designers of the showcase would likely attest, putting a fresh spin on historical architecture is all about striking the right balance. Starting with the entrance from the front lawn’s welcome garden (by Graciela Gonzalez of G&A Artistic Landscaping), “we wanted to respect the neighborhood and the historical character while making sure the house meets our needs,” Farley says. With that in mind, designers reconfigured the kitchen and pantry, as well as the primary closet and bathroom, to better support today’s lifestyles. Sponsors including Dunn-Edwards Paints, Monogram, Ferguson, Cosentino, Kohler, Mission Tile West, and others helped in doing so.
The Pasadena Showcase House of Design also features 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 throughout the decades to fund music education programs, among other arts-based enterprises. Preview this year’s designer showcase below, then stop by for an in-person tour through May 22.