I am crazy about attending charity design showhouses. If I am traveling anywhere in the U.S. and find I am near one, I always try to attend. I started attending them in the mid 1970's. I remember the first one I attended in Jacksonville, Florida in the Ortega neighborhood. It had bright hot pink painted walls in the living room. It was shocking. I have never forgotten it nor the Coronado, California Ocean Boulevard 1888 mansion where the designer painted the dark woodwork purple. All the hundred since then still draw me in to see what the latest ideas are. Love the oval windows below. The double-door covered entry is great if your home faces West. It cuts that tremendous heat from the sun. I also like light color coated brick.
Sunday I went to see the American Cancer Society showhouse in Memphis, TN built by Kircher-Belz to see what Amy Howard with her assistant, Julie Nicholson, designed [all of the first floor] with her furniture line Amy Howard Collection and sponsored by F. Schumacher Fabrics. Teresa Davis, owner of Post 31 Interiors, here designed the second floor. The builder, Eddie Kircher, was there to greet everyone and show pride in his French-style beautiful home. The showhouse is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until July 31 if you are in the vacinity to attend. And, by the way, I want to mention that 100% of the $20 ticket goes to the American Cancer Society, a very rare occurrence.
It is just incredible to me that the designers donate so much time and resources doing a showhouse. I think it is extremely generous on their part. Both Amy Howard and Post 31Interiors have done showhomes in the past. I believe this is the third one that I've attended where Amy Howard contributed extensively and the second for Post 31, whose shop is on Poplar in Germantown. To see my post on a showhouse done by Amy last year, go here. To see a post I did on taking her workshops, go here.
There are certain features I look for in showhouses each time. I love to see a stunning bed in a master bedroom, a large lovely dining room, huge kitchen walk-in pantries and fabulous craftsmanship in iron staircases, lots of French doors, fireplaces and built-ins. Homes with 12 foot ceilings seem to be just right for my eye. Shorter is too short and taller is too tall. My husband requires a fabulous kitchen to wow him and his ultimate requirement -- the range must be vented to the exterior. I won't show you the entire home but let me show you some room designs that I liked. Let's look at the master bedroom first.
This is my favorite bed, the Keats, in Amy Howard's line. You know I love painted furniture and gold leaf trim and a bed done in white linens. Note the Schumacher fabric on the headboard, drapes and acrylic leg Gloria bench. I love all the neutrals -- whites, silvery grays, creams and beiges. Although framed intaglios have past their in-style heyday, I still think they are interesting and need to reframe mine. I like framed French antique documents also which I found in this home in the living room. Even though I can't read many words in French, the beautiful script, ink and seals intrigue me.
I believe all the artwork is represented by L/Ross Gallery here. I prefer white painted wood wide plank floors, but my husband likes dark wood as shown here. With any successful room design, it is all in the details.
Here you can see the chandelier and the coffered ceilings. There were a pair of Tate slipper chairs by the French doors with an Avalon cocktail table between them.
Here is a closer look at the art. Stanley mirrored nightstands are on each side of the bed. Mirrored furniture is having a long run in interior design, which does sort of surprise me. Of course, the vintage 1940's French pieces are highly sought out. The bedding and pillows are also available at Amy Howard Collection outlet on Perkins in East Memphis. Amy Howard has also opened an outlet in Nashville, TN.
The Giometti console cabinet for the television at the end of the bed. I believe the sliding doors are shagreen style leather.
In the master bath, Ravello mirrored consoles were used as sink cabinets. The sconces used throughout the house were very unusual including these in the master bath. I do not know the manufacturer.
I liked the large gray tiles and the marble around the tub.
The Amy Howard spaces are not overdecorated like you see in so many showhouses. Next, let's look at the dining room. I love a large dining room where you can actually put all the leaves in your table, have 12 chairs around it and have plenty of room for cabinets. This dining room is a wonderful size. In my ideal dream house, the dining room is a multipurpose space, however. My philosophy on dining rooms is either make them spacious and 2die4 if they are going to be constantly visible, or put the table on casters and wheel it into a closet when not needed for a dinner and use the space for another purpose. And, who doesn't love French doors. I like the kind that lead out to a private walled patio filled with flowers, fountain and potted trees.
Love the neutrals here also and the ceiling design. The Gueridon painted and mirrored cabinet for a buffet on the right and a black painted Wesley armoire on the left. The shine on the rug is where it is taped down for safety.
Here we see just a little light blue brought into the room in the carpet and a look at the Wesley china cabinet.
Here we see a dining chair with the fabulous F. Schumacher drapery fabric.
Shown below, the breakfast room was to the left of the kitchen.
And here you can see the light fixture and the beautiful drapery fabric.
The dining room, kitchen and living room were open to each other. I consider this a great room effect. This is where the family would really do their great "living".
You have balance on both sides of the fireplace with two Maya chests and sunburst mirrors.
I liked the fragment lamp and framed antique documents as accessories, partially out of view on the right.
The Bridgett coffee table holds a variety of books and is of substantial size.
The daybed is placed in front of the French doors, just as I did in my home.
The neutral upholstery and carpets give great flexibility.
Here is a closer look at the fireplace.
The front metal staircase with the architectural remnant figural table.
I love seeing these objects used as accessories and given a new life.
A Tivoli console used in a hallway.
A Madison mirrored console and St. Regis bench in the study. This study could be used as a small formal living room if desired, but I think it would be best used as an office. I would add built in storage cabinets for files along one wall.
This study was somewhat remote to the other living spaces. I would have liked to see a large table desk in here with chairs instead of the two banquette-like sofas. I am perplexed about the live chicken/rabbit transfer crate as a coffee table and assume that it was some kind of inside joke we weren't privy to. The blue dyed carnations and green Boxwood under both windows (ouch!). Love the Schumacher fabric on the throw pillows. Overscaled floor lamps.
There were many other nice features to this home, too numerous to show you all of them. Let's go upstairs now and see the spaces designed by Post 31.
Distressed chest and a lantern filled with collectibles.
Contemporary floor lamps on both sides of the tufted headboard.
Second bedroom upstairs with the gold metal bed and luxury linens.
Demilune table and mirrored door accessories.
Seating area at the foot of the bed with the metal drum tables.
I really liked this room with the dormer window which would be great for a bedroom for an older boy.
These display cabinets lined the walls between the bedrooms.
The home is for sale by River City Land Company at $889,000. It is 4869 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths with a three-car garage located at 5254 Winestone Cove, Memphis.
For sales information on the home: 901-756-0808.
For furniture sales for Post 31: 901-529-7670
For furniture sales for Amy Howard: 901-547-1448
Hope you enjoyed taking a look at this showhouse with me.