This year's 47th annual Pasadena Showcase House and Garden Tour features many great rooms, but no modern Great Room, as in a sprawling space for simultaneous TV watching, cooking and entertaining.
Instead, the designers who worked on this year's property, a 1927 Paul Williams English Revival, preserved those bygone bones of relatively small bedrooms, lots of tiny nooks and a downright minuscule kitchen compared with today's food-court-sized culinary zones.
Jan Ledgard of Yorkshire Kitchens Inc. kept the kitchen's original footprint intact, hid most of the modern-day appliances behind era-appropriate facades, and even reused the original jewel-green crystal knobs.
With a total of 7,400 square feet, the home's biggest spaces include a regally proportioned dining room (done by Amy Devault) and a truly sprawling reception hall by George Massar Design. (Don't forget to check on the telephone closet off the front door, also done by Massar, who incorporated the original wall-mounted candlestick phone into the look.).
Yes, there is a huge, high-ceilinged great room designed by David Dalton, with some of the ground floor's only bursts of vibrant color, but don't look for massive flat screens or easy kitchen access here. This is about a pre-digital, pre-Snackwells age of relaxation, in which the decor gets people into fireplace- and garden-viewing mode.
Upstairs, more big-name SoCal designers worked on various rooms, including Kristi Nelson of KMNelson Design, who did the lady-in-waiting bedroom and bathroom; Barclay Butera, who created an exotic looking bedroom/bathroom called the Regal Retreat; and Tamara Kaye-Honey, who imagined a retro chic rumpus room.
Unlike previous Pasadena tours, this one includes a renovated garage by Jaime Dietenhofer and Scott Siler of Garage Envy and a once dirt-floored horse stable that has been converted into the guest cottage by Joshua Cain and Jeff Godbold of Saxony Design Built.
Also new to the tour: a butterfly garden/habitat by David Snow, a pub area in the restaurant tent, and a before-and-after video that will be shown in the shuttle that ferries visitors from the Rose Bowl parking lot to the house (about a 12-minute ride, according to organizers).
From April 17-May 15; tickets $30-40. Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Closed Mondays.
-- Alexandria Abramian Mott
Upper photo: The Showcase House's rumpus room. Credit: Tamara Kaye-Honey
Lower photo: The house's Regal Retreat. Credit: Barclay Butera