flower arrangement by Laura Thomson Design for one of my rooms
at the Glen Magna Farms Designers’ Holiday Show House
For the past month, I have truly enjoyed traveling down the long unpaved drive that leads to the grand Endicott Mansion located at Glen Magna Farms in Danvers. I have spent the last four weekends working on my suite of rooms there (with lots of help during the week from a list of others), transforming these spaces and furnishings from worn and weary to show house ready. And with each visit, every time I took the first turn off of Centre Street to follow the signs to Glen Magna Farms, I felt a little bit like I was heading home.
I am not exactly sure why the property has this strong affect on me. Perhaps the emotional imprint is simply because I worked there for a number of summers in my twenties, enjoying the view of the landscaped grounds and the fleeting luxury of being a part of the mansion lifestyle. Even still, there is something about passing the open fields, stone walls, and tall mature trees leading up to Glen Magna that just feels right to me. Most likely this strong association is a result of being New England born and raised, but there is also a part of me that tends to imagine that perhaps I lived there hundreds of years ago during a time when every day was unplugged and people dressed for dinner and danced in the evenings to live music in the ballroom.
This past Saturday night was the preview gala at Glen Magna, and it truly felt like a step back in time. There were elegant gowns and well-tailored tuxedos, sparkling champagne being served on silver platters, a harp playing classical music mixed with traditional holiday favorites in the foyer. A large tent (heated) was set up just off the back porch where designers and guests could mingle before heading in for the guided tour.
with my honey, John, who I met while working
summers at Glen Magna over 20 years ago
my dear friend and designer of the Bride’s Room
Linda Hentschel with her husband Kurt
with new friends, fellow Glen Magna Farms Show House designers
Candy Weston and Jennifer Dunn Coen in the dining room
Matthew Martin, Buildings and Grounds Restoration Manager
with Heather King, Glen Magna Farms Special Events Manager
A press day photo in the two story foyer at Glen Magna Farms. From left to right ...
Front row: Caitlin Flynn, Diana Kennedy, Linda Hentschel, Jennifer Dunn Coen, Donna Terry. Back row: Elyse Parkhurst, William Ralph, myself, and Michael Carter. Missing from photo: Candy Weston
Designer Candy Weston and decorative artist Karen Ward received the “traveled the farthest” prize for making many trips back and forth to Glen Magna from their homes in Vermont and Nantucket. While my ties to Glen Magna began a couple decades ago, Candy’s history to the estate goes back much further (and was somewhat of a surprise to her). You will have to come see the estate for yourself to hear and see the details!
I will post room photos after the show closes on December 15th. Please consider visiting the show and taking in the holiday and design inspiration while helping to raise funds to continue the renovation and preservation of this lovely historic property that all are able to enjoy today and for years to come.