Sunday, July 26, 2009

Greetings from York ...

The marshes along the York River and the view outside the
Museums of Old York Decorator Showhouse: McIntire Farm

How gorgeous is this for a backyard view? This year’s Decorator Show House in York, Maine is stunning, as is the setting. High on a hill, overlooking both farmland and the swaying marshes along the York River, this historical property (look out the window and you will see the oldest private residence in Maine, the McIntire Garrison) has been transformed from a life-weary farmhouse to a well-dressed and oh-so-inviting “place to be.”

McIntire Garrison, circa 1707

My mom (who has a summer cottage in York) and I spent the day, and honestly, I didn’t want to leave. With over 2o decorated spaces (including a gift shop full of hard-to-resist items, and an art gallery that showcases local talent in the attached barn) there was a LOT to see. We really took our time checking out each space ... I had seen the house in its “before” state so I can really appreciate the effort it must have taken to achieve the stellar results.

What I saw was a nice mix of vintage nostalgia, modern charm and location-inspired-reference which wasn’t overly “beachy.” The rural setting truly inspired a different palette and design aesthetic than your typical coastal show house. And some rooms were even Hollywood glamorous, while others reminded me of a chic pied-a-terre. As usual there were lots of brilliant color combinations, neat designer tricks and “I could probably do that” ideas to take home.

Since photography was not allowed (I need to get a press badge!) you will have to go see it for yourself ...
you will not be disappointed! Visiting a show house is like going to an intimate theater production where each room represents a different character and the audience gets to walk freely about the set. It can really transport you to a different place and time. Plus everyone there, from the designers to the volunteers to the visitors, are just hanging around with these huge smiles on their faces ... it is ridiculously fun to be surrounded by so many pretty things!

I will be heading back to York mid-week to take in the Designer Luncheon Series at the York Harbor Reading Room. It will feature four of the extremely talented participating designers sharing behind-the-scenes stories from this year’s show house. Call the Old York Historical Society
(207) 363-4974 for tickets and showhouse information.

For now, here are some shots from my mother’s cottage garden. I will post some inside views later ...

a Mother’s Day gift from me to my mom

gulls ’n buoy

pink roses

blue hydrangeas

cheerful daisies

and lots of day lilies ... or
“Mom’s gardening obsession

Friday, July 17, 2009

York Decorator Showhouse: Preview

A sneak peek at “Secret Hideaway
designed by Linda Hentschel

Old York’s 20th Annual
Decorator Show House:

McIntire Farm

270 Cider Hill Road, York, Maine
July 18th – August 15th

Take a ride to York, Maine and for a ticket price of just $20 you can get away to a seashore-inspired show house this summer. Tour over a dozen inspiring spaces at the 20th anniversary of the Old York Decorator Show House held this year at McIntire Farm, a 1920’s farmhouse that overlooks vintage fields along with the sun-drenched marshes of the York River.

I visited the show house in its “before” stage and can’t wait to see the designer-transformation. The property is beautiful, with a huge attached barn (my favorite), a wrap-around farmer’s porch and lots of great spaces that I am sure will offer many decorating ideas along with “oohs and ahhs!”

This year, two of my friends will be in the show ... Linda Hentschel and Patricia Finn. Be sure to stop by their rooms to see their amazing talent for yourself. Check future blog postings for more updates on their work (we have been collaborating on the re-decorating of the Stevens Estate in North Andover).

In her own words ...
Linda describes the philosophy
behind her York transformation
in her
blog entry posted
for Accent Magazine.

Show House Hours
Open Mon., Wed. – Sat.
from 10 am – 5 pm

Thurs. until 7 pm and
Sun. from 1 pm – 4 pm

Closed on Tuesdays

For tickets and more information
call (207) 363-4974
or visit the
Museums of Old York website

This lily, brought home from York, Maine
now thrives in my Lynnfield garden

And if you visit on a Sunday, you could also squeeze in a visit to one of the featured gardens presented by the Old York Garden Club “Summer Sundays in the Garden” held between noon and 4pm now through August 16th. This bi-annual fund-raising event offers a public viewing of many well-established private gardens in and around coastal York. You simply can’t beat the $3 admission fee either, so grab a friend (or two) and make the trip to York to see all things pretty!