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

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