Pasadena Showcase House of Design opens at Eliot House, a 1910 Tudor

Pasadena Showcase House of Design
Nancy Del Santo and Don Boline designed this boy’s suite featuring a suspended bed with a 15-year-old in mind. Adaptable bed cushions, right, can be used as a headboard against the wall or as floor cushions to create a makeshift bed for sleepovers.
(Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times)

The first thing visitors will notice upon entering the latest Pasadena Showcase House of Design is a historic fireplace framed by emerald green tile. The brilliant wall brightens the dark entryway in a distinctly modern way, yet the Grueby tile is original to the house.

This union of old and new resonates throughout the rooms of the 1910 Tudor estate, where 26 designers have transformed the interiors and landscape, touching on everything from industrial inspired décor to rustic Midcentury Modern designs.

The Eliot House, which opens Sunday, was designed by architect Fernand Parmentier. The 9,400-square-foot English Tudor home features many Arts and Crafts touches, including Honduras mahogany beams and moldings and elegant cast plaster ceilings. The home’s Craftsman influences are reflected in contemporary ways, such as the subway tile designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern for Walker Zanger in the bright new kitchen and classic mosaic floor tile in the master bathroom in a turn-of-the-century pattern.

As always, there are lighthearted and unexpected touches. In the boy’s suite, Nancy Del Santo and Don Boline designed an engaging suspended bed with a 15-year-old in mind. The designers said the room is inspired by the recent book “Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page” and includes an industrial paper-cutter table (which has wisely been welded shut) and large adaptable bed cushions that can be used as a headboard against the wall or as floor cushions to create an improvised mattress.


Show houses are a venue for designers to show off and have fun, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t takeaways for homeowners. In the family room, Stephanie Laney installed 3-D composite panels on the ceiling to give the room a feeling of “constant movement.” In the 2,600-square-foot carriage house, originally home to the estate’s coachman and chauffeur, L2 Interiors placed high-end-looking industrial lighting in the guest bedroom and bath — sourced from Lamps Plus. Also in the carriage house, organic wood designs from G.H. Wood Design — including a walnut vanity, a palette dining room table built from an existing hutch, reclaimed wood shelves in the kitchen and a pingpong table composed of exotic woods — are something of a surprise.

Even when the designs are over the top, they’re fun. What 5-year-old girl wouldn’t want to inhabit Gail Sedigh’s young girl’s suite? The room is a girlish fantasy with a lilac silk velvet upholstered Josephine Empire bed, linen-lined walls, a Murano glass bathroom mirror and a pair of chandeliers in the closet.


Eliot House


When: The Pasadena Showcase House of Design will be open Sunday through May 17. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays.

How much: Tickets are $35 to $45.

Where to park: Participants park at the Rose Bowl, Lot I, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., and ride a shuttle to the house. On May 10 and 17, visitors must park at Parsons Corp., 100 West Walnut Street, Pasadena.

Info: To order tickets:; (714) 442-3872.

(If you have children and are planning a visit to the Pasadena Showcase House of Design, keep in mind that you can’t bring kids younger than 12.)

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