Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


The Pasadena Showcase House, Part II: Interesting Interiors

Posted By: Kelsey McConnell · 4/25/2013 11:23:00 AM

The Pasadena Showcase House is an annual event that celebrates architecture and home design while raising money for Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts programs, from a music mobile that brings classical music to local elementary schools to student concerts and competitions, and grants for other arts organizations.

The 49th annual home tours have begun (and continue through May 19) and this year's house is a Spanish Colonial design by Roland E. Coate located in Arcadia. The house was built in 1941 for C. Lawrence Barker of Barker Bros., the Los Angeles furniture chain founded in 1880. Each room of the house was built to show off Barker Bros. furniture, and the participating designers used this spaciousness to their full advantage.

For a photo tour of the expansive backyard, click here.


Even though different designers worked on the 20 or so rooms on the house tour, certain themes emerged: geometric patterns, ceiling applications, textured wall coverings, and various takes on the word "vintage."

Peggy Platner and her team at Platner & Co. took their inspiration from a vintage Hermes reading chair and created an office straight out of Mad Men.


The living room is also home to many vintage pieces, most hearkening back to 1940s Hollywood. A baby grand piano (part of series designed by BMW) holds court there. The wallpaper is original to the house, although it was never actually hung. It was found in boxes in the garage and as much of it as could be salvaged was used in the living room.


Some of the furniture on the Showcase House was crafted just for this event. Like this zebra wood coffee table in the cozy, Art Deco Upstairs Family Room. This table and many other pieces in the room were designed and built by G.H. Wood Design, a family business founded 32 years ago.

The Master Bedroom Suite seems like a perfect retreat.

All of the designers clearly paid great attention to detail. The home tour feels a little like an Easter egg hunt for design fans.



The rooms above the garage were originally where the house's staff lived. For this space, designer Kari Arendsen thought about what kind of rooms another estate's staff would have dreamed about: the maids and butlers of Downton Abbey.


Throughout the house, ceilings and light fixtures look like works of art.


To learn more about the Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts home tours, visit

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