Steal These Design Ideas from the Pasadena Showcase House

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 | 8:56 pm

This year’s Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts transformed an historic house in La Cañada Flintridge into a modern paradise by drawing on talented local designers and artists. The 1918 mansion once known as “Dryborough Hall” had a cohesive laid-back feel and included many original features like chandeliers and crown molding. Many designers used cool tones and added pops of accent colors.

“[The designers] really stayed true to the traditional historic colors… I think that a lot of them really took their hues from the architecture and worked with the feel of the house well – that it really helps create a cohesive house that seems to flow together nicely,” said Samantha Williams, co-founder of Ederra Design Studio with Cynthia Lambakis.


Ederra Design Studio was responsible for the kitchen last year and created a more traditional Master Suite this year. Williams offered some insight on the design process and how you can apply these ideas to your own home.

“We intend to not really follow trends that closely because we’re more concerned with creating looks that feel really timeless and classic,” said Williams. This contributed to a calming color palette and simple layout.

As with most older homes, space and layout were challenges when designing the Master Suite. Ederra design Studio worked hard to preserve the architectural integrity of the house while still adding space and creating a his-and-hers bathroom.


“For us the biggest challenge was combining two master suites into one master suite and figuring out how to do that in a way that preserved some of the really beautiful details such as, the crown moldings and the fireplaces. We did not want to take any of those things out but we wanted to reconfigure the space,” said Williams.

In addition to redefining the layout of the Master Suite, Ederra updated all the fixtures including high-tech showerheads, efficient toilets and state-of-the-art sinks.

“We’re always interested to see what the latest innovations are especially in bathroom and kitchen design because the technology is always changing and there’s always new innovations. Even though we have a pretty traditional looking bathroom it has a really state of the art technology there,” said Williams.


The shower, called Mr. Steam, offers a spa-like experience. Guests can infuse the steam with essential oils and also experiment with chromatherapy (color therapy) and listen to music from a built-in, waterproof Bluetooth speaker. She adds that all the fixtures are water efficient and match California’s strict water conservation codes, which is one of the strictest in the country.

Even if you can’t afford to redesign your entire home, Williams feels re-decorating is always within reach. She suggests starting with the areas you use the most and making them more personalized.

“I think that you should always start with the places that you really live in the most because when you’re designing and re-decorating it’s really for your enjoyment – it makes your house more of a place you want to live in,” she said.


She cautions against following trends too closely because it may affect the marketability of your house when it’s time to sell.

“What looks good, what’s really trendy now may look a little bit dated in 5 years. Turn to things that fit with the style of the house because trends do really come and go,” she said.

Visit The Showcase House for more design inspiration. It will be open for tours from April 17 to May 15, 2016. Parking and complimentary shuttle service is at Pasadena Rose Bowl – Lot I, 360 North Arroyo Boulevard, Pasadena. Tickets cost between $35 and $45 and can be ordered by mail, online at or by calling (714) 442-3872. Tickets go on sale February 3, 2016.



blog comments powered by Disqus