(Editorâ€™s note: This is a continuing series of profiles of the designers involved in the 2014 Pasadena Showcase House of Design, one of the most successful Showcase Houses in the country. Each year a magnificent estate in the Pasadena area is selected. The property is then completely renovated by leading interior and exterior designers. The Showcase is open to the public for four weeks during April and May.)
As a young girl, Samantha Williams always wanted to work with the Pasadena Showcase House. Now, Ederra Designâ€”which she owns with partner Cynthia Lambakisâ€”is one of those select designers she used to see when she and her mother walked through the house years ago every spring.
â€˜We thought this was something that we would do much further down the road,â€ she told Pasadena Now. â€˜Weâ€™re only two years old, but we had just done a big showcase for Dwell magazine over the summer, and we felt like we had some momentum, and we thought, â€˜Why not keep it going?â€™
The designer walk-through in November, however, required them to be focused, and deliver quickly, she said.
â€œItâ€™s an amazingly quick process,â€ Williams explained. â€œYou donâ€™t have a lot of time, and you really have to think on your feet. (We saw) the house in the morning, and then we went back to our offices, and using the pictures we took on our iPhones, by 5 oâ€™clock, we submitted the proposed design for three different rooms, and a synopsis of our design direction. We found out about our selection two days later.â€
All of the designers approach the project completely blind, not knowing the architecture or style of the house, before seeing it for the first time at the walk-through.
Ederra will be doing the Nannyâ€™s Room, and as Williams explained, are trying to keep true to the Craftsman homeâ€™s original architecture.
â€œWe want the room to feel very soft, feminine and English,â€ said Williams. â€œWeâ€™re also trying to give it a fresh and youthful feel, because it will be, in theory, for a young woman in her 20s.â€
The wall covering is an original design that Williams calls a â€œblend of English meets vintage California. It has a vintage feel, yet feels current at the same time.â€ The wallpaper is custom designed by the companyâ€™s design firm in collaboration with Astek Wallcovering, and is printed on linen. The wall design, used in conjunction with the roomâ€™s wainscoting, will be making its debut at the 2014 Showcase House.
The two designers met while both were pursuing masterâ€™s degrees in Interior Architecture at UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona.
The companyâ€™s focus over the past year has been full-scale residential renovations. As Williams told us, â€œOne of our favorite aspects of being based in Pasadena is the remarkable historic architecture found in the San Gabriel Valley. Giving new life to an 1890 Spanish in La Canada or a 1920s Colonial in South Pasadena, for example, while respecting the home’s architectural character is a passion for us.”
Said Williams, â€œOpening a design studio and practicing residential interior design has been more rewarding than either of us could have imagined, and participating in the Pasadena Showcase House is a part of a dream that is being realized for us both.â€
The 2014 Pasadena Showcase House of Design will beÂ held AprilÂ 13â€“ May 11, 2014. Tuesday,Â Saturday and Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm, and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
9:00 am – 9:00 pm. Showcase is closed on Mondays. www.pasadenashowcase.org/