Sixty years ago, in 1962, beginning with an idea from a new Guild member, Dessie Partenheimer, the very first Decorator’s Show House and Gardens began. The doors opened at 5110 North Meridian Street to the excitement of the public and is still going strong six decades later. Today, we have the reputation of being the longest running show house in the country.
The process of selecting a home to be transformed into the Decorators’ Show House and Gardens begins almost two years prior to the opening of the house for public tours. Ideas for potential Show Houses come from interested homeowners, real estate agents, surveys of desired neighborhoods and other contacts in the community. To be selected, a home must be spacious enough to accommodate multiple design areas, have front and back staircases, a central entrance hall, a substantial garage or carriage house area, a sizeable lawn, outdoor area to accommodate landscapers’ designs and be of sufficient interest and character to attract the public.
Decorators’ Show House and Gardens is most successful when it can exhibit examples of many designers’ creativity, both interior and exterior, while keeping the overall impression of the house that of a coordinated and integrated design scheme. The event is not a custom decorating service for homeowners. Designers are given freedom of expression in their areas, although there are guidelines for reasonable adaptations to color schemes and themes that flow from room to room. The Guild each year creates a Design Board made up of selected designers and Guild chair persons. This Board oversees area selection and design proposals from designers on the design of their areas.
Being a Decorators’ Show House and Gardens homeowner is an exciting and rewarding experience. It is most gratifying to be part of the longest, continuously running Show House in the country and raise funds for an excellent cause —Eskenazi Health. If you are open to new design ideas and current design trends, if you are comfortable making decisions and if you are flexible and can adapt to change, then please give consideration to becoming a future Decorators’ Show House homeowner.
For more information about becoming an Indianapolis Decorators’ Show House, please contact us.