The Insider: Inside the BSO’s Decorator Show House

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It was my first time attending the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Decorator Show House.  This year, the event takes place at The Eck House, built by Baltimore businessman Franklin Eck, at Cromwell Valley Park. As I drove out to Towson, I really didn’t know what to expect. The literature said that the event, which runs until May 20, was in its 36th year and that 18 local designers had taken the “1972 farmhouse and transformed it into a welcoming home.” What I found was a makeover that was a little more HGTV than Architectural Digest, but charming nonetheless. There were a few moments of design brilliance and plenty of simple DIY ideas to keep me busy all summer long.

Here is the best of it.

For me, the highlight of the house was the eclectic living room done by Cashmere Interior.  The global textiles and accent pieces were right on trend. I loved that the designer took advantage of the ten foot ceilings using large scale furniture and light fixtures which gave it a California vibe.

In one of the bathrooms I found this nifty idea. It’s just mirror covered in radiator mesh, but it looks like a bit of mid-century glamour.

Another success was the screened in porch done by Victor Liberatore Interior Design. The gray and white chevron floor transformed the space. I am always a fan of artwork hung in unexpected placed and the botanicals that hung under the windows are a great example of how to pull this off.

There were painted ceilings throughout the house, which are a fresh way to pull an accent color into a room. The pink ones were particularly pretty as they cast a flattering rosy glow.
Another great trick I spied in the house was the addition of crown molding to rustic beams. They look so much more sophisticated and finished this way.
The serene master and the fresh guest bedrooms both acheived a cohesive look by strict adherence to a color scheme.
Never underestimate a great light fixture. The white vintage table lamp was particularly stunning.  It was huge and even better in person.
Fern Hill Design created a chic outdoor room with weather-proof outdoor furniture and a white canvas tented gazebo that made me feel like I was in South Beach.
It was a lovely visit and great way to get inspired. After the tour you can grab lunch at the onsite cafe and do a little shopping at the onsite boutique. Many of the items in the show as well as specialty goods and crafts are for sale, so don’t forget to bring your wallet!
Baltimore Symphony Associates Decorators’ Show House – Eck House at Cromwell Valley Park

1996 Cromwell Bridge Road
Towson, MD 21234

April 29-May 20, 2012

Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $25 in advance and are available through the BSO Box office at 410.783.8000, and all Graul’s Markets (Ruxton, Mays Chapel and Hereford), Budeke’s Paint Stores, Watson’s Garden Center, as well as other businesses in the area. A complete listing of ticket outlets can be found at   Tickets are $30 at the door.

Photos by Krista Smith.

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