VOL. 111 | NO. 76 | Friday, April 18, 1997
lj 10/5 cates
Brooks Decorator Show House opens today
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
A seasonal change and an extensive renovation, as well as rooms crammed with custom window treatments, fine antiques and hand-painted murals, are expected to make the Decorators Show House XIII a well-attended event.
The event, which is the Brooks Museum of Art Leagues largest fund-raising event, opens today at 77 Waring Road in East Memphis, and thousands are expected to pass through its doors during the next three weeks.
Proceeds from the bi-annual showcase, which will continue through May 11, are used to enhance the museums art collections and educational programs.
"The Brooks Museum Leagues Decorator Show House is an event of excellence in design, and makes possible their many contributions toward excellence at the museum, including exhibitions, acquisitions and educational programs," said Brooks Museum director E. A. Carmean.
Since the Leagues founding in 1934, it has presented the Brooks with 181 works of art, underwritten a number of catalogues and provided funding for special exhibitions, including the Turner Watercolors show currently on view.
Held every other year since 1972, the Decorators Show House typically has an attendance of 10,000 to 15,000, said Donna DuBowick, chairman of this years event.
"There has been a lot of interest in this house, and advance ticket sales have been brisk, so I do think that well get a good showing this year," she said.
This year marks the first time the event has been held in the spring rather than in the fall. The change is expected to avoid competition from similar events, including the Vesta Home Show and the Southern Living Show Home, which are held in the fall.
This years show home is owned by William H. and Mary G. Carrier, who began renovating it last summer prior to it being selected for this years event.
Renovations to the home, which were designed by local architect Charles Shipp, included adding a second story to increase the homes size from 4,500 square feet to 6,500 square feet, stripping the interior of everything but the interior studs, marble and stone floors and reconfiguring the space.
Construction began last June, and Grace Construction Co. was the general contractor.
DuBowick said it is often difficult to find a home owner willing to participate in the show.
"You have to have somebody who is willing to turn their house over to you for two months," she said. That means they either have to move out lock stock and barrel, or that they already have moved out.
"In most instances, the home has already been vacated and the owners were trying to sell the home."
Participating in the event does not cost owners anything other than the inconvenience, she said.
Twenty-three interior designers and local merchants are participating in this years Decorators Show House, including Serene Interiors, Studio 966, Rodger-Menzies Interiors, Gil Humphrey Designers-Interiors, Shea Moore Interiors, Southwind Interiors, Crabtree & Evelyn, Fountain Gallery, Rose Hart Gifts and The Doll Closet.
The exhibitors volunteer their time and materials.
"It is a major expense for them," DuBowick said. "I have heard of cases where a designer or exhibitor has spent as much as $40,000.
"It is a lot of work. They are hoping to get more business, but they are also doing it as a contribution to the Museum."
"The show house gives us a great opportunity to be creative without many parameters, other than cost," said Tricia Stooksbury, owner of Serene Interiors.
Stooksbury, the current president of the Memphis chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, said that in addition to attracting new business, the show also gave local designers, who primarily work alone, the chance to get together, see each others work and "talk shop."