Calling All HGTV Lovers – Boston Junior League Show House Tickets On Sale

I love design!  I love seeing how people take a room and transform it to meet their needs and show off their style.  When I receive my InStlye magazine, the celebrity home section is always what I turn to first.  My favorite flight treats is the latest copy of House Beautiful and Elle Decor and when the show Trading Spaces came out, I like many of you was an addict anticipating the end result and commenting on what I liked and disliked in the rooms.  With many, many hours of watching HGTV under my belt I know I would kick ass as a Design Star.  I am a design geek!

This being the case, I couldn’t be any more excited that the Junior League of Boston is once again hosting a Show House.  After a 6 year hiatus, the league is currently selling tickets to their 35th Show House this fall.  Visiting Show House is an opportunity to get into the mind of amazing local designers and see their work up close and personal.  I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous looks they come up with.


So what is this whole Show House all about? Located in Newton, MA – The Potter Estate has a long history.  It was originally built as private home but has since been a school and convent and is currently being lent to the league for Show House.

The estate has 36 rooms being designed with their own look and feel.  With no central theme, designers will be taking a room and transforming it to showcase their talents and imaginations.  Modern, contemporary, traditional – many design ascetics will be on display.

Here is the floor plan that will give you a better idea of the space the Potter Estate holds.  


Some of these pictures of rooms from Show House’s of the past give a great peak into what might be in-store for this year.

Check out these Kitchens.  Two very different looks.  Country Chic vs. Sleek and Modern.


How about this serene formal living room.

A cozy hallway nook with amazing hand panted murals on the wall.

And how about a little sneak peak of a room from Michael Carter from this years house.

Want to buy your ticket? Tickets are $30 when purchased on-line before October 12 or $35 at the door.  You can also purchase them from a Boston Junior League Member like myself anytime for the discounted $30.  When purchasing them on-line make sure you note my name (Danielle Bourke) or Pin It Blog when you purchase your tickets.  Then shoot me a note and I will double check to make sure your tickets are all set and ready for you at will-call.  
Didn’t get a chance to buy them on-line to save the $5.  Shoot me a note and I can arrange tickets at the $30 rate for you.

What does my ticket purchase support?  The Junior League of Boston is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.  
Tickets sales to Show House support Junior League various community based programs such as JLB Arts, Kids In the Kitchen, Digital Impact, Leader Within, Learning Circles, Germaine Lawrence Mentoring Program, Strong Women Strong Girls, Dress For Success and Healthworks Community Fitness.

Other information you might want to know –

  • Address – 71 Walnut Park, Newton, MA, 02458
  • Parking and Public Transportation – The estate has parking available on site. If is also accessible via public transportation.
  • Dates – October 16 thru November 18, 2012
  • Hours – Tuesday and Wednesday 10am – 4pm; thursday and Friday 10am – 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm; The house is closed Mondays and Halloween.
  • Children – Unfortunately, due to the nature of the tour and decor, children under the age of 12 will not be admitted.   
  • Reservations – Pre-scheduled reservations or tours are not needed.  You can come tour during any of the open hours.  Tours will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis on-site.  If a long line forms, organizers will work with you to schedule a tour time so you can go have lunch, coffee, do some local shopping and then come back for your scheduled tour.  

Designers – Show House has 35 top local interior designers involved.  A sampling of those involved are:

Elizabeth Benedict

Lisa Tweed

Mally Skok

Kristen Rivoli

Wow!!!  Some amazing talent is on hand for this project.  I hope to see you there.

The Accent Chair Trap

Design decisions can really screw with you, especially if you think you have made a bad decision in the past.  This happens more often than not accent chair – you know those upholstered chair with the fun bright pattern you see in design catalogs, showrooms and magazines.

Falling for this trap happened recently to a wonderful family I know. When Rachel and her family moved into their new home she purchased an accent chair to add a pop of color to their living-room decor.  Loving the color red, she poured over color swatches and finally decided on her choice.  Excited about the purchase, she couldn’t wait for it to be delivered.  When it finally arrived they hated it!

Now, this is not a horrible chair, it happens to be quite lovely; however, I do feel Rachel’s pain.  I have been in her shoes – standing in one of those monster furniture stores trying to pick out a swatch from thousands, all the time hoping I made the right decision.  Then you take your collection of little swatches of fabric home to make your final decision – biting the bullet, you put in your order and wait weeks for delivery.  Your chair is delivered – you realize your worst thoughts came true and it is all wrong.  That pattern you loved on that little swatch is now blown up and is plastered all over a chair sitting in your living room.  It is now a mocking chair, smirking at you daily – a constant reminder of your EXPENSIVE mistake.  This was my mistake.

I thought it was great when I was picking it out.  A chair and a half with a fun contemporary pattern that had lots of color so it could grow with me long term and my changing tastes long term.  Ha!!!  That is what I thought.  I quickly grew out of the pattern and even though I had a lot of colors to choose from it was all earth tones.  Not the look I was at all wanting in my apartment when I moved.  It was also a big piece and didn’t exactly fit well in my smaller living room.  It now sits in my parents’ living room, as it works for them.  Not a waste, no, but not exactly the long term investment I was hoping for.

This past weekend, Rachel and I poured over fabric sample books for a replacement chair.  We both had spells of design anxiety while thumbing through the books.  What if we make the wrong decision again.  What if I lead her down a path she hates.  Ah, the pressure, the pressure.  

In the end, I feel we made a great decision – we are both excited and best of all, her husband loves it as well (he really dislikes the red flower chair).  

Afraid of falling into the accent trap?  Here are some tips I have learned that might help you avoid the pitfalls Rachel and I have been through.

  • Avoid trendy colors and patterns when purchasing expensive investment pieces of furniture.  Focus on creating a neutral base with pieces that are timeless and focus on texture to add contrast and interest.
  • Purchase a yard of the fabric you are going to have a non-refundable custom piece upholstered in.  It is worth the few extra dollars to have that large piece of fabric live with you for a bit to make sure it doesn’t become your very own mocking chair.
  • Keep trendy patterns and colors to soft goods like pillows, rugs, curtains and accessories.
  • Know your budget pain point.  How much are you ok with spending and then walking away from – $100, $300, $1000? Shop for accent chairs that are below your pain point. That way if you don’t like it, you will be ok to let it go – hello Craigs’ List.  Some great resources for finding inexpensive accent pieces are HomeGoods, Target, Ikea, Pier One, World Market and


                           PIER ONE


                          WORLD MARKET

  • Slipcovers – they are a wonderful thing and cover many mistakes.

Have you ever had a decorating mistake?  What have you regretted purchasing?