From a shimmering chandelier overhead, to the decorative designs on the walls, the grand foyer of the Nathaniel Allen House, in West Newton, Massachusetts, lives up to its name.
“This was going to be the 'wow' factor, and set the tone for the entire house,” says Kerri Anastas, of Babel’s Paint and Decorating Stores, as she shows off the foyer. “It really speaks to the personality and time period of the home.”
The 19th-century home served as a school, a stop on the underground railroad and, recently, apartments.
“Over the years, it had fallen into disrepair,” notes Junior League of Boston President Valerie Pontiff.
That’s where the Junior League of Boston sweeps in -- transforming the house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, into a “show house” until June 5.
“It’s very exciting for people to come in and actually touch and see, as opposed to watching on television,” says Gerald Pomeroy of Gerald Pomeroy Interiors while detailing his designs.
Each room in the house was renovated and fashioned by a different designer.
“The curtains are something I’m very excited about because these were all hand embroidered in India,” Pomeroy mentions as he walks around the receiving room.
“Another element that I couldn’t be more delighted about is the wall coverings. This is all hand painted by de Gournay,” he adds.
Admission fees to the Show House start at $35 and support the Junior League of Boston, a nonprofit educational and charitable organization, and its community service projects around the city.
And for the Newton Cultural Alliance, which will use the house as offices and event space after the show, it gets a free facelift.
“Finishes, you know, the walls, the floors, they’re all left here so this home inherits all of these extraordinary finishes throughout,” notes Pomeroy.
No corner of the house was neglected in the rehab. Bedrooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen all received tender love and care.
“You come in here, and it’s like home -- you get a big hug,” says Vani Sayeed of Vani Sayeed Studios while walking into the kitchen she designed.
High ceilings, top-of-the-line appliances, and subtle touches like hidden USB ports are just a few of the features included.
“They donated all their time in installing the cabinets, bringing the sub-contractors to lay the floors down, to do the electrical work, to do the plumbing,” she adds while describing the partners who helped create her kitchen vision. “For them, it’s a great community project. Not only does it make them look good, but it gives back to the community they do business in.”
For more information on tickets and when to visit, click here.