by Carolyn Batt

Showhouse2009Last night my sister and I went to the 15th Decorators’ Show House. Every two years, the Junior League of Buffalo reaches out to the community and finds a historical home to be redecorated in a modern way but keeping with the home’s tradition. They then find local businesses and decorators to come into the house and transform each of the rooms. The Show House is one of the most anticipated Spring biennial events.

This year, the house is located on LeBrun Road, a street in the suburbs of Buffalo that has around a hundred jaw-dropping mansions. The Wallace Estate is composed of a 9,000 square foot country mansion, carriage house, built-in swimming pool and tennis courts. Built in 1929 by the famed architect, E.B. Green, the mansion is one of 160 remaining E.B. Green-commissioned structures in Buffalo.

Arriving at 8pm on a Tuesday night, we expected to beat the crowds. However, I’m not sure that’s possible this year. At times, the line has wrapped around the perimeter of the grounds—this is a “must-see” Buffalo tradition.

The house has three floors, and more than 40 rooms, each room thematically different and decorated by a different designer. From the deep violet walls of the Living Room and zebra print furniture, designed by the Kittinger Gallery to the cork wallpaper of the Master Bedroom and South African granite countertops of the Screening Room, every room sparks ideas and wish-lists for your own home.

The Show House takes a little over an hour to tour, and is self-guided, with docents available in every room for questions. It runs through Sunday, May 17th and tickets are $15 at the door. Proceeds are used to fund community projects.

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