Dipping into the designer showhouse world

Who doesn’t enjoy a designer showhouse?

That’s right folks, we designed a room for the New Hampshire Designer Showhouse benefitting New Hampshire Home, Health and Hospice.

Designer Showhouse

And it’s been quite the experience!

Even though we are still waiting for the professional shots, we definitely wanted to give y’all a peek at what we’ve been up to earlier this summer, share our process and show off our work.  Who knows?  Maybe a few of you would buy some tickets, and check in on our pink parlour.

This process began last Fall when we were invited to preview the Frank E. Anderson building in Nashua, NH.  This building went on auction a few years ago, and was purchased by the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, and more or less has not been used to its full potential.  Enter NH Home, Health and Hospice.  They asked if the building could be used as a fundraiser for their organization, which would bring about some much needed attention and love to the building with no expense to the college.  And what an opportunity for local interior designers in the New England Area.

Well, the call was heard from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts; designers came in, toured the building, and submitted their proposals.  And we were one of the 18 lucky designers chosen.

“Emma Carole Paradis and Kimberly Carole, another mother-daughter design team, do what show house designers are supposed to do: show us something new.”

-Regina Cole, Forbes.com

Let the design begin!

One of the hardest parts of this process, was our room and how to camoflauge the awkward space we had.  There were windows, and doors on all four walls, including a reveal on one wall that caused it not to be flush.  There was no architectural interest, other than crown detail, and everything was completely asymmetrical.  In fact, a nightmare for designing.  However, we are ALWAYS up for a challenge.  First things first, create something of focal interest for the space.

Enter the Dip.

Designer Showhouse

The dipped paint technique has been a hot trend.  Mostly seen on furniture like these stools, this lamp, or this, this and this.  So why not take it to the walls?  In fact, when we received this room to design, we were a little stuck on how to create something of interest in the space, and we didn’t really call out what our walls would have been exactly, until one day it hit us like a ton of bricks.  We had to do this to the walls.  AND we had to use all the old frames and artwork to create architectural or visual interest on the walls too.  Design hubby has been complaining about our hoarding tendencies, but they were totally going to pay off with this wall treatment.

We weren’t planning on going with pink on the walls, but we received this amazing pendant from our friends at Dunes & Duchess in this striking blue, which sort of dictated the color direction of the room.  At 40 inches, this stunner deserved to have a room designed around it.

“Their dipped-in-pink-paint upstairs parlor will, no doubt, be the room most discussed by show house visitors.”

-Regina Cole, Forbes.com

Bringing it all together

Needless to say, we created quite a stir with our pink walls at this beautiful, antique home.  People definitely thought we were out of our minds, however we knew that they needed to happen because the furniture we had was beautiful, historically appropriate yet modern in upholstery.  Plus, they were subdued enough to help quiet the abstract painting on the walls. we purposely did not use a straight edge to the dipped line instead going with a brush stroked line to give the room a softer less severe look, a more romantic effect. You could say, “we were tickled pink with the results!” It was all going to work and be a show stopper.

We weren’t done yet…

Nope, there was still too much blank space.  It felt too empty.  So, we gathered inspiration from Kelly Wearstler’s delicious wallpaper and painted an abstract masterpiece on the ceiling to create enough contrast with the traditional, soft lined furniture and abstract walls.  Intention.  This was all created with intention and the elements and principles of design in mindd.

Between the wall treatment , abstract artwork of the ceiling, beautifully furnishings, and and massive shock of the classic blue and white ginger jars, we were ready for opening day.  Total effect? Nothing short of beautiful.


Dipping a toe into the designer showhouse world
Photo credit: Jason Greenleaf

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