Has it really been four years since the last Portland Symphony Orchestra Designers’ Show House? “Let’s put together another” was the directive last November, so here we are again! The thirteenth Designers’ Show House is the expression of more than twenty of the region’s top designers, five hundred-plus volunteers, several Portland Symphony Orchestra musicians, two brave homeowners, and a healthy measure of tenacity.
The PSO Designers’ Show House has grown into the must-see event for over 6,500 design enthusiasts from the greater Portland area and beyond. There is a lot of enthusiasm coming from our pool of amazing talent this year. Some of the area’s best-known names in interior design and decoration are returning for this project, and several fresh faces have joined us to produce the best Designers’ Show House yet. You’ll be enchanted as you immerse yourself in the colors, designs, and exquisite details of the sixteen designed spaces. Each of our imaginative designers brings a creative viewpoint to this special project — there is something to captivate and inspire every visitor.
Some ninety years ago, James C. Hamlen, a member of the illustrious Hannibal Hamlin family (the families spelled their surnames differently), decided to build a five thousand-square-foot stone-and-slate Tudor-style estate in the heart of Portland’s West End. Situated on approximately one-third of an acre, the house overlooks the Fore River estuary. No expense was spared in creating this magnificent home as a tribute to its master. The impressive entry hints at the splendor within, allowing you to peek into several rooms and admire the striking winding staircase with beautifully forged iron railings that leads to the luxurious sleeping quarters above. Explore the drawing room with its impressive stone fireplace and be charmed by the adjoining conservatory that frames the lushly landscaped grounds. Move on to the stunning dining room, a most welcoming place for elegant dinner guests to mix, mingle, and make merry. The heart of any home, the kitchen, has been updated with modern amenities for today’s lifestyle while paying homage to yesterday’s opulence and housekeeping practices.
In addition to touring the house, visitors to the PSO Designers’ Show House may attend special events, such as book signings, an afternoon of listening to PORTopera singers, or perhaps having one’s own antiques and collectibles appraised. Our famous boutique offers the best in gorgeous home furnishings, creative accessories, and delightful gifts.
We especially thank the homeowners of the Hamlen Estate, Ed Gardner and Steve DiMuccio. They gave graciously of their time and made the ultimate contribution — they moved out so the designers could create this project. Our community and the Show House participants appreciate their contribution to the project and the sustainability of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
—Harper Lee Collins and Susan Dench,
Co-Chairs, Designers’ Show House 2011