photo by Eric Roth
I am excited to announce that Tracy Foley of Water & Main, and I have been selected to participate in the Junior League of Boston's 45th Anniversary of Show House. We will transform the Butler's Bar of the 1854 Nathaniel Allen House in Newton, Massachusetts. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the Nathaniel Allen House was the site of the earliest co-educational school in the country and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Owned by the Newton Cultural Alliance (NCA) since 2012, the property will support small and medium sized performances and cultural events.
As longtime friends who share a passion for design, Tracy and I have worked on several projects together and last year competed on a television episode of The Endless Yardsale Showdown in a race to find the highest appraised antiques in a statewide competition. Tracy’s love of antiques began as a child spending time antiquing with her mother, an avid collector. Tracy’s design philosophy evolved by taking what’s old and incorporating it into new designs. Emphasizing statement pieces such as antique farm tables, classic wing chairs, one-of-a-kind mirrors and vintage maps, Water & Main provides clients with uncommon and exclusive pieces for their homes.
My design aesthetic is grounded in classic, clean lines with natural textures and a modern edginess. My latest endeavor into textile design is an effortless transition utilizing expertise from my former career in merchandising and product development. My fabrics reflect the same style I strive for in my interiors with crisp details on natural linens, hand screened from my hand drawn designs based on the stories from my life.
Melding our styles into the design of the Butler's Bar has been an exciting project. Though the bar’s historical function was as a pass-through for the butler, in modern day it feels much more grand. This "before" photo (above) of Butler's Bar at the Nathaniel Allen House is a glimpse of the cabinetry and condition we undertook. Our design juxtaposes Tracy’s style, mixing the old with the new, with my ‘classic with a bit of edginess’ aesthetic. We are excited to slowly unveil the details of our plan in the upcoming days leading to the Show House opening, and will introduce Tracy’s new signature offering of chairs at Water and Main, along with my California-inspired, hand screened textiles and wallpaper.
All proceeds from the 2016 Show House will go exclusively to fund the Junior League of Boston’s charitable mission. The completed Show House will launch with a Preview Party on Thursday, May 5th. The Show House will open to the public on Mother’s Day Weekend, starting May 7th, and running through June 5th. The Nathaniel Allen House is located at 35 Webster Street in West Newton.
Hours are Wednesday 10:00am-4:00pm, Thursday and Friday 10:00am - 8:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 10:00am - 5:00pm. Closed Mondays. Tuesdays, the Show House may be rented for special events and groups. Every Wednesday Tracy, myself and participating designers will be on hand to answer questions and interact with visitors. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door, and are available online at www.BostonShowHouse.org.
The Junior League of Boston, Inc. 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. For more information, visit www.jlboston.org.