When top interior designers come together to decorate a single house over a short time period, the resulting abode is extraordinary. Often outfitted with fine furnishings, alluring art, and innovative technology, a showhouse can offer you a burst of inspiration—whether you work in the design industry or consider yourself a design obsessive. While browsing photos of the homes can sufficiently offer thrilling takeaways, touring a showhouse is a whole other experience. Plus, proceeds from the event often go to a good cause. To help you figure out which design showhouses to add to your bucket list, we asked industry experts for their favorite ones to hit up (and participate in!) across the country. Visit just one, and you’ll be hooked!
Kips Bay Decorator Show House
Perhaps the most prestigious designer showcase in the country is the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. For 47 years, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club has celebrated interior design by transforming a Manhattan home into a brilliant display. While the New York showhouse is the “crème de la crème,” as designer Sheldon Harte puts it, the brand expanded to create extravagant annual showhouses in Palm Beach and, more recently, Dallas. All proceeds from the projects benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.
San Francisco Decorator Showcase
Since 1977, the San Francisco Decorator Showcase has transformed homes to raise money for San Francisco University High School’s financial aid program. The 2023 showhouse features an exciting designer lineup and will take place from the end of April through May. You can buy tickets here.
Pasadena Showcase House
California’s Pasadena Showcase House is one of the longest-running showhouses in the country. The nonprofit was founded in 1948 and began putting on a showhouse as an annual benefit in 1965. Proceeds from the house and garden tour fund three annual music programs along with other gifts and grants within the art and music industry. “It supports an amazing cause and the local community is very passionate about it,” says designer Rydhima Brar, who is dreaming up the sunroom and patio for this year’s showhouse. “This year’s house was actually part of the Pasadena Showcase 40 years ago and is being revisited this year.”
Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles‘ Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens is a must-visit for a masterclass in design from the top talent in the region. The annual spring event benefits Camp Twin Lakes, a nonprofit that provides year-round camp experiences for nearly 10,000 of Georgia’s children and young adults. This year, the showhouse is located in Atlanta‘s Buckhead neighborhood. Built from the ground up, the five-bedroom home features “Streamline Moderne with Art Deco and Art Nouveau influences” and “wabi-sabi design characteristics,” according to the event’s website. It will be open from May 11 through June 4.
Kingston Design Connection Showhouse
Interior designer Maryline Damour founded the Kingston Design Connection Showhouse, which takes place in the town of Kingston, New York. The goal? To connect makers, vendors, and contractors in the region to each other and potential clients—as well as grow the design scene in the area. See inside of the fifth annual showhouse revealed in 2022 here.
The Kaleidoscope Project
The Kaleidoscope Project designer showhouse partners with educational programs and organizations to provide scholarships for those in the Black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) community who are interested in a career in the arts and design industry. Last year, the project involved turning an old firehouse into multiple apartments in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This year, the designers are tasked with making over the Aiden Hotel in High Point, North Carolina.
Mansion in May
Taking place every May, this New Jersey-based showhouse is held by the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center. Proceeds from the showhouse aid in advancing the quality of healthcare in the community. Apart from gathering major inspiration while touring the house and garden, most of the items at this year’s showhouse will be able for visitors to purchase.
Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse
The Brooklyn Heights Design Showhouse in New York City is a biennial event that offers a rare opportunity to visit a historic home in the neighborhood. It benefits the Brooklyn Heights Association, which works to preserve the neighborhood’s history by advocating for things like more public spaces, schools, and libraries. Next Wave designer Mikel Welch is one of the many brilliant past participants of the showhouse, and the next one will take place in 2024.
Hampton Designer Showhouse
Out on New York’s Long Island, the Hampton Designer Showhouse is one of the top showhouses on the East Coast. Presented by Hamptons Cottages & Gardens and run by a foundation with advisory board members including designers Jamie Drake and Alexa Hampton, the showhouse raises funds for the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.
Flower Magazine Showhouse
“One of my favorite showhouses is the Flower Magazine showhouse in Atlanta,” says designer Michelle Nussbaumer. “I did the first inaugural showhouse, and it was incredibly beautiful and extremely diverse.”
In 2022, the outlet tapped 21 interior designers to outfit a classic, Regency-style home built by architecture firm Peter Block & Associates in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. Learn more about the first showhouse here, and fingers crossed another is in the works!
In 2008, designer and breast cancer survivor Iris Danker founded Holiday House in New York City as an event to raise funds for the prevention and cure of breast cancer. Since its inception, the showhouse has expanded to the Hamptons and London. Holiday House has also hosted other events, including a designer tabletop event in Palm Beach, Florida.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include House Beautiful’s annual Whole Home. With the help of countless designers, architects, and industry experts, we’ve dreamt up homes in states including Colorado, Texas, and Georgia. The showhouse is always packed with inspiring design and technology for better living.
You love beautiful homes. So do we. Let’s obsess over them together.
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