Eccentricity, detail make house a show | Drapery Connection

Styled 19th-century summer retreat does 'Show House' turn for Ellicott City
By Sandy Alexander sun reporter

Some elements in Historic Ellicott City Inc.'s latest Decorator Show House jump out at visitors right away, like the cobalt-blue walls of the family room, the bright red embroidered curtain in the upstairs hallway and the ornate carvings on the antique dining room furniture.

Her suggestion eventually led to the arrival of 25 designers and three landscapers to transform nearly every room of the house and much of the grounds. Most items in the rooms will be sold or reclaimed by the designers at the end of the show, but the couple gets to keep the paint, wallpaper, fixtures and other items that cannot be easily carted away.

A large wooden desk (with a photograph of Dobbin), upholstered chairs, a red velvet couch and several of the original bookcases filled with books, art and other antiques complete the scene.

Luis Aquino, owner of Ultimate Upholstery in Savage, used his skill with material to design his first show house room, a lavish master bedroom filled with gold, bronze and teal fabrics.

"I love European style" said Aquino who made fabric wall coverings, draperies and bed covers, an elaborate two-layered table cover and a large, quilted headboard for the room.

The long hours will be worth it, he said, if people recognize that he can do more than upholster furniture.

Frey said the show house is a rare chance for designers who usually work on their own to interact with each other and share ideas.

"This is our opportunity to have camaraderie," Frey said. "It's just fun."

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