The Junior League of Boston’s 2016 Show House

Emily O'Brian Photography - The Morning Room
The Morning Room


When friend, photographer and fellow blogger, Emily O’Brien, suggested we head down to West Newton to co-blog about the 2016 Junior League of Boston Show House, I jumped at the chance. Whether I’m looking for inspiration for Merrimack Valley Home or catching up on the latest design trends, I love exploring a beautiful home.

The Nathanial Allen House took this year’s honor as the 45th Anniversary Show House. Three months prior, it was in disarray, but thanks to organizers, 30 plus interior designers and landscape artists, the space was transformed into a wonderland of design, décor and elegant artistry.

Once a stop on the Underground Railroad; this mid-1800 Greek revival house was later converted to the country’s first co-educational school. It was intriguing the moment I set eyes on it. Four exterior columns add grandeur to the yellow building accented with green shutters and floor to ceiling windows immediately caught my eye.


The Junior League of Boston Decorator's 45th Anniversary Show House - The Nathaniel Allen House
The Nathaniel Allen House – 45th Anniversary Show House


This event is going on through June 5th. Tickets are $35 at or $40 at the door. Proceeds go to The Junior League of Boston.  You do not have to be a design guru to appreciate the glory of this experience. If you like design inspiration, a stroll through this house will give you a look at a wide variety of styles, colors, textures and unexpected approaches to room design.

I’ll share my favorite spaces within the 7,000 square foot property, but if you’d like to see more head over to Emily O’Brien’s blog for her photography spin, and visit the blog of interior designer Kim Macumber for her expert take.

And by all means, go check out this display of talent yourself – it’s a design adventure worth taking!

I could’ve spent the entire day admiring the style that each designer brought to the 24 rooms. It was remarkable that the rooms flowed so nicely together considering the designers worked independently. I did pick up on several trends throughout, including the use of natural wood elements, gold tones and a recurrent Greek key accent. But most surprising was the frequent presence of the color purple. One of my favorite rooms demonstrates this perfect pop of purple – notice the glossy purple woodwork around windows and doors.


The Art Salon designed by Steven Favreauat the Nathaniel Allen House
The Art Salon


The Art Salon, designed by Steven Favreau, was an elegant space featuring over 20 pieces of art and sculpture. The art hung upon a fabric backdrop with purple base trim which tied the room together with the purple woodworking.

Nearby the Art Salon was The Morning Room designed by Kate McCusker Rosenberger. This room was cheery and fun – I could easily see myself sitting in it all morning, afternoon and night. Yellow happens to be my favorite color, so I was naturally drawn to this space and the funky chairs and accents gave me an inviting throwback feeling.


The Morning Room designed by Kate McCusker Rosenberger at the Nathaniel Allen House
The Morning Room


The Morning Room designed by Kate McCusker Rosenberger at the Nathaniel Allen House
The Morning Room – So bright and cheery. Love those hooks!


I could honestly go on and on about this Decorators’ Show House. The Junior League of Boston certainly outdid themselves. If you have the chance to visit, don’t forget to look up!  Some of the most interesting displays of design happened on the ceilings.

Bonus pic – I loved this small space. Shouldn’t every house have a bar like this?


The Bar designed by Cecilia Walker at the Nathaniel Allen House
The Bar -Blues, brass and perfectly placed barware felt like Hollywood Glam. Designed by Cecilia Walker


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I know! I know! It's one of them funny looking spy-plane things with the oversized nacelles and smooth invisible sides! Right? Am I right? Did I win a free trip to the Skunk Works?

7 years ago

Der Automat könnte so einen Gutschein tailh¤cÃstch schlucken. Nur sitzt in dem Raum hinter dem Automaten meist irgendein Typ der einem dann schnell Ärger machen könnte

7 years ago

My favorite is the morning room – so bright and cheery.

7 years ago

Yay, beautifully written Beth! I love the way you speak about the home and the history… makes me want to go back!

Jen K
7 years ago

I love the idea of visiting this home! Thanks for sharing, what a fun day!

7 years ago

I love how bright and welcoming this home is. I’ll consider taking a trip down to see it.

7 years ago

My favorite was the blue bar!

7 years ago
Reply to  Carolyn

Carolyn, So happy to hear that you loved the bar! It was a fun room to do with my friend, Tracy Foley (Water & Main) who furnished the space with her vintage and antique finds. We had a general idea of what color we wanted to do in high gloss, but when we decided on the Kelly Wearstler backsplash, it set the tone for the rest of the design! Each piece was curated, and the details were so fun to do in gold & brass mid-century accents. I agree with Beth, that purple was a standout color in the show… Read more »

7 years ago

Wow, stunning home !! Thanks for sharing! Evelyn