Kitchen and Bath Showrooms Los Angeles County

On With the Show

By Renée Soucy

The Original Pasadena Showcase House Returns

When you’re passionate about something, you want to share it. This is the simple philosophy behind the Pasadena Showcase House, a volunteer-driven, philanthropic initiative that for 64 years has celebrated the best of Southern Californian design while funding countless initiatives that spread the joys of music and musical literacy across our region. 

Portrait Sketch of the 2022 Pasadena Showcase House

2020 Pasadena Showcase House Portrait by Lynn Van Dam Cooper

What began as a small group of friends, the Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee, chatting over tea in 1948 has grown into an unmissable fundraising event fueled by the combined talents of a not-so-small army of design and music lovers who, together with leading designers, contractors, and the participation of high-end suppliers like Snyder Diamond transform a grand Pasadena residence into a bustling destination welcoming thousands of visitors to dine, shop, and gather ideas and inspiration to take home with them.

Southern Charm

After an unprecedented hiatus in 2021, 2022 not only marks its return to the design calendar but also to South Pasadena for the first time in 40+ years. This year’s Showhouse, Oaklawn Manor, is nestled in the heart of a historic Greene & Greene planned neighborhood and is a 1905 English Tudor mansion rich in original details like stained glass windows, ornate beamed ceilings, and travertine fireplaces. Winding paths meander through the lush landscaped garden 1.3 acres, leading to the pool, pool house and guest quarters.

Planning a Pasadena Designer Showcase House 2022

2020 Pasadena Showcase House stunning backyard with pool

Design enthusiasts will recognize two very familiar and overarching criteria which help to guide the selection process for the Pasadena Showcase House, a location (location, location!) and a property with good bones. Eligible properties must be on a relatively wide road in Pasadena or South Pasadena, have two staircases, and exist on a generous enough sized lot to accommodate the café, marketplace, and other show amenities. 

A kitchen with wood and muted color palette with an islandBreakfast room with colorful stained glass windows
2020 Kitchen and Butler's Pantry
2020 Breakfast Room
2020 Kitchen and Butler's Pantry
2020 Breakfast Room

In past years the property has been a grand mansion, in others, the property is big in personality but more restrained in scale. Given the relatively small inventory of properties (there are 300 which meet the criteria but only about 100 which are best suited), combined with the unavoidable upheaval for the property owners (most move out for at least six months), the selection of the Showcase House requires the perfect combination of luck, persuasion, and philanthropic vision. Some lucky houses have been selected more than once, most recently in 2019 (which had also been the 2005 property). 

Determining Designers

By the fall, the next year’s property has been determined and the design community is invited to do a quick site visit and then, within 24 hours, bid on the room they want (another brilliant charitable income stream) along with a preliminary concept for the room.

White bathroom with textures and checkered bathroom floorThe entry foyer and main staircase with an arch and gold statement tableReading room with colorful ornate lighting and patterned rug
2020 Jack & Jill bathroom2020 Entry foyer & main staircase
2020 Reading room  
2020 Jack & Jill bathroom
2020 Entry foyer & main staircase
2020 Reading room  

As anyone who has renovated a vintage property will attest, there are all kinds of unknowns (good and bad) waiting to be discovered under the wallpaper or behind the tiles. No matter the year, every Showhouse property is completely renovated from top-to-bottom using the finest (donated) materials and labor with each room reimagined by established as well as up-and-coming SoCal designers. With sensitivity to the owner's desires, this transformation happens over just a few months.

Snyder Diamond Van Nuys showroom location

Snyder Diamond's brand new Van Nuys showroom

As our very own Russ Diamond shares, “We’ve supported designers over the years with products from top-notch brands like DornbrachtNewport BrassAmerichSub-Zero WolfJennairViking, and many others. As longtime Pasadena proprietors, we here at Snyder Diamond are tightly aligned with the design community and strong supporters of the cause behind the project—it’s truly a great vehicle that really does bring the community together.  We can’t wait to  experience the 2022 Showcase House for ourselves.”


Ticket sales to the 2022 Designer Showcase have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, so don't hesitate in reserving your visit. In addition to the gala parties and special events, the Pasadena Showcase house is open for tours mid-April to mid-May.

Get Your Tickets >  

 PART 2: 

Read about Christine Jahan Designs, Denise Bosley Interiors and Stephanie Hatten of SH Interiors, and their joys and challenges of reimagining the 2022 Pasadena Showcase House here.

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