Diary of a Dream Designer Show House

Our finished Show House room.

Recently, Dream House participated in the first ever Designer Show House in Frederick, Maryland. The proceeds of the house tours went to the Weinberg Center for the Performing Arts. We were so honored to be included in this design challenge, and it was a great experience.

I’d like to say that something like this comes together easily and with little effort (like one of those HGTV reality shows) but it is the opposite. While being asked to design a room in one of these homes is a real honor and so exciting, even as designers, we still find the challenge daunting.

The first order of business was to tour the house and decide which two rooms we wanted to “bid” on. After much debate (we loved the whole house), we selected two rooms we thought would be fun to design and we had the right products to make them look amazing! To bid on the rooms, each designer (there were several chosen from the area) had to write a paragraph explaining their vision for the rooms. We worked hard to convey a beautiful and exciting design. From our elaborate description, we were chosen to design the Loft. We were so excited! The Loft has great angles, a brick wall, and the floors were unfinished. We wondered: what color will they choose to make the floors throughout the house?


Our Show House room, the Loft.

The next step was to create a floor plan, pick furniture, fabrics, rugs, and accessories for the Loft and order them! I can say with honesty that we went back and forth, took stuff out, put it back, chose something else, and contemplated many ideas before finally deciding on the final design. When we finally saw the floor color applied, we were relieved that it looked great with the fabrics we chose. Yeah!

We selected paint colors and visited the space several times to decide on just the right shade. We were responsible for painting the walls, so the painter had to be scheduled. Renovations were underway throughout the house during this time, so we had to wait until some of the work was complete before we could paint.

With the opening day quickly approaching, we scheduled our furniture delivery. This was a challenge, as we were on the third floor! There were many projects still being worked on inside and outside of the home. A sense of excitement was everywhere! Designers were putting up molding, wallpapering, painting, and bringing in furniture. Workers were landscaping, painting, and even tiling the kitchen and bathrooms! Vanities and some plumbing still needed to be installed. Would everything be done in time?

Our Show House room in progress.

We started to carry in the lamps and accessories. We brought everything we thought would look great in the space. We moved things around, contemplated, and brought more items throughout the course of several days until we felt the Loft was perfect. Going up and down those stairs was definitely a workout. Maybe the ground floor next year, ladies?

On the day of the opening, we visited our room one more time to fluff pillows, straighten rugs, and make sure everything was ready. The house was buzzing with activity from last minute repairs, paint touch ups, garden set up, and cleaning.

When we arrived at the Opening Gala, we felt relieved that the house was completed on time and proud of our work. The whole home looked amazing. Working with everyone involved in the Show House was fun, and it was nice to meet all of the designers in person.

As I reflect on the experience, I can say it was a challenge, but it was rewarding, and I am proud that we had a part in bringing the community together for a great cause. I sincerely hope this is only the beginning and that the Frederick Designer Show House happens every year!


On Our Way to the Designer Show House Opening Gala.


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