Kingston Design Showhouse
139 Downs Street
The Kingston Design Showhouse is a mix of both and a prime example of how to update and improve an antique home in a range of decorative styles and budgets. Showhouse designers shared tips on how to highlight or hide certain architectural features and updated spaces to suit a modern lifestyle that compliments the original charm and nature of the house.
At 36-inches wide with a large, original radiator, the entry hall is slightly narrow to pass comfortably with framed art flanking the walls. The decorative solution and historic norm for a Victorian is wall covering and in this case, a custom 1880s meets 1980s paper. Using a classic laurel motif, ‘Neo-Victorian Icons of Nu Wave Pt. 1’ by Rural Modernist features favorite music icons, Debbie Harry, Annie Lennox, Siouxsie Sioux & Morrissey. We created classic, utilitarian wainscoting by skim coating the upper portion of the floor to ceiling paneling and added a chair rail. The lower portion is painted the exterior house color to bring the outside in as this space will return to a public hall as a rental residence.
This Parlor originally had a fireplace and was connected to the front room as a larger space. The smaller adapted space also has three doorways that makes furniture arrangement challenging and a key starting point. The fireplace buildout and large radiator that replaced the hearth created a deep corner cavity in the room making it the perfect reading nook with added shelves. A deep arm chair and chaise lounge across the room balances the seating areas, and a console full of music rounds out the suite. Using a dark, saturated color lifted from the Entry Hall wall covering, we created a cozy, social, ‘reading, lounging & listening den’ that combines old vintage with new in a room layered with color and texture. Have a seat, read a book, pick up a magazine, have a conversation, listen to a song, or just and hang out.