[LENOX, Mass] Sumptuous fabrics, antique furniture, glittering chandeliers, and elegant wallpapers can all be seen in the fourteen second-floor spaces and rooms at Ventfort Hall that have been imaginatively transformed by local interior designers, artists, and artisans for the Berkshire Designer Showcase, which opened last week and will be on view through next winter. For details, visit www.gildedage.org.
Each of the specially decorated rooms is different, from whimsical to elegant, so visitors will see a variety of styles and eras represented; many of the spaces boast custom murals or paint techniques on the walls and a wide assortment of window treatments have been incorporated as well.
The designers were able to use their imaginations without limitations. To mention just a few examples, Kate Morris created a delicate debutante’s dressing room with lovely murals by Joel Haines; Carl Sprague included an unusual marquetry dresser in his replica of Mrs. Morgan’s bedroom; and Karen Beckwith draped her meditation room in floor-to-ceiling linen fabric custom-printed with willow branches. Karen Cedar filled a large bedroom with paintings by Berkshire-based artists and Eric Hilton’s pink-and-lime sitting room includes luxurious pillows, stunning crystal sconces, and a magnificent lamp crafted from glass grapes, leaves, and vines.
The fifteen area designers who created room are Valerie J. Winig of Wingate Ltd.; Vivian Kimmelman of Berkshire Home & Antiques; Allison B. Crane, of Places + Spaces and Carol Newton Rumph of The Comfortable Home Interior; Barry Webber of Marlborough Cottage Arts and Interiors and The Source Collection, Inc.; Kate Morris of Morris House Antiques & Interiors; set designer Carl Sprague; Evan Hughes of Evan Hughes Design; Cecil Pollen of Designers Furniture Showcase; Karen Beckwith of Karen Beckwith Art & Interiors; Thomas and Kathleen Tetro of Corner House Antiques; Karen Cedar of Interior Design, Decoration & Display; and Eric Hilton of Eric Hilton Ltd. The Lenox Garden Club contributed the 100th anniversary display exhibit, “Then and Now.”
Ventfort Hall is one of Lenox’s largest Gilded Age mansions, a 28,000-square-foot summer cottage built in 1893 for George and Sarah Morgan, the sister of legendary financier J. Pierpont Morgan. Nearly demolished in the mid 1990s, Ventfort Hall has undergone massive restoration and is now the only historic house museum in the Berkshires open year round. Ventfort Hall is open daily, Monday through Thursday from 10 to 5, Fridays 10 to 7, and weekends from 10 to 3.
The Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum is at 104 Walker St. in Lenox. For more information, call 413.637.3206 or visit www.gildedage.org.