Pasadena Showcase House

Entering its 75th year, the Pasadena Showcase House will take place from April 23 through May 21, allowing more than 30 designers to exhibit their work inside a dedicated space. Whether a powder room, primary bedroom, or expansive outdoor area, the collection of finished products is always a highlight of the season.

Entering its 75th year, the Pasadena Showcase House will take place from April 23 through May 21, allowing more than 30 designers to exhibit their work inside a dedicated space. Whether a powder room, primary bedroom, or expansive outdoor area, the collection of finished products is always a highlight of the season. To help kick off one of the city’s most beloved events, we’ve asked four of the designers participating in this year’s Showcase House to share their favorite design-related spots around town. For more information on the event and to get tickets, visit


Christopher Ward

Space: The Wunderkammer, or Artist Studio

Christopher Ward, a woodworker and restoration expert, is owner and operator of Rosemary Home Design, an interior design and woodworking studio located in Sparr Heights, Glendale. For his first time as part of the Pasadena Showcase House, Ward designed the Artist’s Wunderkammer, or artist studio dedicated to the home’s original owner, Ruth Stewart. “My goal is to honor the life and passions of Ruth Stewart by telling her story within a room where she actually lived. It’s important to me that visitors enjoy learning something about Pasadena’s history and the life of this fascinating person,” Ward says. “The Artist’s Wunderkammer room honors Ruth’s artistic and creative passions by imagining a dedicated space where she very well may have written, created, studied, and collected souvenirs from her world travels.”

The woodworker studied theatrical stagecraft in addition to business at Cal Poly SLO before earning an MA from Carnegie Mellon University and completing a postgraduate semester at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. Here, he talks about his favorite spots in Pasadena to hunt for vintage curios and places he frequents with his wife and two chihuahuas.


“Pasadena is a special place for us. I proposed to my wife on Mentor Street in Pasadena almost 15 years ago. Perhaps this will sound like a cliché, but I love just walking the streets, especially in the historical neighborhoods. / I know the Gamble House usually gets the spotlight here, but actually my favorite Pasadena home is a different house also designed by Greene & Greene: the Robert R. Blacker House—the long sweeping lines are stunning and the woodwork and craftsmanship is totally on display. / Truly, most anywhere in Pasadena has its hotspots: Colorado Blvd. has amazing facades, even city hall and the library—and the building permit office itself (which I visit quite often) is a gorgeous example of period design. / Huntington Gardens is such a lovely escape in the middle of the city. I really appreciate the serene atmosphere of the grounds and how it gives you a chance to catch your breath. / My wife and I are often over at Vroman’s shopping for gifts, reading nonfiction books and magazines from the stacks. / I like to head over to Pasadena Architectural Salvage, Retro-Cal Vintage, and Pashgian Brothers for some fantastic antiques and vintage finds. / I like to find sustainable and vintage picks whenever I can. I’ve found some of my favorite pieces at local thrift clothing stores. In Pasadena, I’ll hit up Crossroads. Admittedly, on occasion I’ll splurge to get something brand new from Scotch & Soda as well (but only if they’re having a hefty sale).


Rydhima Brar

Space: Garden Room and Terrace

Decorator Rydhima Brar of R/terior Studio lives in Valencia but spends a lot of time in Pasadena, where many of her clients reside. Drawing from her Indian heritage and her childhood in Kuwait, Brar’s work focuses on globally inspired contemporary interiors. For her first time as a participant of the Pasadena Showcase House, she was inspired by the garden room and terrace. “This indoor-outdoor space will be a creative place to host guests and will be an ideal spot to commune surrounded by nature all year round, day or night,” Brar says. “I imagine the space to be one where during the day you could read a book and bask in the warm sun then host a formal afternoon tea and then wine and lounge in your Louboutins once the sun goes down!” She says the goal is to make it feel like a modern-day lounge with multiple seating areas. “I will be experimenting with colors, patterns, uniquely new and refurbished furniture that will reflect modern sensibility without completely ignoring the formality of the home’s architecture.” Here, the designer shares her perfect Pasadena day, where to grab a vegetarian bite to eat, and her favorite ways to unwind.

Roche Bobois

Exploring the local area gives me an opportunity to discover the adjacent culture, history, materials, and artisans, which can then be brought into the designs to create a truly authentic feel—for instance, Descanso Gardens, Tournament House and Wrigley Gardens, and Huntington Library. Historic homes such as the Gamble House or the gorgeous homes in Bungalow Heaven and Lombardy Road never fail to impress. / Cozy Stylish Chic was one of the first destinations I visited when I started my design career. They carry some of the finest furniture and fabrics in the area. Molteni&C/Dada and Roche Bobois are my other spots for luxe furniture. Besides that, De-Cor, Pasadena Antique Center and Annex, and Gold Bug are places to find hidden gems. You will never leave disappointed! / After hitting up the Rose Bowl Flea Market, I like to grab a coffee at Republik Coffee Lounge and then head to Pasadena Antique and Annex, then over to the Design District. / As for an ideal Pasadena day, I like to start at Kidspace Children’s Museum with my daughters and husband then go for a fancy high tea at Huntington Gardens. / Maestro and Union are both amazing for vegetarian options. I have been there for both lunch dates with friends and dinner with family. / Depending on the day and mood, to destress I either watch a movie with a glass of wine or go for yoga and a massage (in that order, if possible)!


Gwen Sukeena

Space: Lounge/Bar Area

Sukeena Homes’ Gwen Sukeena is a sophomore participant in this year’s Pasadena Showcase House. Last year, she worked on the home’s powder room and this year she reimagines the bar/lounge area. A realtor and designer, Sukeena honors the home’s 1933 legacy—the last year of prohibition. “I immediately had the idea of a speakeasy lounge with a sultry, vintage vibe. I wanted to incorporate dark walls, with damask and vintage mirrors as accents, and I was fortunate enough that each found a perfect home to embellish the space,” she says of the refined approach. “My design aesthetic always begins with bringing some type of vintage element into a current home or space. I have a fondness for wood, a passion for history, and a desire to hunt and gather for every project.” As for what makes the perfect bar area? “For this particular lounge, I wanted to optimize the seating area with statement pieces that were comfortable yet stately,” she says. Here, the Pasadena local shares her must-visit spots around town and her favorite Rose Bowl Flea Market vendor.

Rose Bowl Flea Market

My perfect day in Pasadena would be waking up and going to Jones for a latte, then a hike up Eaton Canyon. / For lunch, a visit to Amara Kitchen for the egg burrito, and then a stroll around some antique malls or the Norton Simon. / In the evening, a glass of wine at the Raymond Bar and dinner at Union. / I find design inspiration from thrift stores, antiques malls and shops, the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and my beloved Pasadena Architectural Salvage. / I love the area around the Rose Bowl. There is always so much to do, whether it’s looking at homes for inspiration, walking around the Rose Bowl, hitting balls at the driving range, or going to a game or concert. / There is a vendor at the flea market that sells original prints dating back to the 1800s. He is a walking encyclopedia as he describes each piece in detail. My favorite thing I’ve bought is a vintage magazine cover from La Plume—or maybe the random cast iron holy cow lantern.


Louise Mueller

Space: Back Bedroom

Loue Interiors founder Louise Mueller is a first-time participant in the Pasadena Showcase House. The Swedish-born designer moved to Los Angeles in 2010 and implements a Scandinavian aesthetic throughout her work, including the PSH bedroom, which has coved windows and overlooks the back garden. For the space, her approach was “less color, more texture—it all started with the pair of vintage, carved wooden chairs and from there the design really built on layering in new and old to create a soothing design color palette that’s easy on the eye,” Mueller says. “I wanted to bring a bit of Europe to Pasadena.” Here, the North Hollywood–based Mueller dishes on her favorite Pasadena landmark home, her sources of inspiration, and why she likes to shop locally.

Millard House

I love South Pasadena, all the tree-lined streets and the architecture. It’s also where my favorite farmers market takes place. / I like to shop local and small businesses when I can. I also love to think sustainable and shop vintage/antique when possible. My goal is really to stay away from “fast fashion” in furniture in general. / Saxum Tile is a great place to get inspired for a remodel and shop for beautiful tiles. / Mission West Kitchen and Bath has a great selection for cabinet hardware on display. / Pasadena Antique Center has all the vintage and antique to get lost in for hours! / For the most beautiful handmade pottery, I go to M.H. Ceramics. / Vintage pottery is my love language. The best thing I’ve ever purchased from the Rose Bowl Flea Market is a green pottery vase. / I wouldn’t mind living in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House. / Simplistic, easy on the eye and soothing colors—that’s how I would define Scandinavian design.

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