Habitat's Decorator Show House & Gardens
To have seen the Captain Thomas Mellon house on Main Street in Edgartown this past winter, with its unadorned lot and worn façade, it is hard to believe that in just a few months it could have been transformed into the elegant fully realized Edgartown estate it has become. But that is what can happen when a team of expert designers, architects, builders, landscapers, and dedicated volunteers work as a cooperative team for a worthy cause.
Such was the case with Habitat for Humanity of Martha's Vineyard's fundraising event, the 2009 Decorator Show House & Gardens.
Mary Rentschler of Rentschler and Company Interiors designed the first room on the lower level of the house combining vintage with modern. "I fell in love with this room the first moment I saw it," she says. "I knew I wanted to design a cozy room that looks out on the garden. Most of the pieces in my room come from recycled materials. The end tables are refinished pieces of wood I found on a beach; the lamps are made of recycled glass. It was important to me to feature eco-friendly pieces and to have as much for sale as I could to up the ante for Habitat for Humanity and raise more money for the cause."
Nancy Kelly, chairman of Show House & Gardens and a member of Habitat for Humanity's board, has lived behind the Mellon house for seven years. "This house has undergone a complete transformation," she says. "There is nothing that has happened by chance, every surface has been touched and every detail planned. As with any project, we have needed a lot of help, and the response from the community has been: 'What do you need? I will do it.'"
At first Ms. Kelly thought they would only be able to redesign the first floor, but the entire 2,700 square feet of the house has been remodeled and decorated, leaving the original details preserved and enhanced. Although each room was decorated by a different designer, all artistic decisions were subject to approval, so that all the rooms flowed together. The Show House has a contemporary feel, while maintaining its historical attributes.
"This is a win-win situation for everyone involved," Ms. Kelly says. "It is a great promotional opportunity for artists and a chance to help Habitat for Humanity raise money."