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Junior League to Host Designer Show House in West Hartford

51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy of Junior League of Hartford

A West Hartford home will be the Junior League of Hartford’s 2022 Designer Show House, and will be open for tours from June 3-26, 2022.

Ornamental leaded glass windows are are one of the unique historical elements found at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

The Junior League of Hartford’s signature fundraiser will return for 2022, and the tableau for the 15th Designer Show House will be a 4,000 square foot Tudor located on a more than a half-acre of wooded land backing up to a brook on a peaceful tree-lined street in West Hartford.

The five-bedroom home, at 51 Brookside Boulevard, was built in 1938 for Frederick Sidney Holt, an Executive at Aetna, and his wife, Sarah-Louise Holt, and is currently occupied by Marsha and Jared Jacobskind and their two children, ages 1 and 3.

Unlike most Show Houses, the residence is neither vacant nor for sale. When the first house the Junior League of Hartford identified fell through, the Jacobskinds generously donated their house to the Junior League for use as the 2022 Show House, event co-chair Molly Towne said.

“We very strongly love this home and this history of our home,” Marsha Jacobskind told We-Ha.com, and their convictions that they are “stewards of the home’s history” is one of many reasons they decided to upend and uproot their family for a few months.

“We love the idea of using something of ours to give back to the community,” she said.

“We’re a scrappy, young family,” Jacobskind said. They bought the home in October 2019 after deciding within a matter of weeks that it was a good time to leave their town in Long Island to raise their family in West Hartford.

When COVID-19 hit they were in the midst of a kitchen renovation. At a time when everyone was sheltering in place, their kitchen was gutted to the studs, and she said they are good at figuring things out on the fly.

They’re not “done” adding their own touches to a home they want to live in for the foreseeable future, Jacobskind said, and are excited to see the designers’ visions for each space.

“I’m hoping that some of the things they do we will love,” she said. And if not, the spaces will be repainted in neutral colors.

In addition, Jacobskind said, after meeting with Junior League Show House organizers, “they were all so lovely, and easy to work with.”

Main staircase with decorative finials at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

There will be 23 separate and distinct spaces available for designers to showcase their creativity, including the five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, and a “grand entry” featuring an open stairway. The home has a back stairway, as well as a partially-finished basement with a wet bar, and a screened porch.

The home features unique and high-end historical touches with notable details including leaded glass windows, ornamental woodwork, stairway finials, and built-in shelving, as well as a large central fireplace in the living room.

Ornamental door handles are one of the unique historical elements found at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

A large central fireplace is are one of the unique historical elements found at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

Ornamental finials on the main staircase are one of the unique historical elements found at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

Technological advancements original to the 1930s, which still remain in the home, include a dumbwaiter and call system.

A dumbwaiter is one of the unique historical elements found at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

The Junior League of Hartford has hosted a Designer Show House as the organization’s signature fundraiser since 1979, and typically holds the event every three years. Due to COVID-19, the 15th Show House was postponed for a year. Many recent Show Houses – including a home on Waterside Lane in 2018 and a home on Orchard Road in 2015 – have been located in West Hartford.

The 2022 Designer Show House is being presented by exclusive media sponsor, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, and legendary interior designer Anthony Baratta will serve as honorary design chair.

“Anthony Baratta, the ‘King of East-Coast chic,’  is one of America’s most celebrated and respected interior designers with a global following of loyal fans,” a news release from the Junior League of Hartford states. “He is known for his bold use of color and scale that honors tradition while defying predictability. Mr. Baratta’s design work has graced over 70 magazine covers worldwide, and has been celebrated in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s National Design Triennial: Inside Design Now. He was named one of the Traditional Homes ’20 Design Icons’ and awarded Benjamin Moore’s coveted ‘Hue Award’ for lifetime achievement in design.”

“We are beyond excited to welcome Mr. Baratta as honorary design chair of our 15th Designer Show House, and we can’t wait to see what brilliant design he will bring to this year’s house,” Whitney Sweeney, Show House co-chair, said. “Mr. Baratta brings an international presence to our fundraiser, and a level of design that is so exquisite, so unparalleled in the design world.”

The 2022 Show House will be open from Friday, June 3 until Sunday, June 26, 2022.

To date, the Junior League of Hartford has raised more than $1.6 million for its charitable projects and programs. Their current initiative is Empowering Women and Girls to Overcome Obstacles and the proceeds from the 2022 Designer Show House will support a multitude of Connecticut nonprofits. Funds will come from ticket sales to tour the homes as well as special events and sponsorships.

Each Show House highlights a notable home or estate in the Greater Hartford area, and involves countless volunteer hours on the part of Junior League members. An executive committee selects the interior designers, artists, and landscape architects for a makeover of the interior spaces and a transformation of the grounds.

Tickets for house tours and special events are available online through Eventbrite and on the Junior League of Hartford’s website. Online presale tickets are $25 until June 2, 2022 and $40 at the door as of June 3, 2022.

Show House 2022 will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Show House is closed Monday and Tuesdays.

Guests are encouraged to hold onto their ticket for re-entry to the house at any time during normal house tour hours.  Special ticket packages are also available for private group tours and special events.

For questions and more information about The 2022 Show House email [email protected] or follow along on Facebook (@JuniorLeagueofHartfordInc) and Instagram (@jlhartfordinc).

Previous Show Houses may be seen here.

Jacobskind said she and her children will be staying with family in New Jersey during the months their home is being transformed and available for tours. Her husband, who works locally, will be able to stay in a room in the house that is not part of the tour and the family will get together at her in-law’s home on weekends.

A silver lining, Jacobskind said, is that packing up “has been wonderful for purging.” And the toys and other children’s items she is getting rid of are not just being discarded but rather are being brought to the Ukraine/Poland border by a friend, and will be given to refugees. “That’s just an added bonus,” she said.

A nook with built-in shelving is one of the unique historical elements found at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

Built in shelving is one of the unique historical elements found at the Junior League of Hartford 2022 Designer Show House at 51 Brookside Boulevard, West Hartford. Courtesy photo

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