Sneak Peek: Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts - 2018


by Kelsey Betancourt


On April 10th, Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) opened their 2018 Design Showcase House and Garden for an exclusive press-only preview. Sarah Barnard, an interior designer and social media influencer, attended the press viewing and captured a sneak peak of the house which opens later this month. While the select group of visitors were allowed to take photos, no guests will be allowed to take pictures or use cell phones once the event officially opens.

This year’s house is entitled “The Overlook”, and is a Mediterranean-style property that includes a main residence, a guest house, and grounds. Notable architect Reginald Davis Johnson designed the home for two sisters in 1915. Design showcase houses are a home or property where different interior designers are responsible for the design of one room each, and in this case, landscape designers are also given a garden space to transform. The owners of the home generously allow designers to make-over a room, the organization to raise money, and the general public to tour their home for a short time.


Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, runs this showcase house as a fundraiser for their charity work and welcomes around 25,000 visitors each year. The proceeds PSHA makes off “The Overlook” will go to benefit children’s art programs in Pasadena. They do this in four ways:

Gifts & Grants: Cumulative donations of more than $23 million have been made in support of outstanding music and arts programs throughout the community. Gifts & Grants are awarded to non-profit organizations for music education, music therapy, underwriting of concerts, etc., as well as continuance of our longstanding support of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

Pasadena Showcase House Youth Concert: Begun in 1953, more than 250,000 fourth grade students have attended this annual free concert designed to weave musical concepts into an appealing program that is presented at the Walt Disney Concert Hall by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Pasadena Showcase House Music Mobile™: Created by PSHA in 1971 and now produced in partnership with the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, the Music Mobile™ is a hands-on, award-winning program that is presented to third grade students. It provides an introduction to classical music and the opportunity to play a selection of instruments and be part of a simulated orchestra. More than 103,500 students have participated since its inception.

Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition: Since 1984, promising young musicians between the ages of 16-24 have been competing annually for monetary awards in the categories of woodwinds, brass and strings. Nearly $600,000 in prize money has been awarded to assist them in furthering their musical education.

While it still maintains the original Mediterranean atmosphere, the house has contemporary updates made by the homeowners and additions by the showcase designers, culminating in a wonderfully eclectic and surprising home.

Complimentary parking & shuttle services are provided, as the house is in a residential area. The house is open from April 22nd to May 20th, 2018, and tickets range from $35 - $60, depending on times. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at

Designers from all over California come to take part in the making of this project to benefit the community. This year’s crop of designers who generously donated their time and expertise can be found here.


Undertaking a broad range of projects, all of which are grounded in smart design and mindful of healthy living, Sarah Barnard’s diverse body of work includes upscale private residences, chic restaurants, luxurious spas and impressive corporate headquarters. Her projects have been featured in local and national publications, and have placed prominently in several noted design competitions. Sarah holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University as well as undergraduate degrees in Art and Interior Architectural Design. Her interior design practice is the culmination of education and interests in art, architecture, textiles and the environment and she has written several articles for important publications including the USGBC, United States Green Building Council.

Sarah is intrigued by clients who have unusual requests and lives for a challenge. She hasn’t met one yet that she didn’t like. Sarah loves designing for anyone with pets! She adores people who are avid collectors of anything they love. Sarah is often retained by clients who have never worked with an interior designer because they thought designers weren’t for them (until now). She is known for delivering, on time, all the time. Sarah is incredibly down to earth and people love her for her frankness. Sarah and her staff will do just about anything for a client, build a custom sunroom for the kitties, organize and alphabetize boxes in the garage, take the kids out shopping for their own bathroom tiles…

Barnard is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International WELL Building Institute as a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP), the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the United States Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). She has served on the Santa Monica Conservancy's board of directors and specializes in sustainable interior design, health and wellness and historic preservation. 


Photos by Sarah Barnard