This New Designer Showhouse Is Transforming the Legacy of an 18th-Century Inn in the Berkshires

·3 min read
Photo credit: The Shade Store
Photo credit: The Shade Store


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The year's first in-person designer showhouse has just opened to the public in Massachusetts' dreamiest region, The Berkshires, and promises to offer a tour experience like no other. The Kaleidoscope Project is a brand-new designer showcase that celebrates the industry's diverse talent and commitment to inclusion while empowering the future of diversity in the design world, all the while transforming an 18th-century inn in Lenox.

Twenty-three leading designers of color have reimagined the historic Cornell Inn for this show house, and their work will be a permanent feature of the property, leaving a legacy that goes beyond powerful design. Tours are open to the public now through June 6, 2021, with all proceeds going towards up-and-coming designers seeking a career in the arts and design industry as part of a partnership with Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG), Parsons School of Design and the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) to propel the next generation of diverse designers.

"I think the Berkshires is a perfect spot for this showhouse because it's a small town with a global perspective and spiced up with cultural activities from music to performing arts to walking the trails of New England—it just doesn't get any better," says participating designer Everick Brown who was tasked with redesigning the inn's reception and lobby area. "I signed on early because I was excited about the premise of The Kaleidoscope Project and what it stands for. It empowers designers of color to shine and providing equitable opportunity for designers to show their creativity. It’s also building a legacy. The premise of The Kaleidoscope Project is to reach young designers and inspire young people to go into interior design."

Brown says it was incredible to work with the contractors and 22 other designers tapped for the show house to transform this historic property together in such a short amount of time. He notes he has never been part of a show house with such camaraderie and that lends itself to the feel of the inn, where every space of the 18-room property is different yet somehow feels cohesive.

"Having spent a great deal of time in New England, we were inspired by the natural environment and the history of the town of Lenox, as well as the beautiful 'bones' of the Cornell Inn," Brown says of the inspiration behind "Katana," the name for the new reception and lobby area. "Our goal was to bring an updated-modern, Asian inspired look incorporating wallpaper, window treatments, unique tile and a warm grey color palette. I selected window treatments from The Shade Store to highlight and enhance the aesthetic of the room entirely–allowing in natural light while adding sophistication, elegance and drama to the space." Brown says his furniture selection was motivated by comfort, functionality, and intimate, small group seating, while incorporating the Kaleidoscope theme by having a Center Lobby seating area "in the round."

Photo credit: Frank Tribble
Photo credit: Frank Tribble
Photo credit: The Shade Store
Photo credit: The Shade Store

Other participating designers featured in The Kaleidoscope Project include: Johanna Howard, Christy Davis, Rydhima Brar, and Patti Carpenter. The show house's largest sponsors include The Shade Store, Kravet, and Caesarstone, while 27 other brands in the design and luxury spheres have joined the efforts to support the future generations of designers.

Photo credit: Frank Tribble
Photo credit: Frank Tribble
Photo credit: The Shade Store
Photo credit: The Shade Store

Tickets for both virtual and in-person tours of The Kaleidoscope Project are available for purchase online, with virtual tours priced at $30 per person, and in-person tours at $35. And those who can't make a tour before June 6 are able to book a stay at The Cornell Inn to experience the incredible designs of the 22 creatives who reimagined this storied bed and breakfast in the heart of the Berkshires for years to come.

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