Calendar: May Events for the Design Minded

April 30, 2015

Junior League of Hartford

Junior League of Hartford Decorator Show House
Every three years the Junior League of Hartford works with designers to make over a local home, transforming the interiors and landscape. The 2015 house is a Tudor-style dwelling with Old World charm. In addition to viewing the grandly redecorated home, attendees can enjoy a catered lunch and a gift boutique. Now through May 17,  Wednesdays 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m. 64 Orchard Road, West Hartford, Conn., (860) 233-4300,

Shared Spaces: Maintaining History in Condo Living
Owning a condominium in a historic building can present challenges. On May 2 Project manager Elizabeth Randall and interior designer Julie Arrison will join preservation expert Sally Zimmerman to talk about preserving the history of shared spaces. The group will discuss how to prioritize improvements, home maintenance, working with condo boards, and various aspects of interior design. Advance registration is required. Phillips House, Salem, Mass.; (978) 744-0440,; 10 a.m.–noon.; $15 Young Friends and Historic Homeowner members, $20 Historic New England and Historic Salem members, $25 non-members

Near and Far Aid House Tour
This has become one of the most anticipated spring house tours in New England. See some of the most extraordinary homes in Westport, Southport, and Fairfield’s Greenfield Hill enclave. The tour will take place on May 8. Start the day with a breakfast at the Patterson Club, featuring a presentation by celebrity designer Alexa Hampton. Breakfast 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.; $65. Tour 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; tickets are $65 in advance and $75 the day of the tour. (203) 259-1710,

Hidden Kitchens of Kittery Tour
Don’t you love to see other people’s kitchens? We do! The Music Hall’s 24th annual Kitchen Tour on May 9 features coastal kitchens from cottage to contemporary. Charming trolleys take visitors from house to house. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $23 for Music Hall members, $25 for non-members, and $27 on the day of the event. Tickets available by phone, (603) 436-2400, online at, or at the Music Hall box office, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, N.H. Tickets available on the day of the event at the Music Hall box office from 9 a.m., or at the First Congregational Church of Kittery, 23 Pepperrell Rd., Kittery Point, Maine.

Trade Secrets
Trade Secrets celebrates its 15th year with a two-day event geared to gardening enthusiasts.  On May 16 there will be a rare plant and garden antiques sale at Lion Rock Farm in Sharon, Connecticut.  May 17 there is the opportunity to tour four spectacular gardens in Litchfield County, including event organizer Bunny Williams’s own expansive grounds. Proceeds will benefit Women’s Support Services of Northwest Connecticut. Admission for plant sale: early buying, 8 a.m., $125 includes breakfast; regular buying, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., $40. Garden tour 10 a.m.–4 p.m., $60 in advance and $70 on the day of the tour,

33rd Annual Newton House Tour
Come take a peek at some of the most interesting homes in Newton, Massachusetts. This year’s tour held on May 17 features seven houses ranging in style from Colonial Revival to midcentury modern. Proceeds will benefit the Newton Historical Society. Tickets can be purchased online prior to May 15 for $35 general admission and $25 for Historic Newton members. Tickets are $40 and $30, respectively, the day of the show. (617) 796-1463,

Brimfield Antique Show
Mark your calendars for the renowned Brimfield Antique Show! This year the show will take place on May 12 to 17.  Considered one of the best and biggest antique and flea markets in the country, this show features more than 6,000 dealers selling everything from vintage bric-a-brac to fine antiques. Show hours and admission vary depending on field and venue location.

86th Annual Beacon Hill Garden Tour
The Beacon Hill Garden Club’s annual tour on May 21 is the perfect chance to visit beautiful gardens while enjoying the historic neighborhood and the unique shops and restaurants on Boston’s Charles Street. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Beacon Hill Garden Club website for $35, $45 the day of the event, available at various stores on Beacon Hill or at information tables. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (617) 227-4392,

Garden Conservancy Open Days
The Garden Conservancy’s mission is to preserve exceptional gardens across the United States so the public can enjoy and learn from them. Open Days, sponsored by the conservancy, gives people a chance to support the organization and see some of the country’s most beautiful private gardens. There will be an open day on Martha’s Vineyard on May 13.

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