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Spring home showcase teems with creative verve

Home and garden ideas flourish at Bucks County Designer House & Gardens


Look for innovative home décor and design ideas, luxurious performance fabrics and fresh takes on incorporating the old with the new at this year’s Bucks County Designer House & Gardens.

The 2024 showcase features 35 unique area designer interpretations as they outfit and dress Sycamore Lane Farm, a historic home and property in Hilltown.

The Bucks County Designer House & Gardens opens daily and runs April 28 through May 26. Check the website schedule at for dates and times and to order tickets.

Interior designers were given a specific room or area of the house to interpret and dress.

Lisa Lazarus and Robert Belchic collaborated to express their vision for the home’s original living room space.

“Our goal is to honor the home’s history (as a place where) people can truly come in and live in the living room. It’s a beautiful, elegant space,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus owns Lisa Lazarus Interiors LLC in the Rydal section of Montgomery County’s Abington Township. She and Belchic are partner owners of Design Style Studios LLC, the company collaboration used at Sycamore Lane Farm.

While Sycamore Lane Farm dates to the American Colonial era, the existing house was built in the late 1800s and replaced an earlier home on the site.

“We wanted to create an inviting space (where) living rooms historically were saved for special occasions only. Our take was to create a casually elegant room with respect to the architecture and history, using fabrics you don’t have to be afraid to sit on,” Lazarus said.

Light-colored upholstered pieces are covered in sustainable, durable and easy-to-clean fabrics.

Look for trending color choices including muted neutrals with gray tones with strategic pops of colors.

“It makes such a difference in the space using a mix of color, neutrals, textures, wall coverings — everything that will keep the room interesting and give it an inviting palette,” Lazarus explained.

Belchic called their approach “quiet luxury…with timeless pieces that tell the client’s story.”

“There are spaces for collectibles and items from the past and the present. The overall goal was to create a space that not only retains value but ages gracefully so it can be used and appreciated for many years to come,” he said.

With quality performance fabrics, a hot trend — both indoors and outside — Belchic said, is performance “velvet.”

The “easy-to-clean” fabric the designers used here takes advantage of sustainable materials. In this case, it was made from recycled plastic bottles.

Old meets new in vintage-inspired sconces with remote controlled lighting features, he added.

Ranging from traditional to impressionistic styles, Lazarus and Belchic worked with a local gallery to borrow pieces created by Bucks County artists. Textile designers, the pair created original fabrics for the room’s custom window treatments.

Elements of whimsy and surprise are part of Cindy Johnson’s signature vision. Johnson is owner of Cynthia Johnson Design LLC in Somerset County N.J.

“My theme is flora and fauna of Bucks County and showing it in traditional and whimsical ways,” she said. “I’m having fun with it.”

Johnson created original designs for her fabrics featuring animals, florals and graphic prints.

“People have pieces they love and don’t want to get rid of,” she said.

A traditional Knoll sofa is reupholstered featuring bobcat and cheetah colors in velvet with the outside of the piece covered in faux black bear fur. An ornately framed gold Labarge mirror is placed over smoked mirror pieces with gold details.

“With modern lamps sitting on those pieces they have clean contemporary curves that play nicely with the traditional pieces,” she explained.

Johnson suggests integrating differing pieces by mimicking form, color, exaggerated patterns or simplified patterns as a way to “add cohesion” and pull different pieces and styles together with one strong common feature.

“By playing with the theme in interesting ways I want to surprise people. They’ll see traditional items incorporating whimsy and delight. It’s the nod that ties everything together,” Johnson said.

Guillaume Gentet is owner of La Décoratique at Buckingham Green. He created the outdoor balcony aesthetic of the original house through his company Balcony Decor By Guillaume Gentet Inc., integrating new trends with traditional elements.

“Traditional décor is having a big comeback. (Sycamore Lane Farm) is going to have a traditional vibe mixed with modern and fresher ideas from our younger designers,” Gentet explains.

Look for murals, wallpaper faux finishes, details, trims and extras.

“I think that’s what people are going to find in the house but at the same time, it’s not your grandmother’s traditional home,” he explained.

Gentet recommends clients think about — and explore — their own tastes rather than following a rigid set of design rules.

“In general you don’t have to start from scratch. You can work with things you have and mix new (pieces) together,” Gentet said.

The minimalist can head to an auction or flea market to search for interesting pieces like large mirrors or portraits “…where you begin to add something of interest. A mirror is the easiest way to change the look of the room,” he said.

Keep an eye out for surprise in this year’s designer house. Gentet said a new Italian furniture line will premiere in the downstairs lounge — for the first time — in Bucks County.

From unique items to easy outdoor pieces that reflect and take cues from the landscape “…people will be surprised by the scale of things,” he said.

Lazarus said it’s important to honor past client experiences and incorporate pieces that reflect their interests. This mix of meaningful items along with the beautiful, practical — or a fanciful piece or two — adds depth and dimension to a home and enriches people’s experience of it.

“If you have (different pieces)…you can create a curated space,” she said.

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