ShowHouse is sure to wow

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Picture is the view from the loggia, or porch, of Villa D'Ambra in Greystone, this year's Decorators' ShowHouse. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Picture is the view from the loggia, or porch, of Villa D’Ambra in Greystone, this year’s Decorators’ ShowHouse. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor

Shelby County Reporter photographer Jon Goering and I recently had the chance to tour a European style house in Greystone that will be the site of the 2014 Decorators’ ShowHouse April 26 through May 11, and all I could say was, “Wow!”

That’s because the house, named Villa D’Ambra, sat mostly empty, but still emanated an unforgettable aura of style and elegance. If this house can conjure gasps of wonder while empty, I thought, imagine the reaction after decorators and interior designers apply their creativity and know-how to the space.

The Alabama Symphony Volunteer Council, organizers of the ShowHouse fundraiser benefitting the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, is celebrating the ShowHouse’s 38th year as the council’s largest fundraiser.

Villa D’Ambra is named for its owner, media executive Michael D’Ambra, who lived and worked in France for four years before the revamping the house in 2003, said ShowHouse publicity chair Nan Teninbaum. The house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and two half bathrooms, and is currently on the market.

Villa D’Ambra will feature work from decorators and interior designers who are each assigned a room to remodel. Among this year’s participants are Stock and Trade Design, Jay Howton & Associates, Virginia College, Cahaba Design Group, Christine’s, Summer Classics, Castle Creations, Rosegate Design, Habitation & Bill Aroosian Designs, G&C Interior Design and Miller & Coker Interiors. Items displayed in the rooms will be available for sale.

ShowHouse advance tickets are available for $15 each at English Ivy Home Decor and Gifts, 250 Doug Baker Blvd., Suite 100, Hoover. Tickets are $20 each after April 25 and $15 for groups of 20 or more. ShowHouse hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Parking is prohibited at the ShowHouse, but free shuttle parking will be available at The Church at Brook Hills located at 3145 Brook Highland Pkwy., Birmingham. More information is available online at

Thoroughly impressed with the “before” sneak peek, I’m excited to see the “after” results.

Cassandra Mickens is associate editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 13 or by email at She is @CassMickens on Twitter.