Designers transform historic seaside home in Bar Harbor

Published: Jul. 12, 2019 at 5:26 PM EDT
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An iconic brick mansion on West Street in Bar Harbor has undergone some major changes.

The building, recently bought by the Bar Harbor Historical Society, is now a Designer Showhouse for the summer.

"This is really going to benefit everyone who comes to Bar Harbor,” explained designer, Candace Karu.

It's not every day that a mansion in Bar Harbor gets a makeover.

"There are six of the formal rooms that have been redone plus the formal garden,” explained Creative Director, Kimberly Swan.

Sixteen designers have been hard at work transforming this seaside home built in 1902.

"The early 1900s were a little late because a lot of the houses on the street were built in the 1880s so this one was really the iconic one” Swan explained.

Each room is decorated for the third Designer Showhouse in town.

From now until October, the public is invited to appreciate the view and Bar Harbor's history.

"It's a very rare opportunity when you can actually go into one of these iconic summer colleges, and everybody is curious about it but, this is one of the first times you can actually walk in and walk through the first floor and walk the grounds, and we're right on the ocean so who doesn't want to do that?"

Candace Karu is one of the designers, along with her daughter.

They've been transforming this room into a cozy retreat.

"This is the one room that doesn't have any beautiful embellishments, the deep moldings” said Karu. “This is a very plain room. It was the butler's pantry. I thought it was perfect for this application. The other thing that I really liked about it was that it was intimate unlike the other rooms which are grand and beautiful."

"The dog room probably has a really special place in my heart because there are some very special photos in there but, every single one is jaw-dropping,” said Swan.

The Bar Harbor Historical Society is expected to move into the mansion this winter.

They plan to open in May.

Until then, it's open to everyone with an appreciation of spectacular structure and a love of history.

"I think people are going to be amazed,” Swan said.

If you’d like to tour the home, it’s $20 per ticket.

The Showhouse will be open daily from 10AM-4PM from July 13-October 20.

You can view the Showhouse Guide at

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Posted by Bar Harbor Designer Showhouse - 2019 on Friday, July 12, 2019