By Robin Hodes
Miami’s Deering Estate, the former home of Charles Deering, the American philanthropist and business magnate who served as the first chairman of the board of International Harvester Company from 1902 to 1910, has attracted visitors for decades. Spanning nearly 450 acres in Palmetto Bay, the estate hosts five structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This year, the Deering Estate will enjoy newfound notoriety, as it will be the venue for the Junior League of Miami’s 2018 Designer Showhouse. An assemblage of notable designers has been enlisted to temporarily transform the interior and exterior spaces of the property, skillfully and creatively reinterpreting the landmark to reflect the aesthetic of modern day. From April 14-29, the reimagined estate will be revealed to the public.
The showhouse event is hosted biennially by the Junior League of Miami, a 91-year-old all-women nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of local at-risk women, children and families. Its last endeavor was the 2016 Miami Showhouse at The Kampong, a 9-acre National Historic Landmark in Coconut Grove. Proceeds from the 2016 showhouse totaled nearly $350,000; the shared aspiration of the remarkable 1,000 women volunteers that encompass the Junior League is to exceed that total this year. Gabrielle O’Quinn, showhouse executive co-chair (who is chairing this project with Rosemary Hartigan) promises, “Every dollar will go directly toward our mission work.”