Tour a Stunning Showhouse in New Vernon’s Tyvan Hill Estate

The 19th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens has this year evolved into Splendor in September, open for ticketed entry Sept. 8—Oct. 4.

splendor in september
The Tyvan Hill estate in New Vernon, shown here in “before” photos, opens its doors to design enthusiasts Sept. 8–Oct. 4. Courtesy of Dannette Merchant

For those who enjoy comparing “before” and “after” home-interior spaces, this year’s 19th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens is the ultimate fixer-upper. One of the country’s preeminent home-design experiences, the showhouse event, originally scheduled for May, has been moved to autumn and renamed Splendor in September. The Tyvan Hill estate, located in bucolic New Vernon, will open its doors to the public daily from September 8–October 4.

splendor in septemberWith the help of leading interior and landscape designers, Tyvan Hill has been transformed into one of the metropolitan area’s largest and most noteworthy showhouses, with 40 custom-decorated spaces, as well as 13 landscape areas, including a garden based on the property’s original plans.

“Mansion in May always attracts prestigious designers, and 2020 is no exception,” says Louetta Shioleno, design cochair. “This year’s professionalism, creativity and vision is outstanding.”

The 10,000-square-foot, U-shaped, brick-and-stone house was designed between 1928 and 1929 by the prominent New York architectural firm of Peabody, Wilson & Brown for local philanthropists John Wesley Castles Jr. and his wife, Dorothea Bradford Smith. In 1931, the Architectural League of New York awarded its silver medal to the Peabody firm for its designs of exemplary country residences, including the 115-acre Tyvan Hill.  

Through October 4, visitors may purchase a limited number of timed-entry tickets for a specific day and arrival hour for $40 at Time slots run from 10 am–3 pm. To comply with social distancing protocols, tickets will not be available at the door. 

Visitors and staff will be required to wear face masks during the 90-minute interior tour. Children under 12 will not be permitted, and the mansion is not handicapped accessible. A free shuttle bus will be provided from a nearby location, to be announced to ticketholders. 

Unique boutiques will offer home decor and fashion accessories and, although a full-service café will not be available, snacks and cold beverages may be purchased.

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