Jackie Foster Interior Design
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Democrat & Chronicle newspaper article about Jackie Foster


Pittsford, NY, May 2004. A transformation is under way at the American Association of University Women’s building at 494 East Avenue in Rochester, with help from a local interior designer. Originally built in 1906-7 as a wedding gift to Elizabeth and Erickson Perkins from Elizabeth’s parents, the house was donated to the AAUW in 1946 by the widowed Mrs. Perkins. The organization has been housed there since the following year and has lovingly maintained it over the years. The building plays an important role in the AAUW’s programs to help Rochester-area women and girls reach their full potential and goals. 

For a short time, however, the mansion will soon return to its glory days as a private home. As a fundraiser, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has asked area designers to work their magic on the interior, transforming the building into a showhouse that will be open to the public from May 29 to June 20. For a small fee benefiting the RPO, the public can tour the showhouse to gain design ideas and resources. Many items will also be for sale, both in the rooms and in a separate boutique operated by the RPO. 

Jackie Foster, owner of Jackie Foster Interior Design of Pittsford, is co-designing an “entertainment retreat” in the showhouse. “Our room is tucked under the dormers at the top of the house and offers a lot of charm,” says Foster. “ We see it as a true getaway, where the imaginary owners would go to relax and entertain themselves.” Plenty of opportunities will exist, since the room will contain a 50” plasma TV, a table for board games, a computer, and even a spot for napping. State-of-the-art wireless technology will control the TV, sound, lighting, window treatments, and more. 

After the showhouse ends, some of the transformations accomplished by the designers will remain as donations to the AAUW. Others will no doubt go home with lucky tour goers. “We're excited about the opportunity to work on such an architecturally important building, with beautiful woodwork and other details, and hope the public will enjoy seeing our vision for it,” says Foster. 

Jackie Foster Interior Design is collaborating on the project with Sonya Allen of Butterfly Designs and Susan Church-Jamesson of Acanthus Interiors.

An IDS Designer will provide a professional perspective to accentuate your taste and lifestyle. By hiring an IDS Designer, you are assured that you are working with a qualified residential Interior Designer.

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