Much has changed since Dr. David Fairchild, one of America’s most influential horticulturalists and plant collectors, bought a property in Coconut Grove in 1916 with his wife, Marian, and named it The Kampong—the Malay word for village. Not long after purchasing the waterfront acreage, he enlisted the architect Edward Clarence Dean to design a Mission-style house there, which was completed in 1928 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Over time, he experimented on the grounds here with an “introduction garden” of plants he collected on his expeditions around the world and he loved to share his knowledge of the plants he cultivated in the gardens with others.
This month, The Kampong serves as the setting for the Junior League of Miami’s 2016 Showhouse, which opens today and runs through April 24. And if the Fairchilds were alive to see their house today they’d no doubt take delight in the thoughtful transformation of several of its rooms by a collection of talented local designers for the fundraising showcase, which supports women and children at risk. The reimagined spaces also extend Dr. Fairchild’s important legacy to a new generation of design aficionados and plant lovers. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the interiors and gardens designed by Lois Holbrook Russo, Kim Hernandez, Taylor & Taylor, and Fernando Wong, among many others—all worth a look. For more information, visit the show house web site.