By Luke Netzley
For third-generation Pasadena native Matt McIntyre, service to his community has been a core part of his life since childhood. Having volunteered for institutions like Five Acres, Gamble House and the Tournament of Roses Association, he was drawn to Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) because it combined his love for design with the opportunity to benefit local communities.
McIntyre has now been selected as the benefit chair for the 58th Pasadena Showcase House of Design.
“It’s such a huge honor,” McIntyre says. “I’m excited for this year because we’ve come out of COVID. I’m excited for this year because we have a spectacular house. I’m so thankful to the owners of the 2023 Showcase House and the gift that they’ve given to our organization and to the people of Pasadena and the other patrons that come to support Showcase. It’ll really be a special year.”
McIntyre joined PSHA in 2018 as a community volunteer and has since taken on numerous leadership positions as both a board member and as part of the Benefit Leadership Team for last year’s Showcase House of Design.
While joining the organization allowed him to continue serving his beloved Pasadena, it also allowed McIntyre to volunteer alongside his husband, Garrett Collins, who sits on PSHA’s board of directors.
“Garrett and I had talked a lot about what we wanted. … We wanted something that captured both of our interests and that we would be able to enjoy side by side,” McIntyre explains. “Garrett’s undergrad was in music performance, and he was a classically trained flutist, so that had a nice connection to Showcase. He then went to graduate school focusing on nonprofit management. … It just felt like, here’s sort of the perfect marriage of our interests, which are interests that we’re not currently able to fully fulfill in our professional lives, so this feels like a great place for us. We joined and haven’t looked back.”
McIntyre’s passion for interior design was ignited during the formative year of his childhood, when his parents began a large-scale project on their home and enlisted the help of an interior designer, Tocco Finale owner Dona Dockendorf, a long-standing Showcase House designer.
McIntyre went on to study interior design and graduate from Cornell University, where he began to discover a love for real estate. He has since spent over 15 years in the real estate industry, was named Pasadena’s Realtor of the Year in 2018, and currently works as an agent for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.
McIntyre expresses hope that he can continue to utilize the skills he honed during his real estate career, particularly as “the logistics guy,” to contribute to the work that PSHA does to support the arts.
“I’m really honored with what Showcase has done in its history and what it continues to do,” he says. “Our contributions to the community through our ‘Gifts and Grants’ program has put out over 24 million in funds.
“The city of Pasadena is home to me. It’s where my maternal grandparents grew up. It’s where my parents grew up. … My parents met at Canterbury Records on Colorado Boulevard. My grandfather was a fire captain for the Pasadena Fire Department for many years. What I especially love about Pasadena is that I can go to the dry cleaners or to the grocery store, or out to eat, and I know not just the employees but I know people in that space, and I love that kind of connection to the place that I live.”
McIntyre expresses excitement at unveiling this year’s Showcase House, a 1933 grand colonial estate called Stewart House, to the Pasadena community. He explained that having a house designed by Pasadena architectural partnership Marston & Maybury gives the space a certain “pedigree” and that it’s rare for PSHA to be given a house that has two flat acres of land.
Once Stewart House is opened to the public on Sunday, April 23, the collection of over 30 designers will be able to unveil their work to visitors. This year’s design team includes both international names such as Ra Designs’ Mouna Stewart, Lôue Interiors’ Louise Johnsen Mueller and Rterior’s Rydhima Brar, and local favorites like Karen Billman, Rachel Duarte, The Art of Room Design’s Maria Videla-Juniel and Tocco Finale’s Dockendorf, the designer who inspired McIntyre’s love for interior design.
“We all come full circle,” McIntyre says. “My great hope is that Showcase continues to be an important part of the Pasadena community, and that future generations get to experience Showcase as I did growing up in this community and as a young adult in this community.
“With digital media, we have a great opportunity to see a lot of different design. Design has become very accessible for consumers to view and enjoy in a digital way. What it has done with that is that we don’t have as much interaction, physical interaction, viewing design spaces and seeing work that current interior designers are actively doing. Showcase is this great place for the public to come see what’s now, and I’m hopeful that continues for generations to come.”