One of Rumson’s oldest estates opens its doors to the public for the first time.

RUMSON, NJ - Blithewald, a historic treasure from the Gilded Age nestled in the picturesque, waterside town of Rumson, New Jersey is the setting for the fifth edition of Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House.  Among the region’s most anticipated designer show house events, Stately Homes by-the-Sea is scheduled to take place from April 28 – May 31, 2015 and will benefit Visiting Nurse Association Health Group.

     More than 40 of the tri-state area’s leading interior designers, decorators and landscape artists will transform the over 10,000 square foot nineteenth century mansion and surrounding 4 acres; melding together the creativity and design of two centuries and creating another chapter in Blithewald’s storied legacy.

     “The elegant beauty of Blithewald has withstood the test of time”, said Alice DiFiglia who joins Kathy Cashes and Kathleen Smith as co-chairs of the event.  “We are so fortunate to have access to such a remarkable venue to showcase both the latest in contemporary design and the indispensable services provided by the VNA Health Group.” 

     “As this beautiful home has stood fast for over a 150 years, so the VNA Health Group has remained a constant presence for over a century, dedicated to providing compassionate home care and hospice to all in need,” Ms. Cashes commented.

     “VNA Health Group appreciates the time, talent and generous contributions given by the Stately Homes by-the-Sea Show House committee, sponsors, designers, tour participants and volunteers,” said Steven H. Landers, MD, MPH, President and CEO of VNA Health Group. “This spectacular event is a wonderful way to bring together designers and the public in support of our mission to help individuals and families achieve their best level of health and well-being through care in their homes and communities."

     Built in 1883 by David B. Keeler, one of the first successful financiers to be drawn to the beauty of the seaside enclave, Blithewald hearkens back to the dawn of the Great Estates of Rumson. The design by noted architect Edward L. Woodruff and renowned landscape designer Nathan Barrett features the rich architectural details and splendid gardens that would become emblematic of the grand mansions of the era.  A unique leaded glass portico and luxurious foyer with oversized fireplace, herringbone patterned hardwood floors and opulent moldings conjure up visions of arriving guests in Edwardian-era formal attire. State leaders likely gathered for fireside strategy sessions in the sumptuous library with elaborately carved wood paneling and beamed ceiling.  The rose patterned stained glass skylight, breezy sleeping porch and an abundance of French doors opening out to the wide brick terraces call to mind salt water scented summer days.  Perfect for evening strolls, the extensive formal sunken gardens feature classical sculptures, reflecting pool and fountain, as well as a swimming pool and arbor.  A vintage style tennis court completes the lush grounds.

“Garden enthusiasts will discover a special gem at Blithewald ”, commented Ms. Smith.  “Nathan Barrett was one of the most innovative and esteemed landscape architects of the era and much of his original design has been preserved throughout the years.”

Along with touring Blithewald and the grounds, attendees can round out their day with lunch at the Show House Café and shopping at the show house designer boutiques.  Stately Homes by-the-Sea is open

Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. plus new evening hours Thursday until 7 p.m.  There are no refunds and no rain dates for this event.  Please note that the Show House is not handicapped accessible.  Children under the age of 12 will not be admitted.  Additional information on the Show House, events and ticket sales can be found online at

     A celebratory gala will herald the grand opening of Stately Homes by-the-Sea at Blithewald, Saturday evening April 25, 2015.

     Stately Homes by-the-Sea is proud to welcome sponsors Traditional Home, designNJ and NBC TV’s Open House.

     Stately Homes by-the-Sea debuted in 2007 at Scothigh Farms (the former Metcalf Estate).  Subsequent Show Houses followed at Sheep’s Run, designed by the famed architect Harrie T. Lindgerg in 2009, at the historic Holly Hill in Locust, NJ in 2011, and at the 30’s era Tudor style Hartshorne Mansion in Little Silver, NJ in 2013.  The Show House has gained wide acclaim attracting more than 40,000 attendees in total and has become a coveted showcase for those in the design world.

     Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House is presented by Visiting Nurse Association Health Group.  Founded in 1912, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group is the largest nonprofit home care, hospice, and community-based service organization in New Jersey.  With more than 1,400 employees, VNA Health Group serves more than 120,000 individuals each year throughout New Jersey.

     The proceeds from Stately Homes by-the-Sea Show House Events are used to benefit VNA Health Group programs and services.  For more information about VNA Health Group visit or call 800-862-3330.