Shown is a room in the residence of Bill Denton and Dennis Copesey at 1245 Sutherland Court. The home is one of five on the annual 44th Tour of Homes in Dunedin.
DUNEDIN – You won’t have to go over the river and through the woods to visit houses Dec. 7 on the Dunedin Youth Guild’s 44th Tour of Homes.
Unlike in previous years, all five of the homes are in Dunedin, said Nancy Guinn, publicity director for the guild.
Last year a home on the tour was “way deep in Tarpon Springs,” Guinn said.
“We have had them so scattered there’s no way that people can get to all of them,” she said. “This year will be a lot easier.”
The money raised from the tour, which helps fund programs for children, continues to increase every year, Guinn said. Last year the guild raised about $28,000.
“We always worry with the economy the way it is, we will not have the crowds we have had in the past, but so far, it’s growing every year. We feel very fortunate with that because we are very committed to the children of Dunedin. We do spend an awful lot of time working hard to earn the money to give them,” Guinn said.
People go to great lengths to garnish their homes for the tour.
“One of them is going to have it professionally decorated,” Guinn said. “Some of the homes are just absolutely unbelievable.”
The guild doesn’t give mandates to owners of homes on the tour about how their homes should be decorated.
Last year, one house had one room of trains and villages set up on the table. Every room in the house was decorated to the hilt.
“I can’t imagine how many hours it took,” Guinn said.
A lady who used to bring her mother on the tour every year wants to help out.
“She called me and asked how do I get my home on the tour,” she said. “And we were ecstatic. Because that’s probably the hardest part of this – finding five to six homeowners that will decorate early and will allow that many people to walk through it.”
Guinn said she lived in Dunedin for many years before knowing anything about the Youth Guild. One of her friends kept inviting her, and Guinn said she kept finding reasons not to go because she didn’t know what it was.
“Then they gave my daughter a scholarship for college. Then I became more familiar with the Youth Guild, and I thought ‘you know, I’m going to join the Youth Guild because I can work hard and help pay forward the money they gave me for another child.’ This is my fifth year,” Guinn said.
In previous years, some people were afraid they wouldn’t get the chance to visit all the homes if they went to the guild’s tea before starting the tour. Because the houses are closer together this year, the guild expects more people will take time for tea at Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church, 75 San Salvador Drive. Guests can shop for holiday gifts at the guild boutique at the church.
The tour is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prices are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets may be purchased from any guild member or by calling 734-0394 and leaving a message. The actual ticket is a booklet that includes a description of all the homes and a map of how to get to them.
On the tour
Excerpts from a description of destinations on the 44th annual Tour of Homes.
House 1 – Mark Barnes and David Roberts, 1390 Hales Hollow Drive “The house is warmly decorated for a family Christmas, starting with the 9-foot tall Christmas tree. The tree sports an eclectic assortment of mementos from many past Christmases and over 1,000 LED lights. There’s at least one Christmas tree in every room. Enjoy exploring to discover your favorite.”
House 2 – Susan and Mike Wallace, 1745 San Mateo Drive “Built in 2006 this house is a compilation of several old houses in Seminole Heights, Fla., where Mike grew up and dreamed of owning a beautiful Craftsman style home. After years of persistence, Mike was able to persuade the owner of a vacant lot backing up to Hammock Park to sell. Mike was his own contractor on this house and did much of the work himself, with the help of several skilled subcontractors.”
“The festive holiday decorations for this home were designed by Denise Beamer of Designer’s Difference.”
House 3 – Bob and Linda Whipple, 550 Locklie St “Their home was meant to be environmentally friendly and one of the first things you will see upon arrival is ‘eco turf” or perennial peanut in the front of the home instead of grass. In keeping with the environmental design, the home has transom windows allowing for light without heat gain.”
“The first decorated tree you will see is in blue and white representative of the colors of Scotland where Linda’s grandfather was born. As you look around the living room their collection 56, Dickens village is also on display.”
House 4 – Maureen Wiltse, 301 Citrus Ave “The game room is transformed for the holiday into ‘Moe Town,’ an amazing village which takes over 100 hours to construct. Whatever makes your holiday dream come true will surely find it here in ‘Moe Town.’ The upstairs guest room is a beach lovers paradise with a sand dollar Christmas tree and twinkling lights. The master bedroom is lined with nutcrackers standing guard as you dream of Christmas morning.”
House 5 – Bill Denton and Dennis Copsey, 1245 Sutherland Court “The highlights of the Florida Room area lighted peacock, an aluminum Christmas tree, with color wheel, and two period ceramic Christmas trees on the deck.”
“The dining room floor to ceiling tree is decorated with snowmen and snowflakes. The Chrystal tree in front of the mirror is from Czechoslovakia and is surrounded by geometric glass objects by Steuben and Hoya. The centerpiece of the dining room table is a Christopher Radko cookie dish. The table is decorated for a holiday dinner. The hutch has holiday dishes and figures on it. The art deco bar has another group of ceramic figurines. The chandelier is from Denmark.”