SUN PHOTO/PAT COPELAND
Joan Pettigrew with the Tour of Homes' Tropical Treasures
Boutique's youngest shopper, granddaughter, Evelyn,
8 months. Evelyn is the daughter of Brett and
Meaghan Pettigrew, of St. Petersburg.
What appeared to be a record crowd attended the 17th annual Community Center Tour of Homes Saturday, keeping two shuttle buses running at capacity all day and raising an estimated $33,000 for Center programs.
"I think it's a lot of fun," Alicia Dettling, of Bradenton and Minnesota, said. "I really appreciate the variety of homes. They're not all million dollar homes."
Three ladies from Longboat Key, Connie Cameron, Ingrid Crites and Connie Hilwig, said they take the tour every year, and they like the creativity they find in the homes.
At home #1 at 304 62nd Street in Holmes Beach, tour goers liked the rustic table in the kitchen, the distinctive colors throughout the house and the pool area with a tiki hut, hot tub and waterfall and an outdoor kitchen.
"It's gorgeous; it's like a designer house," exclaimed Irene Mederos, of Holmes Beach and New Jersey.
"I'd be in the pool area forever," claimed Linda King, of Ontario.
Home #2 at 612 Baronet Lane in Key Royale proved to be the most popular home on the tour with its colorful artwork and mosaics by the owner, mermaids in all forms from needlepoint to napkin rings and Florida memorabilia from placemats to postcards.
"I love her collections – the old beach pails, the needlework, the antique towels as curtains, the china from hotels and ships, her paintings, the mermaids," exclaimed Fran Miller, of Holmes Beach and Maine.
Visitors liked the colors, the wet bar and walk in closet in the master bedroom and the pool area with a tiki hut, waterfall and bar in House #3 at 6802 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.
"It's a nice, happy house," said one visitor.
At House #4 at 210 77th Street, visitors liked the shell-crusted fireplace, the airy kitchen and dining area and the remotely controlled pool.
"It's a nice sized home," Dettling said, and Cheri Griffin, of Bradenton, added, "I love the master; everything is separated."
The entry of House #5 at 110 77th Street in Holmes Beach was a favorite with its acid stained "Margaritaville" floor featuring palm trees, a beach, a tiki hut, a sunset, a margarita glass, a salt shaker and a lime. People also liked the light airy living/dining area, the "sherbet" colors throughout and the unique touches like the raffia and starfish tie backs on the bed curtain.
"Everything is charming," said Stephanie Ammon, of Illinois. "It's fun for us to see Florida decorating. It's so fresh."
Visitors ended the tour at House #6 at 710 Gladiolus, which was the only one in Anna Maria and not accessible by shuttle. They liked its soothing colors, beautiful landscaping and compactness.
"It's an adorable beach bungalow," one visitor said.