Tour of Homes success for Center

Tour of Homes
The amoeba-shaped pool is at the 420 Magnolia Ave. investment home belonging to Mike Ross. – Kristin Swain | Sun

ANNA MARIA – A perfectly sunny day dawned on Saturday, March 17, helping to make The Center of Anna Maria Island’s 25th annual Tour of Homes a success.

More than 700 people came out to view the interiors of five elegantly appointed homes before making a final stop at The Center for the Tropical Treasures Boutique and Center Bazaar.

While attendees could start at any of the six stops, the first listed stop in the official Tour guide is Sand Dollar Cove, the dream home of Ron and Peggy Jude. The Holmes Beach house was completed in March 2017 by Moss Builders. The house features four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths in 2,800 square feet. To help comfortably house their seven grandkids, one unique feature of the home is a secret staircase connecting the kids’ bunk room to another bedroom where parents can keep an eye on the little ones. The house is complete with a large, open living space and doors opening directly to the outdoor living space and pool deck.

“This is just a beautiful house,” one attendee gushed. “If I had this house, I’d move here.”

Another stop on the Tour was the home of Don and Leah Purvis in the enclave of Key Royale. The couple’s love of New Orleans is evident throughout the home, from the wrought iron sconces to the antique mirror backsplash in the kitchen. Each room of the home features a unique piece of furniture chosen especially by the homeowners for its beauty and back story. One of the most talked about pieces is a large 100-year-old armoire purchased by Don’s mother and refinished by her in the 1980s.

“It’s incredible, just a beautiful piece,” an attendee said while admiring the armoire. “You’d never believe it used to be painted pink.”

The winter home of Tom and Jane Gauld, also on Key Royale, was another stop on this year’s Tour of Homes. The home features high ceilings with wood details and a second-floor media room with a wall-sized screen and cozy sofa seating. The chef’s kitchen opens to a dining room, living room and the expansive outdoor area with a pool and seating area overlooking the lovely water views. An indoor/outdoor living area leads to a separate kitchenette and staircase to a master suite where the owners’ adult children can escape but still view their children playing with their grandparents in the pool.

Right across the street from The Center is the Magnolia Home, the only house on the tour that attendees can purchase and make their own. For a mere $1.49 million, the newly-built elevated home has covered living space around the pool and hot tub and just under 2,000 square feet of indoor living space.

“If I could take anything out of these houses, I’d take the bedrooms from this one,” one woman commented.

Each of the four bedrooms features its own en suite bathroom with unique wooden chandeliers throughout. All of the bathrooms feature a distinctive distressed wood or brick decor.

The final stop on this year’s Tour was the newly renovated home of Art and Wooley Dutton. The single-story home features three bedrooms, four bathrooms, an open floor plan with high ceilings, a separate art studio and a secret passage to the master bedroom.

“It’s just art,” volunteer Sandee Pruett said of the home.

At the Center, attendees could sample food from the Travelling Gourmet and Italian Culinary Tours or check out items for sale at the Center Bazaar and Tropical Treasures Boutique.

More than a dozen local artists contributed to the Tropical Treasures Boutique, sponsored by Duncan Real Estate, including Susan Anderson, Jan Bryant, Judy Christensen, Erin Hughey, Joyce Hunt, Monique Marlow, Joan Pettigrew and Sandee Pruett. Local artisans and merchants joined the Boutique in the Bazaar, offering everything from handmade soaps to unique jewelry and decor items for sale. Nearby was this year’s quilt raffle, created by the Eyeland Needlers and sponsored by Green Real Estate. The winner of the quilt, titled “See You By The Sea,” was Chris Smargisso.

Organizer and board member Karen Harllee said she was pleased with how the Bazaar and Boutique went this year and hopes for an even better turnout next year.

“We want to make it bigger and better next year,” she said.