Designer Showcase open through Feb. 13


Published: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 2:00 a.m.

Area home-decorating and architecture enthusiasts looking for fresh ideas should be able to find them at the 2005 Designer Showcase House that opened for tours this weekend.

The home, located in the Charleston Community, will remain open for tours through Sunday, Feb. 13.

A charitable project previously organized by Hospice of North Central Florida, the Designer Showcase House now is a joint venture run entirely by community volunteers to benefit Peaceful Paths, North Central Florida's domestic abuse shelter, and the North Central Florida YMCA.

Project chair Susan Parrish of Coldwell Banker/M. M. Parrish Realtors and her committee will introduce the French-Chateau-style dream home as the setting to feature the work of selected interior designers and decorators who have decorated the 6,500 square-foot house, built in the Charleston Community by PCD Construction.

"We're excited and honored to be working with Peter Dautel and many of the finest professionals in the community to create a beautiful home for everyone to see and enjoy," says Parrish.

Described by decorator liaison Donna Cohen as "elegant yet functional," the home, one of the first to be built in Gainesville by Dautel's firm, will be open for a full month of home tours, luncheons and special events, with all proceeds to benefit the YMCA and Peaceful Paths.

In addition to general tours of the home that will run Tuesday through Sunday each week, an Evening of Jazz is set for Friday, Jan. 26, and the "Invest In Youth Kick-off" for the YMCA is set for Wednesday, Feb. 2, at the Designer Showcase House. Luncheons featuring fashion shows and other special programs will run Tuesday through Thursday for four weeks. Tickets for the general home tour are $10, while seating for all luncheons and special events will be by advance purchase and reservation only, for $25 per person.

The Showcase House project will help Peaceful Paths continue its residential and outreach services in three counties, serving women and children who have become homeless due to domestic violence. The Designer Showcase House also will help the North Central Florida YMCA continue to provide a safe and fun environment for families, and especially will support the agency's "Invest In Youth" campaign to provide scholarships to those in need.

The Designer Showcase House is available for rental on a limited basis as a unique site for corporate celebrations, training retreats or family functions. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, locations to buy home-tour tickets, sponsorships, or volunteering at the Designer Showcase House, visit www.gainesvilledesigner house.com.

For special-event and luncheon reservations, call Paula Bowlen at (352) 372-3733, Ext. 125. The project's premier sponsors are Coldwell Banker/M.M. Parrish Realtors, The Charleston Community, and Jeff Dautel, Realtor.

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