I saw the collective envy and wonder in the eyes of the ladies around me. Mine included.
I do good to run my garbage out to the street around 2 am just hours before the garbage men roll through my street.
The houses on the Annual Central Gardens Home Tour in Mid-Town are so spotless — so perfect they seem like movie sets.
They certainly could be.
I do know Dennis Quaid stayed in a house on Belvedere Blvd while he shot Great Balls of Fire. See, you learn all sorts of useful things on the tour.
For a person who loves homes..homes with a history…homes that have been saved from the nightmare of bulldozers, this past Sunday was a dream.
A mere $15 dollars (going to some charity or something useful, I’m sure) you get to see how the other half lives. I’m struggling by no means, but these people know how to live. Most of the homes were built in 1909. The owners have the delicate task of not only keeping the homes at their turn of the century splendor, but also repairing the expensive wood work these elegantly designed homes are full of, and the gigantic project of filling the home with appropriate furniture. It would be a tragedy if the owners just ran to Ikea and filled a home. No, these homes we toured were stocked with Russian mirrors from the 1800’s, original paintings, fine furniture, oriental this and that and so much more to love admiring. Is it all my preference, no way, but I can say, the homes were all done in a way that even if not your taste you admired the time and effort (money) it took to keep the homes up in a way they deserve.
You can even take a little swing on their porch — and yes I took notes
If you drive through Central Gardens ( I don’t live there but do live in Mid-Town) you do a lot of neck stretching to catch a glimpse at the homes you pass by. You never truly get to see all the details or totally fix your eye on that speakers platform on this house in the 1300 block of Central. This house has been a frat house for the school of optomotry and the functining school house for Lausanne School. The current owners have been there since 2001.
It’s also amazing to see what people collect. I like collectors of strange things. We are all eccentric and I love people who are strange and keep it all around them. In one house the doctor owner collected these elaborate marble mantle clocks. In another more homey home the lady of the house collected these large marbles that look like paper weights. If there is a name for them I’m not sure, but they are all different colors and are filled with things like flowers and color swirls. The things were everywhere and on display. I love that she loves them enough to put them EVERYWHERE. Then there are the family photos. Some people display them in a somewhat muted way — that’s me. By that I mean a frame here and there, but others splash the family photos from 1985 on every wall and tiny space. I don’t think they love their family any more than I do. It’s just their style. I would have taken inside pictures, but it’s not allowed and I guess it would have been rude of me.
Two of my favorite homes.
This home on Belvedere. It was built in 1909 as a model home for the beautiful tree lined median street. A person could walk in and see amazing wood work in the foyer. About the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. If they took a right turn into the dining room they would find a very dressy and formal Itialian styled detailing in the wood work. If they took a left off the foyer they would find traditional arts and crafts styled wood working. Then the visitor could decide which they wanted in their Belvedere home. The lucky owners today get to have the best of both worlds.
The second home I loved most was on Peabody. It’s the old Crump home. Boss Crump himself had the house built in 1909 and died in it. His body lie in state in the foyer with roses lining the stairs, or so I was told. I’ve passed by the home so many times and wondered what it was like inside. Well, it was beautiful. Loved seeing a painting of Crump standing with other leaders in front of the New Daisy Theater. With the legacy the home has you have to keep the old man in the house!
It’s a total neighborhood affair complete with adorable little kids selling treats and cold drinks and boy scouts raising money. It was warm out there.