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West Akron ShowHouse benefiting Junior League

5/2/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

The Gaffney home on Ridgecrest Road, shown above, is the site of the Junior League of Akron’s Designer ShowHouse 2013.
The home’s breakfast room, shown above, was designed by Russell Interior Design. It overlooks the brick patio and features hand-painted details.
This bedroom was designed with a teenage girl in mind by Chez Del Home Furnishings and Design.
The ShowHouse features his-and-hers master baths and dressing rooms. The woman’s bath, with a theme of old Hollywood conceived by Kolor Kraft Painting of Ohio, is pictured above.
Photos: Ken Crisafi
WEST AKRON — After months of preparation, the Junior League of Akron’s (JLA) Designer ShowHouse 2013 is ready for its entrance.

The Gaffney home, 657 Ridgecrest Road, is the latest residence to get the designer treatment in the JLA’s biggest fundraiser. Dottie Gaffney and her late husband, Ed, bought the 1933 home in 1995 and added a first-floor master bedroom wing to the house, making it about 6,700 square feet. It will be open to the public for tours May 4-5, 9-12 and 16-19.

Janis Worley, of Hudson, who is chairing the event with Rachel Barnette, of Cuyahoga Falls, and Chris Dunlop, of West Akron, said the Gaffney home was perfect for the project. The JLA has done previous ShowHouse events at homes that sometimes needed some TLC, but that wasn’t the case here, Worley said.

“It’s in fabulous condition,” she said during a sneak peak recently. “For this house, it was all about the décor, not restoration.”

Starting in 1978, the JLA has presented the Designer ShowHouse every few years to give local designers a chance to demonstrate their talents. Those who tour the home get the chance to see some of the area’s most unique homes professionally decorated.

All designers apply to take part and donate their time and talents for the project, Worley noted. Most will be on hand during tours to talk about their work.

Elaine Woods and Karen Carpenter, with Chez Del House Furnishings and Design in West Akron, are among the designers participating this year. The two created a sophisticated bedroom with a teenage girl in mind.

“We’ve been having fun,” Woods said. “We wanted to use color to be playful and young. And we wanted to show that things don’t always have to match.”

The room features a mix of natural elements and glitz and glamour, they said, and bright colors to make it cheerful for Northeast Ohio winters.

Bruce Stebner, of Patois by Stebner, is a West Akron artist and designer who added his touch to the home’s foyer and second-floor landing and hallway. He painted over the existing yellow wallpaper with a neutral white and used linen drapes in dramatic style on the second-floor landing. He also added more than a dozen of his own paintings and some antique objects d’art to give an “ancestral look” to the hallway, he said.

The home’s master bedroom, in the newer addition, features a first-time collaboration between the JLA and Goodwill Industries. Goodwill officials took on the project and brought in items that had been donated to the organization and designed the room to have a Key West/Cuban feel with its colors and décor.

Worley said just the room’s large armoire was original to the room, and Goodwill brought in a bed, chest, other furniture and wall décor. Even the window treatments were made from donated items, she said.

Adjacent to the bedroom are his-and-hers bathrooms and dressing rooms. The woman’s bathroom designed by Kolor Kraft Painting of Ohio used the original cabinetry but brought in a new countertop and lighting. The faux finish on the walls and fabrics bring in a feeling of old Hollywood glamour, Worley said.

The home’s breakfast room, designed by Russell Interior Design, provides a colorful spot that overlooks the rear patio, while the dining room, designed by Brechbuhler Interior Design, features a blend of traditional and contemporary accents.

Worley said something new with this ShowHouse is in the kitchen. Because the house is on the market, the JLA decided to keep the kitchen as it is but have Freedom Design Kitchen and Bath create a design using computer animation. That will be on view in the kitchen during tours, and the designer will also have samples of materials that would be used in a proposed renovation of the space.

Other rooms of note include the basement, designed by Garth Andrew Co.; the wet bar, by Reeder Architects; the master hallway and men’s bathroom, by Hazel Tree Interiors and the Final Coat; and the media room, by Cynthia Whitfield Interiors. The back patio features furniture and flower planters from Donzell’s Garden Center.

Those who visit also will be encouraged to stop by the JLA room on the second floor to see displays on JLA projects. The boutique will feature items from some of the designers, and JLA cookbooks for sale.

Proceeds from Designer ShowHouse benefit the JLA and support community projects, including further development of the Kids in the Kitchen program done in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Clubs to encourage children’s healthy eating.

Designer ShowHouse hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at all Summit County Acme Fresh Market stores, the JLA website or at the door. 

Parking is on the street, and JLA officials note that the home is not handicap accessible. Ridgecrest is parallel to Merriman Road and accessible from Mayfair Road and Sunnyside Avenue.

For more information, call 330-836-4905 or go to www.JuniorLeagueAkron.org.

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