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Akron home dressed up for Junior League ShowHouse

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

The Gaffney home on Ridgecrest Road is the site of the Junior League of Akron’s Designer ShowHouse 2013.
The master bedroom was designed in a Key West/Havana theme by representatives of Goodwill Industries, with nearly all of the furnishings and decorative items coming from donations.
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 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.

Interior/exterior design consultant John Antro, of Green, is shown in the kitchen half-bath he worked on at the ShowHouse. Antro said he used fabrics and lighting to keep the vintage feel of the space while still keeping it fresh.
Photos: Ken Crisafi
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 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.

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.

John Antro, of Green, also participated in the ShowHouse and contributed his design to the kitchen half-bath. Antro said he wanted to show that a homeowner could keep elements such as the original tile in a room but add in new touches.

“You can modernize and still make it look sophisticated,” he said.

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; the media room, by Cynthia Whitfield Interiors; and the foyer and second-floor landing and hallway, by Bruce Stebner, of Patois by Stebner.

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, as well as JLA cookbooks for sale.

Proceeds will 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 event 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 the home is not handicap accessible.

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

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