Gracious homes open to public this Friday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 18, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Several homes and gardens in the Westhaven Lakes community are being showcased in the Nansemond River Garden Club’s 2004 Historic Garden Week Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 23.

Garden clubs across Virginia are offering tours this week, with funds raised earmarked for the restoration of historic grounds and gardens throughout the state.

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This year’s theme is &uot;TGIF in Suffolk.&uot;

Linda Consolvo and Carleen Rollins, who are co-chairing the fundraiser, will welcome participants to the event.

Block tickets, which entitle people to see all the homes on the tour, are $15. Single house admission is $5 per person. Children 13 and over pay full price; ages 6-12, $7; and ages 5 and under, free.

Advance tickets are $13. To purchase tickets, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Mrs. A.W. Smith, 515 W. Riverview Drive, Suffolk VA 23434. Tickets will also be sold at each home on the tour.

Refreshments will be served at the Suffolk Museum, 118 Bosley Ave., where guests can view a garden-related exhibit. People are on their own for lunch, although the garden club recommends stopping by one of downtown Suffolk’s new restaurants.

Other points of historic interest in downtown Suffolk include the Main Street Train Station Railroad Museum and Gift Shop, 326 North Main St.; the Suffolk Visitor Center in the Prentis House, 321 N. Main St.; and Riddick’s Folly, 510 N. Main St.

One of the Westhaven Lakes homes opening next week belongs to Sandra and Leslie Claud Jr. An open, relaxed structure sitting on the waterfront, their airy home is a direct reflection of the couple’s love for Florida.

A mahogany lowboy, topped with a bronze statue of Diana, greets visitors as they enter the foyer. Mauve, blue and ecru-colored fabrics dominate the living and dining rooms, complimenting a view of the pool, patio and lake seen through the living room’s palladium windows.

A collection of Fenton art glass, Italian oil paintings and a print of Key West by Tripp Harrison are in the living room. A curio showcasing the couple’s collection of Hummel figurines and Madame Alexander dolls is also in the living room.

Also, a Prussian hand-painted chocolate set, 1890s crystal and Bavarian china are displayed in the living room and the adjoining dining area.

The entry of the master bedroom offers a glimpse of the beauty within, where a circa 1850 oak, marble-topped dresser with silver candlestick lamps, create an eye-catching display. Above the dresser is a mixed media painting by California artist Karen Dupre.

An adjoining office opens through French doors, providing a private, airy area to work next to the living room. Carved antique picture frames in this room draw the eye directly to family portraits that are being displayed.

Murals by local artist Miriam Birdsong are featured on walls in the kitchen/dinette area. The room also features a unique stainless steel dining table and chairs, and a glass block-faced bar separates the kitchen from a spacious family room.

On the bar is an 1840 French Tantalus with the original decanters. An original Thomas Kinkade painting hangs over the bar.

The family room, which overlooks the landscaped lawn, opens up, giving family members and guests access to multi-leveled patio and pool area. Two earth-toned wool Tibetan rugs grace the home, one in the family room, the other in the dinette.