Past, present collide in array of spring home tours


Spring flowers and showers may mean the coming of warmer weather and allergy season, but for some metro Atlanta homeowners, it’s time to open their homes to the public.

The residences and gardens on display during this spring’s home tours include a mix of historical charm and modern flair. Here are five tours in metro Atlanta and beyond to check out.

Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens

Showcasing a 1960s Buckhead home designed by renowned Atlanta classical architect James Means, the second annual Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens will benefit the Atlanta History Center.

The six-bedroom house has been redesigned and expanded by architect Yong Pak of Pak Heydt & Associates and builder Ladisic Fine Homes without compromising its classic elements. The new and existing rooms have been decorated by 24 interior designers.

“Any time that we get to work in a historic home by a famed Atlanta architect, we kind of lose our minds with excitement,” said Lathem Gordon of GordonDunning Interiors.

She and her partner Cate Dunning decorated the art study, a “found space” on the second floor. They combined a Japanese-inspired wallpaper depicting birds and flowers (Schumacher’s Lotus Garden pattern) to create a whimsical space.

“We wanted it to be youthful and fresh, but then we also wanted to inject sophistication into it,” said Dunning.

When: April 20-May 14 (Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m.)

Cost: $30 ($25 each for groups of 10 or more, or for tickets purchased online prior to opening day)

Info: southeasternshowhouse.com

Druid Hills Tour of Homes & Gardens

Featuring seven properties ranging from a 9,000-square-foot Georgian to a renovated 1918 home filled with travel memorabilia, the 49th home and garden tour showcases the Atlanta neighborhood’s historic appeal and embrace of modern living.

“It’s a really classic neighborhood,” said Warner McConaughey, founder and president of HammerSmith, an architectural design firm in Decatur.

HammerSmith’s renovation of a 1923 home on this year’s tour maintained its traditional exterior, but McConaughey’s firm opened up the entrance and covered a floor-to-ceiling wall with tile, adding a dash of modern style.

“Those great architects in the ’20s, what would they be building now, almost a hundred years later?” said McConaughey. “Most of our clients want to go ahead and update it and feel like they live in something more modern that also reflects back to the past.”

The tour includes a garden with koi ponds, a treehouse, and a barnyard with chickens, goats and donkeys.

When: 1-5 p.m., April 21; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., April 22-23

Cost: $25 ($20 each in groups of six or more)

Info: druidhillstour.org

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Brookwood Hills Home Tour

The bi-annual tour features four homes, including the personal residence of nationally acclaimed architect Stan Dixon.

A well thought-out plan nearly 100 years ago when Brookwood Hills was in its infancy has created the perfect neighborhood for new and old to seamlessly blend together, as this year’s tour theme, “Tradition Meets Today,” suggests.

In addition to Dixon, prominent Atlanta architects Norman Askins and Keith Summerour have left their design signatures on the neighborhood, where 1920s homes sit alongside new residential construction and townhomes with more contemporary styles. For example, Askins was involved in the renovation of a tour home with a Prohibition-era speakeasy hidden in the basement.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., April 22

Cost: $35

Info: choa.org/donors-and-volunteers/foundation-events/brookwood-hills-home-tour-tradition-meets-today

“Through the Garden Gate” Tour

The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County’s 15th annual garden tour beckons visitors to step “Through the Garden Gate” to admire seven gardens, ranging up to 5 acres and showcasing thousands of varieties of plants.

“What makes this tour really unique, I believe, is that it’s actual gardeners doing hands-on work for all of their labor, and it’s their baby, so to speak,” said Jay Fletcher, whose 1-acre garden will be on the tour for the first time this year.

Fletcher’s garden consists of seven “rooms” with water features, benches, tables and even an infinity pool.

“Every garden you’ll see is directly related to the personality of that individual’s own desires and that individual’s own knowledge of gardening,” said Fletcher. “They have really not hired a landscaper to come in and give them the landscaper’s views. These are the homeowner’s views.”

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., May 13

Cost: $20 in advance/$25 day of tour

Info: cobbmastergardeners.com/2017-garden-tourfair

2017 Madison in May Tour of Homes

Just 60 miles east of Atlanta, the town of Madison boasts many well-preserved examples of antebellum architecture and one of Georgia’s largest National Register Historic Districts.

This year’s Madison in May Spring Tour of Homes will feature seven residential homes, five churches, three historic cottages and the Romanesque 1895 grade school building that now houses the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center.

The tour will also feature the Ice House Condominiums as well as the Vason-Bell-Orr House, which hasn’t been on the tour in a decade and has been thoroughly renovated.

When: May 5-6

Cost: $25 single day, $35 multiple days (through April 30), $30 single day, $40 multiple days (through May 1), $22 single-day ticket for groups of 20 or more.

Info: madisoninmay.com



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