Royal OakJune 18, 2012
Tour to feature variety of city’s unique residences
By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer
ROYAL OAK — After its regular one-year hiatus, the Royal Oak Woman’s Club’s Home and Garden Tour returns this weekend for the seventh time since 1997, featuring a half-dozen of the most interesting houses in the city.
From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 23, patrons will be able to pick up a map at the Royal Oak Woman’s Club, 404 S. Pleasant at Fourth, and visit six houses, three gardens and the Historical Museum at their own pace and in whatever order they please. None of the houses lie north of 13 Mile Road.
“We have docents that are trained on the house to provide information on the house,” said Emily Petrovski, publicity chair for Royal Oak Woman’s Club. “I think we have more award winners this year than last year.”
Houses on the tour have won first place for interior use of tile from the Detroit Home 2011 Design Awards and the Residential Beautification Award from the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, and a third was a featured house on the 2011 National Association of the Remodeling Industry Home Tour. Additionally, one of the homeowners was a contractor featured on an episode of HGTV’s “House Crashers.”
“A lot of people are interested in homes. We have a lot of homes that have won awards, and we hope that’ll be a big draw,” said Karen Nielson, Home and Garden Tour Committee chairwoman. “Royal Oak is an old city, but it has some new things in it. We tried to get a representation of the different styles.”
Among the various types of houses are a multi-level Mission-influenced classic Craftsman bungalow that was restored with a coffered ceiling and leaded glass windows; a Dutch Colonial decorated in traditional décor; a former commercial building converted into a one-of-a-kind, design-oriented, 5,000-square-foot loft with a show car displayed in the living space; and more.
“We’ve got new homes, old homes, a contemporary chic, craftsman prairie style,” Nielson said. “The proceeds for this go to charities that we serve and upkeep on our house, which is a historical building in Royal Oak.”
Marge Goodrich owns the Craftsman bungalow, the oldest house on the tour. Built in 1907 and purchased by Goodrich in 2003, it won the Detroit Home 2011 Design Award for tile use after Ann Arbor-based Motawi Tileworks redid her fireplace.
“The fireplace fits in really well with how it might’ve been,” Goodrich said. “I think the style and character of the house is more what it would’ve been. When I bought the house, it had been updated in the 1960s and ’70s with a gold shag carpet.”
Although she renovated the house back to a more classical look, there’s still one room upstairs that has ’70s vibe to it with shag carpet, a lava lamp and some interesting wallpaper.
“I basically had taken down wallpaper in every room except one. It’s kind of graffiti wallpaper with foil behind it,” Goodrich said. “I think it’ll be a little bit of a departure from the rest of the house and whimsical.”
Nielson said the contrast between the room and the rest of the house is one of its unique aspects.
“All the woodwork had been painted white when she bought that and she stripped that to its original walnut color,” Nielson said. “When you walk into the front of the house, she’s got a big porch. It looks like your grandmother’s house, and then you go upstairs and there’s a room with 1970s foil wallpaper with orange and black words on it that may not be politically correct.”
Goodrich said she’s intrigued by local history and has attempted to learn more about her house, which she said had at least five previous owners.
“When people visited my house, they always said I should be on the tour or in a magazine,” said the first-year tour participant.
Tickets for the tour cost $20 in advance or $25 at the door Saturday. Advance tickets are available by calling Laura Hewson at (248) 808-1528, visiting www.rowc.org or stopping by William Sullivan and Son Funeral Home, 705 W. 11 Mile, or The Ladybug Craft and Framing Shoppe, 123 Catalpa Drive.
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