Woman’s Club tour features diverse homes this weekend

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published June 24, 2015

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ROYAL OAK — When Randy and Jan Hunt first saw their Orchard View Drive home, it was the wraparound porch that drew them in.

“My favorite part of the house is the front porch. We love it,” Jan said. “We sit out there all the time, and it was one of the reasons we looked at the house.”

But the couple decided after purchasing the home in 2011 that they really wanted to put their stamp on the inside. From there, they embarked on a three-year remodeling project.

From larger ventures, like gutting and redoing the kitchen, to minor updates, like painting, the couple is pleased with the final results.

Randy’s favorite addition is a new garage with a second-floor workshop.

“The garage is nice. The floors are nice,” Randy said. “It’s heated and air-conditioned so we can spend any amount of time we want out there.”

Original aspects of the home include wood flooring through most of it, and backyard gardens.

“You love all the design elements,” Jan said. “That’s the part you enjoy, and you sit around and think about what it would look like.”

The Hunts’ home will be featured in the 2015 Royal Oak Woman’s Club Home Tour from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 27.

“It’s an interesting mix of old and new,” said Home Tour Chairwoman Lisa Porter, speaking about the Orchard View Drive home.

Porter said other homes featured on the tour will offer a rare look into the craftsmanship, architecture and unique features of some of the most impressive homes in the city. Porter said the abodes were discovered while she drove around town and through referrals to the club.

Homes on the tour range from the 1920s to 2012 and include a colorful home and studio of a Royal Oak artist whose work has been featured in Detroit Home Magazine; a modern, custom-built living and workspace featured in the Detroit News Home Section on June 21; a newer construction Hillan-built home that is a 21st century update of a 19th century farmhouse; a spacious Northwood Boulevard home with a unique floor plan and modern twist on the Neo-French style, including an impressive basement entertainment area; and a historic home that originally was part of the Lawson farm.

Porter said the farmhouse is particularly interesting and was built with materials from Erb Lumber. She said the homeowner does woodworking and painting, and one neat feature to see is an area rug that on closer inspection has been painted on the floor by the homeowner.

Porter said the home tour was last hosted in 2012, but it usually is hosted every other year.

“It’s a major fundraiser for the club, and the money we raise goes back into the community,” she said.

Porter said proceeds go toward Woman’s Club initiatives including donations to the Boys & Girls Club, the neonatal unit at Beaumont Hospital, Operation Smile, and two scholarships for students going into the medical field.

Tickets are available before the event for $20 at The Ladybug Craft & Framing Shoppe, 123 Catalpa Drive; William Sullivan & Son Funeral Home, 705 W. 11 Mile Road; and online at royaloakwomansclub.org. Tickets may be purchased for $25 the day of the tour at the Royal Oak Woman’s Club, 404 S. Pleasant Street.

The day of the event, ticket holders will meet at the Royal Oak Woman’s Club and receive a home-tour book containing addresses and interesting facts about each stop. Attendees are free to visit the homes at their pace during the self-guided tour, and they will be assisted by docents at each stop.

Porter said the 2012 event was almost a sellout. The club issued 479 of 500 available tickets.

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