2014 House & Garden Tour

Green Home: Build & Remodel
March 10, 2014
Brazos County Master Gardeners
March 10, 2014

The Bryan/College Station Woman’s Club’s 2014 House and Garden Tour and Luncheon will be Wednesday, April 9, from 10:00am until 6:00pm.

The Bryan/College Station Woman’s Club’s 2014 House and Garden Tour and Luncheon will be Wednesday, April 9, from 10:00am until 6:00pm. “Natural Beauties of Traditions” are reflected in this year’s three uniquely beautiful homes, each incorporating materials, color schemes, designs, and décor which have made these homes perfectly “at home” in the very natural setting of Traditions. This special event is an important fundraiser for the club and for the organization’s many community outreach activities.

The McElroy Home: 3340 Sycamore Trail

Susan and Ted McElroy’s Sycamore Trail home was built by Ellis Custom Homes, LLC.  Kirby Fleming was the architect, and Susan Jackson was the interior designer. The home was completed in 2011 and has more than 4,000 square feet of indoor living area. The architectural style, French Country Chateau, utilizes tumbled cobbled stone and stucco with doors of knotty alder and maple floors.

The McElroy home features a vast openness of living space between the living room, dining area, breakfast area, and kitchen, with a great view of the outdoor entertaining area and pool.

The large kitchen has no wasted space. The huge semicircular bar accommodates both indoor and outdoor guests. The large center island has a built-in steamer and an unusually shaped copper sink, which ensured that every space would be used.

The guest room wing was particularly designed with the McElroys’ daughters and grandchildren in mind. The grandchildren’s bedroom, affectionately known as “The Bunk Bed Castle,” is a bright cheerful place with four built-in bunk beds. One bedroom was designed with Paris in mind, complete with a three-foot model of the Eiffel Tower, while another was touched with features reminiscent of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. Both rooms have private entrances to the patio/pool area.

The entire master wing is designed with unique features, including a utility room with a doggy shower, and large antique storage cabinet. The suite, with mismatched furniture, has an “old-Tuscan” feel that is cozy and inviting. The master bath has slate floors, a large walk-in shower, and an alcove with a barrel ceiling above a soaking tub.

The outdoor living area is more than 1,000 square feet of space where the McElroys enjoy the 11th hole of the Traditions golf course, grill, watch TV and swim. Sean Hawthorne of The Pool Guys built the beautiful, freeform pool with fountain and overflowing hot tub. With fireplace and two seating areas, it’s a perfect place to entertain.

The landscaping is mostly indigenous to the area with the exception of olive trees. Keith Jones of Landscape Expressions completed the landscaping. Ted planted and cares for his own garden where he grows lettuce, tomatoes, okra, blackberries, strawberries, pepper, squash, asparagus, and broccoli.

The McKinney Home: 3313 Emory Oak

Residential designers Sullivan, Henry, Oggero, and Associates exclusively designed 3313 Emory Oak, owned by Lou Ann and Mike McKinney. They created architectural elements to design a French Chateau home for the McKinney’s utilizing the existing topography, lot elevation, floor plan, and outdoor living spaces to enhance the beautiful views of Traditions’ Jack Nicklaus Golf Course.

The McKinney’s were inspired during their travels to Europe to build a historical French period home. The home, which contains more than 6,000 square feet, is constructed of Lueders stone from Salado, stucco, iron, copper, double arched walnut doors, classic marbles, granites, and wood selections, including cherry, knotty alder, and reclaimed maple. The home was built by Ron Blatchley and Fred Willems and was completed in 2013. In considering the design, the McKinney’s wanted a home to accommodate their three Aggie football sons and their families, who can immediately “fill” a room when they visit. “We wanted our six grandchildren to come for a visit and have plenty of room to roam and play,” says Lou Ann.

Mrs. McKinney turned to Joshua Ortiz and Ray Jeziorek, owners of Ambrose Furniture Works, to assist her with the interior design of the home, a blend of French country and French Regency style décor.

The grand two-story entrance includes a winding circular staircase of white oak, and floors of hard-reclaimed maple.  The dramatic plastered domed ceiling, which features the French Cross surrounded by swirls and hearts, complements the home’s classic design. Dr. McKinney’s two-story study, located off the entry, is paneled in cherry wood and has a granite credenza and knotty alder cross beams on the upper ceiling.  The room features memorabilia, books, and displays from his tenure at the State Capitol, his medical practice, and the college and pro football days of the McKinney’s eldest son.

The master bedroom is classically decorated with a chocolate brown, plum, gold, and green damask headboard and a pair of French Bergere chairs and ottoman in the sitting area off the master bedroom. The elegant master bath features both groin and barrel ceilings, with faux hand painted designs by Denise Bailes. Lou Ann designed the bath around the large arched window over the garden tub. The rough and honed marble back splash highlights the Alaskan granite and cream tones while the dark emperador slab marble floor rug design enhances the bath floor.

Kent Moore Cabinets did the cabinets in the French country style kitchen, which boasts a granite-top bar, travertine marble backsplash, and a large wood stove hood. The convenient butler’s pantry, located between the kitchen and dining room contains rough and honed marble backsplash highlighting the Alaskan granite and cream tones.

The upstairs boasts a fairway-view game room with traditional woven medallion draperies and intentionally mismatched sofas upholstered in honey moiré chenille. Belgium textures and French patterns give the space a curated feel. The room also contains framed football jerseys representing the various teams for which their sons played.

The upstairs bedrooms were designed to create a comfortable space for family and guests.  The McKinney’s wanted to ensure that each of their sons had a room to call his “home away from home” when visiting with family, especially during the holidays. Each room contains unique features tying in the French chateau décor of the house.

Downstairs, the backyard is dominated by a classically shaped pool and spa, built by Mobley Pools, on the upper terrace and a simple lawn sloping to the creek beyond. Alan King, owner of The Land Design Group, Inc., designed the landscape to complement the classic style of the home with sweeping lawns and stone-accented planting beds with layered boxwood, holly, and Italian cypress.

The Spath Home: 3301 Emory Oak

The final home on this year’s tour belongs to Justine and Jeff Spath, at 3301 Emory Oak.

The Spath’s have traveled the world, and their home of more than 10,000 square feet incorporates the furniture and mementoes from their extensive travels.

The striking Traditions home was designed by architect Robert Dame, built by Keys & Walsh, and decorated with the assistance of Mickey Bufalini of Collaborative Design Group of Houston. Displayed throughout the home is artwork of The Queen Bees, two talented women from Houston, who have helped to make this home truly one of a kind. Local Brandon Claiborne of Hardwood Designs placed the floors of walnut and Texas mesquite. 

The dramatic entry features double reverse staircases, iron railings and wood handrails, as well as a breathtaking dome made of plaster and faux painted by The Queen Bees. The ceiling light in the entry was made especially for the Spath home by AMS Lighting and was so large it arrived in several pieces.

The best way to view this home is to “look up,” “look down,” and “look all around,” or else you’ll miss something.  Look up to see unique ceilings, many made with natural materials, look down to see special floors, like those in the wine room and outdoor area, and look all around to see interesting shapes and uses of wood and paint, as well as a very unique backsplash in the wine room made of wine corks.

The family room boasts many items from the family’s travels and is described by Justine as “the heart of the home” with the kitchen and breakfast room. Opening from the living room, the kitchen allows the host to “feel part of the entertainment.”

The wine room has a striking terra cotta ceiling design similar to a church ceiling in Florence, Italy.  Brandon Claiborne used old wine barrel sleeves in the floor design while the doors are from India and Justine made the cork backsplash.

The dramatic library is two-levels, with a circular stairway leading to the balcony.  All the cabinets were custom designed, made by hand, and took a year to build.  As Dr. Spath’s favorite room, it’s modeled after the couple’s favorite restaurant in London.

The master suite, designed to look like a French country home, contains numerous traits unique to the Spath home, including a fireplace of plaster faux painted by The Queen Bees, a very large and old wood panel originating from Indonesia, master bath cabinets designed to look like furniture, a coffee bar, and gym.

In the entry, the staircase leads to the living room on the second level, and then continues to the home’s third level. The living room offers a breathtaking view of the pool and golf course.

The third level houses the rooms of Spath’s son and daughter and both contain worldly items and unique design features. The large game room, also located on the third floor, has a mesquite floor, a pool table and framed memorabilia from various Olympics, two Super Bowls and pro-am tournaments.  

The outdoor living area and kitchen features a fireplace made of petrified wood. The freeform pool and hot tub are beautifully lighted by four firepots and landscaping resembles a European garden with rose bushes and lavender. 

Tickets to tour all three homes are $15; luncheon tickets, sold separately, are also $15. Tour tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at any of the homes.  Tickets may also be purchased in advance. Call the Club Director at (979) 822-5019, or e-mail thewomansclubbcs@verizon.net.

Luncheon tickets may be obtained through Sandra Petty at (979) 775-2449 or spetty@suddenlink.net. Luncheon reservations must be made by April 2.