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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The eclectic and the sublime on Tour of Homes

Yes, this is a bathroom - the unusual mural is featured in the downstairs bathroom of the home of Dave and Cindy Verwey, one of five homes to be featured on this year's Women's City Club home tour.

The new Hopice Hospice will be one of five Mt. Pleasant-area homes on display from 1 to 4 p.m. next Sunday at the 41st annual Women’s City Club May Tour of Homes.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to get out and see the house before we have patients move in when it will be more difficult to see all parts of the house,” said Deanna Heath, Hospice of Central Michigan executive director. Heath said the Tour of Homes also will allow donors to see where their investments went.
Homes on display are:
Hospice House, 2595 S. Meridian Road: Scheduled for its official house warming on June 1, the new 17,000-square-foot, eight-bed residential house is on 22 acres and features 400 square foot rooms. Each of the Hospice House rooms will include:
• A featured view of the wooded surroundings.
• Wide opening French doors.
• Patio.
• Roll-out beds so clients and visitors can enjoy the surroundings.
• Wide, handicapped accessible bathrooms.
• Sink and refrigerator.
• Dining table.
• Television.
• Fold out sofa so family members can sleep comfortably for short or long-term stays.
• Beds that can be arranged or situated away from the doors and hallways for maximum privacy.
The Fisher home has been a landmark in mid-Michigan since 1935.

The home of Mary Ann and Bud Fisher, 711 S. Fancher:
The hospitality house on the tour, the Fisher home was built in 1935; the Fishers purchased the house in 1977.
Bud Fisher said the only update they’ve done is to modernize the formal kitchen. “Everything else is original structurally,” he said.
An English-Country style 5,000- square-foot home, its other features include:
Natural wood paneling in the library
Touches of marble in the foyer
Slate roofing
Four fireplaces
Carole Howard’s home, 117 Algemah Trail:
A solar home located in the woods on the river is filled with an eclectic mixture of Howard’s own artwork. The home is situated so both sunrise and sunset can be experienced. The house was built 25 years ago. Howard said she saw the layout in a magazine and liked what she saw. “It’s more of a cabin or retreat than a house,” she said. “It definitely has a sense of outdoors and coziness.” Among the features of Howard’s 1,600-square-foot, two bedroom and two bathroom home are:
• Tile flooring that holds heat
• A wood stove
• Cedar walls
• Enclosed sun porch
• Outside deck
• A studio for Howard to work on her paintings

The living room of the Verweys' home opens through an arched doorway into a sunny garden room.

The home of Cindi and Dave Verwey, 420 S. Main:
Built in 1884, the Verweys’ home has had several owners through the years and undergone many updates.
“It’s a beautiful, old home with arched doorways,” Cindi said. Residents of the home for about two years, the Verweys’ decor is described by Cindi as an eclectic taste.
“It’s not just one thing, but a combination of things with the decor,” Cindi said. Among the unique aspects of the home are a bathroom with a half bath that features high ceilings and a mural on the wall, and a painted swinging door between the kitchen and dining room with a picture of the Verweys’ dog.
“We have a pretty wild bathroom,” Cindi said.
Features of the Verweys’ 2,000- square-foot, three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath home include:
• Oak wood floors and Corian countertops
• Big windows
• A garden room on the southeast side of the house that the Verweys believe was added in the 1940s.
• A veranda off the upstairs bedroom
• Balcony off the master bedroom
Student Vocational House, 1205 Abbey Lane:
The 39th home built by Mt. Pleasant High School vocational students, the 2,195-square-foot ranch home has three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a full basement with a full bath and room for two more rooms downstairs. The student-built home also includes a master suite (with a walk-in closet) and a two-car attached garage with an additional small shop or room on the back of the garage that has a small overhead door and can be used to store things like a motorcycle or lawnmower.
Featuring a sunken living room with a gas fireplace, the house is expected to be completed by the first of June and will then go up for sale, said Career Technical Education Director Michael Pung.
“It’s a pretty good value because the house is such that it has a lot of extras you wouldn’t get with a spec home,” Pung said. “It’s a real good quality home at an affordable price.”
As an example of the extras included, Pung said the house will have plug-ins in every room for data and cable. Constructed and designed almost entirely by Mt. Pleasant High School students, the process begins with three to five teams of students competing for the design that is within the constraints of the lot the house is being built on and the architecture surrounding the house.
The winning design is chosen by a vocational careers committee. Students work daily on the house from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Upon finishing the home, students receive a certificate of completion, which is recognized by employers and often help students get job placements in their chosen fields, Pung said.
“There is a lot of pride for the kids when the house is completed,” Pung said.

Founded in 1934, the Women's City Club first hosted the “house walk” as it was known, in 1967. The event is the only fundraiser used to provide six $500 music scholarships to area music students. Tickets for the tour are $7 in advance at Coldwell Banker Mt. Pleasant Realty, the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce office, or Gray’s Furniture, or $8 on the day of the tour. Participants may purchase tickets at the homes and can tour the homes in any order of preference. Shoe removal at the homes is required.

Text by Sun Community Editor Jeremy Dickman.
Photos by Sun Photographer Lisa Yanick.


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