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Visit Unique Houses on Westfield's 'Home for the Holidays' Tour Dec. 7

Jill D'Ambrosio

Sunday, December 1, 2013 • 9:16pm

WESTFIELD, NJ – The third annual “Home for the Holidays” Westfield house tour featuring four unique homes will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 pm.

Proceeds from the tour, whose title sponsor is Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Westfield West office, will benefit the Continuo Arts Foundation, a Westfield-based inter-generational cultural outreach organization that supports a variety of choral and ensemble groups.

Tickets are $30 in advance and can be purchased at Coldwell Banker’s Westfield West office or by calling Continuo Arts at 908-264-5324. Tickets will also be available at each home on the day of the tour for $35.

The four homes to be shown are located on or near well-traveled roads, and several are clustered in nearby neighborhoods, which should create an easy-to-navigate route, according to house tour chair Sherrie Natko, a sales associate at Coldwell Banker.

“They are all special in their own way,” she said of the homes.

While many of the homes to be showcased date back decades or more, they have been extensively updated or renovated to include new kitchens, family rooms or other amenities. They will be decked out for the holidays as well.

A spacious six-bedroom Colonial at 542 St. Mark’s Avenue was built in 1920. The house boasts a grand piano, and visitors will be treated to a live performance while touring the home. Gail Marner Designs worked on the décor for the tour, and Kay Cross was the floral designer.

Another featured home is 417 South Euclid Avenue, a Victorian arts and crafts house built in 1910, which has box beams and a kitchen addition. Carolers will sing for those on tour at this home. Staging was provided by L’image Design Studio.

The oldest of the four homes on the tour is 128 North Chestnut Street. A Victorian built in 1883, the house has an expanded family room and tin ceilings in the foyer and formal dining room.

Visitors to this house can also enjoy the owner’s collection of items and antiques, accumulated while living abroad in Asia and Europe. Peggy Schott Designs prepared this home for the tour, while Christoffers in Mountainside provided floral arrangements.

Located in the Indian Forest section of town, 206 Watchung Fork is characterized by intimate areas with distinct personalities, such as a butler’s pantry and a study. The slate floors in the kitchen, breakfast room and mudroom are heated, as well. Decorators from around the country contributed their work to this home.

Natko noted that tour participants can visit the homes in any order. Tours are restricted to the first floors.

Continuo Arts plans to use proceeds raised from the tour for its scholarship and concert funds, according to Candace Wicke, the foundation’s president and executive director.

“Continuo Arts was founded on the premise that art and music should be made available to all regardless of socio-economic status,” Wicke said. “Talented students in need are provided performance scholarships, our major concert series are presented free to the public, and our Seniors Sing ensemble is free to all seniors who love to sing.”

Several local merchants will be offering gift coupons to those attending the tour. Tour guests can bring their ticket or program to receive reserved seating at the “Christmas Time in the City” holiday concert on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

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