Featuring five beautiful houses, a silent auction, a boutique and a plant sale, the 30th annual Clifton Homes Tour will be held Thursday, May 16, from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
"We've got a wonderful mix of homes," said homes-tour chairman Diane Smith. "There are two old homes and three newer ones, including an interesting contemporary one."
Sponsored by the Clifton Community Woman's Club, proceeds from the event support the club's charitable projects, including three scholarships given to local high-school seniors or college students needing financial aid.
"We hope to raise at least $15,000," said club spokeswoman and interim president, Dini White. The scholarships are given in late spring/early summer. "One goes to a student who'll attend NOVA; the others are academic and music scholarships to GMU."
Homes-tour tickets are $15 in advance and $18, the day of the tour. They may be purchased in Clifton at the Heart in Hand restaurant, Antiques of Clifton, Baskets and Boughs and Cottage Arts.
Comfortable walking shoes are advised, and children under 10 (including infants) are not allowed. Volunteers will provide the tours of each home; in addition, the Heart in Hand will take lunch reservations, and the Clifton Store will sell box lunches.
Besides seeing the homes, attendees may also enjoy complimentary light refreshments at the Clifton Town Meeting Hall on Chapel Road. Next door, in the fire station, they may visit the boutique, silent auction, Clifton Closet and sale of gently used books.
The boutique will offer various items such as antiques, baskets and crafts and, at the Great Escapes silent auction, participants may bid on restaurant meals; bed-and-breakfast stays; visits to spas, salons and sporting events; and gift baskets for Father's Day and other occasions. The Clifton Closet will not have clothing, but it will feature a variety of household decorative items and gently used "white elephants."
Local businesswomen will have a table displaying their business cards and services, and the book sale will offer everything from cookbooks to fiction. There'll also be a woman's club membership table and one giving information about the Fairfax Station Museum.
A Gardener's Haven at the corner of Chapel Road and Pendleton Avenue will feature locally grown flowers and plants. And a Dolls and Teddy Bears Exhibit will be held in the historic Clifton Primitive Baptist Church at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets.
"In honor of the 100th anniversary of the teddy bear, residents are donating teddy bears for display," said Sharon Emory, in charge of this activity. "There'll be Christmas and patriotic teddy bears, plus books relating to teddy bears. "Patchwork quilts — some heirloom — will also be displayed, as well as old bisque dolls owned by a club member, and a 1940 Dorothy doll from 'The Wizard of Oz.'"
As for the tour itself, Smith said it takes a year to plan, line up the homes, organize committees and attend to hundreds of small details to insure that everything runs smoothly on the big day. Said Smith: "We started the tour a year after the club was founded, and the whole club works on it."
Homes on display are as follows:
<bt>Called "Miriaha," this house on Chapel Road is owned by Glenn Daniels and, at one time, was a summer cottage for people — even several U.S. presidents — coming to Clifton on the Orange and Alexandria Railway to bathe in the healing waters of Paradise Springs. Built in 1898, a wood stove was its only source of heat.
But in 1991, Daniels enlarged the home considerably, adding a formal living room and adjoining deck and raising the room on the second floor to make room for the master bedroom and second bathroom. The house features antiques, as well as a large collection of crocks and a Tiffany-style lamp in the entry room.
<bt>This Dell Avenue home was built in 1904, and the present owners, Sherry and Corey Harlow, more than doubled its size last year with a two-story addition. The home features a rainbow of colorful walls — lime green in the dining room, orange in the guest bedroom, royal blue in the kitchen and ruby red in the upstairs hallway.
Some of the antique furniture dates from the mid-1800s, and the master bedroom is adorned with a sleigh bed, animal prints, a wall-to-ceiling fireplace and a cozy sitting area.
<bt>Owned by Anne and Barry Sharp, this home on Twelve Oaks Drive in Fairfax Station features elegant living and dining rooms and a comfortable library. The Sharps built and customized their house, and the result is quite lovely.
Faux stone walls decorate the kitchen, and the large family/media room features a half-dozen paintings of Chincoteague, Va. The entire lower level is devoted to fun. It contains a separate theater, bar, music room, pool table and a room with the ambiance of the 1960s. Outside are a deck and landscaped pool.
<bt>Mary and Michael Dash, the owners, have lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East, and their home on Clifton Hunt Court contains many mementos of their trips. The formal sitting room contains Russian boxes and a collection of oil lamps dating from the Byzantine period. An inlaid backgammon table from Damascus is in the family room, and framed Eastern silks created with 18-carat-gold thread adorn the sitting room, sunroom and dining room.
Antique furniture, quilts, coverlets and rugs made by the owners may be seen on the upper level. One guest bedroom features a large braided rug made by Mary Dash's grandmother, and decorating another guest bedroom is a mural of an English fairy garden painted by Dash, herself.
<bt>Built on five acres on Crestridge Road in Fairfax Station, this is the home of Susan and Gerry Sikorski, and it contains many mementos of Congressman Gerry Sikorski's 10 years on Capitol Hill as a representative from Minnesota. Don't miss the Chinese sculpture in the dining room; it was brought from China when that country first opened to the West.
This contemporary house has a spiral staircase leading from the master bedroom suite to an office area, and a crow's nest looks out onto the property. The lower level features a collage of family photos, and the congressman created the beautiful ponds and gardens outside.