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Virginia Run Homes Sparkle for Holidays

Featuring everything from a slice of New York to English country style to the poshest paints and furnishings, the Virginia Run Home and Garden Club is presenting its eighth Holiday Homes Tour, Friday, Dec. 12, from 6-11 p.m.

The event begins at the Virginia Run Community Center on Wetherburn Court (off Route 29 and Pleasant Valley Road in Centreville) with a wine-and-cheese reception from 6-8 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Beautification of Centreville project, and a donation will be made to the Westfield High choir which will perform at 7 p.m. at the community center.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased from club president and event organizer Mary-Rose Woodward at 6106 Oakengate Way, between Dec. 9-11, from 7-9 p.m. They're also available during the reception at the community center. For more information, contact Woodward at 703-222-2489 or at Lvtoocook@aol.com or Judy Kelsen at 703-263-0576 or at Judy@Kelsen.com.

Six homes are on the tour and, said Woodward, "It's something everyone will enjoy because every home has something special to offer. And the tour — which has been held, off and on, since 1992 — is back by popular demand, after a couple years' absence."

Since Virginia Run is an established neighborhood, she said the residents are getting "really creative" in their renovations, interior design and landscaping. Said Woodward: "People are upgrading their homes, so tourgoers can find new ideas not only for the holidays, but for their every-day home style."

Opening their homes for this year's candlelight tour are Bill and Pat Duke, Wayne and Chris Hobbs, Larry and Megan Megale, Chris and Diane Mullins, Mike and Katherine Petty and Nancy O'Shea. Below are descriptions of some of the treats in store at each home:

<sh>The Mullins Home

<bt>Chris and Diane Mullins have lived in their home on Surrey House Way for six years. This two-story, brick-front Colonial has five bedrooms and a finished basement, and the main floor was renovated two years ago and redecorated.

"We added hardwood floors, and all-new chair railing, crown molding and wainscoting throughout the main floor," said Diane. "And we had custom-built cabinetry put into the family room, on either side of the fireplace, and also into the basement."

The living room is special to the Mullinses because it contains a desk made by Chris' grandfather and a gallery of family photos. The kitchen is also a highlight of the house. It was redesigned and now features natural-cherry cabinets with natural-maple accents.

The green-and-black granite countertops have a tumbled-marble backsplash behind them and behind the stove. And a tiled arch is cut into the wall behind that stove. There's also a breakfast bar, plus a window-seat banquette with seating for six.

For the holidays, Diane adorns the fireplace mantel in the family room with fresh greenery and fruits. And the Christmas tree in the living room is a Frasier fir decorated with white lights and crystal prisms and accented with burgundy roses plus cream and sage hydrangeas. Fresh-cut flower arrangements, especially roses, will be in the dining room, master bedroom and in the Mullinses' two daughters' rooms.

<sh>The O'Shea House

<bt>Nancy O'Shea has lived on Meherrin Court since July 2001, and her two-story home has a stone exterior in a traditional, Virginia style of architecture. Inside, she's decorated it in English country style, featuring lovely chintz fabrics, plus antiques mixed with contemporary furniture.

With its glass walls, the great room off the kitchen has a cathedral ceiling and seems like a sunroom. "The house has a very warm feeling," said O'Shea. "It's a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed."

The predominant colors are greens with touches of pink, except for her son's room, which is blue. O'Shea is also quite pleased with a sign on the mantel in the great room. It says "Rivermill Farms," referring to a 50-acre horse farm outside Princeton, N.J. where she lived for 20 years prior to moving here.

But she's delighted to be in Virginia Run. Said O'Shea: "I've especially enjoyed the people who live in this community and their warm and generous spirit." She also found a surprise in the woodwork of the great room — an imprint resembling an angel.

For Christmas, she'll have pink poinsettias and candles throughout the house, and fresh greenery along the staircase banister. The highlight will be an 8-foot tree in the great room, decorated with silver balls and pink and silver Victorian ornaments.

<sh>The Hobbs House

<bt>Wayne and Chris Hobbs live on Oakengate Way in a three-level, white-stucco, Colonial home. "I prefer the French country look, with shutters and an old door leaning against my sunroom door," said Chris. "Our home is comfortable and casual."

It's also highlighted by lovely, faux finishes in all three children's bedrooms — each one featuring a scene that wraps all around the room. The boy's room has a race car scene, complete with hubcaps, tires, a stoplight and a gas pump. The oldest daughter has a jungle motif, with vines and animals, and the youngest daughter's room has a meadow with bunnies and a tree.

For the holidays, the Hobbses' Christmas tree in the living room is decorated in red, white and blue, with flags and all-American ornaments. An American flag hangs over the mantel, and red, blue and silver candles, plus patriotic nutcrackers and santas, complete the tableau.

Big red and gold balls hang from the ceiling in the dining room, above the table. There's also a garland, plus photos of the Hobbs children posing with Santa Claus. The kitchen has a 7-foot tree on which, said Chris, "Everything looks like something you would eat — even the lights and topper. All the decorations look like cakes and candies, and the table will be set in a matching candy theme."

In the family room will be a fresh, 14-foot tree adorned with the children's handmade decorations, plus all the ornaments collected by the Hobbses over the years. Decorating the mantel above the fireplace will be branches, red berries and lights, a green-pine garland and handmade stockings.

The sunroom is home to a miniature Christmas village, and a life-sized Santa will greet guests at the front door. And each of the children's bedrooms will have tiny, themed trees and nativity scenes. Said Chris: "We like to go all out with decorating at the holidays so it's fun for the children."

<sh>The Megale Home

<bt>Larry and Megan Megale have lived on Wetherburn Drive for 13 years. "It looks conservative from the outside — and then you step in," jokes Megan. But she's not kidding. This three-story house has been renovated twice and features a unique and creative decorating style reflecting the Megales' sense of humor and joie d' vivre.

The home's New York theme reflects the Megales' roots. The kitchen floor is asphalt with manhole covers, and the walkway leading to it is a crosswalk. The original door from Larry's grandfather's pizzeria in Harlem is near the crosswalk.

Megan did all the mural painting and tile glazing in the house, and she calls its style "funky and eclectic." The bathroom features a Scrabble board in the floor; Megan made the tiles, and each child got to pick a word to put in it.

The family room has a cowboy-scene mural, and a full-sized papier-mache bathing beauty hangs in the family room. "And as you come downstairs from the top floor and look up, there's a guy on a scaffolding holding a paintbrush and eating a hamburger," said Megan.

For the holidays, oversized ornaments hang off the chandelier in the Orchard Room (a reading room), and there's greenery throughout the home. The family room has a 10-foot Frasier fir adorned with whimsical decorations such as flying pigs and an old camera.

Son Matt's room has a sports-themed tree, and daughter Shea's room has "a little tree with little ornaments for a little kid." Tour visitors will also be treated to a funny Christmas surprise. Said Megan: "My house is a conversation piece, all year 'round."

<sh>The Duke Home

<bt>Bill and Pat Duke have lived almost eight years on Martins Hundred Drive in a traditional, split-hall Colonial with a red-brick front. It features a two-story, open foyer, wainscoting throughout the home and classic furniture in cherry and mahogany.

The dining room has Queen Anne style furniture and crimson-red, lacquered walls. "This room, like the entire house, is done in Ralph Lauren paints in rich, deep colors," said Pat. "The kitchen/family room is in neutral, suede-textured paint. People come in and want to touch it."

The lower-level rec room/music room/office has a huge, stone fireplace and a collection of guitars and pianos, since Bill's a musician. And highlighting an upstairs sitting room and a bedroom are Pat's collection of her grandmother's hats dating back to the early 1900s.

For Christmas, the foyer boasts a mixed-green garland intertwined with red velvet and gold ribbon, and the formal living room has a green tree with gold beading, red decorations and White House ornaments.

The kitchen/family room has a Frasier fir adorned with white roses, red berries and red cardinals, and the rec room features a tree decorated with family mementos. An upstairs bedroom has a tree adorned with teacups and Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" characters. And a guest room tree has a hunting motif with men in red jackets, hounds, foxes and galloping horses.

<hd>The Petty House

<sh>Mike and Katherine Petty's house was on Virginia Run's first homes tour, but has been completely redone since then. Katherine is a professional interior designer, and her classy home reflects her talent.

The house reflects a warm feeling with some of the elegance she loves to design. There are special, surprise elements everywhere, and this year's highlight is a Versace ceiling mural in the dining room painted by Katherine's friend and colleague, Brian Gibson.