VENICE — Park once and visit five personalized residences, all located on the island of Venice.

Leave it to the American Association of University Women’s Venice branch to plan a home tour that is both inspirational and convenient.

This year’s AAUW home tour will from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.

All of the family homes can be seen on a half-mile circular walking route. Proceeds will help fund scholarships for area women to help them continue their education.

There are five homes — one vintage and four built within the past 10 years.

The vintage 1948 bungalow, which only two families have occupied, is currently owned by a nationally known metal sculptor. He is the son of its second owner.

It is a midcentury classic with the requisite Florida room. When built, at 640 W. Venice Ave., it was the first residential construction on that section of this historic street. These days it doubles as residence and series of galleries in which the owner can display his art collection mixed with objects of his own creation.

The four newer homes honor the island’s historic styles while featuring contemporary, functional open interiors.

At 633 W. Venice Ave., there is space for inviting furnishings and treasured accessories plus a gran piano in the living room, a great room with more space and a spacious lanai.

The third home, an easy-going comfortable style, is just beyond a metal gate at 617 W. Venice Ave. Within, floating shelves, lit from behind on either side of the fireplace, establish a mellow mood.

Wood adds additional warmth in the great room’s handsome flooring, coffered ceiling and barn doors that lead to the guest wing.

John Nolen, the urban planner who laid out the design for Venice in 1926, designated a lot on Park Boulevard South, as two-home sites. When the single residence that originally stood there was replaced, it reverted to his original vision.

One of the homes belongs to an owner who isn’t afraid to mix the old and the new; antiques with flea market finds. A light touch with the background colors in this home link gracefully with the outdoors and an oversized, screened patio expands the living space. It’s at 214 Park Boulevard South.

The home next door, at 216 Park Boulevard South, would be as much at home in Charleston as it is in coastal Florida. Pecky cypress lines the coffered ceiling. Glass-fronted upper cabinets in the kitchen put a focus on favorite accessories. A dramatic wall of black and white family photographs personalize this space and make it clear that it’s all about family.

Ticket price is $30 at any of the homes on the day of the tour. Tickets purchased made ahead of tour day are $25, a savings of $5 per ticket.

“Early purchases will expedite traffic flow that day and will also create a savings incentive for purchasers to visit our community partners who are supporting us in this fundraising endeavor,” according to the tour.

It is being co-chaired by Sue Farstrup and Samira Easton.

Purchase tickets in advance from AAUW members or at the following locations:

Cole’s Postal Service U.S.A, 2357-3 South Tamiami Trail Collectors Gallery & Frames, 114 S. Nokomis Ave. Down Island Way Boutique, 225 W. Miami Ave. Venice Olive Oil Co., 101 W. Venice Ave., Suite 5. Venice Art Center, 390 S. Nokomis Ave.

Additional support for the tour came from Caithness Construction, a custom residential builder based in Venice, who made a financial contribution to offset the costs of printing tickets and posters for this project. That helps fund additional scholarships for the women who benefit frp, the tour by completing their educations.

Parking information: permission has been given by the city of Venice for ticket holders for the tour to park on West Venice Avenue and on Park Boulevard South while they are visiting these homes.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. With nearly 250 members, the Venice branch is the largest in the state of Florida and one of the largest in the nation.

More information is available


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