Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin Youth Guild's 40th annual holiday home tour is Dec. 5

With its rich colors, spectacular architectural detail and beautiful furnishings, Thomas and Diane Borree's Dunedin home could make the cover of a magazine any time of the year.

But it's even more special when they put up the "snowing" Christmas tree, hang the giant ornaments and set the table with an eclectic variety of china and crystal patterns.

"When we have dinner parties, I like to have the guests pick up a salad bowl, then find the matching place setting," she said.

"That way, everyone mixes and meets new people."

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, she'll be expecting hundreds of new guests during the Dunedin Youth Guild's 40th annual holiday home tour.

Eight homes are featured this year along an expanded route that includes Dunedin, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. During the event, volunteer docents will share insights about each home and its decor.

Showcase homes include a massive 13-acre estate with both a summer and winter home and a three-story, 11,000-square-foot Italian villa overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. A harpist is slated to play at the Tarpon Springs estate; a pianist will perform at the villa.

Not all homes are lived in.

A Key West-style model home inside the Dunedin development Glencairn Cottages features all the latest innovations for "green living."

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the tour. A book with a map and detailed description of each house serves as a ticket to enter each home.

"We hope to raise a lot of money because the needs of the community are so great this year," said event chairwoman Diana Blethen.

The goal is $15,000, she said. The money goes to support youth programs and scholarships.

Dubbed "A Season of Giving," this year's fundraiser strives to also help those affected by the economic downturn.

This time around, the guild is asking tour patrons to bring canned and nonperishable food items to the traditional tea, held at the First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin.

Those homeowners who are graciously opening the doors include 78-year-old Wanda Sharpe, a guild member for 36 years.

As she unpacked her Waterford crystal, more than 200 sterling silver ornaments and the exquisite Christmas quilt her sister, now deceased, embroidered for her, the memories unfurled.

"I got very emotional," Sharpe said. "It brought back memories of the trips I took all over the world and of the people that gave these things to me."

In East Lake Woodlands, Richard and Deanna Glenn have created lovely harmony between their backyard view of the Brooker Creek Preserve and their naturalist gold, brown and copper-colored decorations.

"Don't be afraid to toss out anything that doesn't work for you anymore," she advises. "Thin the herd after every season."

And don't miss the nearby home of Christopher and Jill Rees in East Lake Woodlands.

Now that hot pink has become the new red, she cleverly blended the two colors with her traditional crystal for a very up-to-date look.

She has created a wonderful children's fantasy playroom with Barbie and My Little Pony vignettes, and a Christmas village with a starry night background that she designed herself.

"When it's all done, it's fun," she said.

Some tips

Some decorating tips for the holidays as shared by some of the homeowners:

• Wind multiple strands of lights deep into Christmas tree branches. For a subtle glistening effect, use no more than one or two strands of twinkling lights.

• Fill sparse areas of the tree with tulle, garland or quilt batting (looks like snow).

• Use lots of miniature trees, animation and a variety of colored lights for a great-looking Christmas village.

• Take advantage of after-Christmas bargains — it's a great way to grow collections.

• Find something you love and build on that theme.

• When it comes to decorating for Christmas, more is better.

• Enjoy the holiday season. Don't get stressed out about it.


If you go

What: "A Season of Giving" is the Dunedin Youth Guild's 40th annual self-guided tour that raises money for youth programs and scholarships.

When: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Also featured: A holiday boutique and complimentary tea with cookies and sandwiches at the First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin, 455 Scotland. Boutique is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; tea hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring canned goods to the tea for donation to local food pantries.

Tickets: $20 in advance, available at various Dunedin community locations; $25 if purchased the day of the tour. Programs with maps and descriptions of homes are provided.

For tickets or more information: Call the Dunedin Youth Guild at (727) 734-0394.

Dunedin Youth Guild's 40th annual holiday home tour is Dec. 5 11/28/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 29, 2009 3:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more


    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  2. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles


    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]
  3. Photo of the Day for September 22, 2017 - Willets taking flight

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dan Cleary of Madeira Beach, FL.

  4. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes


    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  5. Puerto Rico could face months without electricity after Hurricane Maria (w/video)


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The eye of Hurricane Maria was nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico sought to recover from the storm's devastation.

    A pregnant woman carries empty plastic bottles to collect water a day after the impact of Hurricane Maria, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, Thursday, September 21, 2017. As of Thursday evening, Maria was moving off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic with winds of 120 mph (195 kph). The storm was expected to approach the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas late Thursday and early Friday. [Associated Press]