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3223 Hawthorne Ave. in Ginter Park is the site of the 2016 RSOL Designer House (Photo courtesy RE/MAX Commonwealth)
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The formal living room at 3223 Hawthorne Ave.(Photo courtesy RE/MAX Commonwealth)
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The formal grounds include a terrace, swimming pool, fountain and garden paths. (Photo courtesy RE/MAX Commonwealth)
After months of searching for just the right house, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League has finally found a location for its 2016 Designer House. The biennial event will this year be held at “Pineapple Acre,” a 1929 Georgian revival house at 3223 Hawthorne Ave. in Ginter Park. The house will be transformed by local interior designers and will be open for tours Sept. 12 through Oct. 10, with all proceeds benefiting the Richmond Symphony.
The house is currently owned by Dr. Archer and Viola Baskerville. He is a cardiologist, and she is a former Richmond city councilwoman, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1998 to 2005 and Virginia Secretary of Administration under Gov. Tim Kaine. The couple had lived in the house for 30 years but recently downsized. They had been trying to sell the house when it was identified by the RSOL as a potential designer house location.
“We’ve been looking for months for the right location,” says Susan Williams, RSOL board president. “We’ve looked at so many houses. This one is going to be great because it’s got that old architecture that designers can have fun with.”
The house was designed by architect Courtenay Somerville Welton in 1929 and is located on just over an acre of landscaped grounds. The house features an entry with 8- and 12-foot windows, a Palladian library window overlooking the garden and 9 1/2-foot ceilings. Along with gracious formal rooms on the first floor, the house has five bedrooms and four and a half baths on its second and third floors. The formal grounds include a terrace, swimming pool, fountain and garden paths.
The process of transforming the home into the 2016 RSOL Designer House will begin next week as the tour committee begins to solicit and then selects interior and landscape designers to work on the project. Interested designers and decorators will be invited to tour the home and then submit proposals for their first-, second- and third-choice rooms. A committee will choose its favorites, then invite the selected designers to make formal presentations of their designs. The committee hopes to have the designers selected sometime in May, Williams says.
Then, after a “Bare Bones” kick-off event on Aug. 4, where the public can see the house before its transformation, the selected designers take over and will begin to work their magic to install the latest décor. A gala preview party will be held on Sept. 9, with the house opening for daily tours on Sept. 12.
The Designer House is a month-long event featuring daily general admission tours, an on-site café and a boutique where local artisans sell clothing, jewelry, accessories, home goods and crafts. It is held every other year and is the largest fundraiser of the RSOL. The 2014 Designer House at Hallsley netted $200,000 for the Richmond Symphony, Williams says.