Tom and Leslie Manley's contemporary, French provincial home will be one of five to welcome guests this year during the West Lake Garden Club's 2003 tour of homes, A Glimpse of Christmas.
The annual tour, which benefits the Columbia County Foundation for Children, will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 6.
Mr. and Mrs. Manley moved from Maryland 1 1/2 years ago. She left her decorating business behind, but when she arrived, she unpacked her decorating talents, applying faux finishes to furniture, walls and architectural accents throughout the home.
The fireplace and column bases in the living room are painted to simulate black marble, and nearly every piece in her dining room has her artistic touch - most items are scavenged from yard sales or consignment shops.
When she couldn't find a fabric she liked, Leslie Manley's former business partner painted the cushions and backs of a pair of chairs to mimic embroidery.
Leslie Manley sits on the front step of her home in West Lake, which will be featured in a Christmas tour of homes.
Photo by Annette M. Drowlette
"It's amazing what you can do when you recycle," she said.
The colors in the home also are noteworthy. The living room is painted a deep salmon, and the dining room is a clay color - "happy earth tones," Leslie Manley calls them. The den is sage, with a pumpkin colored ceiling, and she has applied a faux metallic finish in the kitchen.
Her interpretations of everyday items are everywhere - a string-shade lamp made from her father's old jug, a side table topped with leftover swimming pool tile, decorative gold shelves turned upside down to create decorative accents over the dining room windows.
She also has applied her decorator's touch to the home's Christmas decor. Of the home's four themed Christmas trees, the one in the paneled den includes more than 50 dolls her parents collected in travels around the world. The silver and gold tree in the entrance includes some of her grandmother's ornaments, the tree in the living room has White House ornaments she has collected since 1976 and the tree in the den displays ornaments for the couple's three children's.
Other homes to be featured during the tour are:
James and Sandie Ball's home, which is built around a courtyard and features a pool and fountain. The kitchen's focal point is a brick arched cooking area. Their home is filled with many unique furnishings from their world travels.
The Manleys' living room in West Lake mixes several furniture styles.
Photo by Annette M. Drowlette
David and Tiffany Faircloth's brick, two-story home features a grand, multi-level staircase, with a striking hanging fountain as a focal point to the home's entrance. The house has a paneled study, beautiful woodworking and ceiling treatments.
Kip and Tina Plowman's home is a remodeled brick Georgian. New additions include a master suite, new kitchen and sunroom. It is filled with charming furnishings and warm colors.
Ron and Jeriann Benton's home includes many hand-painted details by a local artist. Among these is a sports-themed bedroom signed by a famous golfer. Other features are a study, sun room and master suite balcony overlooking the pool.
Tickets to the tour cost $10 each and are available at Carpenter's Art Gallery, Weinberger's Furniture, Shear Southern Salon and Persnickety Interiors. Raffle tickets will be sold the day of the tour for a botanical print.
"The homeowners help you get into the true spirit of Christmas," said Karen Goodell, the tour's chairwoman. "By letting us tour their homes, they are helping to make the future brighter for some of Columbia County's disadvantaged children. We hope everyone will come."
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