VOL. 113 | NO. 189 | Tuesday, October 5, 1999
As clock rolls over to 2000, annual show to feature large, luxurious homes with touches of 19th century elegance
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Large, luxurious homes with elements of old-style elegance will be the focus of the 1999 Vesta Home Show, the Memphis Area Home Builders Associations annual new home showcase that has evolved into a popular attraction during the past several years.
This years version of the annual event, which allows participating builders and interior designers to showcase their talents to the public, opens to the public Saturday and continues through Oct. 24 at The Neighborhood at Schilling Farms in Collierville.
Vesta, which attracts more than 29,000 visitors each year and features homes designed and decorated by local businesses, selects one community annually for the new home design and construction showcase.
The return to a slower, more relaxed era of family living appears to be the theme of this years show, which features six homes with an average size of about 4,500 square feet and ranging in price from $450,000 to $560,000.
The six Vesta homes are the first to be built in The Neighborhood, the first residential section of Schilling Farms, a $350 million, 443-acre, multi-use planned development located on the western edge of Collierville.
The development, a joint venture between Boyle Investment Co. and Harry Smith, chairman of Schilling Inc., eventually will have 1.5 million square feet of office space and 90 acres of distribution space in addition to a variety of residential neighborhoods.
This years Vesta show marks the third time the event has been held in Collierville.
David Parsons, chairman of the 16th annual Vesta Home Show, said Schilling Farms was an impressive development, and the homes in this years show, featuring traditional styling and elements of 19th century architecture, were "sure to spark the interest of thousands."
"I think the success of last years show at Grove Park and the attractive location of this years event will attract additional interest," Parsons said.
More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the 16-day event, which is being sponsored by First Tennessee, WRVR-The River 104 FM and News Channel 3. A portion of the proceeds from this years Vesta show, one of MAHBAs major annual fundraisers, will be donated to the International Childrens Heart Foundation.
Five registered builders are participating in this years show - four newcomers to the event and two veterans.
Local builders participating in Vesta for the first time include Jack and Betty Werne of Bellewood Homes; Tyke Johnson of Brentwood Builders LLC; Jim McCauley of Jim McCauley & Co. Homes; and Danny Sparkman of Sparkman Home Builders LLC, who has built two homes for the show.
The returning builders are Phil Chamberlain and Jon McCreery of Chamberlain & McCreery.
"Weve got an excellent group of some of the most respected builders in the area participating in the show this year, and a lot of those builders are already heavily involved in building in the Collierville area," Parsons said.
For several years, Collierville has maintained its status as one of the fastest growing communities in Tennessee, as well in the entire United States, in terms of residential and new home construction.
With its mature oak trees, sidewalks and open park spaces, Schilling Farms is designed to appeal to homebuyers searching for new homes in an old-style neighborhood setting.
The master plan for Schilling Farms was developed in collaboration with Cooper, Robertson & Partners of New York City and Looney Ricks Kiss of Memphis.
"Schilling Farms is reminiscent of a bygone era," said J. A. Hayden, III, vice president of Boyle. "Strict building codes and attention to the smallest details are helping us maintain the small town atmosphere and architectural heritage of Collierville."
Builders had to submit their Vesta home plans to Boyles design review board. "Each one of those homes have had a lot of thought put into the exterior so that it resulted in the feel and design everyone was looking for in the whole community," Parsons said.
Some of the architectural features of the homes in this years Vesta show resemble those built in Collierville during the first half of the 19th century. Some of the homes reflect the architecture of the late Federal period, from about 1835 to 1840, and some have Greek Revival characteristics similar to homes built in the area during the 1860s.
The Vesta homes have been built around McGinnis Park, the point focal of The Neighborhood, the first phase of which will contain 87 lots.
"We think we have the setting and all the ingredients for one of the most successful home shows weve ever had," Parsons said.
For the past several years, larger-sized, luxurious homes have been the hallmark of the annual Vesta Home Show.
"The developers weve been approached by seem to have that product," Parsons said. "Over the years, weve recognized that weve traditionally been in this upper end, and we are aware that there are some people who would like to see the smaller, lower-end houses.
"But overall, these larger homes allow you to do so much more inside a home from the molding, to the hardwood floors to the upper end cabinets - and thats what people come to see. A lot of people also want to come in and look at the decor, and the theme and the colors, and that price and size range allows you to put that in there."
Larger homes also are easier to move crowds through, he said.
All of the homes in this years Vesta show are available for sale; both of Danny Sparkmans homes already have sold prior to the show.
This years Vesta show also will feature special interest days, where experts from various housing related fields will be on hand to provide tips and answer questions.
Tuesday, Oct. 12 has been designated "Decorator Day."
Local designers participating in this years show include Pam Warren of Goldsmiths; Linda Davis of Forgotten Treasures; Patti Brooks King of Elegant Interiors; Donna Kirk of Kirk Designs; Lynn Feathers of Lynn Feathers Interiors; Amy Thigpen of Samuels Furniture and Interiors; and Janet Bowden, Jeff Willis and Bill Patterson.
Other promotional days include Oct. 19 as "Chefs Day," with local chef preparing food in each homes kitchen; Oct. 14 as "Builder Day," Oct. 21 as "Landscaper Day," and Oct. 17 as "WREG News Channel 3 Day."
The Vesta Home Show will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Saturday through Oct. 24 and will be open until 9 p.m. on Fridays.
Tickets are $7 at the gate for each day's events, and must be purchased at least one hour before closing time. Discount advance tickets can be purchased at First Tennessee Bank locations in Bartlett, Collierville and Germantown.
Children under 12 are admitted free if accompanied by an adult, and there is no charge for parking.
Discounts are available to groups of 10 or more for tours taken any Monday through Thursday. These tickets must be purchased in advance through the MAHBA.
For additional information or to schedule tours, contact the MAHBA at 756-4500.