It was a picture-perfect day when the Steel Magnolias presented their 14th annual Long Beach Home Design Tour on May 6. The homes on the tour were just as impressive as the weather. The members of Steel Magnolias pride themselves in showcasing extraordinary properties that offer a range of inspiring interiors. This year’s featured homes were as tour-worthy as ever.
As usual, the 200 or so guests checked in at Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance before heading off on their self-driving tours. During their tour, they stopped by the beautiful Park Estate home of Steel Magnolias Chairman Anthony Gagliardi for the reception that ran throughout the day. His terraced backyard is the ideal setting for a garden party.
While there, guests could shop at the fashionista boutique, nosh on food from Boathouse on the Bay and E.J. Malloy’s and quench their thirst with a variety of options while enjoying the music of Rock for Vets.
Each home had a distinct personality with entertainment that complimented the home’s ambiance. There was an Italian-inspired villa, with a harpist providing soothing background music.
The home boasted a Venetian plaster fireplace and a custom-made Murano chandelier. The 10,000 square-foot estate on view was a masterpiece for entertaining. It had a large pool and rock waterfall complete with a slide that ran through a hill. Mermaid Caribbean Perl looked like she had found her new home there.
The highlight at that home was the basement Speakeasy Comedy Club where the homeowner performed a handful of shows for the Home Tour guests.
A home with a twist was the “home” of Assistance League of Long Beach. Their Philanthropic Center houses a museum-quality collection of Asian art. Highlights include Chinese silks and court robes, Chickanobu woodblock prints and rare Japanese tea caddies, which are shared with the public and Long Beach Unified School District students.
Even after the homes closed for touring, the reception continued at the Gagliardi home. Event Co-chairs Jeannie Jones, Cathy King and Gary Lee Wolf, were seen scurrying about to ensure everyone had a good time.
Dr. Gary Feldman, (with staff Candace Perisho and Ioana Pal) from the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center, touched hearts as he described the work being done at the center and the importance of the funds raised by this event.
Auctioneer Phil Jones offered exciting prizes which the attendees generously purchased in a show of support for the cause. The fun and goodwill netted $38,000 to help kids with autism, cleft lip and other developmental delays. It was a very satisfying day.
Shirley Wild, Press-Telegram Society Columnist