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Behind the Scenes of the 2011 Bucks County Designer House and Gardens

The Empty House Party lets visitors see the "before" version of the showcase house.

Get ready to peek behind the scenes of this year’s Bucks County Designer House and Gardens.

Catch a glimpse of Old Glory Farm before a select group of professional designers work their magic and turn the historic fieldstone manor house in Buckingham into a showcase of home finery.

Each year, the Village Improvement Association, sponsor of the Designer House, throws an Empty House Party to allow guests to preview the home and grounds prior to their transformation. This one is planned for March 6 from 2 to 5 p.m.

“This is your opportunity to meet the interior and outdoor designers and get a sense of how their visions will transform the property in less than 60 days,” said Phyllis Morris, chairwoman of the Empty House Party. “The designers represent some of the best design talent the area has to offer.”

Designers will apply their talents to seven individual spaces in the original section of the 9,400-square-foot home, which dates back to the 1790s. Additional areas in the home’s distinctively modern additions – including a morning room, sunroom, great room, loft and media room – also will be enhanced by the interior designers as they take their inspiration from each space’s uniqueness.

According to the Designer House website, some items that will be integrated in the designs will come from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore resale outlet in Chalfont. 

The property, at 3719 Indian Spring Road, overlooks 15 acres of countryside and includes a 2-acre pond. The grounds will receive a makeover, too, as 12 teams of outdoor designers will use their abilities to revamp garden areas, such as a two-level side terrace, a rear terrace, a hot tub garden, a stream bridge and garden walls, bird sanctuary, gazebo, barn and waterfalls in the arbor garden.

Explore the house and grounds, but make sure to take advantage of some of the other offerings. The Waterwheel restaurant outside of Doylestown is catering the event with light fare and wine. And don’t forget to take your chances at a silent auction and “basket of cheer” raffles.

Cost of the Empty House Party is $25 if reservations are made before Feb. 23 (which can be done online); $30 at the door.

Proceeds from all Designer House events benefit the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown, the organization that raises money for Doylestown Hospital.

The 36th annual Designer House tour, running May 1-29 with a preview gala April 29, kicks off the latest pledge to raise $1 million over five years to update and renovate the labor, delivery and postpartum facilities at Doylestown Hospital. 

For the Empty House Party, visitors should park at Cold Spring Elementary School, 4150 Durham Road, and take a shuttle bus to Old Glory Farm. Shuttles will leave every six minutes, starting at 1:45 p.m. and continuing through 6 p.m. There will be no parking at the Designer House site that day.

Information: (215) 345-2191 or www.buckscountydesignerhouse.org.

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