Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Decorators Do Their Thing for 2006 Showcase; They're Fixing Up the Barnabas Center with Items from New to You

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Decorators Do Their Thing for 2006 Showcase; They're Fixing Up the Barnabas Center with Items from New to You

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY HURST

FERNANDINA BEACH - The third House of Possibilities is a charmed one for the Barnabas Center.

This year's house - The 1855 Greek revival home at 103 S. 10th St., now owned and renovated by Charis and Neal Swan - is the fifth-oldest in Fernandina Beach. Barnabas officials hear, anecdotally, that previous owners included a family named the Kitchens. And Mrs. Kitchen is rumored to have always had a pot of soup on the stove for those who needed food.

"There are vibes in that house," Barnabas Center Executive Director Susan Holden-Dodge said. "It's a giving house. It's a perfect house."

The 4,000-square-foot plantation home has been restored by the Swans to the grandeur of the early 1800s, but with state-of-the-art updates throughout.

And now for the House of Possibilities, a bevy of interior designers has decorated a portion of the house to showcase their individual talents.

Designers this year include Absolute Fabrics with New River Adventures, Amelia Interior, Azure & Dune, Bark Avenue, Colorworks, Craven Design Group, Designs of Interior, Divide Finds, Exito, Karen's Fabrics with Spoiled Rotten, Rowland's Upholstery Plus, the Billiard Factory, The Plantation Shop and Well Traveled Living.

In each room, designers must use items from New to You, the Barnabas Center's thrift shop on 14th Street and everything in the home is for sale, said Barnabas volunteer Glorida Shannon, who is coordinating the decorators.

Holden-Dodge said the House of Possibilities is the major annual fundraiser for the Barnabas Center, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The center assists Nassau County families who find themselves in financial crisis, helping to provide shelter, food and basic necessities. The center also operates the Samaritan Clinic, a free medical clinic for those without insurance.

As part of the Barnabas Center's anniversary celebration, on Dec. 21, all former directors and volunteers of the agency will be invited to breakfast at Applebee's. After breakfast, a special guest will give Barnabas a blessing for a second time.

"Father Edward Booth will drive up from St. …

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