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Taste of the Mediterranean awaits at the Bucks County Designer House & Gardens

A second floor bedroom in the Bucks County Designer House.
Geoff Patton — Digital First Media


What: Bucks County Designer House Gardens.

When: Open through May 30 (closed Memorial Day), hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Where: 745 Stump Road, Warrington. If on-site parking is full, there will be shuttle service from satellite parking lots.

Tickets: $30, $25 for seniors 62+. Children over 10 welcome. Note that the house is not handicapped accessible.

Info: Call (215) 345-2191 or visit

The rooms in the 2015 Bucks County Designer House Gardens — the 40th presented by the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown — seem to flow together even better than usual this year.


Here’s just a few reasons to keep coming back to the Bucks County Designer House Gardens. For the complete schedule of special events, see

Mediterranean Culinary Event: 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 3. Tickets are $75.

Fashion Shows: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 7 or 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 8 at the Doylestown Country Club, 20 Country Club Drive, Doylestown. Tickets are $35.

Meet the Design Team: 4 to 6 p.m. May 14.

Community Health Fair by Doylestown Health: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 16.

Blue Jean Bash: 5 to 8 p.m. May 30. Tickets are $40.

For example, the color scheme in the second-floor wraparound hall — highlighted by a series of 16 custom black and white/sepia framed mural paintings on the walls, some featuring Bucks County landmarks — complements the tones of the large stone fireplace below in the Oskar Huber-designed “great room.”

The bedroom suites also have a nice flow to them. The luxurious master bedroom has enough space for its own living room. “It’s nice to delineate the sleeping (area) from the living (area),” said designer Kathy Levine of Ethan Allen in Montgomeryville, during a media preview day for the house, pointing out nuances of the design plan.

“There are apartments in New York that aren’t this big,” designer house marketing committee member Linda Sullivan remarked of the master bathroom spa.

One of the upstairs bedrooms, decorated in relaxing light blues and whites, tastefully mixes vintage furniture from both the 18th century and the 1940s. It flows into a “rustic modern” bathroom, and into an office area that designer Suzanne Ryan of French Quarter Moon Interiors in Warrington imagined Coco Chanel using. Including an entrance vestibule, this suite involved four separate designers, yet it’s cohesive as a whole.

Just about all of “Villa d’Braccia”’s 24 rooms incorporate some kind of Mediterranean reference into their designs, whether it’s the use of Italian-flavor tile or marble, a balcony at the front of the house, trompe l’oeil artwork or a small framed sign in French hanging on the wall of the downstairs powder room. Summarized, its English translation is “keep it clean.”

With a distinctive, wrought iron front gate, the Abruzzi-inspired villa at 745 Stump Road in Warrington Township was built in the late ‘80s on land that had a very long history of farming. “The owner is a builder,” Sullivan noted, speaking of Nick Braccia.

The roomy, 2,400-square-foot finished basement has its own kitchen, plus a bar/lounge and game room. Doylestown interior designer and color consultant Barbara Cooper decorated half of the basement space, breaking it down into several quirky-yet-homey open sections, like a cozy sewing corner, a dining area with a table made from a salvaged wood pallet, and a common area with accent tables that have groups of paint cans as their base. “Details For the Home, redesign for what you own,” Cooper said, mentioning the name of her business and rhyming it with her philosophy of recycling discarded items from her husband’s construction jobs.

Likewise, the bar/lounge area by Hearth Hedgerow has some interesting reclaimed pieces, like a panel from a church confessional booth that’s now a table.

The game room’s designer, Kelley Price of Doylestown, noted that Lansdale’s Shabby Attic lent some pieces for her artistic vision.

Get the most out of your ticket and take time to stroll the gardens — 14 horticultural vignettes of various sizes across the property’s 3.92 acres. This year’s exterior designers are Across the Pond — Aquascapes, Bucks Country Gardens, Enliven Planters, Jerry Sons Landscaping, Landscape Design Group, Mt. Lake Pool Patio, Stenger Landscaping, and Wild Birds Unlimited.

You’re encouraged to share the overflowing memorable home fashion/improvement ideas on social media and tagging “Bucks-County Designer-House” on Facebook, tweeting @bcdesignerhouse, and sharing your photos on Pinterest. “We hope to have a selfie station,” said designer house chairwoman Jean Upton.

There’s also an Arbor Bistro to relax with a bite to eat, boutique shopping and opportunities to view and purchase home décor, furniture and artwork specially selected for the designer house. “Almost everything you see is for sale,” Sullivan said.

By the way, with more than 7,000 square feet, the property is on the market, listed at a cool $2.1 million.

April 26, which was the opening day for this years Bucks County Designer House Gardens, marked the 120th anniversary of the first meeting of the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown. Originally organized over concerns about the then-dusty roads in Doylestown, the association took on bigger projects, founding Doylestown Hospital — now Doylestown Health — in 1923. The VIA created the designer house event in 1971 as a fundraiser for the hospital, and this year’s proceeds are expected to complete a $1 million gift to upgrade the maternity center, according to Upton.

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