Decorators’ ShowHouse returns to Shelby County

The 2014 Decorators' ShowHouse, an annual fundraiser benefitting the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, returns to Shelby County at Greystone's Villa D'Ambra April 26 through May 11. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

The 2014 Decorators’ ShowHouse, an annual fundraiser benefitting the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, returns to Shelby County at Greystone’s Villa D’Ambra April 26 through May 11. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor

HOOVER — The 2014 Decorators’ ShowHouse, an annual fundraiser benefitting the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, returns to Shelby County at Greystone’s Villa D’Ambra April 26 through May 11.

Advance tickets are available for $15 each at English Ivy Home Decor and Gifts, 250 Doug Baker Blvd., Suite 100, Hoover. Tickets are $20 each after April 25 and $15 for groups of 20 or more. ShowHouse hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The ShowHouse will feature work from area decorators and interior designers who are each assigned a room to remodel. Among this year’s participants are Stock and Trade Design, Jay Howton & Associates, Virginia College, Cahaba Design Group, Christine’s, Summer Classics, Castle Creations, Rosegate Design, Habitation & Bill Aroosian Designs, G&G Interior Design and Miller & Coker Interiors. Items displayed in the ShowHouse rooms will be available for sale.

Villa D’Ambra is named for the ShowHouse’s owner, media executive Michael D’Ambra, who lived and worked in France for four years before the revamping the house in 2003, said ShowHouse publicity chair Nan Teninbaum. The house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and two half bathrooms, and is currently on the market.

To achieve a more European aesthetic, D’Ambra replaced the drivet exterior with limestone. A 3,000-pound limestone arch, flanked by two stone lions, leads to the front door and foyer, which features a 28-foot ceiling with Bohemian crystal and gold chandelier acquired from France and Italian floor tiles.

This is the second consecutive year a Shelby County home has been transformed into the ShowHouse, which celebrates its 38th year as the Alabama Symphony Volunteer Council’s largest fundraiser. Last year’s ShowHouse pick was The Bryant House in Riverchase.

“It is a very impressive structure,” Teninbaum said of Villa D’Ambra. “It’s magnificent, and it’s reminiscent of the mansions in Europe, especially France.”

Throughout the ShowHouse season, lunch from B&A Warehouse will be served for $13 in the Margaret Alford Tea Room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. Desserts from local bakeries will be served for $3 in Bailey’s Sweet Shoppe from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.  In addition, a basement room inside the ShowHouse will be transformed into the Symphony Shop featuring antiques and unique pieces for sale from area artisans.

A sneak peek will kick off the ShowHouse season April 25. Reservations are required. Parking is prohibited at the ShowHouse, but free shuttle parking will be available at The Church at Brook Hills located at 3145 Brook Highland Pkwy., Birmingham. The last shuttle will depart for the ShowHouse one hour before closing throughout the season.

No infants or children under age 8 are allowed in the ShowHouse. Backpacks, umbrellas, large tote bags or purses and cameras also are prohibited. For more information, visit ShowHouse-Al.com.