Guests making their way through this year's Symphony Show House aren't just on a tour — they opt to go on a Musical Mystery Tour, as well.
Designers have incorporated a musical element into each room of the freshly redecorated Jazz Age Manor at 440 NW 15 in Heritage Hills. Those who want to play along can note on an entry form as they go through for a chance to win two nights at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City or four box seats at an Oklahoma City Philharmonic performance next season. Winners will be chosen from the correct entries May 19.
Michelle Winter, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, which organizes the Symphony Show House, said it's a brilliant refinement of the traditional scavenger hunt.
“That's one of the ideas behind this show house, to support music,” she said.
Musical Mystery Tour
The 39th annual show house, the apex of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League's year and fundraising activities, will be open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday until May 20. Tickets are $15 at the door or can be purchased online at www.
The Musical Mystery Tour is new this year, and Debbie Minter, show house co-chairman, said it adds a fresh element to the tour.
“What we've found is it's really causing everyone to take a step back and really look at the room,” she said.
And there's a lot to take in with a tour area covering two floors, a basement, outdoor areas and what once was a carriage house out back.
The stately English-style mansion was built in 1925, the year F. Scott Fitzgerald published “The Great Gatsby” and unleashed the “roaring '20s” sensibilities on the literary world. Age and wear were beginning to catch up with the old house by the time thoracic surgeon Marvin Peyton and his wife, Sandra, bought it in 1983.
According to the show house guide book, the Peytons spent three years restoring its arched windows and slate roof, replacing wooden floors, renovating a bathroom and the master suite, enclosing a sun porch, revamping the landscaping and adding amenities such as a pool and spa.
And then, right after showing off their work in a neighborhood home tour, a faucet leak flooded the home and forced them to do some of the work all over again.
The Peytons lived in the house 28 years, raising two children there, before putting it on the market in 2011 and moving to smaller, more manageable quarters in Edmond.
“I'm excited to see what it's going to be,” Sandra Peyton said as designers prepared to move in and get to work in February. “I can't say it's not sentimental for us to leave, but we know we've made the right decision.”
That was three months ago. Now, the Jazz Age Manor looks much the same on the outside with its intricate brickwork and arched doorways. Step through the front door, though, and magic unfolds.
The Salle D'Attente — the English-inspired entry hall designed by J. Mark Taylor of Traditions Fine Furniture and Design in Edmond — seems to capture the sunlight in its very walls, and Taylor manages to do the same in the nearby formal-but-cozy Grand Salon.
Mood smoothly shifts from room to room, easing, for example, for the pink-and-ruffled fantasy of The Secret Garden, a girls bedroom upstairs designed by Debbie Francis and Dian Sill, of Room to Dream of Oklahoma City, to the bold, industrial-toned Boys Bedroom designed by the University of Oklahoma's Department of Design-Interior Design.
There, bugs preserved under glass grace the walls, and old organ pipes have been transformed into hanging lights by the bed. G.I. Joe figures stand at the ready on a toy shelf near the door.
“It's very simply done, and yet it's just like you could come in here and you could just feel a little boy living in here,” Minter said.
Some rooms offered challenges, such as the Master Bedroom and its line of mirrored closed doors. Designer Kathryn Daggs, of Bob Mills Furniture in Oklahoma City, tamed them with custom hangings while carrying the reflective properties out through the rest of the room with a silvery palette and decorative mirrors.
In the mirror-lined Master Bath Suite beyond, though, independent designers Susan Tiffin and Rhonda Nixon put those mirrors to work by transforming the whole room into a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed actress who died in 2011. Her picture graces the vanity, flanked by two of her signature colognes, and touches of purple — including an ottoman in the middle — provide sharp contrast to the silvery, glittering palette dominating the space. The theme continues in the adjacent master closet, where furs help further capture the glamour.
“They did a lot of research,” Minter said.
All about the music
But at the end of the day, it's about the philharmonic, the music and the opportunities to share it with the public. That comes down to 19 educational programs, five or six fundraising events per year and four general membership meetings for the orchestra league, league President Rhonda White said.
“So it's like planning a large party once a month for a year, and then culminating here where we have a party every night.”