Eight homes in Aiken’s historic South Boundary district will open their kitchens to the public on Oct. 14 in an inaugural tour benefiting Aiken County Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build.
The self-guided walking tour from 1 to 5 p.m. will give participants a sneak peek into the stately homes, several of which are historic Winter Colony estates, and will also provide inspiration for remodeling, decorating and cooking projects.
The idea for the tour came from a Women Build committee member who had been on a similar tour in Summerville. The Women Build program, now in its seventh year, has organized smaller fundraisers in previous years, according to committee member Linda Purdy, but this Kitchen Tour will be the largest fundraiser to date.
The tour, presented by Atlantic Broadband, is new to Aiken County Habitat for Humanity and to Women Build, as well.
In each of the eight houses, participants will find a variety of kitchen designs and decor ranging from modern to rustic, cooking demonstrations and culinary creations by local caterers such as Newberry Hall and the Willcox, and floral arrangements and tablescapes provided by local vendors such as Ivy Cottage Flowers and Gifts and 3 Monkeys Fine Gifts.
“Proceeds of the tour benefit Habitat for Humanity Women Build for the seventh Women Build housing starting next March,” Purdy said. “The tour will give people the opportunity to see inside homes in the historic district they might not be able to see normally and gives local caterers and vendors the opportunity to show off their stuff.”
Women Build committee member Tommie Culligan said one house on the tour was a wedding gift from a groom to his bride on returning from their honeymoon in Cuba. Another home was built by the Willcoxes as their primary residence.
“The houses range in age from 2 years old to well over 100 years old,” Culligan said. “If you’re thinking of redoing your kitchen, you’ll get a lot of good ideas.”
The walking tour circuit encompassing each home is less than one mile. Parking will be available at the Aiken County Public Library.
Women Builds are unique in that – as its name implies – the houses are built almost entirely by women volunteers.
Tickets are $18 in advance and can be purchased at Plum Pudding, Cold Creek Nurseries, Aiken Office Supply and Material Things. Tickets purchased the day of are $20 and will be available at the Aiken County Historical Museum.
Tickets, maps and programs for the tour will be available for pickup the day of the tour at the museum beginning at 12:30 p.m.
For more information, call 641-6777 or visit www.aikenkitchentour.com.