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2016 Riparian Home Tour Starts at Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn, in Purdy, VA is the home of Mike and Dawn Veliky, who purchased the property in the summer of 2013.  Mike is the Greensville County Building/Fire Official and Dawn is the Register/Director of Veterans Affairs at Halifax Community College.   

The Southern Colonial home was constructed in 1953 by Wiley and Francis Cole, who operated a working cattle farm on the original 200 plus acres.  Most locals came to know the home a the “The Cole Place”, although it was named Oak Lawn by Mrs. Cole, cue to the many oak trees that once existed in the front yard. Only one massive oak remains today.

The planning and designing of the home was ahead of its time, incorporating such features as walk in cedar lined closets throughout, double vanities in the master suite, a walk in shower, ceramic tiled bathrooms, circuit breakers instead of fuses, and under floor electric radiant heat throughout the home.  The home was constructed with steel and concrete floors over the basement, four fireplaces, a 12 inch thick poured concrete basement with over 8 feet of headroom, slate roof, insulated interior walls, nine foot ceiling throughout both stories and a full room width built in china cabinet in the large dining room. 

    

When the Velikys purchased the property in 2013, the home and grounds had unfortunately suffered from several years of neglect, due to the failing health and eventual passing of first, Mr. Cole, then Mrs. Cole a few short years later.  Even so, the Velikys were able to recognize the excellent quality of the materials and workmanship that went into the original construction, and decided to take on the challenge of restoring the home to its original splendor and charm.  Their vision is to keep the traditional southern architecture prominent, but to enhance the rear yard area with landscaping and features that personify their love of the outdoors and tropical lifestyle.  In the summer months, Mexican Petunias, banana and palm trees, night blooming Primroses and soft accent lighting add to the tropical feel out back, while the blooming crepe myrtles, fragrant hydrangeas, slate walkways, rockers, and shy blue ceiling of the front porch recreate a Charleston like atmosphere at the main entry.

Mike and Dawn are slowly restoring and renovating everything themselves, and thus far have remodeled the kitchen, added an in-ground fiberglass kidney shaped pool, outdoor shower, pool house/Tiki bar and stamped concrete patio.  Future plans include modifying a rear den into a sunroom overlooking the pool area, and renovating all three bathrooms.  Mike is interested in energy conservation and new technology, and has equipped the home with a security system and cameras, wifi, and is currently installing a hybrid solar heat pump system, which uses solar energy to convert the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas, reducing the load on the compressor.  He also plans to install a reflective radiant barrier in the full height attic, to assist with energy conservation. 

This is a gorgeous home and will be decorated for the Christmas holidays in evergreen swags up the curving banister leading to the second floor and around all four fireplace mantels.  There will be several decorated Christmas trees throughout and a snowman in the entryway to greet the guests.

The tour will include the home of David and Rosemarie Bland and the Historic Masonic Lodge located in Emporia, the home of Jamie and Robin Rawles of Southampton County (Drewryville), Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow of Roanoke Rapids, NC and Kurt Whitehead of Jarratt.

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, VA will once again present the 15th Christmas Home Tour. The tour will be Friday, December 2 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 3 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Refreshments will be served at the Masonic Lodge on Saturday. The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House, Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

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