Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
6:40 pm EDT
Monday, June 27, 2022

Social Club Spotlight: No space like home

For a group of Villagers, making decorative adjustments to each part of their house unleashes feelings of joy.

Photos courtesy of The Villages Home Decorating Club

The options to make a home more attractive and visually appealing are limitless. Different styles of furniture. Window coverings. House plants. Three-dimensional artwork. Or maybe it’s a lick of new paint, a fabulous pillow added to a sofa, or a new sheet to the bed. 

Just ask members of The Villages Home Decorating Club. Whether they’ve personalized a new home or revitalized an old room, imagined spaces have become do-it-yourself realities. 

“When we have a home that is warm and inviting and reflects our personalities, then the home makes us feel comfortable and cozy,” says Dianne Carter.

Dianne, who formerly owned a home decorating company called “Feather Your Nest,” speaks from experience. Her home blends Florida and French country architecture and is decorated with folk art and antiques. 

“When I moved from New England, I didn’t bring all my furniture and home decorations with me,” she says. “That gave me an opportunity to tweak my lifestyle and décor with brighter and lighter colors. For me, it’s about creating a warm and beautiful space to live in and share with others.” 

Dianne has served as president of the club since 2015. With 650 members, it’s one of the largest clubs in The Villages. During meetings, which are held on the third Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. inside Laurel Manor Recreation Center, members share home decorating ideas and even trade décor. 

They also soak up tips from industry leaders. Guest speakers from local companies such as Peddler’s Wagon in Eustis, Sherwin-Williams in The Villages, and Besco Lighting Center in Leesburg come to meetings and enthusiastically share the latest home decorating trends. 

“We only want speakers who educate, entertain, and inspire us,” Dianne says. “We also like having speakers who present different ideas. For instance, one speaker gave a presentation on how too much is never enough. In contrast, we had another speaker lecture on minimalism, which is basically a less-is-more approach to home decorating.”

Of course, there’s no better way to draw decorating ideas and inspiration than visiting other homes. Each year, club members host a home tour that lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s an opportunity to peek inside exceptionally decorated houses that range from small cottages to luxury homes. 

“Our members volunteer their homes to be toured, and some say their home is not good enough for a tour,” Dianne says. “However, you’d be surprised how beautifully decorated they actually are. We usually have 300 people participate in the tour, and we’ve had as many as nine homes. I organize it so that no more than 40 people can come into one home at a time. We even wear booties to help keep each home as clean as possible.”

Sometimes, club members take trips outside The Villages to visit marvelous homes and structures. During one outing to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, they witnessed Disney World’s life-sized gingerbread house, which is made with real gingerbread and attached to a wooden house frame. 

Another memorable visit was to Southern Living magazine’s 2019 Idea House on Amelia Island. The home’s design features 2,257 square feet of porch space, a hidden pantry, a wine bar, an elevator, and a 9-foot sliding glass wall with waterfront views. Each year, the magazine selects one site in the Southeast to build a model home with unique architecture and designs. 

“Whether we’re at meetings or taking trips, our ladies have lots of fun together,” Dianne says. “We are fortunate because we don’t have problems with members being difficult. In fact, we have the best members and best club in The Villages.”

Those who have been recipients of a Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter home would likely agree. During the past nine years, club members have furnished and decorated 10 homes for the organization, which builds houses for families in need. This is the club’s primary outreach project, and member dues help pay for furniture and decorating items. 

“We meet with the families beforehand to find out what things sing to their heart and decorate accordingly,” Dianne says. “The best thing about doing these projects are the reveals when families enter their new home for the first time. I cry at each one because it’s such a rewarding experience.”

Barb Dubois can attest to the club’s generosity. Less than a year after moving to The Villages, her home was destroyed in the February 2007 tornadoes. She was forced to buy new furniture and reached out to club members for decorating advice. 

“That was a stressful time, so it was nice to have resources,” Barb says. “The members were extremely helpful and compassionate.”

Barb joined the club four years later. Today, she serves as vice president. 

“It’s fun to be around a group of people who have a common interest,” Barb says. “We’re always looking for new places to shop, new places to visit, and new ideas for our homes.”

For more information about the club, visit 

The Villages Home Decorating Club will hold its 8th annual Home Decorating Showcase Sale on March 26 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Laurel Manor Recreation Center. More than 60 tables will be set up for members to display and sell their “gently used home décor.”
The event is free to the public. 

“We’ll have everything from furniture and nightstands to dressers and tabletops,” Barb says. “This isn’t your typical yard or garage sale. We have some very nice items.” 

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