Christmas Home Tour: Comfort and Joy abound!

Home 3: Burl and Michele Gann.

Perfectly manicured lawns and lovely Christmas yard decorations. You’d think you had stepped into an Architectural Digest Photo Shoot. From the moment you step up to the front doors made of heavy hand-carved hardwood to the impeccable placement of furniture in the living room, you start to question “Am I in Exeter anymore?”

The stunning home of Michele and Burl Gann has been an Exeter Woman’s Club Home Tour “want” for many years. Michele recalls the days when former EWC President and Home Tour Chairwoman, Loretta Miller would attempt to recruit her home. This time the Ganns have graciously agreed to share their home with us.

“Christmas is our favorite time of year and we go all out to decorate” Michele says of her reasons to participate. With a moment’s thought she can count eight Christmas trees throughout the house.

But that’s not where this story begins. The youngest of our Home Tour offerings, this house was built in 1973 by Sybil Pogue, who set about thoughtfully placing rooms and hallways in an orderly layout that you will no doubt appreciate as you walk through. This highly prized 3,000 square foot ranch style home was just what Michele wanted when she bought it in 1986. Many improvements have been made to the house over the years, but the image of its original face still remains; classic California ranch with a European flair.

In the entry foyer the crystal light fixture is original to the house as is the living room fireplace and its federal style mantle. Also in the foyer is an oak grandfather clock by Howard Miller, clock maker. A Wedding photo of the Ganns sits prominently in the entry way and a curio cabinet displays Michele and Burl’s lovely blown glass collection.

Decorator furnishings in the formal living room are in shades of rose and salmon and the feeling of complete comfort abounds. A game table in the European classic style that sits in the corner was imported from Italy. Statuettes and artwork are mementoes from the Ganns’ many travels.

On the opposite side of the entry foyer is the dining room with the back feature wall painted in a brilliant red that boldly beckons Christmas into the room. On that same wall is a beautifully decorated mahogany buffet that belonged to Michele’s father.

The front windows of the house are framed elegantly with opulent swags and trimmed with bullion fringe.

Trees throughout the house are decorated with blown glass ornaments in deep burgundy and forest green.

The kitchen, with much of its original charm is classic and functional. New additions are painted walls and cabinets, new lighting, and recently re-tiled floors.

A prized vintage floor “Granddaughter” clock will surely catch your eye in the back Hallway.

Michele and Burl Gann have surely kept the Christmas Spirit alive in this gracious home. It will be a highlight to see the luxurious Christmas Decorations and family treasures in this home. The Exeter Woman’s Club is truly thankful for the generous hospitality the Ganns and our other homeowners have shown us in preparation for the Christmas Home Tour evening.

One more article remains and on Dec. 6, the doors will be opening for the Home Tour itself!

The EWC is delighted to have the support of Exeter and surrounding areas with pre-tour ticket sales at the Exeter Chamber of Commerce office on Main St., By The Water Tower Antiques in Exeter, Franey Design Center and the Scripture House in Visalia. Tickets can also be bought from any EWC member. Pre-tour tickets are $15. Remember to come by the Exeter Woman’s Club building at 201 N. Kaweah Ave. (across the street from Exeter Union High School) for your Tour booklet/map that will guide you to each home. Transport between the first three homes will be available for those who need a lift. The first three houses are within walking distance of each other, and small flashlights will be available for those individuals or groups wishing to walk. The neighborhood will be lit for the evening, so please give praise to the revelers.

Music and refreshments for Tour participants only can be enjoyed at the EWC building and the Moore house “girly room”.

We strongly suggest that you wear comfortable shoes. For any questions or information call 799-3641 or inquire with any EWC member, or visit

– By Sara DeJager of the Exeter Woman’s Club.

Start typing and press Enter to search