Christmas Home Tours: Little Lane brings big homes

The home of Merrilyn Brady was one of the first to be built on what was formerly Maaske Drive on the north side of the Exeter Golf Course

By Cindy Valdez, Exeter Woman’s Club

EXETER – Merrilyn’s beautiful new home was built in 2017 at 618 Little Lane. Little Lane is a new housing subdivision of Exeter and is owned by Cathy Tantau who is planning to build a total of nine homes on this private street. Little Lane was originally called Maaske Drive but when purchased by Cathy, she would describe the area as “the little lane on the north side of the Exeter Golf Course.” With Exeter City Council’s approval, the street was renamed Little Lane.

To see this home you will need to enter through the Exeter Golf Course off of Visalia Road and make an immediate right turn onto Little Lane. Parking is allowed on the north side of the street only. You will see several old fashioned vintage styled lamp posts along the way to Merrilyn’s home.

Upon walking up the driveway there is a cement walkway surrounded by immaculate landscaping that leads to the front door on the west side of the home. Here you will see a festive Christmas display.

Entering the home, you will see a large oil painting on canvas of a deer winter scene with a branch of decorations and a large iron chandelier in the entryway. The home is Mediterranean style with natural dark wood flooring throughout. The house tour now takes you north into a beautifully decorated guest bedroom where there is a large Thomas Kincaid painting over the bed, and two closets. Just beyond the guest bedroom is the guest bathroom and a conveniently located laundry room.

Walking back south through the entryway again you will enter the open and spacious dining, music/office room, kitchen and living areas of the home. The dining room features a large dining table with a very large round glass and iron candelabra style chandelier over the table. There is an immense dark multi wood china cabinet with an impressive golden Christmas poinsettia arrangement displayed in the middle.

The china cabinet was found in an old barn in Modesto by Merrilyn’s daughter and it took six months to have it restored. There are many crystal pieces in the cabinet that are from Merrilyn’s mother and grandmother that you will enjoy seeing. In one corner, a Christmas tree stands festively decorated. Just east of the dining room there is a “flex room.” With the floor plan of Merrilyn’s home, there are two bedrooms and a flex room which can be any style room needed. Merrilyn chose this room to be a music/office room. There is a mini grand piano in this room that is a delight to see.

To the east of the music room is the expertly designed chef’s kitchen where Merrilyn loves to cook. It features off-white quartzite counter tops with a large sleek and stylish kitchen island in the middle. One of Merrilyn’s favorite things about her kitchen is that all of her dishware are in deep drawers between the refrigerator and pantry. There is also a lazy susan storage area that is left of the dishwasher. The kitchen cabinets and walls are painted ivory making the kitchen a bright and cheerful place to be.

The living room is generously sized with the focal point being the warm and inviting fireplace with large windows on each side that face out onto the golf course. Don’t miss the whimsical angel made from stones and feathers on the fireplace hearth!

The master bedroom is just west of the living room. There is a small entry area to the master bedroom where there is a Paris scene painting that is reminiscent of a previous vacation that sits on a built-in cabinet. The cabinet also features the same quartzite top as the kitchen counters. The master bath has the same counters as well.

The tour now takes you back through the living room and out into the backyard area. Just outside the door there is a covered outside living room area with furniture. There is a wooden box on a iron end table that has many golf balls in it that have been picked up in the backyard which had been hit by golfers on the course. Merrilyn said they have found up to eight golf balls in one day!

The backyard is beautifully landscaped and is surrounded by a wrought iron fence that is open to the golf course.

There is a blue stone jug style water fountain that sits on top of river rocks in the garden that can be heard on a quiet morning. The home is surrounded by a printed cement walkway which when done with the tour you will exit heading out the west side back to the front yard.

There are many beautiful Christmas displays throughout Merrilyn’s home that were designed by Sue Tharp Interior Designs. This is a home you will love to see and it will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit.

You can see Merrilyn Brady’s home along with three others on the Christmas Home Tour presented by the Exeter Woman’s Club, Friday, Dec. 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $25 each and on the day of the tour tickets are $30. Tickets are available at the Exeter Chamber of Commerce, Antiques by the Water Tower and E.T.C. in Exeter, Franey’s in Visalia or from any EWC member. Featured homes will be decorated for the holidays and there will be a hospitality house at the Exeter Woman’s Club, 201 N. Kaweah in Exeter, where they will be serving hot cocoa and snacks with live music throughout the evening.

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