A ‘race to the finish’ as national designers transform Turlock home for charity

Looking around the boxes, planters and paintbrushes piled about on Thursday morning, it’s hard to believe that within a day the house on Turlock’s California Avenue will be transformed into a showpiece to raise money for three local charities.

But everything was proceeding on schedule, said Christopher Kennedy, a Palm Springs designer who is taking the lead on the “Show House” that opens on Friday.

“It’s a race to the finish,” Kennedy said as he walked around the home and yard, where landscapers were putting in plants, an outdoor kitchen was being assembled and last-minute painting was being completed.

The home has been undergoing a transformation that started in earnest four months ago, Kennedy said. Designers from all over the country teamed up to tackle the project, each assigned a room or an area.

Starting Friday, people can tour the home for design inspiration, or just to be envious of the four ovens in the kitchen and the ceiling-high wine cooler in the dining room, among many other amenities.

The home also will be featured in Aspire Design and Home, a national design magazine, Kennedy said. Though he wasn’t familiar with the Northern San Joaquin Valley before the project started, “Modesto and Turlock captured my heart,” he said. “The area is charming.”

Money raised in the tours, which start at $25, go to the Dancing with the Turlock Stars charity, which in turn benefits local nonprofit organizations Jessica’s House, Covenant Care at Home and the Salvation Army.

Tickets are available online at chrisopherkennedyshowhouse.com and at the Greenery in Turlock and Fleur de Lis in Modesto.

Patty Guerra is managing editor at The Modesto Bee. She has held several writing and editing roles since starting at The Bee in 1999. She’s a graduate of Fresno State.