It’s open concept, full of details that sneak up and surprise, and boasting high-end appliances, countertops and decorative elements. It’s the St. Jude 2019 Dream Home and, even though raffle tickets are sold out, it is worth a visit.

A total of 20,000 raffle tickets for the house sold in 62 minutes on Feb. 21, raising $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which conducts research and provides free care for children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. All the money raised from the tickets goes to St. Jude, according to Paige Cranwell, with St. Jude. The Avon Lake Dream House is one of 41 dream home projects being held nationwide.

Even if you didn’t score a $100-a-piece raffle ticket, you can still tour the three-bedroom, three-bath, 2,500-square-foot house in the Piccolo Place development off Walker Road. The house is open for free tours Saturdays and Sundays through June 26. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy looking at a new home valued at $410,00 and register for a drawing for a $10,000 furniture shopping spree with Fish Furniture and a drawing for a Traeger grill that was donated by Litehouse Pools and Spas.

The two-story house on a new cul-de-sac was designed in a “industrial farmhouse” style, according to designer and builder Jeff Crawford, president of Cleveland Custom Homes. This is the fourth St. Jude Dream Home Crawford has designed and built. The previous house designs - “I get full (design) liberty,” he said - were contemporary, farmhouse and modern European.

“It’s a labor of love,” Crawford said during a recent tour. “There’s a lot of labor and a lot of love.”

Since his first St. Jude Dream Home project in 2016, Crawford has developed a system to make sure 100 percent of the labor and materials are donated. The procedure involves an advisory committee that works on the “3 Cs,” he said: Contacts, counsel and cash.  “There are 12 to 13 people (on the committee). We listen to them and tap into their contacts,” he said.

In addition, the committee helps with fundraisers to augment donations, Crawford noted. Those events include golf outings, galas and tennis tournaments.

All the hard work and donations are for one goal: To provide a high-end house whose raffle money can be donated 100 percent to St. Jude so they “don’t have to pay for any of the sticks and bricks,” he said.

The Avon Lake house reflects planning and attention to detail. During a tour, Crawford proudly poinst out the design secrets that create an overall feeling of serenity and luxury. The details start when visitors first enter the house. A long hallway leads to an open-space concept living room, kitchen and eating area. But before focusing on the space, visitors should look up. The entryway ceiling is white, barrel-shaped and features decorated beams.

A room off that main hallway is currently set up as an office. With its oversized, black-trimmed Andersen windows, the room was flooded with light, even on a cloudy day. A mudroom with shiplap walls and laundry are also off the main hallway, and can be accessed from the garage. A bedroom is also off the hallway. It received special decoration for the open house. It was decorated in honor of Nick Avery, who passed away in 2006 at age 15 from leukemia. Nick, who lived in Canfield, near Youngstown, loved music. That is reflected with a guitar found in the room that he signed, as well as pictures of Nick before and during his cancer battle.

“It personalizes our mission,” Cranwell said.

The main living space - the open concept living room, dining area and kitchen - has several visual focal points. The first is the floor - 9 ¼ -inch wide hickory planks from Calvetta Bros. Floor Show, deliberated distressed for the farmhouse theme. A fireplace with white-washed bricks dominates the living space to the left. The large kitchen features white Kraftmaid cabinetry and Bosch, black, brushed stainless appliances. A section of floating shelves and one glass-fronted cabinet give a sense of farmhouse living and airiness, Crawford said. The cabinets are complemented by white Cambria quartz countertops. Gold domed lighting fixtures hang above a large island. And a tile, floor-to-ceiling backsplash is a twist on the usual subway tile style. Instead, the tile is scalloped, reflected the house’s proximity to Lake Erie.

The master suite is right off the main living area. It features the oversized windows with black trim found throughout the home. In addition, it has an electric fireplace on a wall accented with tile that is made to look like wood (usually used for flooring) applied in a herringbone pattern.

The master bath has one the newest design trends - floor tile reminiscent of patterned Spanish tiles. Separate sinks on opposite walls have rough-wood cabinetry and are on caster wheels, continuing the farmhouse feel. A two-person shower, also with the Spanish-style tiles, has five different-sized shower heads and a one-of-a-kind shower glass shower door with black trim.

Just beyond the bathroom is a walk-in closet.

A staircase with floating steps and wire cables for rails takes visitor upstairs to a “recreation” room that includes a wet bar, room for couches and chairs and featuring a horizontal row of windows. Another bedroom is on that second floor, as is a full bath.

One of the unique features of the dream home, according to Crawford and Cranwell, is a house-wide outdoor porch. Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors open from the main living area to the porch, making the area feel like outdoor space. “Phantom screens” operated by a remote control bring down screens making it enclosed at-will. Below the porch is a lower patio level that includes a grill and built-in preparation area.

Three barn “doors” on tracks, shiplap, distressed wood floors, pocket doors, window trim, industrial-style lighting and cabinetry all work to create a “warm and cozy” feel to this new twist on the farmhouse style, Crawford said.

All of the hard work, design and fundraising are for one goal, agreed Crawford and Cranwell: To raise money for the research and care of sick children. 

“Everything came together,” Crawford said. “It really was a labor of love.”

Contact this reporter at or 440-871-5797.

What: Tours of the St. Jude Dream Home, 32908 Mitchell Court, Avon Lake

When: Through June 25

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Extended hours, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. June 24, 25

Home giveaway: Drawing June 26 for ticket holders. Winners will be announced on WJW Fox 8 Cleveland.

Fish Furniture shopping spree: Winner will be notified

Sponsors: Fox 8, Cleveland Custom Homes, Nick Abraham Auto Mall, Litehouse Pools & Spa, Fish Furniture, Brizo, Shaw Floors, Trane and Bosch.

More information: 1-800-834-5786 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.