Home tour comes to Northstar | SierraSun.com

Home tour comes to Northstar

Alisha Wyman

The 13th annual Home Tour is the rare chance to see what’s behind the siding and doorways of a few impressive homes in the area. Several homeowners in Big Springs at Northstar are opening their houses to the public Aug. 10 as part of the local American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) biggest fund-raiser of the year.

Several of the homes have a lodge or rustic style feel, but all have their own unique features. One is decorated with furniture made of recycled South African panga panga wood from railroad ties, while another contains a stone fireplace and rock and timbers scattered throughout to emphasize an outdoor theme. A flower arrangement from local florists will add to the decor of each home during the tour.

Some of the builders, architects and designers of the home will be present Sunday to explain the materials or the design concepts they used.

“I think it makes it a much more educational xtour,” said Susan Williams, the co-chair of the Truckee Donner branch of AAUW.

To select the houses, the organization calls architects, builders and realtors in the area. Through networking and word of mouth, they choose the most diverse and interesting homes possible, Williams said.

Anywhere from 200 to 400 people attend, some because it’s the chance to get ideas for their own home, some to support the cause and others come for the social aspects, she said.

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“The event has grown year after year after year…The community is very supportive,” Williams said

All proceeds go toward scholarships for women. With a goal of $10,000, the organization hopes to give 3-4 $1,500 scholarships for high school graduates beginning a four-year program, 1-2 $1,000 scholarships for women reentering college and 1-3 grants to junior high girls attending a science camp at Stanford.

Helping young women in their endeavor to get an education is the focus of AAUW.

“It’s one of the most important things we can do for young people,” Williams said.

Along with the Home Tour, AAUW participates in several other educational and fund-raising events each year, including raffles and wine tastings. Every other year, they do short skits in costumes for schools, each presenting an important woman in history. They also hold career days in the schools.

“Education is really important,” Williams said. “The one thing that sets [the U.S.] apart is the entire educational system.” Williams owns her own physical therapy clinic in Truckee and credits her success to her education from UC Berkley and UC San Francisco.

“Without that educational opportunity, I wouldn’t be where I was today,” she said.

Tickets for the Home Tour can be purchased at Artruckee, Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks, Wild Cherries Coffee House or Northstar Activities Center for $25 or on site for $30. For more information, call Jae Gustafson at 587-2444.

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A description of a few of the homes follow:

The builder/owner, working with architect Ron Driller, has crafted this beautiful 3650 square foot home. Nestled into the heart of Northstar, this four bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home is a skillful blend of lodge and rustic styles. The living room, dining room, and kitchen combine for a large open area with an immense cedar post at the center. Brian Spanier of Hunter Metal built the custom ironwork for the banisters and handrails. Flooring of Australian cyprus and countertops of “Barracuda” granite highlight the kitchen. Light fixtures throughout the home are from the Vine Collection by the Kalco Company.

Other feature include the acid wash floor done with several shades of stain in the in-law quarters, which was done by the owner/builder. The customer stonework inside and out was done by Krommenhoek Masonry. Decorative home accents by Clutter Inc., Truckee.

Floral arrangements by Elizabeth’s Floral Creation Studio, Truckee.

Designed by Ryan Group Architects, this 6200 square foot, four bedroom, six bath Arts and Crafts style home wonderfully retains the warmth of a smaller home in it’s steel beam and wood construction. Unique features include a ski entrance and a special tuning room for skis and bicycles. Guests have their own private residence over the garage.

The owner used recycled South African panga panga wood from railroad ties in the making of the dining room table and other pieces of furniture to decorate the beautiful home.

Floral arrangements by Sweet Peas, Kings Beach.

This elegant mountain home, with the feel of an Adirondack Lodge, was designed by Tim Ward of Ward-Young Architecture and Planning. A home that welcomes you with old-world craftsmanship, massive hand hewn timbers, warm natural woods and a granite boulder fireplace. This classic 4400 square foot Tahoe cabin with five bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths has many unique features. The intricate, hand-made wrought iron work, extensive and interesting tile work and the warmth of the beautifully appointed rooms make it one of a kind.

The most unique design feature is the skylight and the opening in the floor below to allow natural light into the lower floors. The cozy sunroom, the recreation room and the bunkroom above the garage are all part of this beautifully designed home for family and friends.

Floral arrangements by Safeway, Truckee.

The design behind this elegant mountain rustic style home by Eric Efthimiou was to bring the outdoors into the living space. Upon entry into the house, you are met with a panoramic view of the forest. The theme is carried out with a huge stone fireplace and rock and timbers scattered throughout. Large stripped logs in the entry and throughout the house provide architectural interests.

Texas, Michigan and Kentucky provide inspiration for the themed bedrooms. The interior design includes interesting tile work and antler chandeliers. Despite it’s grandeur, this 4053 square foot, four bedroom, 4 1/2 bath home maintains a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Floral arrangements by Wanda’s Flower Shop, Tahoe City.