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AAUW Home Tour benefits University Women

Katherine Morris
Photo by Lindsey Rhynard
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It’s a little like being in an episode of Trading Spaces, except instead taking a paintbrush and sledgehammer to your neighbors’ home, you simply get to tour it to get ideas for redesigning your own.

It’s time again for the Tahoe-Donner Branch of the American Association of University Women’s Annual Home Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 11.

All proceeds from the tour, which is in its 12th year, go towards providing scholarships for local women and girls of all ages.

“This year’s tour features five stunning homes in the community in Big Springs at Northstar-at-Tahoe, as well as one fabulous garden for all of you landscaping lovers,” said AAUW member Eileen Hacker.

Homes are chosen by a committee for having unique elements of design and style, and are usually referred to the AAUW via word of mouth.

For example, one home this year features a beautifully landscaped garden highlighted by a waterfall, while another features custom murals on interior walls painted by a renowned artist.

“A lot of the homes chosen are great examples of design for the mountain lifestyle,” Hacker said.

Homes on this year’s tour will also be complemented by special flower arrangements created by local florists.

Hacker said all of the homes chosen for this year’s tour are in close proximity of one another, making it a very walkable tour.

The event, AAUW’s largest fundraiser of the year, has helped the group to provide more than 50 scholarships to local women and girls over the last 10 years.

Last year alone, the event raised more than $12,000.

“Since we first started doing this, the event seems to have become more and more popular, as well as successful, each year,” Hacker said. “We used to only raise enough to provide a couple scholarships, while now we are able to give out a lot more.”

Scholarships are awarded to high school senior women, re-entry women – those who want to go back to school to further or continue their education, as well as to middle school girls so they can attend the Science Tech Trek summer camps at Stanford University.

“Studies have shown that a lot of times, junior high is the time when girls tend to drop out as far as science and math, whether it be because it’s not seen as cool or because they’re intimidated for one reason or another,” she said. “That’s why we feel this camp is so important and it’s one of the only camps like it in the country. The girls that we’ve seen come back from this are enthusiastic and excited about science, as well as about learning in general. It’s really a great thing

The local chapter of the AAUW, which now consists of roughly 75 members, has been working towards the advancement of women since 1981 with scholarships, mentoring programs, career days and women’s history programs in local schools.

“I’d encourage everyone to come out because the money goes to a really great cause,” Hacker said. “It’s also a great time and place for people to get ideas for designing and furnishing their own homes. The event is always a lot of fun.”

The AAUW Home Tour will be held on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 12:30-4 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased at the Northstar-at-Tahoe Activity Center, Artruckee, Bookshelf at Hooligan Rock and Wild Cherries Coffee Shop.

Tickets may also be purchased on site the day of the event for $30. For more information, call 587-2444 or 587-8120.

AAUW Home Tour

We anticipate all homes will be available for viewing. We reserve the right to cancel a home due to unforeseen circumstances with the home or the owners.

Home #1

The Kurland Home

Completed in 2001, this 4,750 sq. ft. home was carefully situated on the property to capture commanding views from each room. Although the exterior design suggests a traditional mountain retreat, inside, it is totally contemporary. It is a “Smart House” – lighting, floor heating and other electronics are controlled from a master center that can be accessed by remote control. A game room and home theater with drop-down screen are highlights of this stunning residence. The home was designed by Kurt Reinkens and built by Michael Moll. Star Pierce of San Anselmo was the interior designer. Floral arrangements by Snow Flower Florists, Tahoe City.

Home #2

The Nakao Home

The owners have succeeded in achieving a home that is both spacious and intimate. Take a few moments to appreciate the many areas for privacy and quiet relaxation, which promote the warmth and serenity the owners wanted to attain. This 3,810 sq. ft. house was designed with an Old Tahoe look by Dennis Zirbel, built by Ed Kalbaugh, and decorated by Vicius Elson. The family’s ancient crest is subtly incorporated throughout the interior, including on the staircase.

Extraordinary features include a front door that is a work of art, as well as custom-designed lighting fixtures and unusual tile work. Floral arrangements by Elizabeth’s Creations, Truckee.

Home #3

The Mulloy House

This large yet comfortable mountain-style home lends itself to gatherings and reveals the owners’ strong sense of family. Designer Mike Mason and builder Jim Borghello utilized the beauty of heartland pine, featuring it on ceilings and floors in this 4050 sq. ft. home. Large windows add to the airy spaciousness of this home by brining the outdoors into the interior design.

The owners live on the main floor, while comfortable guest quarters including a large family room with kitchen, dormitory-story bedroom and bath comprise the lower floor. Floral arrangements by Wanda’s Flower Shop, Tahoe City.

Home #4

The DeNero Home

This one-of-a-kind home is called the “Spirit House” by the owners. It was designed by Peter Gerdin and built by Eric Reamer in 1998. The interior walls feature incredible murals, painted by a renowned (but anonymous) artist. In almost every room, one can see goddesses and whimsical animals. Trees bend around corners and seem to disappear into ceilings. Beautiful furnishings complement the individualized interior design. The back deck affords lovely valley views. Floral arrangements by Safeway, Truckee.

Home #5

The Lee Home

Built in 1998 by Mike Sim of Auburn and designed by Kurt Reinkens, this contemporary mountain home features an eclectic mix of Italian leather and cherry. An exquisite Chinese screen is a focal point of the dining room. Two Staircases on either side of the living room lead to the library/media room upstairs.

The magnificently landscaped backyard provides a peaceful retreat for the owners. It is highlighted by a spectacular waterfall. The landscaping is by Jim Schmidt of Great Outdoors Landscaping Co. and the waterfall was designed by Laddie Flock of Natural Rock Formations, Valley Springs. Please join us in the backyard for refreshments, provided by Northstar-at-Tahoe. Floral arrangements by Four Seasons Flowers and Gifts, Truckee.


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