Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tour of Homes is a north country experience

Homes to feature innovation and inspiring ideas

Express Staff Writer

The Community Library 32nd annual Tour of Homes on Saturday, Aug. 6, will include the home of Ellen and James Gillespie north of Ketchum. Courtesy photo

Many Wood River Valley dwellers live in beautiful and interesting homes throughout the valley. As a fundraising event, some homeowners will share their abodes for The Community Library in Ketchum's annual Tour of Homes event. This year, the 32nd annual Tour of Homes will take place on Saturday, Aug. 6, and feature a group of homes north of Ketchum.

Tickets are $75 and tax-deductible, available at The Community Library in Ketchum, on the library's website, by calling 726-3493 and on the day of the tour at the library.

Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets include light refreshments at the Garden Party, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and transportation by Mountain Rides buses to and from The Community Library beginning at 10 a.m.

For this year's Community Library Home Tour opening party on Friday, Aug. 5, Pilar Guzman, editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living magazine, will give a presentation titled "Design: Authentic Is the New Black."

"My favorite part of being in this business is all the interesting lifestyles and other areas I get to cover and people I meet," Guzman said. "We are moving as a culture toward 'undecorating.'"

Guzman said she really lives and practices what goes into Martha Stewart Living and the trend toward 'undecorating' has been happening for a while.

"There are lots of reasons why this is happening," she said. "Economy and time are reasons. I think it's a very interesting time and age of uncertainties."

Tour-goers on Saturday will view a variety of lifestyles revealed in the 2011 homes. Whether the homes' owners have school-age children, are full-time residents enjoying their empty nest or if they love winter more than summer, each home reflects the needs and tastes of the owners in an attractive manner. Modern, rustic, and eclectic styles are featured, as well as the effect of bringing the home into harmony with the landscape.

The Breck home, designed by architect Janet Jarvis, reflects a Belgian farmhouse, comfortable and completely in character with its location on the Big Wood River. Further north, a full remodel by architect James Bourret created a home for the Gillespies that balances simplicity and style with a landscape that blends continuously with the environment.

A Mark Pynn-designed remodel at the North Country home captures the tranquil setting with a Zen-like quality, harmonious with the surroundings. The Hitchin home, nearly a landmark feature as one drives north of town, was designed by Jim Rusictto, and reflects the Hitchins' love for European style as well as some very local décor such as their chandelier in the entry.

According to a press release from the library, The Community Library Tour of Homes fundraiser owes its lasting success to an ongoing collaborative effort that calls for an army of volunteers, the generous patience of welcoming homeowners, the support of many local businesses and the enthusiastic participation of attendees, many of whom are library patrons.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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