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Holiday home tour to benefit Loomis Union School District students

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Behind four-inch-thick, handcrafted wooden doors lies a secret courtyard that soon won’t be a secret any more. On Saturday, Dec. 6, the doors of this Monte Sereno home will swing open for visitors attending the first annual Loomis Basin Holiday Home Tour. The tour will benefit the students of the seven Loomis Union School District schools through the Loomis Basin Education Foundation. This three-year-old, Mediterranean-style home is the creation of Stephanie Freed who said she “designed every inch of it.” Not only did the mother of four design the structure, she also designed and chose all of the cabinets, wrought iron details and fixtures in her home. And if that wasn’t enough, she did all of her own plastering and painting. Freed said she acted as her own architect, designer and general contractor and was hands-on every day of construction, even helping to dig holes and move stones. The Loomis wife and mother had no formal training in design, but said that over the course of her 19-year marriage to husband Bill they’ve remodeled and added on to numerous homes. “My dad has been in the construction industry all my life. When I was growing up, as far back as I can remember, we were always remodeling our home as well as their rental homes,” she said. She’s learned a lot along the way and now shares her wisdom with others through her home design consulting business she calls “The Home-Maker.” The Freed family hails from San Jose, but had friends here that they frequently visited. “We just loved the area and wanted a little slower pace. People here are down-to-earth, comfortable and friendly,” she said. The Freed home reflects those very characteristics. It’s not fussy, but very livable for family and pets. The inner courtyard features an outdoor fireplace, hanging swing, sitting area and lots of plants, including an olive tree. The flagstone paving flows seamlessly from the courtyard through oversized French doors that lead into the home. The Freed kitchen is Stephanie’s favorite place. It’s old-world-style and warmth invite visitors to sit a while in front of the stone fireplace and admire the fresco painting, hand-forged wrought iron lighting, pot rack and gate-like cupboard doors. A powder room just off the kitchen features an outdoor fountain that serves as a sink. A butler’s pantry with a brick barrel ceiling leads into a stonewalled dining room that showcases a one-of-kind chandelier created by Freed. The 4,400-square-foot home also features six recliners in the theater room, a favorite of her two younger sons. The master bath stuns visitors with a handcrafted wrought iron gazebo top Freed designed for her double shower. “I appreciate craftsmen who take pride in their workmanship. I think it’s more meaningful when it’s made with their own hands and I love the imperfection of handmade things,” she said. The home décor reflects Freed’s appreciation for craftsmanship and handmade details. It is also an eclectic mix of items she collected on trips to Africa with her mother (who is a small group tour guide), antiques, found items and Mediterranean pieces. The home tour will allow visitors to peak into all rooms of this home so they can see the depth of Freed’s creativity. Tour tickets are $25 per person if purchased in advance and $30 on tour day. Tickets are available in advance in Loomis at Blue Goose Produce, the Chamber of Commerce and the Flower Farm Nursery. Other ticket locations are Newcastle Produce, Pottery World in Rocklin, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Roseville and in Auburn at Eisley Nursery and The Christmas Shoppe. Tour-day tickets will be available at the will call location at the Loomis Train Depot. For more information and mail orders visit the Loomis Basin Education Foundation Web site at www.lbef