Home tour showcases designs for living

Two-day event benefits Music in the Mountains
By: Gloria Young Home & Garden
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Eight beautiful foothill residences will spotlight the “Designs for Living” home tour Oct. 2 and 3, benefiting Music in the Mountains. In its 29th year, the 2010 selection includes a Mediterranean-style home with panoramic views in Penn Valley, a winemaker’s home decorated around the owner’s passion for winemaking, a craftsman-style home, a French country house and a 14,000-square-foot house on the Bear River. One of the homes has 21 acres of gardens. Three of the homes are on the Darkhorse Golf Course and three are in the McCourtney Road area. “They’re all amazing because they’re all different,” chairwoman Celia Edwards said recently. This year’s self-guided tour is focused on South Nevada County. Besides the fabulous residences, there will be young musicians performing at a couple of the stops and a silent auction of art pieces at the final house on the tour. There will also be a wine bar at $5 per glass and participants can order a “Bach’s lunch” to eat in a picnic setting along the way. Edwards, who coordinates the event with the help of 300 volunteers,said the tour is set up on a pre-planned route, but participates can view the homes in any order. The ticket is good for both days of the tour. “When they purchase tickets, they get a map that includes the driving route,” she said. She got involved with coordinating the tour because she loves music. “I enjoy just about every aspect of it,” she said. “I love working with the volunteers. The homeowners are the most generous, gracious people you’d ever meet to open their homes to people they’ve never met.” Among the homeowners this year are Gary and Johanna Avery, who have a French country style home in the Darkhorse development. “My husband and I have always loved music, so we loved the idea of being able to support something that provides funding (for musicians),” she said. The Averys have been singing in choirs for years. Johanna Avery was a music minor in college. Gary Avery plays several musical instruments. The couple purchased the land near Auburn several years ago and then had the house built to their specifications. “I’ve always loved the French style and this house has that kind of French New Orleans style to it,” Johanna Avery said. Auburn builder Greg Rosene of Rosene Classics handled construction. Avery is particularly fond of the great room, dining room and study. “They’re open and we have some beautiful views to the oak trees that surround our area,” she said. “We have open space above us with just beautiful oaks. We just fell in love with the Sierra foothills.” The house features a curved “cobblestone” paved driveway, large country kitchen and theater room. Nearby, Jim and Carol Young’s home has views of the Bear River from every room. The 14,000-square-foot dream house, known as Rincon del Oro, is the end result of many years of “homework.” “We had lived in and built a lot of homes,” Carol Young said. “For every home we lived in, I kept a notebook of everything I liked about it and things I wanted to change. When I visited places and saw things I liked, I wrote that down, too. By the time we built this house, I had quite a notebook.” For the kitchen, the Youngs melded beauty with convenience. “It’s all modular,” Carol Young said. “(For the stove) I have two woks and a deep fryer, because you put in the module that’s right for you. The refrigerator is the same — you just add what you want.” Having a beautiful home isn’t completely about looks, she said. “When we built this house … everyone helped with everything,” she said. “If we were stuck on a color, we’d get the workers together and we’d vote. The house was put together by committee.” Another important aspect was simply letting people do their jobs. “We’ve discovered that you hire a really good tradesman and don’t tell him how to do his job,” she said. “Give him his budget and let him do what he does best because he knows 100 times more than you know about it. You’ll get twice the job because they’re invested in what they’re doing. They’ve been given a voice. We had a really happy crew and as a result, the house feels happy.” The home follows the contour of the land, she said. In fact, in the early stages of building it, she was told, “If you let us go one more yard, it will be the length of a football field.” “The house is really long, but you don’t know it when you’re inside. It’s very natural,” she said. The living room has 20-foot ceilings. There’s a fireplace in the dining room, living room, family room, kitchen and each bedroom suite. There’s an exercise room and a wine cellar. The home sits on 200 acres of rolling hills with a driving range, hiking and equestrian trails, outdoor picnic area and a three-acre pond. Reach Gloria Young at ------------ Music in the Mountains’ Designs for Living home tour When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2 and 3 Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at the door There are special rates for groups of 10 or more Tickets include a map and directions Lunch tickets are $7 and must be purchased in advance For more information and tickets: See website musicinthemoun or call (530) 265-6124