The Europeans have always done it. Tours of the stately homes of England. Castle tours of Ireland and the Chateaux of France. In the spring, from coast to coast across America, garden tours proliferate. L.A. has long cornered the Market on tours of movie star's homes. And millions of televisions nationwide tune in weekly to check out the dé£¯r on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Extreme Home Makeover". Clearly, there is a fascination with houses?other people's and our own.
The prestigious Pasadena Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has offered its own take on the home tour for 18 years. What started in 1986 as a "Celebration of Kitchens" tour was expanded by popular demand in 1995 to include interiors. This year's Kitchens & Interiors tour takes place on Sunday, October 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
"It is also a good way for the public to get idea. According to the National Association of home Builder, people are viewing housing as a good place to put their money because of low interest rates and solid house-price performance. Kitchens, bathrooms and family rooms are getting overhauled one-third faster than a decade ago. Add to this the fact that kitchens offer an excellent return on one's remodeling dollar-a well-planned and executed improvement can add thousands of dollars to a home's appraisal value, and anywhere fro 80-100% of the cost can be re-cooped at sale-and you have the perfect climate for a kitchen-and interiors-tour.
This year's self-guided ASID tour features five unique homes throughout the San Gabriel Valley with kitchens and interiors professionally designed by ASID designer. The homes include Stratford Manor, a contemporary Tudor-style estate in La Canada; a 1927 Royal Dana-designed English cottage and a 1927 Garret Van Pelt-designed Mediterranean revival house in Altadena-each with a special set of design challenges. Featured designers are: Cynthia Bennett & Associates, Inc. (Interior design collaboration, Bridge Design Studio); Robin Dorman, Robin Dorman design Concepts; Greg Parker, Parker West Interiors; Christine Santana, Santana Interiors; and Sherry Stein, Henry Johnstone & Co.
"The ASID Kitchens & Interiors Tour features homes that real people live in. Unlike showcase houses, the spaces have been designed for legitimate clients with specific needs," says event char Celeste Day-Drake. "These homes represent real cooperation between designers and their clients and take into account existing possessions," explains co-chair Carol Cobabe. "The tour gives the public chance to met different ASID designers and talk to them about trends and design challenges."
"Shopping for treasures is an added benefit of the tour. Fifteen retail design boutiques will be featured in the back garden of the Altadena home.
The 2004 ASID Kitchens & Interiors Tour Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 on the day of the tour. They are available by calling (800) 237-2634. All proceeds benefit the Pasadena Chapter of ASID.
Retail outlets for tickets:
Anthony's Art & Frames, 2466 Huntington Drive, San Marina
Back Street & ASSOCIATES, 525 Mission St., South Pasadena
Carousel Custom Floors, 676 E. Green Street Pasadena
Cynthia Bennet & Assoc. 501 Fair Oaks, South Pasadena
Howard's Rug Company, 1410 S. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia
Pzazz Beauty Salon, 840 Foothill Blvd, La Canada
Sullivan's Paint & Flooring, 134 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia
The Antique House, 1428 Foothill Blvd, La Canada Flintridge
The Kitchen Works, 16 E. Holly Street, Pasadena
Visit www.asidpasadena.org for more information. Tickets will include a map and address of each home on the tour.
A non-profit organization, ASID is the design professionals oldest and largest association, with members qualified by education, testing and experience. The ASID Pasadena Chapter, formed in 1964, has a history of community involvement into its quest to be the definitive source for professional education and knowledge sharing. Its mission is to define excellence in the practice of interior design; to improve the value of the profession to the public and to work for a favorable environment for member's right to practice interior design.
All of these photos were taken with the very easy to use Sony Cyber-Shot camera by Lawrence Davis.