Peek inside some Cambria homes during the Allied Arts Holiday Home Tour

The annual Allied Arts Holiday Home Tour offers a glimpse into some of the most impressive homes in Cambria, from contemporary to quaint, with gardens galore and abundant artistic touches throughout

Special to The TribuneNovember 21, 2012 

  • IF YOU GO:

    The Cambria Allied Arts Holiday Home Tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8

    The tour starts at the Allied Arts Gallery at 1350 Main Street in Cambria. Tickets are $22 and may be purchased at the gallery in advance or on the day of the event. Tickets are also available online at, or by calling 927-1858 or 800-838-3006.

    Maps will be distributed at the gallery and refreshments will be available there. Guests may drive themselves to the homes or take one of the two community handicap-access vans that will be available throughout the tour.

    Some of the homes on the tour will be decorated for the holidays. Docents will be at each house to assist guests and answer questions.

    Proceeds will benefit Allied Arts programs including dance and performing arts scholarships for local graduating seniors.

Peering out from their nest of ancient oaks and towering pines, Cambria homes can seem at once idyllic and mysterious. The Allied Arts Holiday Home Tour will dispel some of that mystery when it allows guests into five Cambria homes that range from contemporary to cottage in style. Here is a preview of those homes.

The couple uses it as a second home and a place to entertain friends. Although it is a threelevel structure, the Barretts do most of their living on the main level, allowing them

Barrett home

This contemporary wood and glass home was custom-built in 1989 and purchased two years ago by James and Patti Barrett of Bakersfield. peace and privacy even with a houseful of guests. The open floor plan facilitates casual gatherings and allows the couple to fully enjoy their distant ocean view.

The Barretts made some improvements to the house, including adding a wine cellar, creating a wraparound deck, and building rockwork raised beds in the yard. They decorated the house in a Southwestern style with western antiques, Southwest pottery and vintage Western collectibles.

Michel home

The home of Frank and Joni Michel came together in stages. In 1974, the original home was built by Cal Poly students. In 1978, a new owner built a rear addition. The Michels purchased the house in 1997 and in 2010, they decided it was time for its next phase.

A remodel revamped the living room, kitchen, and dining room with a more efficient floor plan, built-in storage and a new fireplace. The kitchen was outfitted with new cabinets, granite countertops and updated appliances.

The 2,600-square-foot home now suits the Michels well. Its airy, contemporary interior is made homier with their collection of antiques and traditional furnishings. Their favorite features are the large master bedroom, oversized recessed master shower, library loft, and multiple decks where they can take in the Cambria landscape.

Alexander home

Tom Alexander took six years to remodel his contemporary coastal home. The project enlarged the structure and created a more open, contemporary interior. Windows were enlarged and repositioned to bring in views. Each material was carefully studied and deliberately chosen by Alexander and friend Tanya Hildebrand of Grover Beach.

Inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alexander worked with local artisans to design and create functional works of art in wood, tile and stone. Much of the handcrafted woodwork was inspired by Wright’s designs, including a custom wall bed, desk, balustrade and light sconce.

Stotter home

When Hollie Stotter and her late husband made the move to their quaint Cambria cottage, they were downsizing from a custombuilt 4,000-square-foot home on three wooded acres.

To make the move even more challenging, the approximately 1,500-squarefoot cottage had not been updated since it was built in 1946.

The remodel updated nearly every material and fixture in the interior of the home. They also re-landscaped the overgrown yard, the centerpiece of which is one spectacular redwood tree.

The space now accommodates a lifetime of mementos, including art, artifacts and collectibles. Stotter displays the pieces in a vibrant collage that spills out onto every shelf and wall in the house. Her favorite collection is her large assemblage of Spanish Colonial art.

Schuster home

Multimedia artist Judy Schuster purchased a new home in 1998 and reinvented it to serve not only as a comfortable living space, but also as a studio and display area for her work.

Shuster has repurposed many areas in the approximately 1,700-square-foot home. An upstairs bedroom that looks out on fields and trees was so inspiring she made it into her studio.

A second room is tailored for her digital art. The area meant to be a dining room is occupied by her weaving loom.

Ample light makes the home an excellent place to create and display her abstract paintings, fiber images and bead work.

Walls are painted in soft greens to expand the space and provide a neutral background for art.

Shuster played with more vibrant color when she wove together an eclectic interior that combines her work, American antiques and ethnic objects.

Reach Rebecca Juretic at

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service