Touring Paso's classics in the AAUW home tour

Special to The TribuneMay 8, 2013 


    The Paso Robles American Association of University Women will be holding its annual Home Tour from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The cost of touring four homes is $25. Proceeds will go to scholarships for local graduating seniors and returning women students. Tickets are available at The Blenders at 538 12th St. in Paso Robles, through AAUW members, or by contacting Bev Howe at 239-1817.

The four homes on this year’s Paso Robles American Association of University Women Home Tour have a few common threads. All are updated versions of classic architectural styles. All feature impressive collections of art or crafts. All are complemented by lavish gardens or landscaping. And all are meant to inspire.

“People come from outside the county and all parts of San Luis Obispo County to this annual event,” said event organizer Marty Diffley. “Many attendees like to get ideas for their own home decorating or remodeling changes.”

Here is a preview of the four homes that will be featured on the tour.

Coe House

Larry and Linda Coe purchased their 1916 Craftsman bungalow seven years ago and enthusiastically set about its restoration. Their goal was to instill modern functionality while maintaining the basic footprint and historic character of the home.

The couple handled a great deal of the work themselves. Improvements included updating electrical and plumbing systems and turning a rear screened porch into a laundry room and pantry. They preserved many original features, including much of the old woodwork, the jalousie front door and the Palladian-style front windows with their origi nal wavy glass. They retiled the bathrooms with the same type of unglazed porcelain that was originally used.

The Coes decorated the home simply, with several pieces of period furniture and many handmade quilts created by Linda.

Sines House

Jeff and Ellice Sines purchased their 1980s-built home somewhat on a whim while vacationing in Paso Robles nine years ago. The former San Clemente residents were ready to leave behind city life for a slower pace.

Ellice, who was born and raised in Scotland, gave the interior of the grand 5,400-square-foot home a European demeanor. The kitchen was remodeled in an English Country style with simple cabinetry and painted ceramic tiles. The foyer, living room and dining room are elegantly formal, decorated with ornate furnishings and luxurious fabrics in a palette of cream and gold. The house showcases Ellice’s collection of European antiques, including many heirlooms. One of her most treasured pieces is an antique cabinet once owned by her Scottish great-grandmother.

Jeff is an avid collector of automobiles and has a special affinity for vintage Packards. Several cars from his collection will be on display during the tour.

McMurray House

Bill and Debbie Mc-Murray call their home a “Texas hill country” abode with rustic features like stacked stone, wood beams and a metal roof.

In contrast, the furnishings have a decidedly elegant slant. The couple purchased numerous 19th-century French antiques including an oversized buffet and hutch that they built into an alcove in the house. Even their massive, hand-carved wood living room fireplace was once situated in a French chateau. They acquired several pieces of work by local artists. Frank Armitage rendered two large wall murals that flank the fireplace and depict scenes from early California and Paso Robles history.

The single-level home, a guest house and barn sit on more than 40 rolling acres in east Paso Robles. To take advantage of the idyllic setting, outdoor living spaces are well-equipped. The property includes multiple covered patios, a fireplace, built-in barbecue, fire pit, horseshoe pit and bocce ball court.

Partridge House

Celebrated local artist John Partridge applied his creative talents outside the canvas when designing the contemporary Craftsman home that he shares with wife Barbara. It reflects the Craftsman aesthetic with exquisite work in stone and wood, most of which was created by local artisans. Unlike many Craftsman homes, however, the Partridge house is bright, airy, and spacious.

In the kitchen, the cabinets are Craftsman in style, right down to the handforged look of the pulls and handles. Yet modern conveniences abound, including two dishwashers, two ovens and three refrigerators.

Also on the tour will be John’s art studio, which is in the garage adjacent to the house. John’s work is on display throughout the house, along with other treasures, such as an antique Stickley dining table and chairs inherited from Barbara’s grandmother, which served as inspiration for the home’s design.

Reach Rebecca Juretic at

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