Becky Lewis is a home tour aficionado. She has been on more than 40 home and garden tours, driving as far as 250 miles to attend a particularly intriguing one. So when she was brainstorming fundraising ideas for her Relay For Life Pink Angels Team, she knew it was time to plan her own tour — but with a twist.
This one is holiday-themed, with each residence decked out in seasonal finery. She chose west-side Paso Robles homes, each with a different architectural style, and each with its own take on holiday décor including traditional, whimsical, Western and Asian.
The one common thread, she said, is that all homes are “comfy, homey, reflecting the owners’ lifestyles and interests, not a designer’s.”
Here is a preview of the four homes that will be showcased on this Saturday’s tour.
Although the 1926 Craftsman Bungalow has had seven owners, its floor plan and many of its original features remain untouched. When the Cussen-MacLaurin family purchased it in 2010, their improvements were merely cosmetic. They painted and cleaned. They pulled up old linoleum tile, then sanded and finished the fir sub-floor beneath. They removed some 1950s-installed moldings and replaced them with ones that match the home’s original moldings.
The family has decorated in a style they call “old eclectic,” where antique and vintage pieces mingle with reproductions and newer items. They have acquired pieces of Craftsman furniture including Craftsman chairs, which they mixed in with a newer mahogany dining set.
The family will be displaying collections that reflect their history and heritage, including Inuit scrimshaw from Canada. One of their most prized collections is the set of paintings by local artist Betty Wick, which the family purchased at a Castoro Cellars event the first week they came to Paso. The paintings inspired the color palette for the walls.
The family goes all out when decking the halls for the holidays. Their décor ranges from fancy, formal table settings to Christmas kitsch.
The Bagwell family purchased their 1942 Craftsman two years ago. They renovated it to add in modern comforts such as a new brick patio and an updated kitchen with granite counters, stone flooring, and a custom granite bar. The family room was given a sophisticated makeover with a fireplace clad in floor-to-ceiling travertine, anchored by a custom redwood mantel.
They describe their décor as “fun, rustic, eclectic and comfortable.” The lady of the house hails from Texas, so Western pieces abound, including a cowhide sofa, hand-engraved wine bar, metal chandeliers, and Western art.
For the holidays, the family has decorated several themed trees. A Western tree is set in a wine barrel planter with Texas star lights and rustic cowboy-themed ornaments. Another will celebrate wine country, set in an oversized wine glass and bedecked in miniature grape lights and wineglass ornaments. Throughout the house, lighted garlands will be hung with vintage Western ornaments. The family also has a keen sense of humor, seen in whimsical items such as a dolomite deer with burlap and poinsettia antlers.
This 1927 English Cottage-style home was built by the Booth family, who also built the well known Call-Booth house in Paso Robles. When the Lewis family purchased it, they performed renovations, while respecting the historic character of the home.
The kitchen’s original cabinets were modified slightly to include bubbled antique-style glass panels. Linoleum floors were pulled up to reveal original fir floors that were scraped clean and refinished. The family replaced the electric stove with a vintage Wedgewood gas stove. To replace the Formica counters, they chose tile which, paired with a salvaged fivefoot farmhouse sink, reinforces the kitchen’s vintage charm.
The family roofed and screened in a side porch as a spot for entertaining. Period details in this space include striped wallpaper and wainscoting.
The Lewises plan an eclectic array of holiday décor . The living and dining rooms will be dressed up in Asian-inspired embellishments such as metal rickshaws, fans, origami and Japanese lanterns. The side porch will be transformed into a potting shed with garden-themed holiday items. And the breakfast nook will be decorated as a Swedish bake shop.
The only “new” home on the tour, this hillside home has sweeping views of downtown and surrounding vineyards. Built in the 1990s, it has an open floor plan as well as Old World features such as 12-foot open-beam ceilings, a massive stone fireplace, and a warm Tuscan-inspired color palette. In the living room, a wall of sliding glass doors disappears to unite the space with an outdoor deck. The Dunbar-Cook family chose comfortable, masculine furniture such as leather couches and rustic wood tables. The house also has a Western flavor, epitomized by the family’s collection of Western bronze sculptures.
The house will offer a nostalgic take on seasonal trimmings, including an old fashioned rocking horse, oversized velvet stockings hung on the mantel, and pine cone-laden garlands.
The Relay For Life Pink Angels Team Christmas Home Tour will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Paso Robles. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. Four homes will open up their public rooms for viewing, all decorated for the holidays. There will also be music, wine tasting, refreshments, and a boutique with craft items and homemade goodies.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the tour. Advance tickets are available at the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, Kelly's Casuals in Atascadero, and Family Medical Services in San Luis Obispo. On the day of the tour, they may be purchased at the Lewis house, 406 10th St. in Paso Robles, as well as the other homes. For more information, including all tour home addresses, call Becky Lewis at 238-9522.