By Deborah Brancic, Pasadena Now Correspondent
San Gabriel Valley residents were in for a treat Sunday morning as they drove to four different homes to view the winning entries for the 27th Annual Home and Kitchen Tour. Over six hundred tickets were sold for the Tour, which promised to be very beneficial for the Union Station Homeless Services, which will be receiving a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales this year.
Homes selected for the Tour were picked from a number of entries by members of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Entries went through a detailed selection process and were evaluated by a committee of five designers, according to Tour Chair Marlene Oliphant.
“The committee goes around to check all the homes that have been submitted,” she said. “They see that they are professionally designed and consider the location. We usually want homes that are related to one another so that people can visit them easily, and we also want homes of a different style from each other, so there is a variety.”
Also taken into account are the quality of the materials used and the design theme that is reflected throughout the house.
All homes on the Tour displayed a different theme. Custom items were arranged throughout the homes, showcasing the designers’ talents.
“The public doesn’t want to see what they can do themselves, they want to see the next level of professional work,” said Susan Sawasy, ASID. In addition, “You have to have an owner that’s happy with you, so the owner is willing to let you do this.”
The featured designers for this year’s Tour were Eileen Atwood, Sara Ingrassia, Rozalynn Woods, and Jennifer Bevan and her partner Denise Ranalli, all members of ASID.
“When I design, the starting point is the way the client wants to live in the space,” said Ingrassia, who designed a home on Hillard Ave. in La Cañada. “I start with a rug and some fabrics, I also do a lot of custom furniture. I like to work with color and I like to find out what my clients are like, so that their house reflects their personalities and it looks like they are meant to live here.”
She said she believed there was always a way to combine beauty with function, so that every room served its purpose.
Another home on the tour, on Flanders Lane in La Canada, featured items made from reclaimed materials. When designing the kitchen, Atwood said she knew she would be working around a piece of furniture the client already owned.
“I started with the 14-foot table, opened up the space, and began with centering the table.” The kitchen was built up from there, including a countertop made from recycled materials. “We used a lot of recycled materials and eco-friendly products for this client,” said Atwood. “She liked us to use reclaimed materials, that were converted from their original uses.”
One benefit of the Tour, said Sawasy, was the advantage of seeing an entire house designed with one cohesive theme.
“When you come see a house on our tour, you get to see an entire house done by one designer, as opposed to an exhibition where each designer gets one room.” This allows people to see the full breadth of the designer’s skill, she said.
In addition to the featured homes, the Tour also welcomed sponsors and boutiques to set up tables outdoors. Attendees were invited to browse through products displayed by companies such as Closet Factory, Dunn Edwards Paints, Silestone, MD Appliances and more. They were also given the chance to purchase items from Gourmet Blends, Ronelle Designs, Betty Bags, Gerie’s Fashion Closet and many others.
The Tour is held each year on the first Sunday in October. For more about ASID Pasadena, click here.