Sunday, February 26, 2006

Home tours can give you great ideas

[Source: Elena Acoba, Arizona Daily Star] -- At a home tour, Helen Jones spied an Oriental rug runner in a laundry room. "I would have never thought to do that," recalls Jones, a longtime organizer of the Arizona Opera League Home Tour and a frequent home tourist. "I took my runner out of the hallway and put it in the laundry room," she continues. "It was amazing. Suddenly my laundry room had class."

From little touches to major projects, home and garden tours provide tons of decorating and design ideas — if one knows how to look for them. "Look at the color that's involved in the room," advises interior designer Diana Patterson, owner of Patterson House (pictured above). "Observe how those colors work together." She also suggests studying fabric and upholstery textures, flooring, lighting and rugs. "The point being, if a room really appeals to you, look at what it is that appeals to you," says Patterson, whose designs have been featured on tours organized by the Arizona South Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.

The idea applies with landscaping, too. "Look at the layout of the garden," advises landscape designer Penny Batelli, owner of Blooming Earth (325-7605), who has two stops on this year's Tucson Botanical Gardens Home Garden Tour. For instance, study how a narrow back yard is designed if you have the same challenge.

Homeowner Bob Morrison, who's shown his West University properties in home tours, recalls that tourists were often interested in how he and wife Cathy blended modern amenities with the historic design of their 1902 home. In the kitchen, for instance, "we have all the latest stuff," says Morrison. "It's clearly very up to date, but it works harmoniously with the spirit of the house."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Bob Morrison.]