Music in the Mountains Designs for Living Home Tour |

Music in the Mountains Designs for Living Home Tour

■ Oct. 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

■ Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at event

Enjoy wine bar $5/glass and “Bach’s” lunch $7

■ Buy tickets at:

Alta Sierra Market, Alta Sierra

Bookseller, Grass Valley

Briarpatch Market, Grass Valley

Citizens Banks, all locations

SPD Markets, Grass Valley and Nevada City

The Union, Grass Valley

(530) 265-6124

Home No. 1:

Trolls and other quirky figurines found at this Penn Valley home

by Peggy Laird

Special to The Union

Atop a knoll with nearly a 360-degree breathtaking view, a troll or two is just what you will find at the Morris’ Mediterranean-style home in Penn Valley.

Trolls, dinosaurs, Greek gods and “Pinky’s” trailer park are just a few of the fanciful, and sometimes quirky, features at this lovely home which is nestled on 20 acres of award-winning gardens and pathways.

The living and dining rooms are furnished with lovely antique furnishings. Yet, in addition to suspended airplanes, catch a sight of playful figurines, artifacts from all over the world, elaborate wreaths or colorful candles – a virtual kaleidoscope of color and pattern.

A lifetime of collecting artwork is reflected throughout the home. This is especially evidenced in the floor to ceiling gallery of paintings in the large entry.

Home No. 2: Rustic ranch home reflects homeowners’ love for travel and outdoors

by Peggy Laird

Special to The Union

Set on over 17 acres in the heart of horse country, this south county home looks across a wide expansive valley.

A private gated drive meanders through the property, white-horse fencing on both sides. The long portico entry is quite dramatic with its arched pine roof, stone flooring and massive cedar columns.

Rustic woods and use of stone throughout set the tone for these outdoor enthusiast homeowners. Attractive displays of rock collections, antlers, birds and fish, and many more objects from nature are mementos from their travels and hobbies.

Range after range can be seen from the picture windows in the kitchen and great. Recently remodeled, the kitchen has a delightful breakfast counter looking out at this great view.

The master bedroom wing is not only a master bedroom/bath area, but hosts a library and private deck. A delightful master bath with a Japanese soaking tub and huge glass block shower.

by Peggy Laird

Special to The Union

Sitting on over 15 acres of rolling hills, wide front steps lead up to a veranda-style, wrap-around deck. The side deck looking down at the hot tub, Italian fountain and bocce ball court is perfect for outdoor entertaining. The great room offers spectacular uninterrupted views to the Sutter Buttes and Coastal range.

The dream kitchen with knotty alder cabinets has many custom features such as a walk-in pantry with dumb waiter. All appliances, including the commercial-sized Wolf range, are built in to appear as separate pieces of furniture. Continuing to the vineyard, the octagonal-shaped dining area has a handpainted grapevine motif mural under the windows.

Enter the large master bedroom suite through double doors. At eye-level there is a unique fireplace custom designed by the owner. A large “walk through” closet leads to the master bath which has dramatic dark woods set against cream and mauve color tones. The claw-foot tub is nestled in a nook of its own.

After 49 years of marriage and 21 moves, this home is a snap shot of the many places and adventures the owners have experienced throughout the world.

“Casual elegance” best describes this 5,300-square-foot home made of natural woods and custom stonework (mostly done by local craftsmen). The kitchen and great room welcome visitors to step inside and breathe in the view. Separated by a massive floor to ceiling stone fireplace that can be enjoyed from either side, these rooms are the very heart of the home.

There is a delightful wine-tasting room for casual entertaining leading into a sun room. Furnished in rattan bought in the Philippines over 30 years ago, the sun room is a perfect place to curl up with a good book.

The master bedroom suite is an entire wing of the house with an office, exercise room, large tasteful bathroom and access to the outside patio.

Eclectic it might be, as one might expect having lived in so many places, the owner has skillfully clustered artifacts by ethnic regions. His special love for England is seen throughout with a wonderful collection of art from the Cotswolds and Derbyshire lining the staircase to the upper level.     

by Peggy Laird

Special to The Union

Walk up the long sweeping driveway of this 4,200-square-foot craftsman home and a passage begins into a peaceful world of Japanese minimalism with a touch of the Southwest.

Once through the sweeping entry portico, the warm and welcoming foyer with slate floors and 12-foot ceiling opens into the living/dining area. The walls are painted a soft light mocha and harmonize perfectly with the home.

The kitchen with warm wood tones and jade-colored granite has nooks and crannies for displaying antiques.

The Asian influence carries into the landscape as well with granite Japanese tea lanterns, sculptures and water basins. The yard offers quiet contrasts in greens and was designed to be as low maintenance, wildlife tolerant and water-wise as possible.

Upon entering the master suite, one is struck by the dramatic use of glass blocks in the master bath surrounding an immense walk-in shower. A separate curved spa tub looks out onto the golf course vista below.

by Peggy Laird

Special to The Union

This delightful Darkhorse home blends French country charm with comfortable family living. The “cobblestone” paved driveway leads to the front courtyard and fountain where one is drawn into an old world sense of genteel living.

The open living and dining room spaces lend themselves to large family holiday gatherings. The French country kitchen with its large island and ample bar stool room looks out onto another courtyard.

The owners placed their living quarters all on the first floor. The master suite just off of the kitchen is a peaceful retreat unto itself. A private patio leads to a stunning view of California’s golden hills and oak trees.

The upstairs with its Jack and Jill bedroom/bath area accommodates guests in comfort and style. The owner stated that two rooms in the house are “his.” The garage of course, you could eat off the floor. And his other room is the theater. This climate-controlled, sound-controlled viewing room with theater-sized screen is complete with wet bar and bathroom.

Home No. 7:

Immense home filled with custom beauty

by Peggy Laird

Special to The Union

This home’s high custom-designed, coffered ceilings add drama and expansiveness. Beautiful hickory floors, and walls of mauve and cream hues, bring a warmth throughout the home. Built in 2008, there are four bedrooms, three full baths, half baths and a five-car garage.

In a separate wing of the home is the master suite. The immense bath with spa tub and walk-through shower (two entrances!) are all tastefully designed and decorated.

On the opposite end of the home is a “hearth room,” a cozy room to curl up with a book in front of the fireplace. Adjacent to this is a very large theater/bar/library area.

The high ceilings are carried into the spectacular kitchen. It too is dramatic with dark cherry wood cabinets, spacious island with vegetable sink, six-burner Thermador range, two dishwashers, breakfast room and immense walk-in pantry.

The upstairs accommodates overnight guests in luxury. From the “Jack and Jill” bedrooms to a guest suite that is actually larger than the master suite, the guests may never want to leave! The full-kitchen barbecue area has all the creature comforts, and the covered patio is perfect for inclement weather, hot or cold.

Home No. 8: 14,000-square-foot mansion overlooks Bear River

by Peggy Laird

Special to The Union

Known as Rincon del Rio (The Bend of the River), this fabulous 14,000-square-foot home sits on a bluff overlooking the Bear River. Every impressive room of this craftsman-style home designed by Michael Murphy provides dramatic views up and down the river.

The imposing glass entry opens into an expansive living room. The large sweeping staircase gives visual separation between rooms and the grand piano is dwarfed by the 20-foot ceiling.

There are four to seven bedrooms depending on how the rooms are utilized (each with a fireplace), as well as fireplaces in the dining room, living room, family room, kitchen and even a wine cellar! Each of the 12 bathrooms has distinctive one-of-a-kind fixtures.

The view from the family room is truly breathtaking. Two 30-foot-high windows look out over the river. Equally dramatic is the massive floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace that has a concealed wood storage area.

Entertaining is a dream in the large kitchen which has four dishwashers, four camouflaged refrigerators, built-in coffee system, butler’s pantry, warming drawers, pasta sink, built-in steamers, deep fryer and woks.

No home is complete without an in-home theater and sports bar, complete with plasma TV and pool table. Outside entertaining next to the infinity pool over looking the river is made easy with a full kitchen and large resort-sized bar. Even the fully equipped exercise room has stunning views.

The master suite of rooms includes office, private deck, closet (a room in itself with washer and dryer), a perfectly round custom tub, two showers and a steam room.

An elevator to the “cellar” takes guests to another large entertainment area. In addition to a walk-in climate controlled wine cellar, there is a tasting bar, full kitchen, two baths, dining and sitting areas around a dramatic stone fireplace.

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