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Home&Real Estate Home Front PAST HOLIDAY HOME TOUR ... The 24th annual PAST (Palo Alto Stanford Heritage) house tour will be take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at seven homes in the College Terrace neighborhood, as well as the library. Houses range from 625 to 4,000 square feet, and are in a variety of architectural styles. Tickets that day are $30 at the College Terrace Library, 2300 Wellesley St., Palo Alto. Information: SWAP HOLIDAY LIGHTS ... The City of Palo Alto is offering one free box of energy-efficient LED EnergyStar holiday lights to any resident who brings in an old string of working incandescent lights during December. Just bring them to City Hall, 3rd floor, Utility Marketing Services, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, Mondays through Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. According to the city’s marketing literature, LED strands use 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than traditional lights. Information: or 650-329-2241 SAVE AND BAKE ... The City of Palo Alto is offering tips on how to save energy while preparing holiday meals, including: open oven doors as little as possible; use glass or ceramic dishes (lets you lower the cooking temperature by 25 degrees); if using a selfcleaning oven, do it immediately after cooking to take advantage of residual heat; cook as much as possible on a range top rather than an oven. Information (and many more tips): www. TOYS FOR TOTS ... Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerages in Palo Alto — at 2745 Middlefield Road and 245 Lytton Ave., Suite 100 — and Menlo Park — at 800 El Camino Real, Suite 300, and 930 Santa Cruz Ave. — will be collecting new, unwrapped toys until Dec. 16. The toys will be picked up by members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve and distributed through local charitable organizations and social welfare agencies. N Also online at An abundance of holiday home tours PROTECT I.D.S? ... Palo Alto residents can bring up to five bankers’ boxes filled with confidential documents to shred at the Sunnyvale Materials Recovery and Transfer (SMaRT) Station, 301 Carl Road, Sunnyvale, on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 8 a.m. to about noon. Documents must be removed from binders, but staples, paper clips, spiral notebooks and rubber bands are OK. Proof of residency is required. TIME TO TIDY UP ... Palo Alto will hold a Household Hazardous Waste Day on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Water Quality Control Plant, 2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto. Residents may drop off up to 125 pounds or 15 gallons of old paint, paint thinner, gasoline, pool chemicals, bleach — or asbestos, propane tanks or household injection needles. Information (and complete list of what’s acceptable and what’s not): OPEN HOME GUIDE 52 WOMEN’S CLUB AT SAINT FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL, JUNIOR LEAGUE HOST THEMED FUNDRAISERS story by Carol Blitzer photographs by Michelle Le ‘T is the season to check out snazzy houses — all gussied up for the holidays. Two home tours take place this weekend — Christmas at Our House, the 23rd annual holiday home tour put on by the Women’s Club of Saint Francis High School, and Finishing Touches, the fourth annual fine-home tour sponsored by the Junior League of Palo Alto*Mid Peninsula. Christmas at Our House offers a tour of three homes in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. With a theme of “Winter Wonderland,” the tour offers peeks at “a splendid Tuscan villa” with phenomenal views; a traditional family home with a strong New Orleans influence; and a Cliff May-inspired ranch-style home designed to see the garden from every room. A few days before the tour, 35 bins of Christmas decorations lined the halls of that sprawling rancher while Jeanette Loretz, of JL Designs & Interiors, Los Altos, and current president of the California Peninsula chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), led a team of design students and ASID volunteers to complete the decorating job by Thursday. Usually the family took a week to dig into the boxes of nutcrackers, huge stockings and enough ornaments to deck out an 11-foot tree, homeowner Gary Wimmer said. This year, he’s providing the setting, but volunteers are doing the decorating. Both of Wimmer’s daughters have attended St. Francis High School — one graduated last year, one’s a junior — as did Loretz’s children. Most of the decorations were collected by Wimmer’s late wife, Heather. When Wimmer was approached to offer his home for the tour, “I know she would have said yes!” he said. Soon after the Wimmers purchased the home in 2005, they had to deal with major foundation issues and ended up gutting the home and rebuilding it. Bill Bocook, a Palo Alto architect, kept the Cliff May indoor/outdoor sensibility — there’s a view of the spacious backyard and pool from virtually every window (continued on page 43) A salvaged wooden beam, top, serves as a mantel for the stone-faced fireplace in the great room, decorated with the family’s nutcrackers and stockings. Above, an entire table is filled with candlesticks of varying heights, ready to be lit during the tour. *>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊ iVi“LiÀÊÓ]ÊÓ䣣ÊU Page 41

Palo Alto Weekly 12.02.2011 - Section 2

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