One of eight homes on the tour. Photo by Sue Misao

One of eight homes on the tour. Photo by Sue Misao

By Ann McCreary

Eclectic, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means “selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles.”

That’s just what organizers of the Methow Valley Home Tour have done this year in choosing eight homes with very different styles that offer “creativity inside and out,” said Barbara Newman.

Called “Eclectic Methow,” this Saturday’s (Aug. 10) tour features a home that incorporates recycled and found materials, an elegant remodeled home with a European style interior, and a contemporary home with simple, geometric lines.

“I think people are going to like the home tour this year because it will give them ideas they can personally use,” said Newman, who helped organize the tour.

Two homes belong to artists, “using things for decorating that you just wouldn’t expect,” Newman said.

Creative features in the kitchen. Photo by Sue Misao

Creative features in the kitchen. Photo by Sue Misao

One of those homes belongs to Tamra Jennings, a painter who moved to the Methow Valley two years ago with a piece of paper on which she had drawn a floor plan. She built a house in Twisp on the Methow River, creating unique furniture, décor and outdoor art from items most people would haul to the dump.

Her dining room table is made from the round top of a telephone line spool, mounted on a metal barrel. She finished the wooden top of the spool with an elegant, gold-hued paint. Her TV sits in a wall-mounted console she made from discarded fence boards that she reclaimed and refinished.

The counter and cupboards in her bathroom are made from an old apple crate. She covered the top with torn up grocery bags that she glued to the surface, painted and sealed. She built end tables, headboards and other pieces of furniture out of scrap wood.

“The idea is to take what somebody already has and make it into something else,” said Jennings, who had never made furniture  before building her house. “I’m just about finished with the house, and I don’t want to stop!”

Among the other stops on the tour, a hillside home in Pine Forest provides “a modest living space transformed into a viewing platform,” and incorporates cost-effective building materials, Newman said. “It shows that you don’t have to have a lot of money to have a very cool looking structure.”

A remodeled Wolf Creek home has an “Old World interior” reminiscent of Italy and extensive use of recycled building materials, Newman said. Another home has an interior rock-climbing wall.

Three homes have beautiful gardens, including one close to downtown Twisp that creates “a little oasis” in an urban neighborhood, Newman said.

The tour provides ideas for landscaping, building a new home or remodeling an existing house, Newman said. “It’s a lot of people’s creativity.”

The tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available at Confluence Gallery and Art Center for $25 apiece or $20 for four. Tickets may also be purchased at the Mazama Store on the day of the tour.

Confluence Gallery is also featuring an “Inside-Out” art exhibit at the gallery to further assist with home projects.

For more information or reservations call Confluence Gallery and Art Center, 997-2787.