The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays near and St. Francis High School prepares for its 25th annual Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour, scheduled Dec. 5-7.
Beginning with the Twilight Tour and followed by a Christmas party, home tours and a tea, luncheon and boutique, the annual event spans three days and provides multiple avenues for fundraising for construction of new school facilities for St. Francis’ expanding student body. Over the years, Christmas at Our House has raised more than $2 million for the school.
Founded in 1988 by Ann Morey, vice president of St. Francis’ Women’s Club, the first Christmas at Our House tour featured four homes in the South Bay.
Christmas at Our Home has become the Women’s Club’s largest event, attracting help from a wide range of local residents, from the volunteers running the event to the guests who attend. St. Francis students play an integral role, drawing sketches of the homes, entertaining tour-goers as student musicians and staffing the event as volunteers.
Homes on the tour
This year’s home tour showcases four residences reflective of different architectural styles.
• A newly constructed New England-style home that provides a warm and welcoming environment for a busy St. Francis family. The three-story home features interior design by Heidi Menard of Ambiance Interiors in its wine lounge, chef’s kitchen and downstairs entertainment room/gym. Architect Jim Redman of Elements Landscape designed the backyard landscaping.
• A home with an interior layout modeled after the traditional ranch houses of old Los Altos. Although the exterior finishes of the home are more reminiscent of the East Coast - with white siding and stone - the owners envisioned building a house that blended into the neighborhood and looked as if it were built over time. The house, built by general contractor and former St. Francis teacher John Komo and his daughter, St. Francis alumna Jennifer Paulson, boasts a traditional foyer, formal living and dining rooms, a wood-paneled office, four en-suite bedrooms and a children’s playroom above the three-car garage. Interior designer Julie Brown of Brownhouse Design helped select the finishes. Situated on a large, flat lot, the 6,500-square-foot house includes a large patio for entertaining, a pool, a pool house, a parterre garden, a small apricot orchard - a nod to early Los Altos - and a number of other fruit and pepper trees.
• A two-story Monterey-style remodel, a well-preserved example retaining nearly all of its original exterior design features. Among other highlights, the multipane glazed wood door with hand-wrought iron hardware, the metal doorbell with pull and the ornamental relief panel adjacent to the front door offer hints of the home’s history. Constructed circa 1933, the home was listed in 2008 on the Los Altos Historic Resources Inventory.
• A Tuscan-style villa in Los Altos Hills sits on a hill, with a quarter-acre vineyard, reminiscent of the Italian countryside. Large living room windows frame the expansive view. The backyard boast three fireplaces and unique seatng areas.
• Christmas Party and Tour tickets, $125, include a hosted cocktail buffet and boutique at Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills 7-10 p.m. Dec. 5. Tour tickets may be used 4-7 p.m. Dec. 5 or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 6 or 7. Tickets are limited.
• Home Tour tickets, $40-$45, include tours 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for a discount.
• Elegant Luncheon Buffet tickets, $30, include a luncheon and boutique at Fremont Hills Country Club 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6.
For tickets and more information, visit sfhs.com/parents/womens-club/christmas-at-our-house.