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The Tour is On

12th annual Delta Kappa Home Tour Features Diversity

The 12th Annual Hood River Home Tour, sponsored by Delta Kappa, takes place Sunday and offers participants a chance to tour some of the area’s finest homes.

Delta Kappa sponsors the home tour each year and designates a local organization to receive the proceeds. This year, all money raised will go to the Hood River County Library furniture fund, to help buy new tables, chairs and book cases for the expanded library, scheduled to open next spring.

The tour is from 1 to 5 p.m. and starts at Hawk’s Ridge Assisted Living Community. Hawk’s Ridge staff will be giving guided tours of the facility, and maps and tickets for the tour will be available. Desserts and beverages will be served.

This year’s tour includes two homes downtown and four on the West Side, making for an easy tour route. Delta Kappa members, local volunteers and ladies from the Red Hat Society will be hostesses in the homes to provide information and answer questions.

Delta Kappa has been serving the Hood River community for more than 35 years and has donated thousands of dollars to many local organizations including Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, the Adult Center, Children’s Park, Hospice of the Gorge, CAST and the fire department.

Tickets for the home tour are $8 in advance, available at Waucoma Bookstore, Fisher’s Inn and the Hood River County Library. Tickets are $9 the day of the tour.

Mark and Leslie Van Voast, 1106 Sherman Avenue, Hood River

Mark and Leslie Van Voast bought their home in 1999 when it was a four-plex. Three years and a complete remodel later, it retains few vestiges of its past as an apartment building.

The Van Voast’s transformed home is one of six area residences open to the public on Sunday as part of Delta Kappa’s annual home tour. (See sidebar for details.)

Mark put his profession as a custom home builder and consultant to good use in the 4,500 square foot home on Sherman Street, which the couple completely gutted and spent two years rebuilding. Mark credits Leslie for having the vision to see their dream home in the mundane, half-finished apartment house originally built in 1971.

“She walked in, saw the green carpet and orange countertops and said, ‘This is it,’” Mark recalls of the apartments, which hadn’t been updated since they were built. The couple worked on the design together to come up with an inviting floor plan. Most of their living is done on the upper level, where the living room and kitchen, along with a stand-alone bar, all take in the sweeping views of the Columbia River and Mount Adams.

The couple tried to work around the existing plumbing and the four fireplaces which had been in each of the separate units.

“Part of the challenge of designing it was making the fireplaces make sense,” Mark says. On the upper level, one is now in the living room and the other in the master bedroom. Downstairs, there’s a fireplace in the rec room and one in a guest room.

Restored maple flooring salvaged from the Pendleton Woolen Mill graces nearly the entire upper level. The master bath features a fuji tub with a picture-perfect view of Mount Adams.

Other unique touches include kitchen, dining and bathroom cabinets finished with automotive paint — including Volkswagen Beetle silver and Mercedes blue. And a downstairs bathroom is highlighted with swimming pool tile.

Just for fun, the couple left one remnant in place from the old apartments: a narrow, tiled shower tucked into the main floor bathroom.

“It fit and it just worked to leave it there,” Mark says. The walls, many of which Leslie painted in bold, bright colors, are decorated with original watercolors and oils painted by noted local artist Dick Van Voast, Mark’s father.

The home’s exterior was completely re-sided and the decks were re-built and expanded. Two sets of concrete steps on either side of the main entrance show where the doorways to the two upper level apartments once were.

“We haven’t gotten around to taking those out yet,” Mark says. Given the amount of work that went into the house — all done on the side while Mark worked in Portland — it’s no wonder.

Nick and Judy Kenyon, 1325 Sunset Road, Hood River

In 1982 Nick and Judy Kenyon found their perfect home with acreage for themselves and their two daughters, Stacie and Carrie, who were very involved with 4-H and their horses. The acreage and landscaping was in need of much work, but over the years, the couple’s love of gardening — along with a lot of hard work — has made it a beautiful place to enjoy. Judy takes care of the many flower beds, and Nick has a large vegetable garden with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and an herb garden. The home has 3,400 square feet, four bedrooms and two and a half baths. The Kenyons started a large scale remodeling 1997, during which they installed new hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings with sky lights and new decking. An addition was added which gave Judy her dream kitchen plus a master bedroom and bath. The bathroom features a large shower with six shower heads and a soaking Jacuzzi. The lower level has a family room and guest bedrooms, plus Judy’s favorite place, a large storage room made just to store her Christmas decorations.

Fritz and Donna Reuter, 4260 Post Canyon, Hood River

This home was built two years ago by Fritz Reuter Construction and has a Craftsman style influence. Fritz has built more than two dozen homes in the Hood River area. On the upper level, the oak floored great room looks out into a canopy of trees. “It’s like being in a tree house,” Donna says. The kitchen has appliances covered in cherry wood as well as granite countertops. The master suite features a fireplace with an antique mantel. The master bath has a steam shower and Jacuzzi tub that has a great view of the Columbia River. Donna did the interior design in a Victorian theme using grapes and fiddles as her motif — fitting, as Donna is a professional fiddler and has won many awards. Her music room affords her the space to give lessons and display many of the fiddles she has collected since childhood. Many large boulders were dug up during construction and now grace the landscape and pond in the park-like grounds.

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For more on the Delta Kappa Home Tour, see the Kaleidoscope section of the Sept. 25 Hood River News.

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