Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 6, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 6, 2012 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people who create them 

Story by Chris Bertrand. 


The Pasadena chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers 
(ASID) will feature their 26th annual tour of kitchens or homes on Sunday, 
October 14 this year, from 9:30-5:00. Five recently remodeled homes will 
be featured on the day’s self-guided tour.

This year’s ASID committee was particularly impressed and excited 
about the diverse qualities of the applicants, according to 2012 tour co-
chair, Debbie Talianko, of Talianko Design Group, based in Sierra Madre for a decade.

Co-chair, Christine Santana stressed that the intrinsic value of the tour is that these are “real 
homes for real people” where the designers take careful consideration of personal collections, 
artwork and existing furniture. 
Five designer’s projects in the communities of Pasadena, La Canada and South 
Pasadena were chosen, including an 1896 Victoria Carriage House, a 1916 Colonial Revival Home 
and Contemporary Post-Modern, French Style home in Pasadena, a 1911 Craftsman in South 
Pasadena and a Cliff May-designed, Spanish Ranch-style Home in La Canada. Bristol Farms will 
host a continental breakfast at the La Canada home to start off the tour.

Kathleen Formanack Interiors took on the repurposing project of an 1896 carriage house of the 
Alpine Tavern at Crystal Springs, designed by Austrian born architect, Louis F. Kwiatowski. Both 
the main and carriage house were designed with a unique blend of Italian and French renaissance, 
plus Victorian influences.

Talianko points out that the boutique area, located at this Victorian, includes many fresh ideas and 
products this year, with many new vendors offering unique gifts, clothing and gourmet food items.

The small square footage of the recognizable and historic carriage house required special 
consideration to make the former horse and buggy storage area into a habitable residence, as 
well as comply with municipal requirements. The project is a true study in making every inch of 
horizontal and vertical space useful as well as beautiful.

In South Pasadena, Linda Holley of Beyond Lascaux turned a “crowded, inefficient and even 
dangerous workspace” into a fabulous cook’s kitchen, while respecting the Craftsman style of the 
property. The arduous process included the relocation of every element except the main kitchen 
sink. The resulting kitchen features African mahogany cabinetry complemented by celadon hues 
in the stone and tile work. Each upper cabinet includes concealed electrical outlets and interior 

At a nineteen room, La Canada estate, Sara Ingrassia Interiors undertook a re-design of a vintage 
1930’s home thought to be one of the first California ranch homes designed by renowned architect, 
Cliff May. A new guest house was added, and most every area was redesigned Ingrassia, with the 
exception of the kitchen, which had been renovated earlier. Special attention was focused on the 
lighting and electrical work, to provide a consistent quality of light throughout the home.

Talianko comments, “Sara is a new member in our organization, and offers a very colorful and 
ethnic interpretation here, with something to see and appreciate in every nook and corner.”

Susan Sawasy of Casawasy Interior Design took a 1980’s designed home in South Pasadena, and 
transformed it into a current, cleaner, more elegant residence. The dual phase project created new 
entertaining and relaxation spaces, opening new passages and reconfiguring the personality and 
flow of the home. According to the designer, “Traces of French deco, with modern Donghia pieces 
and accent fabric inspired by Pucci, are used to enhance the French sensibility of the home.”

The Troop Group of Orange County took on a 1916 Colonial Revival home near the Langham 
Hotel, with stunning results, which she sums up as a combination of “classicism with lively, 
dramatic colors and luxurious textures. She was tasked with accommodating a relaxed lifestyle 
that balanced formal and informal furnishings, and meticulously preserving intricate moldings, 
barrel vaulted ceilings, etc., while applying “unexpected textures and colors,” according to Troop. 
A major update and expansion was completed in 2011.

“This colonial is a very elegant estate imbued with a sophisticated soft palate, and could easily be a 
showcase house on its own. It’s not to be missed,” remarked Talianko.

Also located at this Colonial, the participating industry partners, vendors that have a part in these 
particular homes, will be gathered together here. “In addition to being able to ask each designer about 
their projects and insights,” Talianko said, “Tour attendees can interact with the vendors of some of the 
products used in the tour homes. It gives you a real chance to ask questions one on one , and that offers 
people a real value for their ticket.”

Advance ticket purchases, at $30, are available online at, or at the chapter 
offices, 1000 Walnut Street # 108, or by calling 626-795-6898. In addition, pre-sale tickets will be 
available at Anthony’s Framing Gallery in San Marino, Pzazz Hair Salon in La Canada and at Sierra 
Custom Kitchens in Pasadena.

Same day ticket purchases will be $35, and available at Anthony’s Framing at 1120 Huntington Drive, 
San Marino, 800-237-2634. The properties are owner occupied homes and are not equipped to 
accommodate wheelchairs. The tour is open to ages twelve and up.

This year, advance group sales for ten or more are available through Margaret Renzullo of Fiber Care 
and Service, at 626-577-8810.

A nonprofit organization, ASID is the design profession’s oldest and largest association, with members 
qualified by education, testing and experience. The ASID Pasadena Chapter, formed in 1964, has a 
history of community involvement in its quest to be the definitive resource for professional education 
and knowledge-sharing. For more information, visit the organization’s website at www.ASIDPasadena.
org. Some information was obtained from published ASID Pasadena documents.


Saturday, October 13

LA County Arboretum10am-Noon / Bamboo Room

Dr. Jerrold Turney, instructor

$25 Arboretum members - $30 non-members

Please call 626.821.4623 to register for the class. You may also pay at the door on October 13.

 Learn how and when to prune your trees from Dr. Jerry Turney PhD, certified arborist and licensed CA 
agricultural pest control advisor. Dr. Turney will cover the fundamentals of pruning following the guidelines 
established by the International Society of Arboriculture. The pruning of fruit trees (stone fruits, 
apple & pear, citrus, avocado, etc.) for increased fruit production and disease control will also be covered, 
as well as the major diseases that attack fruit trees. 

 Dr. Turney received his B. S. in Botany from California State Polytechnic University and his Ph.D. in plant 
pathology from the University of California at Riverside. He has served as the curator of the camellia gardens 
at the Huntington Library and Botanic Gardens, a research horticulturist at the Los Angeles County 
Arboretum, and is currently the plant pathologist for the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/
Weights and Measures for the County of Los Angeles. In addition, Dr. Turney was formerly a licensed 
landscape contractor, and is currently a licensed agricultural pest control advisor and an ISA certified 
arborist. His primary fields of expertise are plant pathology, mycology and arboriculture.


It’s an understandable conundrum: sellers believe their home is worth more than it is, and buyers 
think that it’s worth less. So where is the proverbial “sweet spot” when it comes to the single most 
important aspect of marketing your home - setting its price? 

Consider how many homes are for sale in your neighborhood. Is that number high? Then your 
listing price should be lower than the competition if you want to generate the most interest. 
Obvious, right? 

But how many of those rival listings are foreclosed properties or short sale listings? The most 
critical factor in evaluating this type of competition is the condition in which they are offered. 
Neglected homes aren’t likely to affect you, but if they are in good shape and presented at prices 
20% below market, you’ve got some hard thinking to do. 

If buyers aren’t making appointments or showing up at an open house event, you probably priced 
too high at the start. Don’t hesitate to make an adjustment, however, because properties generate 
the most interest in the earliest stage of the listing. 

Finally, give any offer strong consideration. You may counter, but these days, buyers won’t engage 
in extended negotiations - they’ll just move on to the next property. You can avoid these bitter 
pills by practicing a little preventative medicine through competitive pricing right from the 


AT DESCANSO Design a dream green space 
– and learn to avoid ‘crimes against horticulture’


Billy Goodnick has a word of advice for landscapers 
compelled to carve plants into submission. 
Don’t do it. “People go into adversarial mode in 
trying to show the plant who is boss,” he said. The 
result is tortured topiaries: meatball bushes, lollipop 
trees and cubed shrubs.

 Goodnick – award-winning landscape architect, 
blogger, horticultural comedian, rock drummer 
– will present two gardening lectures at Descanso 
Gardens on Saturday, Oct. 6. The programs will 
serve up nuts and bolts advice spiced liberally with 
humor. The lectures are:

· “Design Like a Pro,” 11 a.m., in the Under the 
Oaks Theater.

· “Crimes Against Horticulture,” 2 p.m. in Van 
de Kamp Hall

In “Design Like a Pro,” he will deconstruct how a 
landscaper envisions a design project, considering 
factors like practicality, sustainability and beauty. 
Hankering for a cottage garden? Goodnick will 
explain how to achieve a specific look while substituting 
plants that suit the climate. The goal is 
outdoor living space that elevates the yard to “garden” 
status. “My tagline is beautiful, sustainable 
gardens,” he said.

 “Crimes Against Horticulture” is subtitled “When 
Bad Taste Meets Power Tools.” He will present a 
slideshow that exemplifies one of his pet peeves – 
weekend warriors who slice and dice shrubs with 
the enthusiasm of a Ginsu knife pitchman.

 Goodnick doesn’t mind topiary – in the right 
place. But many of these “crimes” seem to be reaction 
to a good plant in a bad location. “Every plant 
has its genetic destiny,” he said. “You have an obligation 
to understand how big that plant will get.” 
Rather than shear a plant into submission, he suggests 
planning before you plant.

 Goodnick was an in-demand studio drummer 
when he caught the “bonsai bug.” His interest in the 
miniature plants sparked further study and a new 
career. For 22 years, he was the City Landscape Architect 
for the City of Santa Barbara. He continues 
to design gardens for clients, while lecturing across 
the country about horticulture, blogging and writing 
the upcoming book, “Yards.”

 Goodnick’s lectures are free with Gardens admission: $8 adults, 
$6 seniors and students with I.D., $3 children 5-12, free for members 
and children 4 and younger. Descanso Gardens is located at 
1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge 91011. Information: 
(818) 949-4200.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: