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March, 2013 |

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Datebook: Walk in No Shoes – Sudan Relief fundraiser on April 7, Volunteers …


Volunteers for California State Parks Foundation’s Restoration and Clean-up Day: Variety of work includes general clean-up, building projects, tree planting and weeding, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 13. Two regional project areas are Malibu Creek State Park and Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Check website for other locations. Pre-registration by April 8 required. 888-987-2757.

National Council of Jewish Women-LA’s Best of the Best Council Thrift Shop sale: Proceeds go to support the group’s programs and services to women and children, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 7. 21716 Sherman Way, Canoga Park.

Dining With Dogs: Event raises funds for working dogs in Ventura County sheriff’s K-9 Search and Rescue Team, the department’s K-9 unit and the National Police Dog Foundation, 2-7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets $60 and $600 for table for eight. Reservations required. Camarillo Ranch House, 201 Camarillo Ranch Road. 805-947-8128 or 805-630-2531.

Walk in No Shoes – Sudan Relief Fund: Fundraiser to provide food and safe drinking water, education and medical services to help genocide victims in southern Sudan, 8 a.m. Sunday. Entry fees: $35 for 1K walk without wearing shoes; $55 for 5K; $65 for 10K. Online registration closes April 6. Participant donation goal $250. Anthony C. Beilenson Park, 6350 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California Walk for Kids: A 5K walk to raise money for temporary housing for families of seriously ill children at adjacent hospitals, special family rooms in hospitals and sleep-away camp, 8 a.m. Sunday. On-site registration at 7 a.m. No minimum entry fee; $100-$249 donation for tee shirt. Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Drive, Los Angeles.

Simi Valley Hospital Foundation’s Hats Off to Women Conference: Event includes live and silent auctions, boutique, fashion show, health screenings and lunch, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 12. Proceeds benefit the Simi Valley Hospital Emergency Services and Hospital Expansion Project. Tickets are $70. Reservations required. 805-955-6670. fundraiser at Rock Store: The organization helps raise funds for nonprofit animal rescues. Donate $100, bring your pet and a favorite recipe (to be included in the group’s Kitchen Rescues Cookbook fundraiser) and have a professional photo taken with your pet from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 13. Reservations required. 30354 Mulholland Highway, Cornell. Flash Frozen Photography, 818-888-2280.

Wish Education Foundation fundraiser: Entertainment, food, live and silent auctions and wine tasting at 7 p.m. April 13. Proceeds benefit schools in the William S. Hart School District. Tickets $75. Reservations required. Old Town Newhall Library, 24500 Main St.

HR Block food drive for Help the Children: Drop off nonperishable food items at any of the 21 offices in the Santa Clarita Valley through April 15. 800-472-5625.;


All Veterans Burial Squad: Call for meeting time. VFW Post 3834, 111 N. Hagar St., San Fernando. 818-899-4834 or 661-259-1441.

Community Distribution Center Food Bank: Donations of food needed, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 11350 Saticoy St., Sun Valley. 818-759-0616.

FISH of West Valley: Donate nonperishable food and hygiene products, 4-5 p.m. Saturdays. 20440 Lassen St., Chatsworth. 818-882-3474.

Guadalupe Community Center: Donate nonperishable food and gently used clothes, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. 21600 Hart St., Canoga Park. 818-340-2050.

Helping Hands for Animals: Donate gently used accessories, clothes and shoes, household items and toys, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Group supports a different animal rescue group every month. 2800 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank. 877-763-9685.

Lutheran Social Services: Donate blankets, clothes, food and personal products, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Lutheran Social Services Community Care Center, 6425 Tyrone Ave., Van Nuys. 818-901-9480.

North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry: The pantry is supported by a coalition of area Christian and Jewish congregations. Information about food and money donations at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of North Hollywood, 818-763-8218.

Partners of Hope Food Pantry: Food donations and volunteers needed. Pantry hours: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. 10824 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Chatsworth. 818-341-1199.

The Pasture: Donate food and personal care items. Food pantry at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 7344 Apperson St., Tujunga. 818-353-3218.

St. Charles Service Center: Donate nonperishable food, hygiene products, blankets and gently used clothing, 9-11:45 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday. 10825 Moorpark St., North Hollywood. 818-985-7365.

Santa Clarita Food Pantry: Donate canned food, hygiene products, homegrown produce and cash or volunteer to work, 9 a.m.-noon Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-noon the first Saturday and 10 a.m.-noon the third Friday of the month for senior citizen clients only. 24133 Railroad Ave., Newhall. 661-255-9078.

SOVA food pantry: Donate nonperishable food and personal care products, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday (closed first Tuesday of the month); 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m.-noon Sunday (except holiday weekends). 16439 Vanowen St., Van Nuys. 818-988-7682.

Sunland-Tujunga Food Bank: Nonperishable food donations, 9-11:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday. 7747 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga. 818-352-2421.

Valley Food Bank: Donate nonperishable food, diapers, household cleaning supplies and hygiene products, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. 12701 Van Nuys Blvd., Pacoima. 818-510-4140.

Volunteers needed at the Senior Outreach Department of Providence Saint Joseph: Help a senior with rides to the doctor and shopping or visits two to three hours a month. Norma Villalobos, 818-847-3846.

Volunteer opportunities through Volunteer Los Angeles: List of regional organizations that often need volunteers; includes organizations’ web sites for updated information.

Volunteer opportunities through VolunteerMatch: Online resource list includes opportunities for all ages. Listings are specific to current need by various organizations; plug in ZIP code for your area.

West Valley Food Pantry: The coalition of 11 churches and synagogues needs donations and has volunteer opportunities, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-noon Friday. Closed on weekends. 5700 Rudnick Ave., Woodland Hills. 818-346-5554.

Send information at least two weeks in advance to; fax 818-713-0058; Date Book Calendar, Daily News, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365-4200.

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Cheap chic doesn’t have to look shabby

NEW YORK — With the housing recovery gaining steam, Americans have more incentives to paint up, touch up and otherwise redecorate their homes. But there’s no need to spend willy-nilly.

From finding treasures on to taking advantage of new offerings at department stores and discounters, there are plenty of ways to make your home more stylish on the cheap.

“There’s no excuse for an undecorated home on any budget,” said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, a retail consultancy. “Home has as much retail selection as fashion. And you can get a lot of buys.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has expanded this year its assortment of window treatments such as blinds, and also is bolstering offerings on rugs, decorative pillows, bathroom accessories and patio furniture. Under the discounter’s Better Homes Gardens brand, decorative pillows range from $11.97 to $13.97.

Meanwhile, Target Corp., known for its cheap chic home designs, has launched a full line for the new store brand called Threshold, which offers a variety of goods from dinnerware sets to sheets and towels. And J.C. Penney Co. is counting on a newly revamped home area that opens April 5 that houses new brands such as Jonathan Adler, Sir Terence Conran, and Bodum. Michael Graves, who ended his 13-year partnership with Target last year and is known for his stylish tea kettles, is also joining Penney this spring.

Here are six tips for decorating your home:

Do your homework: First, create a budget and search around to get inspiration. To get ideas, attend open houses to see how other people are decorating their homes. You can also find how-to videos and decorating blogs on such sites as HSN, HomeGoods, Lowe’s and Home Depot.

There are fewer home décor magazines than there used to be. But you can always flip through catalogs from stores such as Ballard Designs to get some tips.

Also, experts encourage you to do broad searches on the Web. eBay just launched a new technology called Feed that allows you to personalize your searches based on your style, like mod 1960s.

“It’s all about getting unexpected things,” said Chris Benz, an American fashion designer who is collaborating with eBay on various fashion collections. He said he has furnished his apartment and office with eclectic eBay finds like vintage Italian turquoise pottery pieces.

Pick and choose: Study your space and figure out what pieces of furniture you’ll be using more. So if you spend a lot of time in your living room, you may want to spend more on a sofa and an entertainment center that would house your flat-screen TV and books.

It’s like investing in good shoes or a handbag, said Pallavi Naidu, vice president of merchandising and product development at Atlanta-based Ballard Designs. Spending more on items that get lots of use means they will last longer and give you more satisfaction.

Improvise: You don’t need the real thing. If you don’t have money to spend on a granite backsplash for your kitchen turn to peel-and-stick wall tiles. Not sure if you want to invest in a carpet? An area rug could cost less and accomplish the same thing.

Repurpose pieces.:Shop in flea markets and even your mother’s attic to find pieces that could be reinvented as useful home décor items. And think beyond the original purpose: WSL’s Corlett said that old sewing machines or leather-trimmed luggage can be used as tables.

Check out financing deals: If you’re strapped and need to stagger payments, instead of charging all at once on your credit card, check out financing deals from various retailers.

Most furniture stores have some kind of interest-free financing deal going most of the time. Just remember to keep up with the monthly payments or else you will wind up paying heavy-duty interest and sometimes extra fees.

When in doubt, paint: Often, just a fresh coat of paint will make all the difference in a room.

“Painting is one of the affordable ways to change the décor,” Corlett said.

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Upgrade your kitchen with these 8 expert tips

Design experts give 8 tips on how to create a modern kitchen that is practical and inviting as the “hub of the home.”

If you’ve ever noticed that your family (and your party guests) tend to gather in the kitchen, there’s a reason: A kitchen is both the heart of the home as well as a living room. “A kitchen isn’t just a place to prep and serve,” says Paula Kennedy, a certified kitchen and bath designer at Timeless Kitchen Design in Redmond, Wash. “It has become the hub of the home.”

Fact is, the kitchen is where everyone tends to convene, whether they’re eating breakfast, baking cookies or just talking with friends, says Sara Story, an interior designer in New York City.

“Your kitchen should always be a warm, casual and inviting location in your house,” Story says. “And, since it’s a hub of activity, it makes sense that the design should be comfortable, yet crisp and interesting. Kitchens should also convey your personal style, reflecting your likes of bold colors, exposed cabinetry or whatever you like most.”

So, if you’ve ever gazed at your cabinets wondering what you can do to make them more modern or stood at your counter dreaming of ways to update the look of this all-important room, read on.

Create an “action center.” Gone are the days when an office space has to be a hasty kitchen addition. Instead, consider creating an organized space for everyone in the family that includes cubbies for mail, drawers for bills and a dedicated place for calendars, chargers, etc.

“Make room for your own office area by placing your tablet or laptop on a section of countertop,” Kennedy says. “Then place a corkboard on the wall or install a blackboard backsplash. This is a great way to keep the family organized, and it looks modern, too.”

Add conversation pieces. If you’ve started a collection of antique coffee tins or have recently begun taking black-and-white photos of your favorite local diners, display them. “You’ll be amazed at how many people will notice your unique design taste,” Story says.

Don’t forget the hardware. Whether you’re into a European style or clean, modern lines, cabinet hardware is a great way to personalize your space. “Think of your cabinetry as furniture and vary the size of pulls and knobs to really give it a unique look,” says Kurt Knapstein, an interior designer in Kansas City, Mo. “Mixing up the hardware is an innovative way to keep your kitchen from looking like everyone else’s stock kitchen.”

Consider the banquette. For the first time in years, built-in banquette seating is hot, Kennedy says. “By adding a banquette to your kitchen, you’ll create a room that’s less ‘kitchen-y’ and feels more like a living space. Add a built-in banquette plus a freestanding table and you’ll create a versatile, flexible space.”

Modernize the light. Lighting is a cost-effective way to update the look of your kitchen. “For example, crystal chandeliers or sleek modern fixtures will keep your kitchen aglow for countless years to come,” Knapstein says. “Don’t be afraid to mix up metal finishes. This is a creative way to lend a modern touch to the room.”

Make the walls unique. While wallpaper can certainly enhance a kitchen’s look and help bring out your personality, you can also paint the walls in a colorful shade that’s as unique as you are. Accent that color palette with your favorite piece of art, Knapstein suggests. Travel memorabilia, framed kids’ art or even antique mismatched plates also make for great wall décor.

Spend time on your countertops. Anchor your kitchen with countertops that have a simple pattern and simple lines. “Then, build from there,” says Summer Baltzer, former host of HGTV’s Design on a Dime. “With a simple countertop, it’s easy to layer in creative backsplash tiles or accessories. The goal is to create a base look for your kitchen and then layer on your personality through color and accessories.” And, if you ultimately decide to install marble countertops and subway tiles, chances are your kitchen will stay chic over time.

Accessorize. Since your kitchen is ultimately all about food, look to foods—and textures—for inspiration. “Natural-wood cutting boards along with fruit and vegetable baskets are a great way to bring in color,” Baltzer says. “Cookbooks and interesting collections of cookware are also a beautiful way to add texture and interest in the kitchen. Showcase colorful baking pottery, wooden salt and pepper mills or hand-painted tiles that have been framed.”

After all, it’s your personal touch that will help keep your kitchen looking modern and stylish for many years to come.

This article is excerpted from USA TODAY Home magazine. The special publication contains articles on home decor, home improvement, style and entertaining. Find it at magazine newsstands across the USA and Canada or at

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That Food, This Wine: French Chardonnay pairs well with salt cod at Canteen

EDMONTON – That Food: Cod Brandade with toast and pickled veg ($9) at Canteen

Oh, how simplicity can sometimes bring so much pleasure. The brandade at Canteen, the Red Ox Inn’s hip little sister, is about as simple as you can get, but simplicity done well is a challenge not many restaurants have mastered.

Inspired by the traditional salt cod dishes of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy where the dried, preserved fish is known as morue, bacalao, bacalhau and baccala respectively, executive chef and co-owner Frank Olson got the idea for the dish while doing research in San Francisco.

The brandade at Canteen is based in southern France. The salt cod is soaked in water for a day to re-hydrate and desalinate, then poached in milk, whipped with butter and potatoes, placed in individual serving sized cast iron skillets, put under the broiler to brown and crisp the top and served with slices of toasted baguette and a little side of pickled vegetables.

The dish has a great smooth, slightly chewy texture and a mild, fish flavour without being fishy (anyone who has had well-prepared salt cod will know exactly what I mean). Spreading on toast adds a nice crunch and the pickled veg adds a little pop of acidity and contrast, which helps refresh the palate.

This Wine: Joseph Faiveley Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010, Burgundy France (5-oz. glass: $10; bottle: $45)

Lovely fresh aromas and flavours of stone fruit, pineapple, citrus and pear, nice weight in the mid-palate with a round mouth-feel, and a touch of citrus acidity that lifts and brightens the wine on the finish.

Burgundy is both an easy and difficult region to understand. It is easy because, in general, you are dealing with two grape varietals: Chardonnay for white wines and Pinot Noir for red wines. The region is difficult because the same grape varietal can show so many different expressions due to the diversity of vineyard sites.

Burgundy is not just about expensive wines for collectors. The Faiveley Bourgogne Chardonnay is evidence of the quality and value coming from the region.

The weightiness and softness of the wine pairs well with the creamy texture of the brandade, while the acidity works well to heighten the flavours of both.

The brandade is an appetizer portion or great for sharing while sitting at Canteen’s bar, sipping a glass of the Faiveley and observing hipsters, industry-types, young professionals, west downtowners and the Glenora-glam — all reminding us that dining should be fun and social.

The music is loud (no, it’s not too loud) and the chatter is lively and animated (it’s called buzz) and we need even more hip little sisters and brothers to help our culinary culture evolve to that of the progressive city we claim and want to be.

Canteen is located at 10522 124th St. For reservations, call 780-485-6125 or go to

Have a question about anything having to do with wine or pairing food and wine? E-mail Gurvinder

Bookmark my blog at and follow me on Twitter at EdmontonWineGuy

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Interiors: The right track

Inspired by magazines and the internet, a Wellington couple have created a bright family home in a renovated railway cottage

Vanessa Palmer and her daughter in their beautiful kitchen. Photo / Your Home and Garden

Street appeal is often a decisive factor when buying a house, and that’s what attracted Vanessa Palmer and husband Matt Dumbill to their Wellington home.

The ex-railway cottage sat prettily in the streetscape and was on a flat section with drive-on access and all-day sun – rare qualities in the narrow streets of the hilly capital city.

When they moved in about six years ago, the couple envisaged renovations that would maximise the house’s attributes and open the rear of the house to the backyard – perfect for barbecues with friends and for kids to run around.

“Despite the work that needed to be done, the fact that it was an original home really appealed because we could start from scratch,” says Dumbill.

Making the house warm was the first job and that meant putting in insulation, sealing up the chimneys and installing a heat pump.

The cottage’s layout was also a problem, with the kitchen, bathroom and laundry housed in a lean-to at the rear. “The toilet was accessed through a back door leading out of the kitchen and across a porch,” says Palmer.

“On a freezing winter’s night that wasn’t a fun experience.”

She drew inspiration for their renovation from the internet, interior design shows and magazines.

“I also searched real estate websites to look at renovated villas in Auckland and see how those character homes have been opened up to the backyard,” she says.

With no renovating experience, the couple enlisted architectural draughtsman Craig Fafeita to draw up the plans for a major renovation.

“The lean-to was completely removed to make way for the new open-plan kitchen, living and dining area,” says Palmer. “All the windows in this area were replaced and the bathroom was relocated to one of the smaller rooms off the central hallway. The entire house was stripped, insulated and re-lined. The ceilings were re-plastered, with new architraves, skirtings and window frames installed. Everything was painted and the floorboards were sanded and polished.”

In recent years, Palmer has been in charge of decorating the bedrooms of daughters Emilia, 3, and Lucia, 1.

“I chose to keep the curtains and walls free from anything too themed, and instead focused on accessories that are easy to change, such as bunting, lanterns, bed linen, wall stickers and art. All of our bedrooms have the same curtain fabric and wall colours, but they each have a different look.”

Palmer says decorating her girls’ rooms stirred her current obsession with bright colours: “It seems to make a room feel more happy and fun. Any room that feels warm, welcoming and lived-in appeals to me.”

Style tips

Key colours: Palmer has some favourite colours that have worked well. “Red has been my go-to colour for homeware, along with duck egg blue. Having girls means pink makes an appearance.”

Background effect: Choose the right wall colours to complement your decor. In the kitchen and dining area Palmer used a warm neutral shade to act as a backdrop to her red accessories.

Frame game: Framing unusual objects makes them a point of interest. Palmer says, “We’ve had tea towels framed, and even a coaster made of feathers framed in a shadow box.”

By Leanne Moore

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Greg Jaklewicz: If you want to be as energetic as Cole Egger, he can help

Thomas Metthe/Reporter-NewsCole Egger shows off his Energy by the Hour powder. Each tube contains the equivalent caffeine boost of 1.5 cups of coffee.

Photo by Thomas Metthe, Tommy Metthe/Abilene Reporter-News

Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Cole Egger shows off his Energy by the Hour powder. Each tube contains the equivalent caffeine boost of 1.5 cups of coffee.

Photo with no caption

Photo by Thomas Metthe, Tommy Metthe/Abilene Reporter-News

You might think that after 12 business attempts, Cole Egger would be worn out.

Ha. His 13th venture is Energy by the Hour, a tube containing enough powder for five hours of energy — but which can be measured for one hour, two hours, etc. The black cherry-flavored powder can be taken with head tilted back, like a Pixie Stick, or mixed with 16-20 ounces of water.

A graduate of Jim Ned High School, Cole’s life seems to be documented by the Reporter-News every three years. In 2007, he was promoting a new line of pots and pans, called Edge Cookware. In 2010, it was Meals to Live — ready-to-eat meals for diabetics.

In 2013, he’s challenging consumers to “take control of your energy!”

His tube packs the punch of 1.5 cups of coffee but contains only 6 grams of sugar. A 12-ounce serving of a nondiet soft drink has about 40 grams. Energy by the Hour is not marketed as a health product, Egger says, but it is healthier than some alternatives.

Yes, family and friends have asked him about what he’s doing with his life, especially when he announces another idea he’s pursuing. Aside from working as a waiter while attending Texas AM (he graduated in 2004 with a degree in sports marketing, “which I’ve done nothing with,” he said), Cole proudly says he has worked only for himself.

“It’s a full-time job for me,” he said, calling himself a “serial entrepreneur.”

“I throw darts until one sticks,” he said. “I love what I do.”

He has yet to hit the bull’s eye, but Energy by the Hour has potential. Imagine the world of hamburgers, ruled by McDonald’s but without Burger King or Wendy’s?

Cole says 5-Hour Energy has 92 percent of the energy product market and generated $1.5 billion in sales last year. There are 220 companies competing in this business but “there is no dominant No. 2,” he said. Cole’s good with being No. 2.

“Absolutely,” he said.

Cole, 31, was in Abilene this weekend for an Easter visit. His product, priced at $1.99 and on the market for only 30 days, is available locally at West-T-Go convenience stores and is being tested in the Fort Worth-Dallas area, where he lives.

Energy by the Hour spent six months in the developmental stage, or what has been called “napkins to shelf.” Normally, a product like this takes a year or so to get into stores, but because Cole over time has made contacts, such as with packagers, his project moved faster.

The idea came from friends using energy products without much thought about what they were using. Did they really need five hours of energy; if they used the product partially, how much had they consumed?

He said his product is more “socially responsible.” Do you want a five-hour boost or just an hour or two to perk up at the end of the workday or after classes or for a night out?

The product has tested well with women, which always is good.

Cole’s cookware and meal ventures did well for a time but ran their course. He was not bought out, so there was no big payday at the end.

“It gets expensive. I have not seen a lot of dollar signs,” he says, smiling.

If the name Egger sounds familiar, it may be because Cole is the son of Taylor County Commissioner Stan Egger. Cole played sports and once thought football was his ticket out of Tuscola. When that didn’t appear to be happening, he talked to his dad, who asked him if he’d rather haul hay or go to college after high school graduation.

Cole, who had hauled hay, chose college and being an Aggie.

That was a good choice, but his career as a “retail products guy” was met with, well, some skepticism. Although family members and an extended support system always have been there, his parents “thought I was absolutely nuts” when he announced that he was designing and marketing cookware. But they bought his wares, though, then his frozen dinners for diabetics.

“Their refrigerator was stocked,” he said, laughing.

Stan Egger told his son to stick with his chosen career.

“He told me, ‘The only thing I can guarantee you is that if you stop trying, it’ll never happen,’” Cole said.

Maybe 13 tries is too many, Cole mused. Maybe 13 is his lucky number.

If Cole wasn’t developing products for himself, he’d be doing it for someone else.

“I love the world of marketing and advertising,” he said.

What would he tell Jim Ned students, or those in high school anywhere, about the job world?

“The largest part is figuring out what you want to do,” he said.

Growing up in the country and hauling hay may have better prepared him to be more self-reliant, yet comfortable enough to lean on family during hard times, he said.

Will Taylor County get more work out of Stan Egger after he takes Energy by the Hour?

“The commissioners won’t know what hit them,” Cole joked.

Will it even work on Commissioner Chuck Statler?

Cole chose not to answer.

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The Bauhaus at home: Catching a glimpse of the private Gropius

One in a series on National Historic Landmarks
in New England.

LINCOLN — A shockwave swept across the preservation community 30 years ago when Historic New England (then the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) brought the home of seminal Modern architect Walter Gropius under its wing. Modernism was the bête noir of those who wanted to safeguard Colonial, Federal, and Victorian architecture from the soulless scourge of the glass box.

But the Walter Gropius House, completed in 1938, has more in common with vernacular New England architecture than it first appears. After philanthropist Helen Storrow gave the former Bauhaus director four acres of her estate and $20,000 to build his home, Gropius and his wife, Ise, spent months touring New England and absorbing the local building vocabulary.

The low white box with black structural trim sits on a rise in a former apple orchard. Like many New England homes, it is constructed of white clapboards with black trim. Of course, the clapboards run vertically and the black trim usually represents a metal frame for windows far larger than the Yankee norm. Moreover, one of the walls facing the street is constructed of glass brick, a material that never caught on in these parts.

David Lyon for The Boston Globe

The dining table in the Gropius House embodies Modern design, with its circular table top, melamine dishware, and tubular steel chairs.

The modest, 2,300-square-foot Gropius House embodies Bauhaus principles of simplicity, economy, functionality, and beauty derived from form rather than decoration. Guided tours nudge visitors past any misconceptions of Modern design as cold or sterile to emphasize the rich and warm lives lived within the structure.

On the ground level facing the street is the office where Walter and Ise Gropius worked side by side at a Bauhaus-designed desk that elevates the door on file cabinets found in every student apartment. Today’s students, though, usually lack the glass brick wall that lets southern light flood in through the dining room on the other side. The brightness is softened by a giant philodendron planted decades ago by Ise.

The L-shaped living room, with long vistas on one side and a forest view on another, is spacious and comfortable. The furniture was mostly designed by Marcel Breuer and shipped from

David Lyon for The Boston Globe

The Gropiuses were not overburdened with possessions. This closet in the master bedroom uses simple cubby holes to hold clothing and personal items.

Germany when Gropius came to Harvard in 1937. The tubular steel designs would not look out of place in Crate Barrel or Design Within Reach. The round white Formica table in the dining room is set with Prolon bowls and plates, a line of Modern-design melamine dinnerware originally made in Florence, Mass.

That mix of high and low informs the whole house. The desk in daughter Ati’s room was a one-off piece that Gropius designed in 1919 for the director’s office in the first Bauhaus school in Weimar, Germany. It is executed not in some high-tech material, but of broad pine boards. That Gropius managed to hold onto the desk through the tumult of the ’20s and ’30s quietly speaks volumes about his personal attachment to design objects.

Likewise, one of the first examples of an Eero Saarinen “Womb Chair,” a 70th birthday gift, takes pride of place in the living room. Yet it’s easy to get the impression that Gropius got just as big a kick from the simple, yet ingenious jar opener mounted beneath a shelf in the kitchen.

David Lyon for The Boston Globe

The desk used by daughter Ati was designed by Walter Gropius as his first desk as director of the Weimar Bauhaus in 1919.

The upstairs living quarters are strikingly modest. Contemporary home buyers would be aghast at the limited closet and storage space, but pleased with his and her sinks in the master bathroom. The Gropiuses had many temporary house guests, especially intellectuals fleeing Europe in the years just before and during World War II. Their guest bedroom is set up with two single beds arranged end to end as daybeds.

Many of those guests became Gropius’s colleagues at Harvard, and they often left behind sketches and notes that are part of the house archives. “It was my father’s special gift to create circles of affection among men of ideas,” Ati Gropius Johansen recalled for an HNE publication called “Walter Gropius: The Man Behind the Ideas.”

Squint a little on the house tour, and you can almost imagine these design pioneers in animated conversation in the living room, or maybe joining Walter on the screened porch to watch one of his beloved horse operas (like “Bonanza”) on TV.

Walter died in 1969 at 86, Ise in 1983, also at 86.

The Gropius House

68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln, 781-259-8098, Open through May Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m., June-mid-October Wed-Sun 11-5. Tours on the hour. Adults $15, age 65 and older $12, students $8.

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