Thursday, September 01, 2011
2011 Home Tour Guide
Photos and descriptions of all eight homes plus directions on how to take the Tour by boat!
This year’s Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour, an event that has generated more than $3 million for charity since its debut in 1991, coincides with Columbus Day weekend, which organizers said they hope will encourage more weekend traffic because visitors can stay over Sunday evening and enjoy part of the Monday holiday at SML.
In previous years, the weather on many Tour weekends has been perfect for fall cruising, so planning to skipper family or friends to at least some of the eight homes makes great sense. The homes are concentrated on the lower and western portions of the lake — from just below the S-curve to Witcher Creek and The Water’s Edge, with an excursion up the Blackwater to Gills Creek and a bit beyond.
All in all, some delightful fall cruise destinations await, so keep this guide and tips for attending the Home Tour by boat handy.
Before Setting Out: Plot the homes on a navigational chart or full-size SML Visitor Info Map, available at Laker Media (272 Westlake Road, behind Kroger) and in many locations where Laker Magazines are distributed. Remember to take along a mobile phone, hydrating beverages and plenty of gas (or a credit card if a gas stop is anticipated).
En Route: Traveling downstream (toward the dam), you’ll find odd-numbered (green) channel markers on your right and even-numbered (red) on the left. Marker numbers decrease as you travel toward the dam and increase as you work your way upstream. Markers may be close together (such as B2 and B4) or quite distant (B12 to B8). It is prudent to stay well clear of any marker, especially if water is low at the time of the Tour. Unless directed otherwise, keep to the right side of river and creek channels.
Docking: Large orange balloons denote where docking is available. Helpers will be available on at least one dock near each home. Docking space may be limited and boaters may have to wait for others to depart before tying up. Do not use any dock that does not have docking volunteers assisting.
Don’t Miss: New this year, several of the featured homes will include artistic expressions, including a variety of live music, video presentations, a painting demonstration and casual seminars on Arts and Crafts-style architecture.
Want to Go?
21st Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour
When: Oct. 7-8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 9 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Tickets: $20 in advance online, through the mail or at a local outlet (see website for a complete list); $25 on Tour days at the individual homes or the SML Visitor Center at Bridgewater Plaza (cash or check only)
Contact: 540.297.8687, smlcharityhometour.com
More info: For additional coverage of the 2011 Home Tour, pick up copies of our sister publication, Laker Weekly, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 or log on to smithmountainlake.com.
#6 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N37 degrees 04.890’,
W 79 degrees 37.700’
The Trotter home in Park Place was designed to take advantage of a stunning view of Smith Mountain. On the main floor are beautiful tray ceilings in the master bedroom and dining room, and the great room has a distinctive arched fireplace. There are antiques and a family crest made by the owner’s father and grandfather plus memorabilia from travels to Italy on display in this stylish yet family friendly home. A bonus room over the garage is “grandchildren central” during their visits. The landscaping includes an environmentally friendly buffer garden along the lakeshore.
By Boat: Starting any place upstream of R15, head down river toward R15, which is below the S-curve and adjacent to an island near a blue water tank. Pass R15 and turn right beyond the island. Enter cove to third dock on the right.
#5 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N 37 degrees 4.316’,
W 79 degrees 38.128’
Tom and Ginger Tanner love motorcycles, scuba trips and water-skiing and the many wall-displayed photos in their home reflect these passions. Custom-designed by the owners, the cottage-style home features an open floor plan and water views on multiple sides. Walnut floors, rock fireplace and eclectic decor create a relaxed feel on the main level. The lake level, with fun, bright colors, white bead board and ceramic tile, was finished by the owners. Bookshelves hold Tom’s antique camera collection, and the office displays memorabilia from his years at Virginia Military Institute.
By Boat: Exit the cove by passing between the islands at the cove mouth. Turn right and proceed ahead to the cove that has mobile homes on the left shore and homes on right shore. The home is on the right, near the cove entrance. The Chisolm home (#4, Page 55) is next door. Dock at either home to tour both.
#4 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N 37 degrees 4.316’,
W 79 degrees 38.128’
The warm, earthy colors in the Chisholm home create a feeling of calm and peacefulness. The open floor plan was designed for entertaining and is punctuated by two stone fireplaces — one in the great room and one in the gathering room just off a spacious kitchen. Upstairs, a bedroom, bunkroom and lounge area can accommodate numerous guests. The lake level, handicap-accessible for elderly parents, has a bedroom, two baths, kitchen, media room and family room with multiple gaming tables. Tray ceilings provide stylish accents in the dining room and upstairs lounge.
By Boat: The Chisholm home is next door to the Tanner home (#5, Page 53). Dock at either home to tour both.
#1 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N37 degrees 04.345’,
W79 degrees 35.387’
After years of weekending at their lake cottage, Bonita DeLooper and husband Ted Johnson decided to expand their house by 2,600 square feet and make it a retirement home. A modern kitchen was installed along with a dining room that seats 12. The couple enjoyed their screened-in porch so much they installed windows and a fireplace so it could be used year-round. An 18th century grandfather clock, an antique bed and artifacts from foreign travel add personal style to the home.
By Boat: Return to the main channel of the Roanoke River, passing to the left of two shoal markers. Turn right; pass R13, then angle to the left side of the river, passing to the right of a large island at R12 and shoal marker beyond R12. After the shoal marker, pass a second island and then turn immediately into cove on the left. Go to the end of the cove at the gray condos and turn left. Proceed straight until the cove divides as a “Y;” bear left to the ninth dock on the left.
#2 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N37 degrees 03.959’, W79 degrees 31.950’
“Loblolly House,” James and Catriona Erler’s home, was inspired by the Gamble House, a famous 1908 Arts and Crafts-style home in California created by architects Charles and Henry Greene. Jim Erler designed the perched lakefront home to feature trim elements typical of the work of the Greenes, including horizontal wood friezes, a wood-paneled “chimney corner,” and indoor lanterns with stained glass to match the main-floor doors. Craftsman-style furnishings and William Morris fabrics complement the architectural style. A stone fire pit and fountain patio incorporate large rocks that help blend the home’s exterior with the native landscape. A feature story on this home appeared in our May/June 2009 issue. Read it online at smithmountainlake.com.
By Boat: Return to the main channel of the Roanoke River, keeping to the right side to avoid shallow water and shoals on the left side. Bear left (toward the dam) just past R8. Keep to the right of R6, R4 and R2. Bear slightly left after passing R2, pass the dam on the right and keep the undeveloped area on your right and houses on your left. Proceed past W1 keeping that marker on your left. Continue straight. The channel will angle slowly to left; after the bend, you’ll see the “no wake” markers on the first cove on the right; enter the second cove on right, which has houses on both sides. Look for the first dock on right. Note: Use caution when climbing the steps to this house as they are steep, long and have no handrails.
#8 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N37 degrees 01.323’,
W79 degrees 36.269’
The 11,000-square-foot home of Doug and Polly Fikse (see story Page 14) is roomy yet intimate with four guest rooms and two bunk rooms. The home is ultra high-tech with electronic systems to control lighting, TVs, music, air temperature, even spa temperature. The home features Brazilian cherry floors, extensive moldings and a hidden door leading to a lower level with the look of a street scene. The lake level includes a media room, wine cellar, sauna and indoor courtyard with a fountain. The covered deck has a fireplace, outdoor kitchen, spacious patio and spa pool.
By Boat: Return to the main channel of the Roanoke River. Keep markers R2, R4 and R6 on your right. Angle across the large bay toward Vista Pointe condos. Pass to the right of Vista Pointe, entering the Blackwater River channel with B1 on your left. Proceed straight toward The Water’s Edge, watching dead ahead for the house with a green metal roof. Bear left just before reaching this house. Turn right into the second cove on right, just after passing a large gray house with a white fence on your right. The home sits near the water, directly across the cove from the house with a red metal roof.
#3 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N37 degrees 03.950’,
W79 degrees 39.665’
Many refer to the Gills Creek home of Richard and Diane Pollock as the “toy soldier house” for its precisely arranged, historically representative collection. There are several displays of toy soldiers throughout the home, but the main part of the 12,000-piece collection is found in the bonus room over the garage, where soldiers and their equipment are displayed in dioramas depicting famous conflicts. The home also features several oil paintings by Richard Pollock’s father and brother. A lake-level media room displays vintage movie posters, and the guest bath has a 1929 claw-foot tub.
By Boat: Return to the Blackwater channel and head up river, keeping Christmas Tree Island to the right and the mouth of Bull Run Creek to the left. The river makes a gradual left bend after passing B10A. Turn right at B14 into Gills Creek. Turn right at G2 and proceed along the right shore, passing G4 on your right. Look for the yellow house and dock, the last dock in the cove. Note: Use caution when climbing the steps to this house as they are uneven and have no handrails. A feature story on this home appeared in Laker Weekly in May. Read it online at smithmountainlake.com.
#7 on Home Tour brochure
GPS: N37 degrees 03.000’,
W79 degrees 41.374’
A family cabin once stood on this site, but now visitors will find Chris and Amy Bordeaux’s 5,500-square foot retirement home. Built in 2010, it features rustic elements on the exterior (poplar tree bark and stone) as well as inside (beams, natural wood moldings and oak flooring). The décor is Country French with yellows and reds, punctuated with numerous European antiques: armoires, tables and wrought-iron chandeliers purchased while the couple lived in Belgium. A tree-top-level bonus room above the garage triples as an office, art studio and guest suite. A feature story on this home appeared in our July/August 2011 issue. Read it online at smithmountainlake.com.
By Boat: Return to the mouth of Gills Creek. After passing G1, turn right into Blackwater River at B16. The river makes a left turn at B19 and a right turn at B22. Continue along the right shore to B26; turn right into the first cove beyond B26 and keep to the right. Pass between the dock with a flag pole on the right and the “no wake” marker on the left. Look for the third dock on the right after the marker. Note: Use caution when climbing the steps to this house as they are steep and have no handrail.