| Oct 3, 2014 |
Three national house tours flaunt diverse properties
Boh staff
By Staff

Unlike showhouses or magazine editorials, a house tour is design’s best example of a living, breathing home. Getting up close and personal is a true delight, and the next few weeks will see a series of residences with friendly open-door policies in New York City, Dallas and Potomac, Maryland. Read on for Editor at Large’s best-looking prospects.

Potomac Country House Tour—October 4 – 5, Potomac, Maryland

The four homes featured on the 58th annual Potomac Country House Tour are Norton Manor, a Re-Imagined Williamsburg Colonial, The Rowe House, and a Potomac Contemporary.

Norton Manor

Norton Manor is modeled after the White House, the Capitol and Palace of Versailles. The residence of Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman, who host philanthropic events at their home, features a 47,000-square-foot estate nestled on 10 manicured acres, including a 2,000-square-foot koi pond.

Re-imagined Williamsburg Colonial

The creativity of architect and developer Tracy Vargo and his wife, Mary, is evident in their Re-imagined Williamsburg Colonial, renovated by Rill Architects and boasting a cedar-shingled silo, a laser-cut compass in the entryway floor and three distinctive loft spaces accessed by individual spiral staircases.

Rowe House

The Rowe House, a charming McAuley Park Center Hall Colonial, is designed with antique collections, custom-made cabinets, chemical-free paints and green materials and a bright Sewing Room reflecting the homeowner’s love of handiwork.


Deborah Kalkstein, owner of Contemporaria, brings her love of metals, modern art, striking clean lines and whitewashed wood beams into her Potomac Contemporary showcasing her iconic “industrial chic” touch.

Tickets for the House Tour can be purchased in advance online for $30 or at the door for $40. Tours will run on Saturday, October 4, and Sunday, October 5, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Dwell Home Tours—October 11, New York City

For the past two years, Dwell has hosted sold-out Manhattan home tours curated by the company’s editorial team, allowing readers the opportunity to experience the city’s most innovative and covetable dwellings. This year, the selected homes celebrate the best in sustainability and modernism and highlight the work of some of New York’s most cutting-edge architects.

Historic SoHo loft

The five houses on this year’s tour include the Tribeca Manufacturing Building by Andrew Franz Architect, the Flatiron Penthouse by Charles Rose Architects, the Historic SoHo Loft by 590BC, the Tribeca Family Penthouse by Front Studio Architects and a Harlem Town House Renovation by architect Nicholas Moons.

Tribeca Manufacturing Building Rooftop

Tour goers are invited to an intimate preview by the designers during “Meet the Architects” on Friday, October 10, at 82Mercer from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The following day, the tour is self-guided, and the homes are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $125 dollars and a portion of the proceeds will go to Architecture for Humanity.

AIA Dallas Tour of Homes—November 1 – 2, Dallas

The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Dallas) is hosting the eighth annual Tour of Homes next month. Open to the public, the self-guided tour will showcase some of the finest residential architecture in the Dallas/Fort Worth area designed by Texas architects.


The nine homes on this year’s tour include Valley Ridge by Todd Hamilton Architect, Lomita by Maestri LLC, Rosa by Olsen Studios, Arcady by Welch Architecture, Colgate by Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects, Currin by Comiteaux + Baggett Architects, San Leandro by Shipley Architects, Daytonia by Susan Appleton Architect and Peavy by M. Gooden Design.


The tours will take place on Saturday, November 1, and Sunday, November 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $10 just to view individual homes.

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