LAKE WYLIE -- If you spent more than a year scraping wallpaper, hand painting stair rails and pulling up carpet in your home, you probably would want to show it off, too. And if you could help local high school students pay for college in the process, why not?
"Of course, we put some hard work into it, and that made me feel like I wanted to share it with people,"said Bonnie Klaisle, who lives at 7 Cedar Waxwing Road.
Her home will be one of six homes open to the public Saturday during the Clover/Lake Wylie Republican Women's annual River Hills Home Tour. The spring event benefits scholarships given by the group to Clover School District seniors.
Although the tour usually features homes and gardens, this year is all about the homes, said Katzy Nager, member of the Republican Women club and a participant in the tour.
"We just really didn't have a garden this year, but we have a lot of houses this year where people have nice gardens where people can walk outside," she said.
One such home belongs to Klaisle, who moved to River Hills from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in December 2006. Since arriving, Klaisle and her sister have completely redone the home from floor to ceiling.
"Everything in here, practically, was wallpapered," Klaisle said. "It was a week of scraping wallpaper."
The home features several faux techniques on the walls, including the dining room with granite paint and reflective crystals and Venetian plaster in the kitchen area, as well as candlelight, wash and sand finishing.
"We're not professionals, but we just like to do it," Klaisle said. "The minute I moved in I said, 'I've got to get started.' It was done very nicely, it was just dated."
Other changes include knocking out two walls between the kitchen and living room and adding new marble and Brazilian hardwood floors. Windows and light fixtures were replaced, and the master bedroom was completely redone.
"I try to make the whole house flow together," Klaisle said. "Of course, each room has different colors and different techniques, but I wanted everything to have more of the classical feel in terms of furniture."
Some renovations were completed only weeks ago at the three-level, 4,500-square-foot house. A particularly taxing project was the spiral stair rail with ornamental accents that had to be meticulously sanded, painted and varnished.
"Everything really had to be done by hand, because there's really no other way of doing it," Klaisle said.
Neighbors, especially the ones who told Klaisle they "expected to see Elvis come down the stairs" when they entered the home before the remodeling, may barely recognize the house that once featured gold shag carpet and wallpapered bathroom ceilings.
Homes on tour also feature everything from golf course homes to artist-decorated interiors, modern decor to classic sensibilities.
"We try to look for a variety," Nager said.
Want to go?
The River Hills Home Tour runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. A special luncheon will be held 11:15-1:30 p.m. at the River Hills Country Club for an additional $14, with tickets available at the dining room. Home tour tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at First Properties of the Carolinas, 1 Executive Court, Lake Wylie; Jac-Lyn's Hallmark at Lake Wylie Plaza; and at the gate day of. Guests are asked not to wear high-heels, and cameras and smoking are not permitted. For more information or tickets, call (803) 831-0145.
Homes on tour
• 17 Woodvine Lane: The home of Caroline Lygo recently expanded from seven to 10 rooms and houses an art collection from around the world, including pieces by Lygo. Both inside and outside have been renovated to add light and color befitting the artist.
• 11 Hamilton's Ferry Road: Marilyn Feininger's home overlooks the community golf course and features a floral stained glass window created by River Hills resident Dick Gibson. Outdoor attractions include a fish pond and the lawns of neighbors on either side -- the Sears and the Eggers -- who also invite guests to enjoy their properties.• 7 Cedar Waxwing Road:
The home of Bonnie Klaisle is completely remodeled from its original treatments installed more than 30 years ago. The home facing both the community golf course and a small ravine displays numerous painting techniques along its walls.• 2 Catawba Ridge Road:
Larry and Carol Snodgrass show off an open design including a theater room and newly added large deck, outdoor kitchen and hot tub. The entertainment center home uses extensive colors throughout to complement its design.• 7 Holly Berry Woods:
John and Sandee Wilkerson show off their home of more than eight years. An open design for casual living and entertaining includes a main room that opens to a large deck with pool and gas fire pit overlooking the golf course.• 3 Sunrise Point Lane:
The home of C.J. and Katzy Nager faces water on both front and back, and offers water views from every room. The couple switched the master bedroom and kitchen, as well as a large deck overlooking the lake. The house offers views of sun and moon reflecting off the lake, sometimes at the same time.