Frugal House Showcases Designers, Benefits Symphony

I was so intrigued by this Frugal House event, which begins tonight and runs through Saturday. I’d totally be there if I weren’t already busy getting ready for our big Garden Tract Yard Sale (shameless promotion: the annual Garden Tract Neighborhood Yard Sale is Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon).

But for sure, I’ll file this Frugal House information away so I can attend next year.

In the meantime, I spoke with one of the organizers, Megan Pouliot, who was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Doni: What can you tell us about this event?

It’s the North State Symphony’s Frugal House. The fundraiser showcases frugal and creative design ideas created by Chico State and Butte College students as well as professional interior designers. Each room in the house is completely redone by the designers and then opened up to the public on June 9-11 for purchases.

This year’s Frugal House is more than 3,000 square feet, making it the largest house yet. It is located at 1660 Vallombrosa Ave. in Chico. The Grand Opening Preview Party will be held today, June 9 , from 6-9 p.m., and will give guests the first opportunity to purchase items. The night will also include hors d’oeuvres, a no-host bar and live music by the Fabulous Swing Kings.

Doni: Wow. What a great idea. It sounds as if the Frugal House is kind of a major departure from the more typical, fancy-McMansion home tour, isn’t it?

This house is definitely far from your typical McMansion. The home, which was generously provided by Bernie and Carole Farmer, has so much character. Although the design teams have put a lot of work into refurnishing the rooms, they were able to embrace some of the quirky aspects and maintain some of its original features.

Doni: Well, since most people I know don’t live in McMansions, but more human-scale homes, I’m sure this will appeal to many of us. Can you give some examples of some especially unique and frugal details people might see on this tour?

This year we have more than 300 items donated from the community, local businesses and local artists. There is such a wide variety of items, from a Van Briggle pottery vase to a Milo Baughman-inspired chrome and glass table. We’re starting to post a lot of these items on our Facebook page and Twitter to give attendees an idea of what to expect. We’re also constantly updating our website with pictures and videos.

Doni: Smart to utilize social media. That’s a good detail, but then, it’s just one small part of what went into putting the Frugal House together. What exactly was involved in organizing this event?

We plan the event all year long, but start looking for volunteers and businesses that are willing to participate around December.

Doni: And how many people/businesses are involved in making this happen?

More than 100 people. The community has been extremely supportive of the North State Symphony and Frugal House. The event wouldn’t be possible without its support.

Doni: So this an annual event?

Yes, this is the third year of the fundraiser.

Doni: OK, duly noted, and for sure, I hope to attend it next year.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. I wish you and your team much success with the Frugal House, especially because it benefits the North State Symphony, a great cause in both the Chico and Redding communities.

Let’s just go over the main details, one more time, shall we?

What: Frugal House 2011 
When: Thursday through Saturday (June 9-11)
Where: 1660 Vallombrosa Ave., Chico, CA

You may also call 898-6692 to order tickets or click here to purchase your tickets online. A service charge applies to online sales only.

View the 2011 Frugal House location in a larger map.

doni-new-mugIndependent online journalist Doni Greenberg founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Greenberg was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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