The Circle, comprised of 100 dedicated, determined and dynamic women have given their all this year organizing a fundraiser to support the Palos Verdes Art Center.

On March 29 and March 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Circle volunteers will present the Legends of Art, Architecture and Song, featuring a luncheon in the PVAC atrium, a tour of two art-filled Palos Verdes Estates homes and a special musical performance.

Gail Johnson, Chairman of the PV Homes Tour can’t hide her enthusiasm.

“Every house has a story,” Johnson said. "Everyone who purchases a ticket from us looks forward to learning what that is. This year we are offering something new for our event—the unforgettable music of Trio Ellas who are prolific Latin Grammy-nominated performers.”

Also included in the tours are shuttle transportation to the homes, the popular Collected Treasures shop, plus artist and designer boutiques. The limited tickets are $85. Space is limited but tickets are available on the days of the tour at the Palos Verdes Art Center, according to Johnson.

On Wednesday, March 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. PVAC support groups The Circle and The Associates will offer an Opening Night Collected Treasures Party at the Palos Verdes Art Center.

The party offers a chance to shop while nibbling on appetizers and sipping wine. Additionally, an always-welcome Silent Auction adds to the overall glamour and excitement of the evening. Tickets are $20 at the door.

Two featured homes

The two homes featured this year are as different as can be, but owners Jim and JoAnn DeFlon and Sarbpaul and Paramjit Bhalla apportion very salient sentiments.

They love art, architecture and are proud to share their beloved dream homes with their community.

Jim and JoAnn Deflons’ two-story Lunada Bay home might look adroitly unembellished from the curb except for a stand of pine trees framing a view of the blue Pacific. But step through Jim’s French-inspired art nouveau entry gate into the thoughtfully designed front court yard and visitors see no visual detail is left to chance.

“My work is all about form, balance and serenity of design whether it’s landscape architecture or sculpting,” said DeFlon, a retired landscape architect who migrated to California from New Mexico about 10 years ago. “My home is a culmination of my life’s ambition to have a true garden home with a blending of the indoors and out.”  

Inside the 3,300 square-foot home visitors are treated to an eye-popping display of the DeFlon's tasteful awareness of eclectic artists including Mario Cesperdes. The Brazilian-born artist actually came to the home and hung one of the paintings himself.

Self-proclaimed “fabulist” acrylic artist Pierre Delattre and Southwestern sculptor Shirley-Thomson-Smith also adorn the home's walls and spaces.

Jim’s own clay sculptures, as well as objets d’art from their world travels, such as a sharkskin card table or an ancient Chinese baby crib enhance the open air floor plan with easy-to-view, uncluttered displays of art-on-art.

The DeFlon’s garden, entered from the great room through ceiling-high doors is designed to be contemplative, restful and peaceful.

JoAnn, though not an artist herself, said she developed a strong, appreciation of art as a child.

“I grew up in Taos, New Mexico which is such an artist colony,” said Joan who shares her husband’s creative passion for indoor-outdoor living. “Art was all around me.”

Venetian-inspired hillside home

The second home owned by Drs. Sarbpaul and Paramjit Bhalla commands a hillside acre lot overlooking a spectacular view of the “Queen’s Necklace.”

The 8,100 square foot home with 18-to-20 feet high ceilings seems almost palatial. The home was designed 30 years ago by architect George Sweeney who was influenced by Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. Palladio based his work on symmetry, perspective and proportions of Greek and Roman temples.

The Bhallas are the original owners of the property.

A visitor might view the two-story home as lavishly appointed when entering the octagonal rotunda where the eye travels up the dome to view a meticulously painted sky and large graceful birds.

But the Bhallas home is anything but ostentatious.

“We wanted to maintain the warmth of the family,” said Paramjit Bhalla about the congenial atmosphere of the most utilized living areas—such as the den which houses big, squashy chairs and fluffy, inviting divans. “We had to have the essence of a family home.”

A large curved, couch in the den fits into an east-facing bay window area. When the curtains are open, the dark-bottom pool lined with Greco-Roman sculptures and an intricately tiled Grecian cupola—held up with six Corinthian columns—brings the outside in.

The grand home is filled with wonders such as bronze sculptures, custom-made chandeliers with Baccarat crystal petals, a hillside waterfall and an exquisite tapestry made with silk threads by an Indian family in Kashmir Valley. Best of all, it also has Sarbpaul Bhalla’s beloved tennis court.

“Seeing what is new or distinctive is part of the attraction of our homes, and we look for that in selecting them,” Johnson said. “But it’s the story, or expressions of those who live there, that make the tour worth seeing.”

For more information, visit www.pvartcenter.org.

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