PHOTOS: MORGAN GENSER
The 4th of July Home Decorating Contest, hosted by Sotheby Agent Susan Montgomery, completed its 11th anniversary in spectacular fashion.
Winning the Grand Prize this year was the Tim and Lisa Marschall home on Altata.
During judging on July 3, a judge noted: “I was impressed by how aesthetically beautiful and tasteful the entire presentation was done.
“We also were impressed by Tim Marschall scaling up onto the roof right before our eyes, to adjust a wind-blown banner and ensure that we got the full effect,” the judge said.
The runner-up this year was the Hassett home on DePauw. (The Hassetts were the winner in 2012 and 2016 and in 2021, won a special award “In this Together.”)
The Marschalls and Hassetts received a banner they can display on their front yard.
Winner of the Joan Sather Memorial Sponsor’s Award, which is given to a home that employs the use of homemade decorative elements, was the Simon Family on El Medio.
The three top winners will receive gift cards from various vendors: Anawalt Lumber; Ogden Cleaners; Modo Mio, Matthew’s Gift Garden, Café Vida and Casa Nostra gift cards; Palisades Barbershop certificates; and gift items from Black Ink and Denise Carolyn.
WINNER: MARSCHALL HOME ON ALTATA
In 2021, the first year the Marschall family entered the annual decorating contest, they secured the runner-up position.
But this year, judges were impressed not only by the extent of the decorations, but the last-minute effort of homeowner Tim, who went to the roof to readjust a banner.
The decision was unanimous that this house deserved the top prize.
Tim, who grew up in Pacific Palisades, graduating from Palisades High School in 1983, gives all the credit for the decorations to his wife Lisa. “She is the creator of all our holiday home decorating, inside and out,” he said.
The couple’s two daughters, Heather, 20, and Brittney, 17, who have attended Calvary Christian, Archer and Palisades High School assist, but “Honestly, the captain in charge of the decorating is Lisa,” Tim said, “The girls and I are just there for some part-time help.”
Tim opened TMC General Contractors, Inc./Custom Home Building in 1990 and has been in business more than 30 years, mostly in the Palisades.
A past member of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, he has been involved community events, such as Auto Shows and the Expos. For more than 20 years, Tim was in charge of building Santa’s Sleigh for the Holiday Ho!Ho!Ho!
He purchased his first home, a condominium in 1993, and then later moved to the Marquez area. “I worked my way over to our current home,” Tim said, noting that he built it in 2014.
Lisa, who is originally from San Diego met Tim in 1997, and the couple married two years later.
He was quick to introduce his wife to the Palisades 4th celebration.
It is the most important holiday to us in the Palisades and it’s a tradition that only Pacific Palisades can offer,” Tim said.
Like many who grew up here, Tim, has run the 5/10K Race so many times that “I’ve lost track.”
His daughters started running the race at an early age and carry on the family tradition.
After the race, it is coffee and doughnuts at a neighbor’s house, before getting ready for the parade.
Tim hadn’t missed a parade since the 1960s, and has been in the parade several times as a youngster including as a member of Cub Scout Pack 223 and riding with Kids on Bikes.
More recently, “I’ve been the audio support for The Fancy Feet Dance Studio where my girls have been dancing for several years,” he said.
After the parade, the family heads home for a barbeque and “we wrap up just in time to load everyone up and make our way to the fireworks at Palisades High.
“Nobody does the 4th of July better than Pacific Palisades,” Tim said.
JOAN SATHER MEMORIAL SPONSOR WINNER: SIMON HOUSE ON EL MEDIO
The Sather award is given in honor of the long-time contest sponsor Joan Sather, who passed away in March. Her husband Kent suggested that all donations in her memory be made to Palisades Americanism Parade Association.
Kent remembers that Joan loved how entire families would join in decorating their homes. “She appreciated homes that showed the family’s input and had “Homespun” décor.”
The El Medio home not only had handmade décor, but the entire family participated.
Judges said, “we were certainly were impressed by the amount of time and effort it took for the homeowners to handcraft the garlands, and how they used them as a metaphor for the service members who serve to protect our freedoms.”
Homeowner Jessica Rogers said, “My daughter Elea wanted to enter the contest. We wanted a project that we could all participate in.
“At first I suggested we repaint the house red, white and blue but David said he would not have it and the kids laughed at me,” said Rogers, who has served on the board of the Pacific Palisades Resident Association, and who served as the Association’s president for two years before stepping down in January.
The family, Joshua, 11 and Elea, 8 and Roger’s significant other [David] Hauser, wanted something that would be visible that would cover a lot of the house. That’s when the family came up with the idea of garland.
Hours and hours of work of cutting and sorting, resulted in more than 300 feet of garland. The children cut and sorted the ribbons, Rogers tied the knots—and all added special prayers before David installed them. “We loved the end result,” Rogers said. “The planning and prayer garland took about a week to construct.”
Rogers moved to the Palisades in the summer of 2008 and has lived on El Medio for 12 years.
“We love living in Pacific Palisades,” she said and noted that the family is extremely grateful for every Palisadian who has given of their time to this beautiful community. “From the hiking trails, the Village Green, the multiple spiritual homes, the incredible schools, the friendly businesses, to the women’s center, the Pacific Palisades is pure heart, and we are proud to call it home.”
The family has decorated the house for more than a decade, but this was the first time they entered the contest.
Rogers said, “Decorating for the 4th of July is our way to show appreciation for our country. Many have fought to preserve our freedoms and what we stand for as Americans.
“Decorating our house is a healthy way for the community to come together and celebrate something we all believe in,” Rogers said. “Reminding ourselves where we came from and what we stand for helps us never forget how important it is to continue to appreciate and respect our foundation. It is always from our foundation that we can continue to build solid ground. In these shaky times, remembering our solid ground is our strength.”
14814 Sunset – Nina and Joe Almarez (this year’s parade marshal and a 2011 Home Decorating winner), who received a Taj Palace gift certificate.
1348 Almafi – Elise Dorne, who received a gift certificate to Viktor Benes Bakery.
1129 Kagawa – Bev Lowe and John Riley (2014 and 2020 Home Decorating winners), who received a certificate to Pearl Dragon.
10 Copra Lane – Christy Vaughn – received a gift basket with a hand-painted planter and hand towels.
731 Via de la Paz – Lorena Robletto and Dr. Thomas Farnham (2019 Home Decorating Contest winner) – received champagne, courtesy Susan Montgomery.