The Geneva Illinois, Christmas weekend, is pure magic.
Held the first weekend in December, the event kicks off with the lighting of the huge tree, while the streets are closed for Santa, roasting chestnuts, and live music. My fav, the Housewalk.
Five homes in town are decorated by five businesses and this was ours this year.
A pre-civil war cozy gem of a home with a welcoming family, important as we come in and take over!
For the exterior peak, we created a triple boxwood wreath with satin ribbon, and boxwood balls hanging from ribbon tails. One of my favorite exterior elements is to mass upright red twig dogwood into the soil to create winter long interest, and in this case, to pull the eye from top to bottom.
The annual display of the family's Santa signboard additionally acts as an address sign. On the door, we collected fresh greenery, velvet ribbon, and an authentic leather strapped sleigh bell, a family piece of mine, once used on the horses in rural Pennsylvania.
Fresh boxwood wreath with wrapped garlands of silver beads and cranberry strands
Besides being a jewel of a home, their family pieces tell a story and spark interest at every turn. In the entry resides a vintage wooden fortune teller
Upon entering the living room, it's charm envelopes you immediately. A faux garland with magnolia leaves weaves around the drapery rod with suspended silver bead garland, hung at varying heights. The beads in this particular garland are a pleasure to work with as they are attached via wire hooks making sizing a breeze
Twin trees rest on deep window sills
Glowing with lights and silver and gold ornaments en-masse, resemble decorative jewelry
Before entering the kitchen, one's attention is drawn to this scene, set into the wall, of a vintage antique shop......mesmerizing
My dishware too, Emma Bridgewater's 'Black Toast' pattern....love! Very complimentary to their McKenzie Childs checked serving pieces
Chef Roby's gingerbread house with ice cream coned fireplace automatically generated smiles.
My friends, Chef Roby, and his wife Esther are the proprietors of the All Chocolate Kitchen, in town. Their creations took our breath away.
The renown Chef (The Food Network, Martha Stewart.....) spun a sugar snowman at an easel, painting the home owners shop in town, The Paper Merchant.
Esther painted the shop herself
Quite the artist, isn't she?
Upon a closer inspection, the fanciful sugar easel is topped with a heart and sugar/glass like red cardinals peeking at the art. While resting on a sugar log the snowman, draped in a scarf to match the clients checked dishware, paint brush in hand, is a keepsake for the family.
Fresh greens, and the really good faux envelope a room with life!
Now let's head into the dining area which looks upon the family room
Again weaving a faux garland around the drapery rod sets the tone for another vignette. Notice the pillars dressed in greenery with flameless pillar candles.
The chandelier is decorated with a boxwood wreath, hanging crystal garland at varying heights, more pillar candles, and greenery
Stepping down into the family room to our espaliered tree. Love it or shall we say, question it!
Considering myself, not so humbly, a self-proclaimed master pruner, this was a blast. Yes, I am oddly amused........
The family's zinc finial, ornaments, and flags were added along with red twig dogwood and red berry stems lying horizontal, enhanced the effect
The tree skirt was a combination of a herringbone tweed blanket and beehive-like packaging material
Oh yeah.........I covet this space; raised hearth, flag flooring, a cozy nook
Hanging from a beam via fishing line are these fab candle holders. With the flameless tapers, they glow and enhance many a space. Sold in the shop, they come with wall mounted arm hooks. LOVE!
Now let's head outside
My favorite domain to decorate is the outdoors. Think about those all important views, particularly for those of us in Northern zones. I love creating vignettes to look out on, and those that say Winter vs Christmas
Beyond the seating area is a gentle brick path leading to a greenhouse and potting shed
A close up of the exceptionally tall red twig dogwood inserted in a vertical fashion for interest with evergreen boughs at it's feet
As a gardener, I would be beside myself to have these two elements at home, a greenhouse and a potting shed.
And as you depart, my 1934 Ford pick-up truck dressed for the holidays
Hope you enjoyed this years tour!
All of this fun is solid teamwork, and we have the best!
Lead Designer Leslie Juby, with Monica Kratovil, Jayme Manley, and Kim Fuller from the shop
Chef Roby and Esther of The All Chocolate Kitchen
Steve Phillips, my husband,
Nancy Villwock, professional photographer A must visit!
Plandscape for exterior lighting
For those less than professional images....blame me!