I was honored to be a part of the Three Village Historical Society Candlelight House Tour this year! Every year, the Society picks local historic homes in Setauket and Stony Brook and chooses decorators to decorate them for the holidays. I was so thrilled to be selected as one of the decorators this year!
I started planning the house I was assigned literally the second I hung up the phone with the organizer who told me I'd been selected (Type A personality for you!). With five houses on the tour this year, I wanted "my" house to stand out in some way. This being a historic home tour, I also knew that I couldn't go too contemporary or funky with the decor. I decided to use black and white gingham as a unifying element throughout each room of the home.
The first step was to meet with the homeowner and see the house in person. The homeowner was literally the sweetest woman on earth and so easy to work with, which made my job so much easier!
The home is an 1885 farmhouse Victorian. It was nicely sized, with lots of room for me to work with. The homeowner had scores of antique books that I used all around the house.
When you walk in the front door, there's a sitting room immediately to your left and the original mahogany staircase straight ahead. The homeowner already had a great secretary, grandfather clock, and antique dresser for me to work with. I added black and white gingham wool blankets to her armchairs. I created a little bar setup on the dresser with a silver tray, vintage cut crystal decanters, and stacks of antique books. The cocktail table was quite large, so I placed a mirror on it, covered it in greens and candles, and stacked antique books on top.
The office actually became my favorite space in this home! The original boxed-out bay window is still there. I designed a new custom window seat cushion and selected some really great pillows to fill up the window area. I kept all the existing furniture, but threw a runner over the desk. It was a really big desk, and I needed something to center it. I styled the desk with both contemporary and antique cocktail table books and fresh flowers.
The dining room is just underneath a header from the office. It has a ton of gorgeous windows that let in plenty of eastern-facing light. I decided to make it the showpiece of the home for the tour.
I LOVE designing and styling table settings, so I had plenty of fun with this one. The homeowner already had gorgeous cut crystal wine glasses and Noritake china, so of course I wanted to use that. I got a simple, subtly shimmery tablecloth and runner from Target and Homegoods. Since the tablecloth was shimmery and the plates had gold rims, I decided to offset the glamour a little bit with wooden bead chargers and gingham napkins. I used my own gold-plated flatware. Flower arrangements were in vintage mint julep cups. The centerpiece was very simple: a Noritake platter surrounded by fresh greens. On top of each place setting was a kraft paper box wrapped with black and white gingham ribbon. I also put fresh boxwood wreaths behind each chair.
On the chandelier, I hung fresh greens and tucked in copper-wired fairy lights. I finished it off with vintage-looking mercury glass candles (but they were really $3/each at Michaels!). I also brought in my bar cart and styled it with some fun bar accessories and my new Christmas prints.
As for the tree, this was the "main" tree in the home (I also put one in the family room). The homeowner had a huge collection of white porcelain Lenox ornaments, so I hung them all over the tree and mixed in some simple silver balls to complement. The day before the tour, I took a few bunches of baby's breath and stuck them in the tree. So pretty, and such a nice way to add a natural element to a fake tree!
The dining room hutched housed the homeowner's collection of Snow Baby figurines. I took another strand of fairy lights and snaked them throughout the hutch - it gave a nice soft glow that didn't overshadow the rest of the room.
FAMILY ROOM & KITCHEN
I got so lucky - the family room and kitchen were HUGE! Recent additions to the home, they were recently refinished and in great shape. I did a bunch of Christmas-y throw pillows on the sofa, and a "kids tree" with the bright kid's ornaments on it.
In the kitchen, I used black-and-white gingham table linens and the homeowner's Christmas china to make a fun holiday breakfast table setup.
The tour was a great success! I'm so happy that I was able to help contribute to the Historical Society, and to give the homeowner such a pretty home for the holidays!