Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Holiday House Tour

Annually, the United Way in my hometown sponsors a holiday house tour in which interior decorators and décor shops design and display festive decorations in  handful of family homes in the area.  This year my mother-in-law, Betty, and I bought some  tickets and spent most of the day Saturday visiting 7 homes done up for the season.
We began our day at nearby Christmas tree farm (pictured above).  It is minutes from our home and I had never visited before!  Inside one of the barns they had a huge display of Christmas trees decorated in every style and colour combination.  Betty and I got some great ideas for our trees!
It was obvious that the owners of this farm ADORE Christmas because they had a huge collection of vintage baubles, balls and decorations.  I particularly loved this vintage figures and little red truck (below)!
Before we traveled onto the next house on the tour we sat in their cute little café and enjoyed  a cup of coffee. Poinsettias and red café chairs added to the Christmas-y atmosphere. But you know what really made it feel festive?   Just as we settled in to enjoy our drinks, a light sprinkling of snow began to fall!
It is rather fun to be allowed to walk through the homes of complete strangers - especially when they are done up for the holidays.   However, the biggest let-down is the fact that we couldn't take photos inside these homes.  I would have loved to have captured a few of the table settings and mantel decorations if I could have!  So instead, I've grabbed a few pictures off of the website to give you a bit of a flavour of what we saw. 
Here's one of the more modern homes we visited.  This was a two-sided fireplace that glowed warm into their dining room and family room. 
(Milton United  Way photo)
After a few homes, Betty and I did what any smart girls would do when they need to keep their strength up for Christmas-décor -viewing  ---we stopped for a hearty lunch!!
Here's mine - a BLT (Brie, Lettuce and Tomato)

I love to get some new ideas for outdoor decor, too.  I took a lot of urn pictures (cause we were allowed to take outdoor photos!) and will use a few of these for inspiration when I do my own "urn filling" next weekend.  
Do you see the grey fox peeping out of the top, left urn? 
I love the tall birch branches sticking out of the top, right one. 
The one at the bottom has a bird house stuck in it.  Cute, huh? 
This grey house was our favourite on the tour. It is located in my favourite part of town where all of the historical homes have been renovated and beautified on the inside and out. 
The classic grey siding is so elegant and the basic black door is the perfect accent. 
Once again, this picture below is taken from the House Tour website.  This is how the dining room table was set for the tour.  Look at those birdhouses on the plates and the red candlesticks.  Very Scandinavian!

(Milton United Way photo)
Once we had seen all 7 houses, I felt I REALLY needed to get home and get a good start on my Christmas decorations.  I also felt the real need to go shopping, too. Even though I have 8 huge boxes of decorations in my basement, I had been inspired to try so many more NEW ideas and none of my own stuff seemed to make the cut. 
Luckily my hubby stepped in and helped me see how crazily I was thinking. 
Of course my own decorations were "good enough."  I didn't need anything new.   I've been collecting our Christmas things for nearly 15 years and every item holds a memory.
No decorator could come into our home and make it perfect for us using a ton of new, flashy accessories.  My own curated collection is going to be "just right" for Christmas 2015.
Of course, I'm sure I'll pick up a few new things in the coming weeks -- but they'll just help my much loved pieces sparkle even more!
Have you ever been on a tour like this before?
Would you engage the help of a "Christmas decorator" if you could?
Have a wonderful week!



  1. Sounds like an amazing tour, shame we couldn't get to see inside. I have collected my decorations over many years and although they are a little mismatched they hold some wonderful memories, you can't buy them! Looking forward to sharing some of yours.

  2. Wow, this is such a great idea. It's a shame you weren't able to take photos indoors but hopefully the inspiration has stuck with you.
    Love Gem x x x

  3. Wow! Beautiful! Love your decor ♥


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