[ 33rd Annual Homes for the Holidays ]
Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography, J. Alan Paul Photography, M.Schleif Photography
From wintery, vintage whites to whispering pinks, emerald greens, and bold buffalo check, the 33rd Annual Homes for the Holidays tour once again wowed event goers with a stunning glimpse into the season's warmest trends. Hosted by NDSU's Alpha Gamma Delta, the sorority is proud to showcase holiday decor from local boutiques and local designers who've donated their time and talents to benefit the F-M community.
Designed to Give Back
Homes for the Holidays has been a treasured tradition in the community for over 30 years, and each year, Alpha Gamma Delta shares the proceeds. This year, the sorority chose Great Plains Food Bank to benefit from their two day event held at the start of each November.
This year's tour featured six homes with specially curated decor from local stores and designers such as SCHEELS Home & Hardware, Lindsey Grace Interiors, Stabo Scandinavian Imports, Shotwell Floral, Burlap, Christen Joy, Bergen's Greenhouses,
Homes for the Holidays: Tour #1
[ Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique ]
Our first stop on the holiday tour took us to historic Fargo inside a 1937 character home which inspired vintage elegance. Completing the home's "Cottage Christmas" theme, was the Burlap team, including Melanie Wendel and Linda Hilbrands. Working to enhance the home's original arches, built-ins, and romantic detailing, the team created a winter wonderland of intriguing textures using soft, vintage pinks and unique farmhouse finds.
A Very Vintage Holiday
"One of our favorite elements was the family’s living room fireplace mantle. The designers placed a white birch deer head above the mantle and draped twinkling lights along with chippy porch posts, candles and miniature trees on the cream chunky fireplace mantle," said Burlap owner, Mary Sue Ohlhauser. "A deconstructed sofa and chair were nestled in the home’s living room along with a customized sofa table, end tables and the most beautiful hand crafted tea table adorned with white faux fur and vintage sleigh."
"This year’s theme was a “Cottage Christmas” and what inspired our designers, Melanie Wendel and Linda Hilbrands, was the Nordic Blush line we were expecting for the holidays at Burlap. The home was a cute cottage-style design which was perfect for the vintage pinks and creams the designers had in mind," said Ohlhauser. "They brought in a stained, seven-foot farmhouse table and paired it with white wooden vintage chairs. Holiday signs were customized to fit each room and Heavenly Chic Designs created the most beautiful one-of-a-kind canvas painting for the formal dining."
Burlap is known for it’s chippy vintage farmhouse look paired with new retail décor and the designers created just that. A chippy “found” vintage table was placed in the family’s kitchen nook set for morning coffee alongside the handmade 'Gingerbread Cookie' farmhouse sign.
Upstairs is an ode to winter with classic cottage vintage finds, warm textures and soft hues. While the master features whispers of dreamy pink, the children's rooms offer a more whimsical and vintage vibe. "Each room was so carefully designed out and our designers have an exquisite talent for layering," said Ohlhauser.
"The home featured crown molding, built in bookcases, hardwood floors throughout, the most beautiful original staircase, and arched doorframes. But, what the designers adored the most was the blush pink ceramic tile in the front foyer, which obviously was the most perfect lead in to the Nordic Blush design. Kudos to our design team, Linda and Melanie, and the Burlap team!"
Homes for the Holidays: Tour #2
[ Lindsey Grace Interiors + SCHEELS Home & Hardware ]
Photography by J. Alan Paul Photography
Portrait by Northern Stories
Our second stop on the tour took us to a beautifully remodeled home which had been given a holiday overhaul by interior designer, Lindsey Christie of Lindsey Grace Interiors. To amplify her modern design, Christie brought in fresh arrangements from Grand Forks based, Brooke Floral as well as seasonal decor elements from SCHEELS Home & Hardware. Inside, guests found a delightful mix of toasty warm furs and feathers, alongside soft textures and joyful pops of winter cranberry.
Room by beautiful room, interior designer, Lindsey Christie worked her holiday magic, fusing soft and subtle hues with modern elements and warm textures. "The client's home has its own unique style, so I went into it blending three different styles; SCHEELS Home & Hardware, my own style and the homeowner's. It's definitely a more eclectic feel; more casual in some spaces and more formal in others," explained Christie.
To give each of the spaces a fresh and festive vibe, she worked with Brooke Floral out of Grand Forks to create the home's stunning centerpieces. "I used a lot of live greenery, I think that's one of the really fun elements this time of year," said Christie. "I also added a lot of unique elements in the trees that you wouldn't normally think of, like the magnolias in the dining room's tree - I don't think you need to limit the tree's decor to typical holiday items."
"The goal throughout the home was to use a cranberry hue, not the classic Christmas red; it's a more modern, updated look. The homeowners had bright, summery pillows, so one thing I did in all of the rooms was change out the throw pillows for more warmth and texture that would represent the season. That's something I like to do with all my client's homes and my own home - bring in more warmth to give the room a whole different feel," said Christie. "If you invest in a good insert, then you can simply swap out the pillow covers for every season."
To transform the living room's photo wall, Christie used printable holiday photos from Etsy.com, having them printed at Office Depot; a quick and simple solution to give every room a seasonal touch.
"This tree has a little bit of a formal feel because it's so grand, but it's also very approachable," said Christie. "I used varying layers of berries, florals and sparkles with a topper that consists of three different types of filler."
To redesign a traditional element, Christie customizes and layers garland adding interest with loose twigs, pine cones and winter white berries.
Lindsey Christie, Lindsey Grace Interiors
SCHEELS Home & Hardware
Homes for the Holidays: Tour #3
[ Kirkland's ]
Photography by M.Schleif Photography
Portrait by J. Alan Paul Photography
Tour number three took us to a beautifully remodeled home in Fargo's Bluemont Lakes. Inside, the design team at Kirkland's had spun their magic, creating varying themes that flowed from the living room to the upstairs - evoking wintery warmth around every corner. To complete this year's design, Kirkland's team consisted of Jenna Pepsin, Colleen Flynn-Odney and Ann Nelson.
The Kirkland's design team started work on the home about a week prior to the tour. To get a better feel for the homeowner's personal style, they were brought into the store to help pick out items that appealed to them. The homeowners had just moved into the remodeled home in July, so the Kirkland's team worked on bringing both year-round decor and seasonal decor into the home. Each room features a slightly different feel, showcasing a more subtle theme of rich emerald tones, to calmer neutral and pastel tones, then on to bold buffalo check mixed with vintage-inspired red and green.
"This year, a lot of the eucalyptus and natural greens are coming back - also, emerald green has become a really popular color," said Jenna Pepsin, Kirkland's Seasonal Assistant Store Manager. "We wanted to show our collection, Let it Snow, in the living room. It's a lot of the greens and golds; it's very warm and welcoming. You can mix and match it with your everyday decor, so it just made the whole room come together."
"It was fun to get to know their style and try to pull what we thought might work with their house, along with what we have in store. It all came together really well and they had a beautiful house to begin with. We included some personalized things like monograms for the kid's names as well as fun holiday items for their family dog. To do this, we had a very big trailer and four vehicles full," explained Pepsin. "It's fun to be able to show what we have while giving back to the community, especially this time of year."
In the bedroom, Kirkland's features a festive look that stands out from the classic red and green. Warm textures like velvet, knit and fur offer a wintery vibe that can stick around long after the holidays.
"We designed for the tour last year and it was our first year of doing this - we had so much fun. We absolutely wanted to do it again this year. It's great that so many people from the community and even the surrounding communities come in to see the homes and really support the tour," said Colleen Flynn-Odney, Kirkland's Senior Assistant Store Manager.
Homes for the Holidays: Tour #4
[ Shotwell Floral + Stabo Scandinavian Imports ]
Photography by Dan Francis Photography
Portrait by J. Alan Paul Photography
Nestled into the Fargo Country Club neighborhood is tour stop number four; a newly remodeled, Mid-century modern abode with a picture perfect setting for a classic Nordic holiday. Inside, Stabo Scandinavian Imports and Shotwell Floral worked closely to create a festive design that would compliment the homeowner's minimalist style, adding handcrafted holiday elements and warm, rustic cheer.
The homeowners moved into the home in the summer of 2018 and have spent the last year redesigning every room with the help of Chris Hawley Architects and Floor to Ceiling. When Annette Shotwell and Sue Rusch stepped into the home, they knew it was a perfectly-paired palette for their unique collaboration. The two have worked together before, designing holiday homes that combine Shotwell Floral's fresh greens and decor with Stabo Scandinavian Imports' Nordic elements and handcrafted holiday decor.
"Partnering with Sue and working with the homeowner's Mid-century style created a more simplistic design, using classic Scandinavian colors with the clean lines of the furnishings. Sue had a lot of red and I brought in a lot of greenery, so we worked together well," said Shotwell.
While Shotwell designed the kitchen island and areas of the countertop with classic and rustic elements like the placemats and deer place holders, Rusch added her own Scandinavian and Nordic elements with additional pops of vibrant red and Danish cookware.
Throughout the main living area, the two combined design efforts with Shotwell bringing in the pillows, wood slat tree, large tree, felted wool pouf, greenery and throws. Rusch added another throw with additional trees, gnomes, houses and ornaments from Stabo.
The table is set in Scandinavian style with dinnerware from Finland's Mari Mekko, merino wool felt placemats, Finish glassware and Swedish votives. While the dining room's place settings and console decor hails from Stabo, the vase centerpiece and winter berries were a contribution from Shotwell Floral.
"Designing for this tour is a fun opportunity to show some of our product. It also gives us another look at our decor, to be able to try it in a home and see how it works," said Rusch. "Since we have a lot of that Scandinavian red with a little bit of whimsy; the holidays are a great time to showcase that."
Shotwell Floral & Greenhouse
Stabo Scandinavian Imports
Giving Back by Design
"This year's Homes for the Holidays was another successful year. We had a beautiful mix of homes and different styles represented on the tour. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who makes the tour possible - our amazing homeowners, designers, volunteers, and of course, the Fargo-Moorhead community for embracing Homes for the Holidays and supporting us year after year."
"It truly takes a village to make this event happen and we are grateful to all. The event is all about joy - it’s such a fun, warm, feel-good weekend and great way to kick off the holidays. It makes it even better knowing the impact we have been able to make over the years in supporting our chosen charities each year. We are looking forward to another wonderful event in 2020!"
Brenna Naseer, NDSU Alpha Gamma Delta, Tour Chair
For more information, contact:
Homes for the Holidays
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