Brenda and Mike Beckner greeted their guests on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon with this arrangement of greenery, a vintage sled and an experienced little red wagon filled with gift-wrapped boxes.
I've got to say that if you missed the WayCo Arts Council's Christmas Tour of Homes over the weekend in Corydon --- well, that was just careless. Four stunning homes decorated to within an inch of their lives for the holidays. Who could ask for more?
And it was for a good cause. Ticket sales will help fund this summer's interactive visit with Wayne County youngsters by the renowned Missoula Children's Theatre.
I took somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 photos and it's going to take more time than I've got this morning to sort through them. So we'll start with two, one exterior and one interior, from each of the four homes --- then come back later in the week for more extended visits.
The homes were open both Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, so Dru and I waited until Sunday afternoon to drive down.
Our first stop was at the beautifully maintained mid-century modern home of Ann and Judd Kruse. This is a style of home that I really like, although it's a little under-appreciated at the moment, so it was great to walk through its spacious light-filled rooms with sweeping views through walls of windows to extensive grounds, including a pond. If I could have walked away with one item, it would have been this Christmas quilt from a guest bedroom.
Nancy and Carl Coates built the Kruse house 50 years ago and lived there until downsizing three years ago. Their current home, built during the same era but smaller and beautifully renovated to meet the needs of an older couple who already have raised their family, was another stop on the tour. I don't intend to obsess about beds, but who could resist this one --- in the light-filled master bedroom.
Siblings Roberta Chambers and Janet Peterie, working intensively for not much more than a year, have turned the 19th century Grismore house, one of Corydon's most iconic homes, into a gorgeous bed and breakfast --- Gypsy Sisters. There were about 26 Christmas trees of various sizes in the house, so it's hard to decide what to bring home, but I'm thinking maybe the entire dining room, including the crystal centerpiece sparkling in the light of the crystal chandelier above it. The people here are Janet, at left, and Dru.
Our final stop was at Brenda and Mike Beckner's late 20th century classic, updated for the 21st. What I really wanted to bring home from here was the entire kitchen, but having acquired a quilt, a bed and a dining room elsewhere, perhaps something smaller --- this arrangement on a low table in the living room --- might be in order. Brenda is one of Corydon's most accomplished decorators and you can learn more about how she goes about it by reading her blog, Simple Pleasures. Most of her accessories have stories attached to them, including the German sled and Santa, both gifts, in this arrangement.
That's it for this morning, but we'll be back as the week progresses for longer visits.
It was a fairly amazing way to spend an afternoon. All of the hostesses and hosts had worked for weeks to prepare for the open houses, then greeted guests graciously and smiled as we tromped through both public and ordinarily private areas of their homes --- all for a great cause. I hope the Arts Council already has commissioned the medals they all deserve.