|Marble House dining room|
Our inspiration came in great part from our recent trip to Newport, Rhode Island, where we visited five mansions from the Gilded Age. We were there the last part of October and the cottages were just starting to display their Christmas decorations.
In the Marble House, home of Alva Vanderbilt, Christmas trees and other trimmings showed up in the dining room and foyer.
|Christmas tree in the Marble House foyer|
Channeling our inner Gilded, we sorted through some of our fancier Christmas decorations "in house" and then found some added delights at a pre-Thanksgiving trip to Pier 1.
|Gilded decor for the Gulley fireplace mantle|
I purchased some lovely garland filled with fruit, pinecones, and greenery all tinged with gold. It makes a spectacular statement on the mantle.
|Gilded decor glows with a semi-blazing fire|
The glow from the fireplace adds a little extra sparkle. Just like Marble House!
Then, to the Christmas tree. Rachel and I continued our annual tradition of decorating the tree - and the dog - with a pot of tea brewing and holiday tunes in the background.
|Trimming the tree with Gilded sensibilities|
|Christmas sweaters must be worn when decorating|
|Garland from Frankenmuth with some fancy gold ribbon make a statement|
Turning again to the Marble House, we imagined what their their staircase would look like all decked out at Christmas. With glittery garland we purchased from Bronner's ( Frankenmuth) last year, we added a bit of gold ribbon for extra glitz worthy of a Newport cottage. If our staircase was made of marble, it could easily be mistaken for the Vanderbilt's front entry.
I will add, this took two hours to complete. (Results - finished product to time spent ratio, a little off).
|Marble House dining room|
Moving to the dining room, I once again sought the Marble House for guidance.
|Adding some bling to the chandelier|
Still working on the dining room chandelier. Added some bling from Pier 1, but still need shiny ribbon and some greenery.
|Silver tea set on the dinning room buffet awaits more glitz|
Took out the silver coffee/tea for the buffet. Will be adding more glitter and gold this week.
In a slight detour from this year's theme, we put up a few holiday items representing mid-nineteenth century England - most notably, a tea room from Department 56's Dickens Village. Did we mention Frankenmuth? Yes, this year's purchase was the "Joseph Edward Tea Shoppe".
|Sistahs annual trip to Bronner's|
In yet another tradition, my cousins, Dianne and Kathy, and I (aka "the sistahs") make our yearly trek to Frankenmuth, spend the night, and fortify ourselves with a hearty breakfast to shop at Bronners for four hours (yes, four).
Last year, I purchased the banister garland and the Dicken's Village tea cart lady. With this year's tea shoppe, perhaps next year's theme is in the making!
|It would take me several days to decorate this banister|
In the meantime, for the remainder of this month, Chestnut Hill Court will be (almost) one-in-the-same as Bellevue Avenue. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, however it is decorated!