We don’t live in a Victorian mansion, a Craftsman cottage, a Prairie house or a 1920’s bungalow.
But I can dream.
And that’s what I do this time of year when we go on one of the Candlelight Home Tours in the towns around North Texas. In the past, we’ve attended ones in Fort Worth, Decatur, Cleburne, Waxahachie, Granbury, Keller, and most frequently of all – the one in Weatherford, which is sponsored by the Parker County Heritage Society. We try to make it to theirs every year but have missed a couple of times.
The houses are usually old (although Decatur had almost all new houses in 2001) and grand; some a little too grand for me. I’m not a grand person – probably more Jane Darwell than Joan Crawford.
The owners decorate for Christmas, some lavishly, some just a few accents.
Opulent decorating (like Traditional Home magazine) is not my cup of tea, although it’s beautiful. What draws me is the cottage look, very vintagey; country style kitchens, old family photos, rocking chairs on the porch and as few changes from the original as possible. I don’t know why, but more often than not, there’s just one house each year that stands out among the rest.
Here was my favorite this year. It had been a full day by the time we even started the tour. We had driven over to Mesquite to have lunch with a really lovely Christian couple, then drove back home, went to the radio play production “It’s a Wonderful Life” by the Off 380 Players in Bridgeport then on to Weatherford. (That’s almost 200 miles of driving by the time we started the home tour.) My joints were protesting and I was fairly fatigued. Joe asked me if I wanted to skip the last house and go on home, but I said why didn’t we first drive by and see how it looked.
We were greeted at the door by a gentlemen in an 1800’s striped suit and top hat. He was the father of the husband and very cordial. The owners were a fairly young couple who had kept the house as original as they could, but it looked like a real family lived there. They said their goal was to show that a normal family could live in an old house without it being museum-like.
Ceilings were the original height and soaring. Over the tops of the kitchen cabinets, the lady of the house had displayed her collection of old children’s domestic toys (like stoves and cooking equipment); on a narrow wall, a bookcase held a large collection of cookbooks. The window overlooking the back yard was curtained with a vintage tablecloth.
Upstairs the younger girl’s bedroom was like something out of a story book; there was a very low closet that had been outfitted kind of like a hidden playhouse. My guess is that it was originally a suitcase storage.
The wife’s sister was the docent in that room and she pointed out the cloud ceiling and the small hand painted mural of the Parker County Courthouse. What a fun room for a little girl.
And out in the hallway, were framed pages from the oversized Dick and Jane readers that teachers used.
A lovely home and gracious people.
I’m already looking forward to next year.
To see more photos of another beautiful, old restored Texas home , click here to go to Hill Country House. This link is for that particular post, but her whole blog is interesting.