A Home for the Holidays
Monday, December 09, 2019
By Austin Rese
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Southern Living magazine is a wonderful monthly source of inspiration for its readers.  While providing educational stories, inspiring imagery, and enticing recipes, it also provides a sense of being and what life in the southern neighborhoods of America might be like. Every year the magazine sponsors an “Idea House” which is newly constructed and fully furnished for visitors to experience the lifestyle its pages evoke.


This year, I had an opportunity to attend the beautiful show house located in Crane Island, Florida. As a member of the design community, I always enjoy seeing what other creative minds are achieving. I was not disappointed.


Although the ribbon cutting was during the month of June, my crazy schedule did not allow a moment of time to view the home until much later. As a matter of fact, it was late enough that the home had been decorated for the holiday season.


Quite a treat it was to see such a spectacular coastal home dressed in its finest! The open floor plan promoted a feeling of casual living, yet an air of elegance prevailed. The interior designer, Heather Chadduck, masterfully mixed traditional + contemporary furnishings to give the home a fresh appeal for today’s lifestyle. The color palette was most appropriate for the home’s location with a prevalence of soft blues and natural hues. Cotton and linen prevailed. Shiplap walls and light wood floors also supported the overall story of the home.


The holiday décor was also quite well done. Nothing was garish or scene-stealing. Instead, it was all a harmonious blend with the home’s interior scheme: A garland of natural pinecones, sprigs of cotton stalks, starfish, and fresh hydrangea.  A feeling of calm prevailed.  


Inspiring? Yes!----I wanted to spread the cheer in my own home.


Verandas  &  Vistas

Driving home, I envisioned the task of decorating for the holidays. All of the fuss can be rather daunting. In a world which seems to be spinning out of control, just finding the time to hang a wreath can trigger anxiety.


I began to think about my holiday decorations and what they mean. They are not color-coordinated or "themed" in any way. Instead, they have been collected over time. Some are gifts. Some are souvenirs. Some are childhood bric-a-brac. Perhaps, the decorations are more than just things that we hang on a tree or a wreath we hang on the door. Instead, they are keys of reminiscence. They represent the journey we have taken in life.  The process of “decking the halls” allows us to re-experience chapters that were important in our own lives: People. Places. Passions. ----They all seem to come into view, if only for a few moments.


While the show house was a jewel box of ideas, perhaps this realization was the most valuable take away for me. --Holiday decorating is an opportunity to savor life’s journey.


Today, with lights and ornaments in tow, I did just that.




This was A Moment in America.

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