Two big tour announcements + photos

Another successful Historic Homes for the Holidays tour is in the books. Thank you to everyone who showed up, spread the word, and supported this great cause. I have two announcements:

From left: Amanda (who helps Promise Ridge residents develop an action plan that’ll help them achieve a better life), Kris Smith (whose beautiful home was part of this year’s tour), Whitney Morris (from RE/MAX Prestige, one of our ticket vendors), yours truly, Peggy Sharp (who keeps Promise Ridge up and running), and Roger Mayes (who represents First Presbyterian, which owns the house and rents it at a ridiculously low price to Promise Ridge).

1. Today we donated $10,003.05 to Promise Ridge. As I mentioned before, I worried about turnout this year because family matters demanded my attention right before tour time. But I am thrilled with this amount—it’s going to do a lot of good for Promise Ridge. They are currently housing five local families, and their mission is to provide emergency temporary housing while helping moms secure good jobs and gain the confidence to become self-reliant. It’s a beautiful cause, and today I saw a darling little boy living there with his mother. I hope someday soon their lives will be a little easier, and I hope this donation helps that happen.

2. Next year we’ll be hosting the tour in … POCATELLO, IDAHO! Just 50 miles to the south, there are hundreds of amazing old houses in Pocatello, thanks to its vibrant preservation scene. I look forward to expanding my team to include a couple Pocatellans, and I can promise you will NOT want to miss next year’s tour. (P.S. I wrote my master’s degree paper on the College Neighborhood in Poky, so I’m clearly a lover of this area.)

Now for the big photo dump from this year’s tour. I am specifically sharing photos of genius ideas, and I hope you enjoy all the eye candy. Here we go!

A brass and black stair rail? Yes, please. And I love that the owners did not sand down their fir floors and “start over.” In the next old house I fix up, I will do the same.
Small landings at the top of the stairs love wallpaper.
This was the year for cozy basements. Ceilings downstairs are often very low in historic houses, but homeowners are finding ways to make do anyway. Brilliant.
Real trees and real garland forever. Amen.
A historic house will always love a very modern kitchen. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you’re remodeling an old house, either make sure the kitchen matches the period of your house OR go super modern. The in-between, trendy place is the danger zone.
Look at this massive master—not terribly common in old houses but so lovely.
If you can’t keep your original front door out front, find another place for it. These homeowners installed it as their side door.
Love how this master bedroom isn’t all opened up; instead, there’s a little seating area just outside. The bedroom feels extra cozy because it isn’t massive. But massive can be wonderful (see above) ….
Another cozy basement with low ceilings. These ceilings are shy of seven feet. You don’t even notice because you’re so enchanted by the den-like feeling down here.
Ahh, to work in a room with a million windows. Long, skinny rooms are great as office spaces.
I have no words. I’m too choked up by this original bath.
What a cool way to display an old trunk/wardrobe.
So much sparkle in this room. A monochromatic palette always looks lush.
Let’s take a moment to revere the coved ceilings here. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.
A really Victorian house + a really modern light fixture = love.
Will we ever tire of a vintage-ornament wreath? Nay. And will I ever stop loving stained-wood trim? Never.
I spy I Married Adventure!
This home is on the National Register of Historic Places, so naturally it’s well preserved and amazing.
Look at that amazing stair rail. 🙂
Love this original fireplace. One of the MOST IMPORTANT things to save in an old house is the original fireplace. And one of the WORST SINS in a historic home is to tear it out and install something new. Find a way to love and work with what’s there.
Nothing like a dramatic front door dripping with poinsettias.
The original part of this home was built in the late 1800s. See that fireplace? Refer to above fireplace comment.
When your room needs a refresh, install a big, fat light fixture for instant style.
Let’s hear it for walls that aren’t white! I love the moodiness in this room.
This narrow island is such a refreshing idea.
More is more—this bedroom proves it. I’ll never get sick of mixed plaids or lush greenery, preferably together.
A peek at The Healing Sanctuary’s grand entrance. These are two of my favorite girls who volunteered to help—so many volunteers are needed to pull this thing off. A big thanks to them.
Aren’t double doors the best? And they absolutely need twin wreaths with long ribbons.
This house has a barn out back—one of the highlights for many tour goers.
A new kitchen for an old house. I love the seating area at the far end of this massive island.
And one more fireplace shot because it’s Christmas and we can never get enough.
Sissy and I hit the tour together. See our cute commemorative pins? I have a few extra if you’re interested.
My littlest boy really wanted to help sell pins. He practiced saying, “Pins for sale! Pins for sale!” and made this little sign that reads, “You must buy it.” 🙂

Half an hour after the tour ended, my brother arrived back home, and boy, was it good to see him.

A big, big thank you to RE/MAX Prestige and The Healing Sanctuary, both of which acted as ticket vendors. Thanks also to Ace Hardware for providing thousands of bags for shoes, to the Post Register and East Idaho News for publishing articles about the tour, and to ALL the wonderful volunteers who helped pull this thing off. And of course, the biggest of thank yous to the homeowners!

Thanks again for supporting the tour, and please plan to attend next year. It will be held the first Friday and Saturday of December, just like it has been the last two years. The money will go to a new charity this time around (one located in Pocatello), but I guarantee it’ll be a good one. Merry Christmas! •

P.S. Almost forgot! If you were intoxicated by the wonderful smell in the Boulevard house, here’s the secret stuff. You’re welcome!

5 thoughts

  1. Loved the tour again this year! Thank you to everyone who helped put this together. I look forward to it. I didn’t realize you sold home pins for each year. I would like to buy one for last year and this year if you have them.


  2. I’m from PA so I find it thoughtful that you did a picture dump! I really enjoyed it.

    The picture of you and your brother. Whom are the others?


  3. I am so excited that the tour will be in Pocatello next year. I grew up in the Historic College neighborhood, and it’s still one of my favorite areas. There is something magical about older homes. Each has its own “personality”. Thank you to you and volunteers for working so hard every year to make the tour a wonderful experience.


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