My Mom and I used to go on holiday home tours back when we lived in the San Jose/Willow Glen area of Northern CA and I haven’t been to one since moving to Sacramento 17 years ago. It’s no secret to friends and family and long time blog readers that I’m a little obsessed with decorating my home for Christmas. I love everything about the holidays… from family traditions, special ornaments given to me or gathered, favorite decorations, stockings and twinkle lights, to picking out a fresh wreath and tree every year. I have over 25 crates and tubs in the attic full of treasures I’ve found over the years and I still look forward to adding a few new things to my collection every year.
When the opportunity once again came up to see how others decorate their homes for Christmas, it was an easy decision, I forked over my $35 and enjoyed a fantastic day with friends.
All proceeds from the Omega Nu Holiday Home Tour benefit Lodi, CA area charities chosen by the individual home owners and Omega Nu members.
We checked into one of the warehouses at Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery for our wristbands and complimentary wine tasting, coffee, tea and tasty treats. They also had local vendors for shopping opportunities.
There was an option to purchase tickets that included brunch, but we opted for the cheaper tickets that included wine tasting and treats.
The treat buffet table set-up was adorable and very inviting. It’s so nice when people/caterers take the extra effort with the tablescape, plus I always end up with some take-away ideas.
Lots of baked goods, candy and fruit to choose from.
Flavored water, yes please. While I wouldn’t normally combine lemon, cucumber and cranberries in the same container, it was refreshing. I also liked the added pine cones in the bottom of the first dispenser – makes me want to get one that has that empty space at the bottom to add party themed items. I usually do what they did with the second one, place it on a crate or wooden box.
I dig how chandeliers fancy up any environment, especially outdoors or in more industrial spaces. This particular one hung near the photo op/prop area. The background for photos was made out of three old doors hinged together and painted with chalk paint – we all took note and thought that was cool.
We started the house tour at Mills Mansion, built in the early 1920’s. The house was gorgeous, but it wasn’t really decorated for the holidays. There was a tree and a few wreaths, so our hope was that the others had more. Also the reason why I didn’t include any interior photos.
The Sideways House, named for its entrance located on the side of the home was up next. I could tell by the outside that the house would be filled with holiday decor and I was right. The front room was gorgeous, it didn’t photograph well, but think Pottery Barn meets Restoration Hardware with a bunch of vintage and re-purposed finds thrown in, definitely my style. The house had 10 Christmas trees, all themed differently.
This made me want to put plants in my backyard fountain.
One of the bedrooms had beach themed ornaments. Every room in the house had a small tree and it made me miss having multiple trees in my own house.
It was in this house that I decided I would take photos of the dining room place settings to keep with the food theme of this blog.
There was so much whimsy in this dinette area off the kitchen.The formal dining room had cool birch trees with ornaments and lanterns with flame-less candles.
The dining room side buffet cabinet was decked out too. I loved the ferris wheel print.
Definitely a more formal place setting compared to the kitchenette table. My family has done traditional English Crackers for Christmas… all sitting around in our paper crowns playing with our puzzles and other trinkets.
One of the cool things about the Sideway House is that it’s available to rent through vrbo.com (#910351) or airbnb.com (#15536196) – now that’s great marketing right there. A holiday home tour of your gorgeous rental property, love that! It runs about $300 a night and can accommodate sleeping for 8. I’m seeing a girl’s weekend of wine tasting in my near future.
Next up was the Hill House Mansion. Built at the turn of the century, Hill House was the home of George Washington Hill, his wife Mary Hill and their children, Nellie and Maurice. When Maurice died in 1984, he left the HIll House and its contents in a trust to the people of Lodi, CA with the stipulation that it be turned into a museum.
Hey…I know those two ladies waving, LOL.
The Hill House decor reminded me of The National Hotel in Nevada City. My sister in law is from Nevada City and she introduced me to their Victorian Christmas celebration and it truly is magical, I love it! One of the museum volunteers at Hill House heard me talk about the similarity to the hotel and she chimed in that they were from the same era and she could see how I would think that.
These vintage holiday cards and post cards reminded me of the ones I’ve picked up at various antique shops or shows. I also have a few from my grandparent’s collection.
The kitchen utensils reminded me of my Mom’s collection. Such a fun way to display them in the museum. Each room also had a Christmas tree filled with vintage themed ornaments. I’m not a “doll” person at all – too many horror movies, so I opted to pass on photos of the rooms since there were porcelain dolls everywhere.
Retreat Verdot was next on our list. The house was set in the middle of a Petite Verdot vineyard and is owned by a couple that spends half of the year there and the other half in Florida. The original farmhouse and workshop garage have been fully renovated and it was my favorite house of the tour.
The decorator, mild OCD/perfectionist in me wanted to fix the spacing between the “o” and the “y” and since I didn’t, you all get to suffer with this photo too. I’m sure someone just bumped it on their way up the stairs. I loved the simplicity of the front room decor, they had a beautiful tree next to a big, white brick fireplace. A second more casual sitting/TV area was just up the stairs to the left with the kitchen directly across from that.
I thought the shutters were a fun way to display Christmas cards… I’d seen it on Pinterest, but seeing it in person made me want to find some old shutters for next year.
The coolest part of the upstairs dining area was the red bar door. Red is too bold for me color wise for long term use, but dang it sure looked good in that house and especially during this time of year – the pop of red really added to the overall muted decor of the home and was the perfect backdrop to the dining room table. My next house will have a barn door!
From the reindeer place cards to the felt ball garland – this table was my style for sure. Sub out fresh trees for the fake ones and yes, yes, yes.
Retreat Verdot also had a guest house… I was ready to move right in. The furniture was my jam and I found the lighting fixture I want to buy for over our dining room table.
The master bedroom had a little patio with this view…
The best part about this place… it too is listed with vrbo.com (#620830). At $443/night with a 3 night minimum stay, it was pricier than the Sideways House, but the property was beautiful and had a pool, spa, tennis courts, bocce ball area, fire pit and the guest house. Definitely more remote than the Sideways House which was walking distance from the downtown area. There are lots of photos of the house on vrbo for you to check out. See… their marketing worked. They put their vacation rental on the holiday home tour and here I am blogging about their awesome property and I get nothing in return… except sadness that my house isn’t bigger with more rooms to decorate or that I’m not staying there anytime soon. Ha-ha.
Last on our stop was the Modern Farmhouse which also did not disappoint. The house was built in 1999 and the style of the home was “modern farmhouse” – the attention to detail with the holiday decor was something I could really relate to. I loved the little touches throughout the house.
The fresh greenery on the porch was really nice.
I usually think wreath over swag for my own front door, but this caught my eye.
The owner collects glassybaby votives – had no clue what those were until we looked them up.
I liked the winter wonderland white mixed throughout the natural and wood decor. I have very similar china inherited from my grandmother – I liked the linen napkin, but would use fresh greenery.
Both kids rooms were decked out. I did love that each bed had a garland. My favorite room of the house was the master bedroom because of that.
Makes me want to put a garland on my own headboard. I’m sure the dogs would go to town on that. Okay, maybe not. The room also had a fresh tree in a huge basket opposite the bed.
I wanted to jump in and snuggle up with a good book or watch one of my Hallmark Christmas movies. Speaking of, that sounds like a good idea on this Saturday afternoon.
Thanks Wendy, Kristen and Jen for letting me tag along on your adventure. I’m already looking forward to next year and more time together exploring Lodi.