I don’t normally write about other homes, but I do talk about travel with my family. I am also focusing this Christmas on finding ways to enjoy time with my family, and searching for an inner peace and contentment away from the frenzy and excess that can be Christmas. We just returned from a week long trip to Florida with our family, and each day we did something with the boys. One of those activities was a visit to Bok Tower Gardens in Wales City, which is about an hour East of Orlando. They decorate Pinewood Estate, the home at Bok Tower Gardens for Christmas. I love touring historic homes, and I love Christmas decorations. For me, this is one of the nicest Christmas homes that I have seen in a long time. It really inspired me to come home and decorate for the holidays, which is well under the way right now.
The docents in the house told us about the decorations that we were seing, and each year during the house is decorated by designers around a particular theme. The theme for this year focused on a family visiting their grandfather during the time he lived in the house. The entryway was lit with candlelight and felt both cozy and grand.
Every room in the house had some form of tree, with the exception of the hallways. The tour started in a small kitchen, and there were a number of trees, including this candy cane tree that any crafty person could make at home. All you need is a foam cone, and several boxes of candy canes along with gumdrops are ribbons! Wouldn’t that look cute in your kitchen?
The tree in the Formal Dining was a bit fancier. I have always struggled to make my tree have a “decorator” style. I generally use the ornaments we’ve collected from a lifetime of travels, and those my kids make.
I’m always impressed by elaborate trees and tablescapes and there were a number of gorgeous ones throughout the house, including this bottlebrush tree scene. I’ve been seeing Bottlebrush Trees everywhere, and I must buy some! There are so many darling possibilities with those little trees! (In case you are looking too, I’ve seen them for sale this season at both Michael’s and Pick Your Plum.
Each room also had a stuffed squirrel hidden (or not so hidden) for kiddos to find while toured the home. This was really a great idea, as I know that kids can get bored during walk throughs of houses. (This room was in the center of the house, and had a Floridian theme with citrus trees.)
Mellow Man and I took turns in the house while the boys played outside– the Big One wasn’t with us, so they didn’t look for these squirrels. There were some younger school-aged children who toured the house while we were there, and they were both so excited to find the squirrels– it was a huge contest for them.
Here’s the cute squirrel in one of the 4 bedrooms that were on the tour, sitting below the “tree” of presents. In case you wanted to see what the rest of the room looked like, here you go:
The bedrooms all had different styles and decors, and really illustrate how versatile you can be with your Christmas decorations. The bedroom above have a more masculine, and cabin-like feel. However, there was also the girly bedroom that was decorates as if for the two granddaughters:
There were also two more neutral bedrooms, both exquisitely decorated for the holidays, but with different color-palletes and atmospheres. This one was a bit feminine, but had a blue/gold and magnolia flower design.
However, my favorite parts of the house were definitely the two main living areas,
I really liked the branches sticking out of the top of the tree– they reminded me of a post I saw on ways to decorate Chirstmas trees that were stylish and inexpensive (although the end result of that tree has a very different look than this formal and traditional tree).
A second sitting room was decorated for tea with a children’s area, and a more formal, adult table setting. I was really inspired by the ribbons hanging down from the chandelier that were tied to the back of the dining chairs. They seemed to create this smaller, personal dining space within a much larger room as well as add a lot of grandeur to the tablescape.
There were dozens and dozens of poinsettias and other holiday greenery on the outside of the home as well, and the Littles played outside while we took turns visiting the house. Then we walked over to see the actual tower of Bok Tower Gardens while the Carillon played from the tower.
The music took me back to my days in college when I’d listen to the Carillon play while I walked from class. The Monkey was less impressed with the music, and more impressed with the Koi that he was able to feed.
It was a lovely afternoon and a great way to start of the Advent and holiday season for me. So many beautiful Christmas inspiration!
Have you heard of Bok Tower Gardens? Where do you find your Christmas inspiration?