For the 37th year, homeowners in the “Fabulous Forties” neighborhood in East Sacramento have opened their homes for the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour.
The annual event, which benefits the Sacred Heart Parish School, is a singular opportunity for the public to tour some of the most gorgeous homes in the city and view the efforts of a small army of professional decorators, florists, artists, and garden designers. Each home has a principal designer who brings together a holiday masterpiece incorporating the history and architectural features of the property and the individual style and taste of the homeowners.
Said Margo Reid Brown, whose lovely home was opened for the tour: “This is such an important event: the partnership of the parish and community is vital in the health of the neighborhood, and it’s a lovely tradition.” Brown attended Sacred Heart, as do her two children. 8th grader Catie was off to tour the other homes.
The streets were lined with visitors, and except for a few showers the weather was cooperative. Many visitors have come for the tour for decades. All were enthusiastically appreciative of the homes, and of the Christmas Boutique and Café set up in the school’s cafeteria
This year, five homes were featured, each reflecting a distinctly different holiday esthetic.
Lead designer Don Sherwood of Haus Home Décor was in attendance at the Majestic Prairie (1924) home of Margo and Rick Brown. From the welcoming front porch to the beautiful back patio, the house was filled with a marvelous collection of blown glass ornaments in fantastic whimsies of fruit, birds, cheeses, and pastries intertwined with garlands of greenery and magnolia branches.
The Colonial Revival house was decorated by the owner, Dianne Kawamura, and reflected the warmth and comfort of a truly beloved home. The family heirlooms and personal collections evoked a genuine love for the fruits, vegetables, and flowers which were representative of the family’s agricultural heritage. From the beautiful California landscapes gracing the staircase to the whimsical glass vegetable ornaments on the tree, no room was without reference to the bounty of the land. The magnificent outdoor kitchen and entertainment area, designed by Michael Glassman, has been honored on HGTV and was enhanced by the artistry of the hardworking team from Beyond the Garden Gate in Davis.
The Quintessential Craftsman (circa 1920’s) is a delight of inlaid floors, lush mahogany wainscoting and built-in cabinetry, and a surprisingly bright and modern kitchen. Tara Sorenson of Inspired Interiors is the owner and designer.
Anne Evans of Impressions Design transformed the Contemporary Cottage (1929) into an elegant Art Deco statement. Particularly notable are the mercury-glass pendant lights in the kitchen, and the outsized white peacock gracing the elegant tree.
Designer Philip Rice of East Sac Florist filled the Craftsman Cottage (1935) with a mindboggling array of floral artistry. From the live orchids on the enormous tree in the living room to the spectacular bird-of-paradise arrangements, the entire home was filled with rare and aromatic blooms. Even some of the cushions on the cushy sofa were made of tightly spaced fresh blooms. The limestone-matrix kitchen countertops with embedded fossils were a lovely feature, as were the delicate etched panels hanging in the windows overlooking the garden.
Etched plexiglass panel by artist Maren Conrad-Miniger taken from pen and ink illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, a relative of the homeowner, from The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen, published by Harper and Row, 1970.
The Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour reflects countless hours of volunteer effort, from the hosts in the various homes to the cleaning and lighting crews. It’s a monumental effort which yields a great return for Sacred Heart, and a sense of pride and enjoyment for the whole community.
The Holiday Home Tour will return next December—don’t miss it.
SacPress Photos | Kati Garner