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It’s the holiday season and nothing makes us feel more cheerful than decked halls filled with colorful, joyful Christmas decorations. And Louisville has no shortage of Christmas spirit. From countless trees to endless Santa decorations, these homeowners know a thing or two about being merry and bright during the holidays.
Check out 12 holiday-decorated homes around Louisville that might inspire your own Christmas decor journey.
Happy holidays, everyone!
60,000+ decorations make this Louisville home a Christmas wonderland
Entering David Brown’s Old Louisville home is not like walking into a house full of Christmas decorations — it’s like stepping into Christmas itself. The house looks like Christmas, feels like Christmas and smells like Christmas. It’s impossible to glance at any spot in the home without seeing an ornament, tree, dish, book, photo, or other types of embellishment that represents the holiday spirit.
“My father’s family and my mother’s family,” Brown previously said, “were both very big into holidays. It was magic when we were kids.” He has carried on — and expanded — his family’s traditions by decorating his own home every year.
Brown’s love for the holidays is obvious; otherwise, he wouldn’t have spent more than two months transforming his house from a Victorian home to a Christmas wonderland.
“I’m very organized; you have to be,” he said, explaining that he began the whole process on Sept. 1. He keeps his decorations stored in plastic totes in the basement — and there are hundreds of them. With the help of his cousins, all the totes were moved upstairs in about nine hours. Once he had everything at his disposal, Brown began on the third floor and worked his way down, spending 20 to 30 hours each week hand placing every item.
Home of the Week:60,000+ decorations make this Louisville home a Christmas wonderland
In addition to putting the time in before and after work and between conference calls, Brown took a week off from work to focus solely on decorating.
“It is a major ordeal,” he affirmed. “It’s exhausting, but it’s well worth it.”
When everything is said and done, there are roughly 60,000 decorations and embellishments on display, including about 7,000 ornaments on the staircase alone, and more than 30 Christmas trees throughout the house.
Read more about this true Christmas wonderland in Old Louisville.
Jeffersonville home with 100+ Santas is a Christmas delight
When it’s time to decorate for Christmas, furniture might be moved around to make room for a tree and certain concessions are made to accommodate lights and such, but for the most part, the average homeowner is just adding to pre-existing home décor. This is not the case at Greg and Teresa McMurry’s patio home in Jeffersonville. The couple not only decks out every room of their home with Christmas ornaments and accessories, but they stow away current home goods, replacing them with Christmas-themed items.
Top to bottom, everything from rugs and blankets to dishes and artwork is holiday-ready.
“I used to have three times as much [decorations] as this,” Teresa previously told the Courier Journal. “At the old house, we had a family room, a living room, a big 1,000-square-foot game room. We had the dining room, the bedrooms, and everything was done. We did the same thing.”
In their current three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, Teresa and Greg have four Christmas trees and an unknown but undoubtedly large number of Santa figures they guesstimate is upward of 100. This includes one six-and-a-half-foot, 75-pound Saint Nick that stands in a corner next to the kitchen cabinets. He was a gift from Teresa’s late father and is her favorite Christmas piece in the home.
Home of the Week:This Jeffersonville home with 100+ Santas is a Christmas delight
It takes two to three weeks to finish the entire home each year, which includes bringing the Christmas décor out of the attic, basement, and closets — and putting regularly used items away.
Read more about this Christmas home in Jeffersonville.
St. Matthews home features 14 Christmas trees, thousands of decorations
Steve and Michael Adams built their St. Matthews home more than two decades ago, just a few years after they met.
“A couple of years after we were together,” Steve previously told the Courier Journal, “we decided we wanted to (build a house) together. Funnily enough, we had both, over the years, thought about and looked at different plans. We had two that we particularly liked.” They hired someone to combine both plans, and their transitional-style home with a Mediterranean feel was completed in 1998.
“We wanted a first-floor master,” Steve previously said, “which was difficult to find at the time and one of the reasons we ended up building. We also wanted a U-shaped structure, a pool and a bigger yard.” In addition to all those features, there was another very specific request Steve had for their new home: storage for their extensive Christmas decorations.
“Christmas is a long-time passion of mine. Michael has, fortunately, bought into it over the years,” Steve said, laughing. “When we built the house, I was very specific about wanting something on the first floor for Christmas storage.”
Their architect accommodated the request, and the Adamses now have a first-floor space just off the kitchen for housing holiday décor, which is stored in bins when not on display.
“The garage gets some of the overflow,” Steve added, explaining that he began gathering decorations in his teens. Their collection includes pieces that they’ve amassed over a 50-year period — and it continues to grow.
Each year, he and Michael spend four to five weeks unpacking and setting up the décor, which includes what he estimates to be thousands of ornaments, figurines and other pieces, plus 14 full-sized trees.
Read more about this Christmas home in St. Matthews.
Old Louisville mansion is full of holiday cheer
It’s difficult to imagine an Old Louisville house with its original floor plan, woodwork, doors, windows and hardware looking as current as Bethany and Joshua Adams’ home does. But Bethany, a licensed and certified interior designer, has managed to preserve the best aspects of the home’s historical features while incorporating personal, modern touches to turn it into a practical living space for her family of four.
“I like a more modern style,” Bethany previously said, “but this is a beautiful historic house, and what appealed to us is the openness.” Though the home was built in 1896, it was ahead of its time in the sense that it had a modern, open floor plan on the first floor — with the exception of the kitchen. “Like all kitchens from that time period,” Bethany explained, “it was really closed off with lots of doors and walls.”
She and her husband Joshua wanted to open the space up to create more of a connection to the front of the house; and, of course, bring in a bit more of a modern style.
Home of the Week:Historic to modern, Old Louisville mansion is full of holiday cheer
The renovated kitchen, which earned Bethany a Design Excellence Award from the American Society of Interior Designers just last month, has Carrera and Bardiglio marble countertops and floors.
“I chose marble to reference the original marble sidewalk that is outside,” Bethany said. “I really felt like this kitchen had to have marble, to sort of tie this modern kitchen back in to the original architecture.”
Read more about this Old Louisville mansion, which was featured on the 42nd Annual Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour.
Christmas inside Pewee Valley house modeled after Johnny Cash’s Nashville home
Johnny Cash fans have probably heard of the former man in black’s uniquely shaped lake home, dubbed “The Roundhouse,” in Hendersonville, Tennessee. But a lesser-known fact is that another home was modeled after that circular abode — built right here in the Bluegrass State.
More than four decades ago, Braxton Dixon — the man who built Cash’s home, as well as the homes of other country legends including Roy Orbison, Marty Stuart, and Tammy Wynette — created another version of the iconic house in Pewee Valley. It’s still standing on a 16-acre property, and it was previously featured on the Crestwood Civic Club’s Holiday Home Tour & Luncheon.
One of homeowner Wendy M. Hagan’s favorite pieces was also one of the most challenging to incorporate — a large wooden bookcase that’s anchored to the wall to the right of the front door.
“It’s just such a significant piece,” Hagan previously said, “and very heavy. That’s the other challenge of this house. Because of the volume of this room and especially the stone on the wall, [and the uneven flooring], it’s challenging in that when you have big pieces you have to get them positioned so it’s not rocking at all.”
On a table to the left of the library, a copy of “The Compleat Gardner” is open to one of its aged, yellowing pages.
“This is a gardening book that was published in 1693,” Hagan said. “I collect a lot of books; this is one of my favorite pieces.”
Read more about “The Roundhouse” and its Christmas decor.
Former art studio is midcentury modern holiday dream in Old Louisville
The dwelling at 518 W. Magnolia Ave. in Old Louisville, which was built in 1940 as an art studio, is now the home of newlyweds Tyler and Haleigh Poteet. A Louisville native, Tyler explained that he and his Middletown, Indiana, bride — who are both University of Louisville graduates — came across the home by chance during their engagement photoshoot and knew they had to call it their own.
Aside from just a few pieces, most of the couple’s furnishings and accessories were purchased specifically for their new home.
“We tried to find things we really liked,” Tyler previously said, “and/or things that were from around the time period of the house. We put a focus on finding high-quality, new or midcentury items that are timeless in their design (and) from local small businesses as much as possible. … We believe in supporting local business.”
Though Haleigh and Tyler are pleased with their purchases and the way their home has come together, what is arguably one of the house’s best features — and one of their favorites — is the unexpected, breathtaking view of the park from the couple’s master bedroom on the second floor.
“(It’s) what we fell in love with when we came into the house the first time,” Tyler said. “We came right up here and looked out. We love it up here.”
Read more about this home previously featured on the Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour.
Architect’s ‘House in the trees’ in Spring Valley is Christmas wonderland
After Mark and Anna Maria Trier’s children moved out, the couple decided it was time to build a new home.
“Our kids were all in college, and we were looking to downsize,” Mark previously told the Courier Journal. “Since I’m an architect, we like unique lots — and we love this lot; it overlooks Goose Greek.”
The Spring Valley lot proved to be the perfect spot for their four-bedroom, four-bathroom, Mediterranean-style abode.
“We dated in Rome for a year,” Mark said, explaining the main inspiration for their home’s overall look and feel. He was there studying architecture, while Anna Maria was learning Italian. “(We) got married two years later, so we always have fond memories of Italian style.”
Their love of Italia shows through the Tuscan-style columns, Roman-style travertine flooring, and Spanish-Italian style arches and stone throughout the home.
While much of the home’s features are reminiscent of Mark and Anna Maria’s dating days, the layout of the house was crafted specifically to showcase one particular item: a golden bowl that has been around since 1898.
“My mom would make sugar plum loaves and fruitcakes in that bowl,” Anna Maria remembered. “She’d let that fruitcake sit in there with bourbon for a month — that’s what I remember about it. I always wanted it because of the childhood memories and because it was my great-grandmother’s.”
Read more about this dreamy Christmas home in Spring Valley.
It’s beginning to feel a lot like a Victorian Christmas inside this Old Louisville mansion
The Victorian mansion at 1328 S. 4th St. sat vacant for nearly 25 years before Jeff Layman and Susan Coleman Layman discovered the Old Louisville house and decided to restore it together. The couple, who began dating in the late 80s and married in 1993, house hunted for an entire year.
“I had a house on Brook Street,” Susan previously said, “so I had already moved to Old Louisville. He had a house on Eastern Parkway, and we just wanted an ‘our’ house.”
This 6-bed, 7,500-square-foot Victorian house was featured on the 43rd annual Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour.
Susan and Jeff carefully place items that are filled with memories, including pieces that were handed down from Jeff’s mother, who was an avid Christmas decorator, around the home. Thinking back on years past, they can’t help but reminisce on how it all began.
“I moved (to Old Louisville) as a single woman,” Susan recalled. “I didn’t want an 8,000-square-foot house. (But) I came on the home tour, (and) that was my motivation — I loved (it). Jeff proposed to me on the home tour. It’s very special to us.”
The couple is fond of the tour and of Old Louisville in general. They’re both very active in the community, as Jeff is the president of the neighborhood association, and Susan is highly involved in the annual St. James Court Art Show, as she was its executive director for 10 years and continues to serve as the volunteer chair of the South 4th Street Section.
“The thing I like about Old Louisville,” Susan said, “is it’s a true neighborhood. We argue like family, but we make up like family. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Read more about this massive Victorian mansion in Old Louisville.
Portland bungalow-style home boasts ‘old Christmas movie’ holiday vibe
Entering the home of Chris and Kerrie Clifford is like stepping onto the set of an old Christmas movie. An Edison phonograph sits to the right, playing songs from the early 1900s. To the left, handmade wooden ornaments and strings of pearls bedeck a live Christmas tree. Vintage Christmas dolls sit upon vintage chairs, while vintage Christmas books line the shelves. Antique-looking fleur-de-lis wallpaper pulls the whole vintage look together and is especially fitting since this is a Louisville home, after all.
The Cliffords’ antiques are perfect complements to the original woodwork and windows on the first floor of their 1920 bungalow home in Portland. In addition to the Edison player in the living room, the couple owns a Regina music box, which was the first type of music box to be manufactured in the U.S.
“It was manufactured and shipped on his birthday in 1901,” Kerrie previously said. “So, it was fate — we were supposed to have that piece.”
Like the box, many of the items in the Clifford household have a personal story tied to them. One of their favorite Christmas decorations, for example, is something Chris has had since he was in grade school.
The cardboard fireplace, complete with flickering “flames,” was what then-10-year-old Chris picked out of a Spiegel catalog. His aunt bought it for him, and it has been a part of his holiday ever since.
“Christmas is our favorite time of the year,” Kerrie explained. “We have a lot of decorations that were from his childhood and my childhood that were passed down.”
On one of the home’s dozen trees, Kerrie keeps Hallmark ornaments from the 70s that belonged to her late mother. She remembers how her mom was very meticulous, and after each Christmas would carefully put each ornament back into its original packaging for safekeeping until the following holiday season.
“Every year, it’s a trip down memory lane,” she said.
Read more about this festive bungalow-style home in Portland.
New Albany home is filled with Christmas décor and vintage pieces
In 1999, Marlene and Tom Wint were thinking about moving to a bigger house; little did they know, a game of golf would quickly turn that dream into a reality.
“We used to live in a small, quiet little house,” Tom previously said. One day on the golf course, he began telling his friend Lyle about how he and his wife were casually looking for another place. To Tom’s surprise, Lyle said knew of the perfect home for them — which he happened to be selling.
“He and I left the golf course and came (to the house), and I called Marlene at work and I said, ‘Well, I just found the house we need to buy.’”
All of the home’s antique pieces and unique features are currently complemented by holiday adornments. Marlene — who begins decorating immediately after Thanksgiving — has pared down a bit this year, but has still managed to put out two fully decorated Christmas trees, multiple holiday pillows and throws, snowman-themed dinnerware, countless wreaths and figurines, and a full set of Santas from Folk Art by May in Madison, Indiana.
“Mr. May would sit in his room up in Madison, and every year he would make a different international Santa Claus,” Tom explained. “He carved them, and his wife painted them,” Marlene said.
Though Bruce May passed in 2011, his family continues to create carvings — and the Wints keep collecting them. In fact, they believe they might have the only full collection, which includes more than three dozen hand-carved and hand-painted wooden Santas.
Christmas decorations aside, Tom is quick to credit their home’s overall aesthetic to Marlene, who has added a bit of flair to the house with a bit of handiwork of her own, such as stenciled designs along the walls of the Florida room, and hand-painted flooring in the basement.
“I personally want to thank Marlene for all of the beautiful decorating she has done to our home, many of which she did by hand,” Tom said. “I can remember our son Eric saying, as he walked through the house for the first time, ‘I can see her mind working for the next 20 years on things she will want to do to the house.’ Well, it is now 21 years and she is still making our house more beautiful every year.”
Read more about this mid-century ranch full of unique Christmas decor.
This decked out farmhouse was featured on Crestwood’s Holiday Home Tour
After decades of marriage, a Christmas-loving couple is bound to amass quite a collection of holiday decor. This is especially true for Susan and Craig Kidwell, who used to own Craig’s Pharmacy and Gold Crown Hallmark in Crestwood.
“I had access to Hallmark ornaments and Christmas things,” Susan previously said. “(Our collection has) grown over the years. We’ve been married 51 years and we’ve been in this house for over 40 years. Christmas decorations have just kind of evolved.”
In the family room/dining area — a space the Kidwells added to the home about 15 years ago — there’s a special kiddie-size table for the littlest members of the family; it’s decorated with a red Christmas tree table runner as well as Santa and snowman place mats. Susan explained that normally, they’d also have a train table, dollhouse and other toys out in the family room, but she has stowed a few things away in preparation for the tour.
“So, don’t open the pantry door,” she laughed.
In one of the original parts of the home, which Susan calls the “old family room,” 30-inch stockings hang from the gas fireplace. The extra-large stocking idea began during a Christmas season many years ago when her first granddaughter was still very young. She and Craig were asked to keep Christmas simple, with no more than two gifts for the little girl. They were allowed, however, to handle the stocking.
Susan smiled at the memory, recalling how she made it a point to get a hold of the largest stocking she could find, so she could stuff it with as many goodies as possible.
“Now all the grandchildren have these stockings!”
Read more about this decked-out Christmas-themed farmhouse.
Southern Living Idea House gets a festive makeover for holidays
Every year, Southern Living magazine chooses a home in a southern city to showcase interior design and home style ideas. Dubbed the Idea House, the home is featured in a special issue and opened to the public for tours. This year, for the first time ever, the selected abode is right here in the Bluegrass State.
“We’re members of their Southern Living Custom Builder Program,” Jimmy King, co-owner of Artisan Signature Homes in Prospect, previously said. “They handpick about 100 builders (from) all over the country, (and) we’ve been members of that for about 15 years. We’ve lobbied for them to have the Idea House come to Louisville for years. … They finally called and said, ‘We think we’re ready to come to Kentucky. We want to do it.’”
Atlanta-based architect Brandon Ingram drew inspiration from historical architecture around the south and coastal New England to design the colonial Greek revival-style cottage that is the 2021 Idea House. Built by Artisan Signature Homes in The Breakers at Prospect, the home boasts four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two powder rooms in a 5,170-square-foot plan dubbed ‘Riverbend’ by Southern Living.
King adds that the core Idea House team also included Nashville interior designer Sarah Bartholomew and local landscape architect Josh Meyers. “We all kind of came together across multiple (weekly) Zoom calls, just to get the level of detail right,” he said. “Our goal was to make sure we position this house in a way … to really capitalize on the river views.”
Read more about the Southern Living Ideas House and how to tour it.