A much-anticipated December tradition, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour pairs architecturally significant homes with festive finery by Kansas City’s most gifted floral designers. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up style tips on making our own homes merry and bright. Here is an insider’s look at the four fabulous homes from the 2018 tour.
Don’t miss the 2019 Kappa Holiday Homes Tour on December 4-5. For more information, visit kappahomestour.com
Mission Hills Tudor
Doug and Alicia Bastien lightened and refreshed their classic Tudor to breathe easier, so the holiday décor by floral designer Craig Sole was a perfect fit. “I create floral points of view, not stuff everywhere,” says Sole. The festive trimmings look great but are also functional. The ornaments and baubles on the three-season room’s mantel are non-breakable to contend with gusty winds. A plaid garland draping the staircase allows room to hold onto the railing. Vintage golden glass ornaments hanging from the chandelier amplify its glow.
Historic Italian Renaissance
Trey and Rebecca Bowen took on a Kansas City home with lots of history; designer Zakk Hoyt of The Polished Rake heightened it, borrowing from colonial, Imperial Russian, and Victorian times. The classic blue-and-white furnishings throughout the entertaining spaces get a zing from lemon and orange accents. “We wanted the tour guests to feel like they were at a fabulous party, elegant but with lots of fun touches harkening back to the Pendergast era,” Hoyt says. “We wanted to play off tradition but also feel young, down to the six-foot-tall tulipiere in the front hall.”
Angela Hurt and Hillary Stamper worked with Amyann Kahler of Daylight Mind Design to make their home festive without fuss. “My take on floral design is a much more modern one,” Kahler says. “I use lush green accents—nothing overdone—to keep it simple.” The home’s neutral tones got a judicious punch of color and a little golden glow. In the dining room, Kahler hung glass icicles and evergreen sprigs from the chandelier, filling golden urns with roses and amaryllis in loose, free arrangements on the console. Red table linens, Christmas stockings, and throw pillows provide a simple way to up the holiday ante.
Looking out over Gilham Park, the home of Chris and Tracey Vaeth is like a farmhouse in the city, says floral designer Brian Morley from Bergamot and Ivy Designs. That inspired him to channel It’s a Wonderful Life with traditional Christmas décor with a modern twist. “I use lemon leaf and cedar for garlands,” he says. “They have a wonderful drape and do not drop. The cedar also has a wonderful scent.” In the kitchen, Morley paired amaryllis with red and coral peonies from New Zealand that “look like silk,” he says. Winterberry, an American deciduous holly that sheds its leaves but keeps fantastic red berries, is also a favorite. “Highlight family traditions so that they become touchstones every year,” he advises.