‘Tis the Season: Seventy Years of a Kansas City Tradition

Soon it will once again be time for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour. And our gift to you is an insider’s look at these fabulous homes from the 2021 tour, decked out in holiday finery by some of Kansas City’s most creative floral designers. Last year’s tour represented 70 years of a classic Kansas City holiday tradition, which was especially appreciated after the cancellation of the 2020 tour because of the pandemic. Enjoy these memories from last year, and plan on joining the tour again this year to visit four more magnificent homes celebrating the holidays.

Ring in the New

In the Walden’s foyer, the scale of the decorations matches the scale of the space. All photos by Aaron Leimkuehler

Florist Craig Sole of Craig Sole Designs was delighted to prepare Chasitie and Mike Walden’s new home for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour. He had worked with Chasitie and her family before and admired the hand-painted wallpaper in the living room of their new home. He thought it was important that the decoration didn’t fight the décor.

“We kept color out of the tree and the decorations in the hall, and relied on silver, gold, and some sparkle,” Sole says.

The bold pink music room was complete with green wreaths as well, but Sole and Walden turned up the heat in the kitchen.

“We elevated the red feather tree with a clear truffle bowl, which we turned upside down. It places the tree at just the right spot within the clear pendants.”

The red wreath in the window just beyond provides the perfect punctuation.

Left: The music room features both classic (the wreaths) and whimsical (the papier mache tree) holiday decor. Right: A bold red feather tree reaches for the ceiling.

Green and Serene

Left: Bold pops of red in the stockings and the Christmas ornaments punch up this neutral space. Right: Giant red lollipops mingle with more traditional Christmas tree decor, including striped ornaments and candy canes.

Wild Hill Flowers and Events in Spring Hill, Kansas, is a go-to resource for events and weddings. While owner Jenni Koch is comfortable and confident in creating wedding bouquets with bold colors, she chose a palette heavy on evergreen and neutrals for the home of Janet and Gary Hall.

The crisp, white woodwork of the front hall received an exuberant garland of evergreens. If ever there was an argument for garland of fresh greens over artificial, this is it. A tablescape of classic tabletop trees and gleaming votives sets the mood.

In the family room, Koch used fresh garland on the fireplace and wreaths on the windows but introduced the classic Christmas dash of red with stockings by the fire and ornaments on the tree. A tree in another part of the house takes red a little further with striped ball ornaments and a spirited tree topper. A spritely elf is on hand to assist with decoration. The striped packages wrapped up with string express homespun comfort that balances excess with restraint.

Left: The Hall’s breakfast room is lush with greenery, including a crown of interwoven evergreens and eucalyptus on the chandelier. Right: A collection of metallic-hued trees is displayed on a console table by the open staircase.

Second Time is a Charm

Top: A riot of color and whimsy envelops John Schuppan’s kitchen/family room, including a trio of intertwined gilt branches. Bottom, left: The blue, teal, and gold ornaments clustered on the main Christmas tree in the living room continue across the fireplace garland. Bottom, right: In the dining room, the fresh white roses and orchids in the centerpiece are accented with blue details that pick up the blue hues throughout the space.

John Schuppan is a regular client of Studio Dan Meiners, and last year he generously offered his home for the second time to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour. While his Tudor home is stately, Schuppan is not stiff or formal. Completely trusting the Meiners team, he left the design to them.

“John has such a laid-back demeanor,” Rory Welsh of Studio Dan Meiners says. “He let us have full design freedom.”

The Meiners’s team focused on making sure that each room has its own feel, so the house is rich in inspiration. In addition, they rely on a lot of Christmas trees.

“People go on the tour to be inspired and get ideas for their own home,” Welsh says. “And we want to deliver. We like to use design ideas that people will talk about, such as deer heads hanging from sconces or penguins in wreaths.”

About the Tour

Since 1951, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour has transported us to a winter wonderland where all is merry and bright. This year, from December 7 through 8, Kansas City’s top florists and designers will show us how to put a little holiday spirit in every room.