Museum supporters Steve and Ann Bailey getting in the spirit at the cocktail buffet opening this year’s Holiday Homes Tour.
We sure do love looking inside other people’s homes, don’t we?
The smart folks in the Guild of the Knoxville Museum of Art took advantage of that proclivity earlier this month and sold out their 22nd annual Holiday Homes Tour to benefit the museum.
Festivities started at the Sequoyah Hills home of Jim and Melinda Ethier with a candlelight tour and cocktail buffet. That was to get everyone fortified for the next day’s activities — a tour of five homes decorated for the holidays and lunch at Cherokee Country Club.
Some folks opted to start touring the homes at 9 in the morning and ended with the luncheon. My group, however, opted for the more leisurely approach — we started with the lunch and toured the homes in the afternoon. Oh, and we hired a driver to take us on the tour. (I told you it was leisurely!)
Come along and peek inside some fantastic local homes. More than 400 other folks did!
This beautiful mantel at the Ethiers’ would get anyone in the Christmas spirit.
Victoria Daniel-Cape, a co-chair of the Holiday Homes Tour 2016, with the museum’s executive director, David Butler.
The other co-chair was Gail Jarvis, left, here with Sherrie Armstrong. (Personal note: Sherrie and I worked together more than 35 years ago at the Knoxville Journal, which her father owned at the time. It was great seeing her again.)
Homeowner Melinda Ethier, left, and Cathy Hill. The Ethier home was on the tour 13 years ago. It was generous of her to open it again for the cocktail buffet.
Jim Ethier, right, with Harvey White.
The flowers were stunning.
So was the food!
Guests Polly Fisher and Daryl Johnson.
Tom Boyd and Sandi Burdick.
Check out this bedroom. A trademark of interior designer Todd Richesin is to match the fabric on the bed with the pattern on the walls. It definitely is striking.
Another lovely mantel.
Bernie and Barbara Bernstein.
Kent and Susan Farris.
Jane Creed, left, and Linda Raulston.
Jan Crawford, left, and Becky Benedict.
Bobby Brown, left, and Scott Daniel.
It was a packed and festive start to a great event.
Time to go home to rest up for the following day!
I don’t think you could have shoe-horned another table in to the ballroom at Cherokee Country Club for lunch.
Executive Chef David Pinckney even managed to make the salad look like Christmas!
The chicken was fork-tender. Everyone raved about the cabbage.
The passed dessert plate had something for every taste.
Our first tour stop was in the Farragut neighborhood of Berkeley Park at the home of a physician and a hospital administrator. (Tour organizers asked that we not use homeowners’ names and addresses.)
I love a decorated chandelier!
Beautiful place settings.
I have never seen a chair quite like this.
Here’s the mantel treatment.
My friend Dawn Ford beside the Christmas tree.
One of my favorite features was the sunken soaking tub.
With everything needed for a relaxing dip.
A soothing master bedroom.
And guest room.
Loved the spacious kitchen.
Here’s a creative way to block off a portion of the house from visitors!
All the homes on the tour featured beautiful outdoor living spaces.
And water features.
Next stop was the Rudder Lane home of an executive of one of Knoxville’s preeminent companies and his wife.
Love the cows!
And the kitchen. (That’s Sylvia Peters taking a gander.)
Very serene sitting area.
Minimalist — and modern — mantel decor.
Here’s another mantel.
Beautiful winter flowers.
Barbara Apking, left, was the chair of the Homes Selection Committee. Big job. With her is Nazzy Hashemian.
Cool man cave.
Love the pool table. And the art. And the lights.
When I say there were “fur trees,” it is not a misspelling!
Sara Rose, left, visiting with Maribel Koella.
Here’s the wonderful outdoor kitchen.
And the pretty pool.
As we were leaving we ran into Carol Coode. Her trunk was full of coat hangers used for coats at the cocktail buffet the previous night. Carol was on the Home Selection Committee, as well.
Next stop: Duncan Road and the 8,800-square-foot home of an orthodontist and his avid museum supporter wife. We paused outside to put on our booties.
Hands down, the best thing about this house? The view. You can see the Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River.
Here’s the all-you-could-ask-for kitchen!
Comfortable living room.
Lovely guest room.
Love the dog motif in this guest room.
Cool sleepy Santa.
Awww. Snowman made from a chenille bedspread.
Outdoor summer kitchen must be awesome in the warm weather.
Harriett Hodge is secretary of the Guild.
Next up: Craigland Court. This was special for my group because one of our members, Sara Fortune Rose, used to live in this home and we all had been in it before. We wanted to see the changes and we loved them.
Very clever way to store firewood!
The kitchen had been expanded.
Here’s the main Christmas tree.
Here’s Sara, left, talking to Barbara Bernstein in front of the aptly decorated bar.
This must be this year’s trend. Another glittering reindeer and a fur tree.
Festive outdoor fireplace.
For outdoor cooking.
Last stop was on Hayslope in Westmoreland Hills.
A festive welcome!
I adore nutcrackers!
A pig in the kitchen!
Pretty table setting.
Restful guest bedroom.
Elizabeth Offringa, left, with Barbara Furlong.
Love, love, love this home’s outdoor living space.
The owners of this last home are friends of ours, and we found ourselves at a Christmas party there a few days later. “What was the house like after 400 people traipsed through it?” I asked the hostess. “You couldn’t tell anyone had even been inside it,” she replied. What a testament to the organizers!
Here’s our crew at the end of the fun day. From left, Sara Rose, Dawn Ford, Madge Cleveland and our friendly (and helpful) driver, Greg Phipps.