Holiday Homes Tour hypnotizes!

I loved the dining room of this fabulous home in west Knoxville.

I don’t know why we enjoy looking in other people’s homes so much. But, we sure do! The Knoxville Museum of Art took advantage of that and, in just two days, sold out its annual Holiday Homes Tour. For the 24th year in a row.

I hired a driver, grabbed a friend, threw some refreshments in a cooler and hit the trail! We toured five fantastic homes, enjoyed lunch at Cherokee Country Club and had a blast. So did 440 other folks.

Congrats to the event’s chair, Mimi Turner, and to the home selection committee: Barbara Apking, Carol Coode and Susan Hawthorne. Great job, everybody.

Here’s a recap of the fun day.

First, there were a few rules. The organizers didn’t want folks posting photos on social media while the tour was taking place to keep others from crashing the tour. They allowed me to take photos for this blog post with two caveats: I could not name the owners of the homes, and I could not publish the addresses. Seemed reasonable to me.

We started far, far west — almost to Farragut — with what would turn out to be the most ornately decorated house on the tour.


This sun room was amazing. It was a recent addition to the house. The ceiling is wallpapered, made to look like you are under a tent!

We ran into these three chipper folks there. From left, Sharon Laing, Todd Richesin and Bette Bryan.

Is there actually a tree under there?

Loved the Mighty Wurlitzer ornament!

Gay Lyons, left, my traveling companion, with Elizabeth Offringa, a KMA Guild volunteer, in the master bedroom.

Everywhere your eyes fell, there would be something delightful.

Bobby Brown chuckled as he posed by this sign!

Haha. Holiday tea towel hanging on the stove.


We all agreed that the new garage was bigger and nicer than many downtown condos! From left, Vernon Henry, Jessica Legg, Sheena McCall and Frank Mormon.

Vernon joked that “Fiat” stands for “Fix It Again, Tony!” Beside it was a beautiful
BMW. “Bring Money With!” Vernon laughed.

As visually exciting as the first house was, the second, also located far, far west, was calm and serene.

I’d have to say the beautiful view — even in the overcast weather — is a major selling point.

Charming outside table for coffee in the morning or wine in the evening.

The homeowner asked that photos of the home’s interior not be published.

As we left, we passed Cathy Hill booting up!

Even the car was in the holiday spirit!

In no time at all, we headed to Cherokee Country Club for lunch by one of my favorite chefs, David Pinckney.

Frances Hall, left, and Sylvia Peters were browsing the silent auction when we arrived.

Stevens Koella, left, and Mimi Turner.

Judith Foltz, right, was there with her daughter, Erin Bagwell.

Karen Mann, left, and Sandi Burdick.

Gay and her daughter, Liz Lyons. Liz was shooting photos for VIP Knoxville magazine, where Gay is the editor.

I kept raising the bid on this beautiful painting by Knoxville artist Melanie Wood. Someone ultimately outbid me, but I did do my part to run up the price!

I loved Rusha Sams’ wreath earrings!

Vandi Bellamy, left, and Anne Anderson.

Susan Hyde and David Butler, executive director of the Knoxville Museum of Art.

From left, Sandy Lucas, Mimi Turner and Jackie Wilson.

Lunch was boursin-stuffed chicken that was so tender you could cut it with a fork.

I swear I only ate one bite of the pecan pie! (But it was a delicious bite!)

These fun ladies were at the same table as Gay and me. From left, Sharon Brenner, Ann King and Nazzy Hashemian.

Pat Rutenberg, left, and Mary Morris were there, too.

As were, Marga McBride, left, and Debbie Jones.

It was fun seeing Brittany Bailey, left, and Annie Colquitt.

Kristine Dunaway, Carissa Dunaway and Lindsay Cates were ready to get back to the houses!

Pat Medley took home one of the pretty centerpieces.

So did Karen McKinney. With her is a Knoxville newcomer, Charlotte Wood.

Also ready to get back to the tour were, from left, Mary Morris, Linda Haynes, Jan Crawford and Addie McGovern.

The next house was close by, in Sequoyah Hills.

A welcoming front door.

Home to young parents of two children, it is just magical. Here’s the charming dining room. Don’t you love the casual vibe?

I adored the sunroom. (So did Gay.)

Master bedroom.

A guest bedroom.

We ran into Bob and Marie Alcorn there.

And Michelle Hardin with her mother, Dortha.

Here was a Christmas tree where you could actually see the tree!

I spotted an ornament like one we have — the Tennessee Governor’s residence!

Maggie Erickson, visiting from Atlanta, made use of the measuring wall.

Out the window, was a sweet playhouse designed by a friend of mine, Sara Hedstrom.

And, in the downstairs, a rocket ship!

And this fanciful chifferobe!

Is this bear ottoman not the cutest thing?

“Don’t you think this is a house where Peter Pan might actually come?” asked Mimi Turner. For sure.

Next up, very close by, was another stunner, but I’m not sure anyone actually lives in it. See what you think.

Jon Brock, left and Lofton Stuart greeted everyone.

Loved the back porch.

Especially this swing!

Pool was stunning.

The living room just doesn’t looked lived in. But it’s lovely.

It seems that if someone lived here, there would be something beneath that chandelier to keep folks from bumping their heads!

A second master bedroom.

Picture perfect kitchen.

Small dining area.

Cozy den.

The bunk room upstairs.

My friend Cathy Briscoe-Graves taking a break.

There were a bunch of shoes in one of the closets, but, I don’t know. They could have been staged. What do you think?

Just a few doors down was this amazing place! That’s its dining room at the top of this blog post.

The beautifully decorated door welcomed guests.

The living room was a knockout!

Here’s another view. That’s Dena Morton having a look.



Master bedroom.

Fabulous bathroom.

Guest room.

Pool out back.

We decided to take a peek into the pool house.


Back in the big house, these ladies were showing folks around. From left, Sherrie Armstrong, Theresa Moore and Marsha Grieve.

Here’s the pretty girl’s room.

So, there you have it. Another wonderful Holiday Homes Tour. I can’t wait to see what the 2019 version has in store!


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4 Responses to Holiday Homes Tour hypnotizes!

  1. Gay Lyons, on December 23rd, 2018 at 6:01 pm said:

    Cynthia, thanks so much for inviting me to be your traveling companion. It was a blast. I say ditto to everything you’ve said (including kudos for the delicious lunch)–we saw SO many friends throughout the day. Regarding the house that may or may not have been inhabited: it was certainly beautifully done, but as I learned from seeing the handiwork of my friend Chris McKenry, closets can be staged as easily as rooms. Loved the other houses for different reasons: beautiful over the top decor at one, gorgeous site & architecture–and master bath & tub to die for–at one, the sweet home with children’s rooms at one, & the one with the turret. I have always wanted a turret. Pretty sure the HOA guidelines at Kendrick Place prevent the addition of a turret, but I might just have been able to get Kristopher on board for it.

  2. Merrill Ammons, on December 24th, 2018 at 9:05 am said:

    Thank you for the wonderful photos. I started this event 25 years ago as a new fundraiser for the guild. Did the first two years myself. Such a great event! Glad it has grown so!

  3. Monique Anderson, on December 26th, 2018 at 7:27 am said:

    Looks like a lot of fun. Beautiful homes.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on December 27th, 2018 at 9:57 am said:

    Gay: Glad you could come along. I agree with you about the turret. I think Kristopher would have loved to have one!

    Hey, Merrill: Well, congrats on getting a good thing started!

    Monique: You should try to come next year!

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