Beth­le­hem Gar­den Club’s Art­ful House Tour

The Morning Call (Sunday) - - GO GUIDE - By By Jen­nifer Maran­gos

In many ways, the magic of the Christ­mas sea­son is about mak­ing the seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble pos­si­ble and that’s the premise of a hol­i­day house tour hosted by the Beth­le­hem Gar­den Club Dec. 9.

Called “An Art­ful Christ­mas House Tour,” the event will fea­ture the homes of six club mem­bers who will of­fer their vi­sion of an art­ful Christ­mas.

The homes on the tour are as var­ied as the nearly 200 mem­bers of the gar­den club, and their di­ver­sity is meant to in­spire the av­er­age elves among us for the art­ful po­ten­tial in ev­ery home, says Nancy Cald­well, gar­den club pub­lic­ity chair­woman.

“These are not all big fancy man­sions,” she says. “Or­di­nary peo­ple can do a lot with dec­o­ra­tions with­out over-the-top ex­penses.”

This is the first time the club has hosted a house tour in about 24 years, Cald­well says. The time seemed right to bring it back, in­clud­ing the fact that there aren’t any com­pet­ing house tours hap­pen­ing in Beth­le­hem this hol­i­day sea­son.

The club tends to run one large fundrais­ing event a year such as a gar­den tour

and a flower show at the Ho­tel Beth­le­hem.

“The mem­bers were pretty gung-ho about [do­ing this],” Cald­well says of the house tour. “We did it years and years ago and it was a big suc­cess.”

The Beth­le­hem Gar­den Club, founded in 1931, is about much more than prize-win­ning roses and per­fectly man­i­cured lawns.

The house tour will show­case the di­verse tal­ents of the club’s mem­bers. Tour-go­ers will see the art of ar­chi­tec­ture, fine art, culi­nary arts, art­ful needle­work and en­gag­ing photography with stun­ning ta­ble set­tings, beau­ti­fully wrapped pack­ages and fab­u­lous Christ­mas trees.

The homes range from a sin­gle-fam­ily ranch house, built in 1983, to a three-story Arts and Crafts town­home built in 1917.

The ranch fea­tures a newly ren­o­vated con­tem­po­rary kitchen that will be dec­o­rated with play­ful snow­man-themed ta­ble set­tings and co­or­di­nated flo­ral ar­range­ments. A white tree with sil­ver and gray or­na­ments is the focal point of the large con­tem­po­rary fam­ily area and echoes its decor. The space will be adorned with hand­dec­o­rated gift pack­ages, show­cas­ing gar­den club mem­bers’ artis­tic crafts ex­per­tise.

The town­home, in the beau­ti­ful tree-lined neigh­bor­hood known as Edge­boro, fea­tures ex­pan­sive front porch and an arched chest­nut wood door. De­signed by an ar­chi­tect for his own res­i­dence, it has unique crafts­man­ship with deep crown mold­ing and orig­i­nal hard­ware through­out the home. The hol­i­day decor ac­cen­tu­ates the home’s nat­u­ral wood, stucco, stone and slate.

Gar­den Club mem­ber Anne Chiadis is a home-tour vet­eran and of­fered her home as a stop on the last tour. “I was on it back then, so I kind of knew the ropes,” Chiadis says.

Chiadis’ home, at 4416 Tracey Lane, is a large tra­di­tional home that has as its cen­ter a Mor­ris Black de­signed kitchen. The two-story foyer stair­case stun­ningly sets the Christ­mas spirit through­out the home, dec­o­rated with gar­land and turquoise Christ­mas or­na­ments. The sun­room fea­tures a Vic­to­rian tree dec­o­rated with rib­bons and fresh flow­ers — the ta­ble set­tings and flo­ral ar­range­ments in the room re­flect the col­ors of the tree.

Chiadis is pas­sion­ate about the artistry be­ing fea­tured on the tour, with her per­sonal spe­cial­ties be­ing ta­ble set­ting de­sign and cook­ing.Baked goods show­cas­ing the culi­nary skills of club mem­bers will be for sale in her home. There also will be some sweet treats made from recipes from her self-pub­lished cof­fee ta­ble book, “In­spired at Home with Anne,” in­clud­ing three kinds of cup­cakes and pump­kin rolls.

Chiadis’ book will be for sale dur­ing the tour and she will donate por­tion of the $60 cover price to the gar­den club. Chiadis says it is her first book, and that she has been work­ing on it for about eight years.

“Twenty-five years ago, I was go­ing to write a cook­book,” Chiadis says. “I have a de­gree in in­te­rior de­sign. I went to cook­ing school. I de­cided to com­bine all of my pas­sions to­gether in one book. It’s not just a cook­book.”

Book lovers with an in­ter­est in the types of artistry the tour high­lights can also pur­chase at Chiadis’ tour stop gen­tly used home and gar­den books do­nated by gar­den club mem­bers. There are about 30 and they will sell for $3 each.

The Ke­merer Mu­seum of Dec­o­ra­tive Arts, a mu­seum housed in three 19th cen­tury homes and op­er­ated by His­toric Beth­le­hem, is part of the Smith­so­nian, is also a tour stop. There, tour-go­ers can see Christ­mas trees dec­o­rated by gar­den club mem­bers.

In 2013, Beth­le­hem Gar­den Club be­gan dec­o­rat­ing for Christ­mas at the Ke­merer Mu­seum and other His­toric Beth­le­hem sites, in­clud­ing the 1810 Goundie House, Mo­ra­vian Mu­seum and Sin­gle Sis­ters House. The an­nual “Trees of His­toric Beth­le­hem” ex­hibit this year fea­tures tree dec­o­ra­tions in­spired by a piece of art from the His­toric Beth­le­hem col­lec­tion.

DAVID GAR­RETT/ SPE­CIAL TO THE CALL

Beth­le­hem Gar­denClub mem­ber Anne Chiadis with a dis­play of hand-blown glass in her home, one of six on the club's ‘Art­ful Christ­mas' house tour Dec. 9.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

A man­tel with white flocked trees be­low a Pol­ish por­trait by Al­bert Burns of home­owner Kathryn Klein in 1956 is among the dec­o­rat­ing de­tails you will see in the home in the Old Edge­boro sec­tion of Beth­le­hem.

DAVID GAR­RETT/SPE­CIAL TO THE MORN­ING CALL

Anne Chiadis’ home has art­ful dec­o­ra­tions ev­ery­where. The ta­ble set­tings and flo­ral ar­range­ments re­flect the col­ors in the tree.

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