by Paula M. Riley
This Saturday marks one of Chestnut Hill’s favorite traditions – the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Holiday House Tour. Tickets are still available for this tour through five Chestnut Hill homes wonderfully decorated for the holiday season.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., guests will view the amazing design work of area florists, garden clubs and interior designers who have pooled their creativity and talents to transform these homes into festive winter wonderlands.
Sponsored by Bowman Properties, Chestnut Hill Hospital, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, and National Penn Bank, the Holiday House Tour raises money to fund the Chestnut Hill Community Association.
Guests will tour a grand Colonial Revival, a secluded Norman Style, a Queen Anne influenced mid-Victorian, and two Civil War-era stone farmhouses. After touring these fabulous homes, they are invited to Woodmere Art Museum for eggnog and refreshments from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Museum’s Founders’ Gallery will be decorated in a Victorian theme as part of Chestnut Hill’s “A Dickens of a Christmas.” There will be a reading featuring excerpts from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol, ” and the Philadelphia Girls’ Choir will perform at 3:30 p.m.
As tour guests explore the five homes on the tour, they are invited to use the Chestnut Hill Community Association Trolley or their own transportation. The Norman Style home is located on one of Chestnut Hill’s grandest avenues and was built in 1923.
With an unusual second story balcony, this stone home has a very distinct look. Its long stone driveway on one side of the property provides a backdrop for extensive gardens.
Inside, guests will be enchanted with the owners’ many collections and interests that are artfully displayed by the homeowner. Most of the holiday designs in this home are the work of the home’s owner.
The Garden Girls and Baked and Styled by Stacy are a few of the artists working on a spacious stone and single house designed using elements from both the Queen Anne and Shingle style.
The two have joined forces to bring a winter wonderland to the kitchen, full of sparkle, sweet treats, snow and nature, with whimsical birdhouses placed throughout the room. The kitchen island will be creatively styled for Santa’s sweet tooth in mind and will be topped off with The Garden Girls version of a Holiday Cake!
The kitchen will be set for a Christmas celebration that will surely delight all ages. With a table featuring Fitz and Floyd white place settings, handcrafted red and green dotted place mats created by The Garden Girls, they will accent the beautiful burlap table runners by Sweet Tea and Linen. These add a bit of whimsy, rustic and elegance.
Glenna Stone Interior Architecture & Design, Beau Fleur, Delia Designs and Lois Duffin Orchids contribute to the designs of this home’s interesting and flexible room arrangements, porches and terraces.
“What is so great about the tour is that visitors will see all types of creations!” said Jane Piotrowski, CHCA president, chair of Holiday House tour committee and a contributing designer. “You never know what you will see as you turn the corner to go into the next room – it’s great fun!”
All tour guests will receive a keepsake guidebook with map and details of the homes and the decorating efforts of the designers, florists and volunteers. On the day of the tour, participants can enjoy lunch, stroll the shops on Germantown Avenue and stay for dinner. Many local restaurants and cafes, located within walking distance of the tour, offer a 10 percent discount with your Holiday House Tour ticket.
Wristbands, programs, and tour maps can be picked up on Saturday at the Christ Ascension Lutheran Church, 8300 Germantown Ave., between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Tickets for the House Tour are $30 for CHCA members and $35 for non-members and can be reserved in advance by calling Noreen Spota at 215-248-8810, or via the Web at chestnuthillorg. Groups of 10 or more will receive a 10 percent discount with advance reservation. Gift certificates are also available