A table decorated for last Saturday's Holiday House Tour. (Photo by Celeste Hardester)

by Pete Mazzaccaro

More than 600 people from around the region were in Chestnut Hill Saturday, Dec. 3, to attend the Chestnut Hill Community Associations annual Holiday House Tour.

Clutching red guidebooks, tour takers travelled between five Chestnut Hill homes, each completely redecorated by 27 individual designers who volunteered their services to remake each house.

“It was fabulous,” said CHCA president Jane Piotrowski, who also led a committee of 17 volunteers who worked for months to organize the tour. “There was lots of energy, new faces  and old faces. It was everything we expected.”

The big attraction is definitely the houses. Chestnut Hill has great architecture, from old stone estates to contemporary homes. Still, Piotrowski said, a big draw to the house tour is the design ideas.

“They go for the design ideas  – they go for architectural ideas,” she said. “What a lot of people did say this year is they saw designs that were doable. They saw things they want to try themselves.”

As the CHCA’s main fundraiser, the house tour’s success is particularly important to the organization. Piotrowski said between very generous support from sponsors, $6,400 in program bok advertising and the ticket sales, the tour brought in more than $20,000.

Money was still being counted Monday morning, and Piotrowski said she fully expected the tour to have brought in the money the CHCA expected.

A lot of the event’s success, Piotrowski said, was the result of strong community support. Between the tour committee, the designers and nearly 100 others who “staff” the houses during the day, nearly 150 people give their time to pull the whole thing off.

And, of course, none of it was possible without the donations of homeowners.

“The group of homeowners were great and gracious,” Piotrowski said. “Every one was fabulous.”

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