28th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes looks at holiday style

WASHINGTON -- When Rachel Quigley first moved into her home at 850 S. Marion Ave., she knew it would need a lot of work before it was up to her standards.

She said the wallpaper was dated, the decor was not in her color scheme and it would need a complete makeover to fit her style. After eight years, she’s accomplished just that.

Quigley’s home was one of seven featured in the 28th Annual Candelight Tour of Homes hosted by the Washington Chamber.

For her first year on the tour of homes, Quigley had her home decorated in shades of white, red and black, even matching the color scheme with a holiday shirt and black glasses. Quigley said she’d always wanted to participate and now that she’s selling her home, she knew this would be her last chance.

She said she was excited to do the tour because it would offer her a chance to make people feel warm and welcome during the holidays.

“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all of the craziness of Christmas, it’s just nice to go and see lights and decorations and see how people live,” she said. “The houses on the tour this year are all very different; everyone has different styles and I like to see how people live.”

Over at 1111 S. 3rd Ave., Bernice Darby has a unique decorating style of her own. Her midcentury modern style home is decorated in her favorite color- blue. From the white and blue accent furniture to the white and blue Christmas tree, Darby has now decorated her home in her favorite color.

She has never featured her home before but said this year felt like the right time to do it because she recently finished rebuilding after a fire nearly three years ago. She said getting people into her home and showcasing her style has been rewarding because people are not only interested in her decor, but how she’s coping after the fire as well.

“I just thought it would be fun,” she said. “A lot of people are interested in how am I getting along, and that’s doing OK.”

Linda and Don Messer, at 914 S. 12th Ave., opted for the other side of the color spectrum and have their home decorated in shades of white, red and hunter green. Their home was decked out with Christmas trees and plaids to accent the outdoorsy theme they were aiming for.

While it took the Messers only two days to prepare, Heather Lucas, at 621 S. 2nd Ave has been decorating her home for two months.

Lucas’ home is all decorated in shades of pink and blue and features antiques all over the home from the ornaments to the napkin rings on the table. Lucas was volunteered to be part of the tour by her sister, but said she was glad she did it.

“I’m the type of person, that if you have pretty things and unique things, I like to share them more so than hide them and not let anybody see them,” she said.

Pretty and unique to the area are the newly constructed Pennsylvania Townhomes on Third Ave. Jenny Morgan, from Elliot Realty, said the chance to show off the home came just at the right time.

“It brings people together for the holidays and it’s something new and different to the area,” she said.

Also new and different is the new apartment space above Knee Deep Solutions, at 208 S. Marion Ave. Husband and wife duo, Rachel and Troy Rinner, have renovated the space above their office in hopes to turn it into an Air B&B. They have yet to put the space on the market, but thought opening up the space for the holiday would be great exposure as well as a fun experience.

“We wanted to showcase the space and show how different it looks from when we bought it a few years ago,” she said.

Across the square, Leslie Allender, owner of Re-purpose It, at 107 W. Second St., has made a business around making things look different from their original form. Allender opened her shop as part of the tour and allowed customers to come inside and take a look around as well as try out some crafts of their own.

She said she was excited to take part because it allowed for a social opportunity as well as a community building experience in that people are encouraged to walk around and get to know other people as well as gather ideas.

“I think it’s important, especially through the holiday season, to support the local community in different ways,” she said. “Local shopping, as well as getting great ideas when you go into other people’s homes for decorating.”