Dianne Wood is an interior decorator.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The mantel in the parlor in the home of Tom and Diane Wood is decorated with a cedar-and-pine garland and Christmas ornaments.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Tom Wood is one of Thomson's premier home builders.
The two have combined their talents in their own home, which is now the backdrop for their elegant holiday decorations and is sure to be one of the highlights on Thomson-McDuffie County's Candlelight Tour of Homes.
The couple's 4,000-square-foot home on Creek Side Drive in Belle Meade will be one of six featured on the tour, which will be held Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Other stops on the tour include the homes of Charles and Tammy Kay Brunson, Gene and Mary Sherrer, Lynn and Martha Reeves, Butch and Judy Whiddon and the historic Bowden Johnson House.
Mr. Wood, who is the owner of Kenwood Construction, designed and built the one-story, West-coast-style stucco house in 1998. The home features an open floor plan with oak floors throughout the main living area. It has three bedrooms and three and a half baths, with his and hers separate home offices.
Mr. Wood has a hand in the holiday decorating, too. The 12-foot Christmas tree on the terrace outside of the window of the dining room is his responsibility.
"It's positioned so that when you come through the foyer, that's a focal point. It brings the outside in and gives you a Christmas tree in that room that would really like to have in there," Mrs. Wood said.
Mrs. Wood is partners with Bonnie McCorkle at Peacock Hill interiors, gifts and floral shop in Thomson, and she has supplied her talents as a florist to create some of the beautiful holiday mantel displays, one of the decorated trees and many of the floral arrangements in the home.
Mrs. Wood's love of the harlequin theme is expressed throughout, particularly in the foyer, the dining room and in the dazzling mantel display in the parlor.
Because there is not room in the parlor for a real tree, the mantel is given the full treatment, including lights and clusters of jewel colored ornaments. The garland, which drapes across the mantel and puddles on the floor, is a mix of artificial cedar and three different pine garlands intertwined with iced garland inserted throughout. Two large brass candlesticks flank both sides of the mantel, with three harlequin figurines in the center.
The library table in the foyer sets the harlequin theme with three graduated Norfolk pine trees - their bases wrapped in jewel-toned crushed velvet and tied with gold cord - decorated with harlequin ornaments and figurines.
The foyer opens into the red dining room which is the perfect canvas to continue the colorful theme. The pillars on each side are wrapped with garland and decorated.
The table-top centerpiece is an imaginative stack of cream-colored Italian vases stuffed with natural elements such as moss and topped with a natural topiary. The table settings start with a mirrored placemat at each setting, which is topped with a gold charger, then the red and gold rimmed fine china. Each place has a whimsical "frog prince" placecard holder and there are brightly wrapped gift boxes atop each setting.
On the den's mantel, a carpet of real moss is the foundation for the arrangement of dried hydrangeas and pheasant feathers. Two tall twig topiaries flank each side of the display. Three garden elves add a touch of whimsy.
"They just look like they are having fun and that's what life's all about," Mrs. Wood said. "I like the traditional, but I like the fun things, too."
But it's the traditional elements of her decor that sets the house apart from the ordinary and brings insight into the couple's personalities.
The Christmas tree in the master bedroom is decorated with family ornaments, such as ones their two children made, and the silver bells they gave to son, Al, when he was a child.
Al died in 1994 but Mrs. Wood can remember him when she pulls out the many santas that he gave her. On the mantel in the master bedroom, she displays and array of frolicking angels, most gifts from her daughter, Pam.
"It's not a designer tree," Mrs. Wood said of the Christmas tree in her bedroom. "It's not anything were anyone would go 'wow!'. It's a memory tree. It's necessary. Each year just going through these things it's like finding a present, a special gift."
Thomson-McDuffie County's Candlelight Tour of Homes
The event will be Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.
Members of the Thomson Junior Woman's Club will serve as hostesses in the homes, which will feature the homeowner's holiday decorations.
Proceeds from the event will be earmarked for the restoration of Thomson's historic depot. Tickets for the semiannual event cost $12 in advance, or $15 the day of the tour and are available at the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce office, Lovelace Jewelry and Peacock Hills. Shuttle transportation is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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