The 19th century Victoria Mansion in Portland is decorated from top to bottom for the holidays. Follow CBS 13’s Kim Block on a video tour of the elaborate spaces.
The designer here in the reception room has been decorating at the mansion for 16 years. The challenge here is that the room is still undergoing some conservation work, the carpet and gasolier are still being restored.
So it took a bit of a delicate touch. Danny Hatt of Emerald City says they wanted to think “outside the box,” which led them to actual boxes. The color theme in the room also inspired the display.
“So there’s a lot of pink in this room and that’s why we decided to bring that out,” Hatt said. “It’s a color that works great in here. We just wanted to do something unique and outside of the box, and that’s why we came up with this idea of creating the box tree.”
Emerald City also did the grand stairwell this year. You can see the Christmas present box theme carried over in that spectacular, magical centerpiece of the house.
This year the decorators of the Victoria Mansion aimed to decorate through the eyes of children.
The parlor is the largest room on the first floor, and a place where family and friends would gather.
The room is decorated by Dan Kennedy from Harmon’s Flower Company for the 26th year in a row.
Kennedy and his crew say it’s an honor to be a part of the celebration at the mansion, which he calls a real gift to the community.
Their research on a Christmas through a child’s eyes in the Victorian era led them to what a child might see in this room, pearls and crystals and bright shining objects.
“We’ve got about 125 yards of pearls, we’ve got over 700 ornaments and I don’t know how many yards of fabric and crystals so just a lot of really fun, unique items, but we really wanted to get that elegant, opulent look,” Kennedy said.
For a bit of a whimsical look, Harmon’s popped in some floating icicles to give the room some movement.
And all while being very careful not to damage or scratch any of the delicate furnishings and paintings in the room.
The dining room is set for a Christmas feast, with Dodge Florist doing the honors for the ninth year.
In keeping with the theme of “Christmas through a child’s eyes,” Gail Diamon says she talked to some modern-day children about their favorite Christmas memories, and imagined they were similar in the Victorian era.
“It was always the process of doing something, like decorating cookies, or making ornaments, or wrapping presents, so that’s kind of my inspiration,” Harmon said. “Everything we’ve made here, we make most all of our ornaments because we wanted to do it authentic.”
That includes the “nutcrackers,” using materials from the shop. The hat on one is made out of plant pot.
Diamon says she always loved coming to the mansion in earlier years, and is delighted to be a part of the Christmas magic.
A mother and daughter team decorated a room for the first time at the mansion this year, the green bedroom upstairs.
Caroline and Meredith Davis of “Mimi and Mum” say this time of year has a lot of people, children and adults, reflecting on how they’ve behaved during the year, to hopefully stay on Santa’s good side. They say the room lends itself to a bit of darker theme.
“The seasons depicted on the ceilings so we decided to kind of go with that given that the room’s kind of darker than the others and doesn’t have a lot of mural work like the others, so we decided to go with a naughty versus nice theme,” Meredith Davis said. “It’s kind of a Victorian era thing.”
Hopefully everyone makes the “nice” list. Or you could sleep across the hall, in the red bedroom, which has a much sweeter candy theme.
The designer for the sitting room is in her third year decorating at the mansion.
Karen Cole says the first two years she focused more on a visual display. She hopes this year’s design is more of an experience.
She says she changed her original plan of piling presents under a tree for children to enjoy, and decided to go in a different direction.
“And then I thought actually it might be nice to instead remind people of what the real meaning of Christmas was supposed to be about,” Cole said. “So I put the baby Jesus under the tree to hopefully remind people that it’s about a present, instead of presents.”
Cole says she loves the camaraderie of decorating with the other designers at the mansion.
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