Woodbury visitors and locals have the rare opportunity to go inside and explore some of the notable homes in town, thanks to the Woman's Club of Woodbury's Holiday House Tour.
The homes will all be decorated for the holidays, making it a perfect event to start the holiday season. Homes may be viewed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, with a snow date of Sunday, Dec. 11.
A preview party at the Designer Showcase House will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday Dec. 9, the evening before the tour.
Tickets for the preview party are $50 and include tickets to the Saturday house tour. All tickets are on sale now at , , , and in Woodbury; at , and in Southbury; at in Oxford; and at Ethan Allen in Canton.
Preview party ticket-holders will stroll through the beautifully decorated rooms of this 19th century Greek revival rectory, meeting the designers and enjoying wine, hors d’oeuvres and Christmas music.
Raffle tickets will be available for prizes which include:
- Wine Basket from Walker Road Vineyards
- Maple Cutting Board from Planche de Paris
- Gift Certificate for a stay at
- Catered brunch in your own home by Duncan Stephens
- Organizing/Clutter Clearing Session by Top Results Coach Maureen Moreau
- Gift Certificate from
- Handcrafted treasure from
- Gift Certificate from The Pewter Factory
- Homemade Pies from The Irresistible Pleasant Street Pie Company
- Gift Certificate from Sky Nails
The house tour is not only a chance to go inside beautiful homes that have rich histories, it also a way to help those in need.
The tour benefits local charities such as the Woodbury Scholarship Fund and the community and fuel bank.
Five houses will be included on the tour and the main home on display is the Designer Showcase House. Eileen Denver of the Woman's Club of Woodbury provided the following information on the homes.
The Designer Showcase House
The Designer Showcase House is the old St. Paul's Rectory, a Greek Revival home on Main Street South.
The home was built in 1838 for St. Paul’s Church across the street and is registered as a National Historic House. The rooms will feature the work of 11 area designers from Middlebury, Southbury and Woodbury.
Designers, artisans, and others transformed the home into a showplace.
"Visitors will walk through the rectory’s wreath-bedecked entry into a series of beautifully designed rooms that will provide a wonderland of design ideas," said Kate Valentine, chair of the tour.
Good Hill Road House
Another one of the homes included in the tour was built in 1962 and is on Good Hill Road.
The saltbox house was built almost 50 years ago and in the style of popular mid-century architect Royal Barry Wills whose home designs, books, and articles helped to popularize the Colonial Revival Movement. The house is filled with long kept family furniture and keepsakes.
Where "Sleigh Ride" Was Composed
One of the homes is where composer Leroy Anderson composed some of his most popular orchestral pieces, such as "Sleigh Ride," a winter weather favorite he created during a July heat wave. He lived there with his wife Eleanor and their children.
The home has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register nomination states: "When Leroy Anderson sat down at his Steinway concert grand piano, and friends gathered by the elegant hearth, this gracious, uncluttered space was transformed into an intimate music salon. The family still uses the room in the same way."
The home is set on a picturesque sweep of lawn and woods. Designed by Waterbury’s Joseph Stein, noted architect of the Waterbury Club and of the addition to the Silas Bronson Library, the house features modernist furniture, burnished colors and mementos of the composer. It centers on a living room where a grand piano takes center stage in front of a wall of windows. Anderson, who composed "Sleigh Ride," "Syncopated Clock" and "Blue Tango," is the pride of Woodbury.
A gracious Tudor-style home owned by Linda Barr-Gale and Patrick Farrell is filled with handsome antique and reproduction furniture, many pieces with a Scandinavian feel.
In many rooms, inviting bay windows with window seats let in floods of light.
The sunny family room and nearby breakfast room are done in what Barr-Gale called "French country furniture and patterns -- stripes upon stripes, with a bit of English Country thrown in."
The family room, done in shades of light green with peach touches, has an imposing painted hutch from Bernhardt furniture’s Martha Stewart collection and two light-wood bombe chests from Ethan Allen.
The room’s tall windows look out on the woods behind the house and also on a garden patio and a little cottage Linda called "our pretty English Summerhouse," used for reading and lounging on warm days.
The large, light-filled kitchen has cream-painted custom-made Bertch cabinetry, a professional-grade Wolf stove and a big marble-topped work island from Martha Stewart. It, too, looks out on the patio and the summerhouse.
An inviting tea service on a tray is set out in the bright library, which is crammed with books, cozy seating, and family mementos.
Upstairs, the serene, gently colorful bedrooms feature beautiful bed linens and quilts. The gorgeous kitchen looks out on a garden patio and a lovely English summerhouse for reading and lounging on warm days.
Set beside a lovely pond, this 11-year old home looks like it was built 200 years ago. Inside, handsome antiques and carefully chosen reproduction furniture continue the wonderful illusion.
Lillian and Paul Beaver's home, on property called Whipstick Farm, is truly warm and welcoming. Filled with colorful pieces and artwork, and with books and decorative items scattered about, it invites guests to sit somewhere comfortably and read, or just contemplate the pretty views through the many-paned windows.
The home was designed and built in the Williamsburg style by the owners, who had previously raised their family in a large, very old home and wanted to build a smaller house that looked and felt old. They worked with local architect Rick Moisan to build this dream home.
The room's soft colors and old or reproduction furniture suits the Colonial Williamsburg feel of the home, said Beavers. The room is open to the dining room and kitchen beyond.
"I wanted an old-looking house, but I wanted the interior to be less boxy than in a really old house," said Beavers. "It had to have large rooms with good flow -- and lots of closet space, by the way. This house gives us that."
This quaint, rambling saltbox is a visual feast, filled with lovely old family furniture and mementos, and all decked out for Christmas.
The warm, welcoming home abounds in framed artworks, interesting decorative touches, and in particular, the striking crewel-work pieces done by homeowner Peter Perkinson's mother, Virginia Perkinson, who was an active member of the Woodbury community and of the Woman’s Club of Woodbury for years.
Built in 1962 in the style of the wildly popular mid-century architect Royal Barry Wills, the Cape Cod Revival house features 12 over 12 windows in most rooms, and in the living room a large multi-paned window looking out over the pleasant grounds.
A handsome dining room features a Duncan Phyfe style table, crewel-work cornices, an antique corner cupboard, a beautiful still life on one wall and overhead, beams from an old barn.
The dining room is a step back in time, with a wood-beamed ceiling, random-width pegged floor and granite raised-hearth fireplace set off by painted beaded paneling and wainscoting.
The pedestal dining room table is mahogany with claw and ball legs. The dining chairs are reproductions of Chippendale Gothic Splat chairs.
The originals are in the Metropolitan Museum," said homeowner Barbara Perkinson.
Other touches: a pretty three-door chest of cherry and mahogany, a reproduction Federal inlaid sideboard inlaid with bellflowers, and, on one wall, an unenclosed 'wag on the wall' clock.
For the tour, the table will be set for the holidays.
The spacious, bright living room features a grand piano, a 16-foot multi-paned window overlooking a pleasant backyard, a comfortable array of reproduction and antique furniture, a chair upholstered by Perkinson in his mother’s award-winning crewel work, and handsome antique clocks and decorative pieces.
The room and others in the home feature a collection of antique clocks, including a pillar and scroll clock, a Sonora Chime clock by Seth Thomas and a Howard and Davis Banjo Clock.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for $20 by sending out a check made out to the Women’s Club of Woodbury House Tour in an envelope addressed to the Women’s Club of Woodbury House Tour, P.O. 1014, Woodbury, CT 06798. Organizers ask that a phone number be included inside the envelope.
Tickets to the Saturday house tours may be purchased at , , , and in Woodbury; at , and in Southbury; at in Oxford; and at Ethan Allen in Canton.
Tickets purchased the day of the tour are $25 and include a map of the homes. Woodbury’s is home base for the tour and where refreshments will be served.
Two homes on the tour will be reached by shuttle buses that will leave from and return to Mackay Farm Road.
Tickets can be bought at the Senior and Community Center starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.
Visitors are asked to bring slippers to wear in the homes. In the event of inclement weather, the tours will take place the following day at the same time.