Living

Bayou View homes to open for Christmas tour

An outdoor Nativity scene greets visitors and takes on a coastal Mississippi backdrop, with Bayou Bernard in the background, at the home of Cindy and Chris Cooper in Gulfport. The home, at 22 Hancock Place, is part of the Gulfport Civic League’s 55th Tour of Homes on Dec. 4.
An outdoor Nativity scene greets visitors and takes on a coastal Mississippi backdrop, with Bayou Bernard in the background, at the home of Cindy and Chris Cooper in Gulfport. The home, at 22 Hancock Place, is part of the Gulfport Civic League’s 55th Tour of Homes on Dec. 4. tmsmith@sunherald.com

Four homes in Gulfport’s Bayou View neighborhood will welcome guests during The Civic League of Gulfport’s 55th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 4.

Tickets, at $15 each, allow entrance to all homes on the tour. They may be purchased the day of the tour at any of the tour homes or by calling 228-896-7434 or 228-896-6009.

The annual Tour of Homes supports the work of The Civic League of Gulfport, which helps children and adults with special needs, and all proceeds go back to the community in the purchase of equipment and services for those with special needs. The tour is the organization’s only fundraiser of the year.

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An outdoor Nativity scene greets visitors and takes on a coastal Mississippi backdrop, with Bayou Bernard in the background, at the home of Cindy and Chris Cooper in Gulfport. The home, at 22 Hancock Place, is part of the Gulfport Civic League’s 55th Tour of Homes on Dec. 4. Tammy Smith tmsmith@sunherald.com

Cindy and Chris Cooper, 22 Hancock Place, Gulfport

The Coopers’ home, right on Bayou Bernard, was completed in 2005. “We built and designed it ourselves,” Chris Cooper said. “I drew the plans up one Sunday after church and handed it off to the contractor.

“We moved in eight days before (Hurricane) Katrina,” he said. The couple repaired their home following the hurricane and now, 11 years later, they are completing the update of their home.

“We didn’t get to do it back then,” he said. That includes new cabinetry and new lighting and flooring in the kitchen, lighter color granite countertops and lightening the interior, which now features neutrals, echoing a Coastal atmosphere.

Christmas usually comes early to the Cooper house, with Cindy getting things in place in early November.

“We have seven trees upstairs and two downstairs,” she said. They include a nautical-themed tree, a grandchild-centric colorful tree, a Mississippi State maroon tree, a pastel tree in one of the bedrooms and the family room’s dazzling silver, gold and light teal tree.

“And we have a Mickey tree in the cabana,” Cindy said.

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The home of Cindy and Jimmie Hahn, at 43 54th St. in the Bayou View neighborhood of Gulfport, is on the Gulfport Civic League’s 55th Tour of Homes on Dec. 4. Tammy Smith tmsmith@sunherald.com

Cindy and Jimmie Hahn, 43 54th St., Gulfport

The Hahns do Christmas up in a big way, with memories playing a major role in their decorations. For 20 years they have lived in their Bayou View home, and family members live close by. The living room tree showcases family through several photos in small frames used as ornaments on this room’s tree.

“That was a Pottery Barn idea, and I just loved it,” Cindy said. “There are about 60 of them on the tree. I got the frames at the dollar store. We went through my mom’s photos and Jimmie’s mom’s.”

The family room tree features whimsical decorations and multicolored lights.

“We have two grandchildren, so we wanted it to be kid friendly,” she said.

The windowsill by the kitchen table holds a beautiful cream ceramic Nativity set made by Cindy’s grandmother.

“My grandmother used to do ceramics, and she made all those,” she said. “I’ve had it about 30 years. We carefully put it out each year and carefully pack it back up. Before she passed, she was able to make my two children their own sets.”

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The home of Faith and Jay Jordan, at 4907 Courthouse Road in Gulfport, is part of the Gulfport Civic League’s 55th Tour of Homes on Dec. 4. Tammy Smith tmsmith@sunherald.com

Faith and Jay Jordan, 4907 Courthouse Road, Gulfport

With their three young children, the Jordans are experiencing “really our first Christmas here” at their home on Courthouse Road, Faith Jordan said.

A fan of neutrals, Faith knows that light colors plus kids usually don’t make a good combination, but there is one magical word that helps it all work out.

“Slipcovers,” she said with a smile. “Slipcovers help.”

“Neutrals help lighten things up,” she added.

And so the Jordans’ first real Christmas in their home is accented with softened metallics that add elegance to those neutrals. Together, they evoke a quiet winter scene, and that’s what Faith wanted to do.

“We’ve done the traditional red and green, but they’ve never had a white Christmas, so that’s what I wanted to give them,” she said. “I wanted to suggest snow while keeping some elegance.”

There’s also a small colorful tree for the children to enjoy.

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The home of Jamie and Steven Warren, at 4815 Jefferson Ave. in Gulfport, is part of the Gulfport Civic League’s 55th Tour of Homes on Dec. 4. Tammy Smith tmsmith@sunherald.com

Jamie and Steven Warren, 4815 Jefferson Ave., Gulfport, Tea House

Two years ago, the Warrens moved into their home, which was built in the late 1990s. They have retained the traditional style of the exterior while renovating the interior, giving it a light and airy feeling. Neutrals have lightened and brightened the more open living space.

They also took advantage of unused space to make the house more their own. For example, a corner which once housed an air unit next to a closet has been turned into a convenient mini bar, with the air unit moved into the closet.

“I wanted it to be pretty but still have a comfortable feeling,” Jamie Warren said. “The house already had a great layout.”

With the move, she Warren also lightened things, taking on a more simplified approach to decorating.

Christmas at the Warrens’ home combines that love of simplicity with some traditional details, all embellished with metallics and neutrals.

“I think less is more,” she said. Neutrals provide a simple backdrop for accessories, which easily can be swapped for holidays and the seasons.

The Warrens are only the second owners of this house, set across from Bayou View Park.

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