Four homes in Brighton Place and Stanton Circle in Gulfport will be sure to put you in the Christmas spirit and possibly inspire your own decor during the 54th annual Gulfport Civic League Holiday Tour of Homes from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets, at $15 each, are available from members of the Civic League or at the door of homes on the tour. Call 326-0848. Proceeds will benefit children and adults with special needs.
David and Donna Machado, 11474 Stanton Circle
The home of David and Donna Machado is the tea house, where refreshments will be served on the decorated patio overlooking the pool highlighted by a soothing waterfall feature. The Machados' holiday decor centers on silver, gold, white and chocolate brown, with a regional accent.
"I wanted to do a Coastal theme, so there are more shells," Donna said. So starfish and seashells can be found in garlands as well as large shells that serve as bowls and on the dramatic main tree in the living room. Crowned with feathers, the snow-dusted tree continues the brown, white, gold and silver theme.
"We lightened the house with our furniture," Donna said. She and David also did some remodeling.
The neutrals complement the interior of the Machados' home, which was built in 2005 and has five bedrooms and four baths. They have lived there for two years.
The family tree, upstairs, gets decorated after Thanksgiving and holds the childrens' handmade ornaments. But there's a cute touch to the downstairs holiday decor: A fairy wand, complete with magical sounds, can turn the living room tree's lights on and off.
Russell and Bridget Weatherly, 9125 Rainwood Circle
"Kid friendly" is how Bridget Weatherly describes her Christmas decor. "We have three kids, and kids are always coming over here. My 7-year-old likes to help me decorate."
Lime green, dark green and red are the holiday colors, and whimsical figurines add to the charm. The colors complement the natural greenery and burlap that form the background, and all work with rustic furnishings, such as a cabinet in the breakfast area just off the kitchen. Glass pinecone ornaments threaded with yarn combine rustic and elegant as napkin rings for the dining room's place settings, complete with holly-decorated china.
The Christmas tree holds multicolored glass ornaments, many of them animals, with the occasional "one of a kind" ornament made by a young Weatherly.
The house, with four bedrooms and three and a half baths, was built around 2000. The Weatherlys have lived there about two and a half years.
Pascal and Stacey Johnson, 9119 Victoria Circle
"I'm doing a lot of fresh greenery," Stacey Johnson said. "I really like an organic feel."
The rustic twig reindeer on the front door, spruced up with a jaunty bow and jingle bells, just beneath a swag of greenery, introduces the visitor to the Johnsons' theme. Fresh greenery accented with cream and celery ribbon creates a draping garland along the dramatic curving staircase in the foyer, and a wreath echoes the theme. Pascal will hang a large cherub over the fireplace, which also has greenery on the mantle.
This year, the Johnsons are putting their Christmas tree on the back patio, which can be seen from the foyer and the sunroom.
"We're doing it outside this year," Stacey said. "We always do a big tree; with our 14-foot ceilings we have to have a 12-foot tree, but I said, why not keep it outside? It'll be a lot easier to deal with there."
The house's natural light is one of the factors that attracted her to the home they purchased about five years ago. It was built in the 1990s, and the Johnsons have remodeled the kitchen.
"It just has really good bones," she said of the house.
Jaye Raines, 9118 Victoria Circle
"I tell people, here's proof you can have animals and a house decorated in white," Jaye Raines said. Even the front yard's flower beds currently are filled with perky white snapdragons.
"There are four dogs living here," she said. "They have been as many as eight."
Christmas decorations at the Raines home are white, silver and neutral beige, picking up the tones of the pecky cypress ceiling and the brushed white oak floor in the foyer.
She's taken the theme throughout the house. The headboard in the master bedroom bears a wreath of silver bay leaves, and a guest room has a partridge nestled in white. It creates a quiet, peaceful atmosphere that easily can transform into a lively spot for a celebration.
Stockings are hung by the fireplace in the living room, decorated, as in the rest of the house, in white, cream and beiges, accented with silver, crystal and mirrors.
The house, with three bedrooms and two and a half baths, was built 18- 1/2 years ago.
"My inspiration for the house was Rosemary Beach (in Florida)," Raines said. "If I couldn't have a house in Rosemary Beach, I would have a Rosemary Beach house in Gulfport."