26th Annual Holiday Home Tour
A couple of girlfriends and I headed on a field trip to Old North Knoxville Sunday to get in the holiday spirit. We had heard about the Old North Knoxville Holiday Home Tour and thought it would be fun to see some other parts of Knoxville other than Market Square downtown.
It turns out that historic Old North Knoxville has been having these two-day holiday tours for 26 years! And with 12+ homes to see in a few short hours, we knew we were in for a treat but we had our work cut out for us.
We arrived in the parking lot of the Old St. Mary’s Hospital (now Tennova), bought our tickets ($15 on the day of the event, $10 in advance) and got on the chartered bus to go the few short blocks to the beginning of the tour.
Just Like Pinterest — Only Live!
I was taking photos left and right — there were so many cute ideas.
These little elves belonged to a woman who was a former ballerina. Her home was fun and modern. Note the airplane wing as a coffee table.
One craft I might actually try is finishing a frame using crushed bottle caps. It has personality plus+!
I saw a lot of Magnolia Tree leaves used for greenery. I wish I had a source for this. They don’t grow in Ohio, so I never was able to use them there, and I certainly don’t have any in our woods in Sharps Chapel, TN. Alas.
I also especially love the bowl with lemons, pine cones and greenery. So elegant.
Architectural Elements & Fun Furnishings
The homes were in various stages of restoration. One home did stand out from the rest in that it was totally restored but not to its original state — it had a huge chef’s kitchen and spacious open areas for today’s families.
In another home, the curved stairwell below actually was in an unheated back porch that went DOWN to the garage. I don’t know about this idea. All I kept thinking was what if a critter (one with no legs) got in through the garage door.
Another home had an unusual, double-wide, central staircase. Turns out, it originally was a duplex and when they made it into a single-family home and removed the wall, this was the result.
Yet another home, used an old First Aid cabinet as a medicine cabinet in the bathroom.
And last but not least, take note of the photo with the unusual feature — an airplane window from a B-52 inserted in to the wall to give light to the master closet. So clever.
Public Buildings & People
There were two public buildings on the tour – Rose Mortuary and the Holy Ghost Catholic Church. Both beautiful buildings with fascinating histories.
These fixtures were from the mortuary. I simply adore them.
But here is probably the most interesting little gem that I got out of the tour, historically speaking. The mortuary served punch and cookies. We learned that the punch recipe was from Mary Starr – the Emily Post of Knoxville in the 50’s and 60’s. One of the key ingredients was JELLO. As a foodie, I know that I will be exploring this chef more at a later date.
And two other things of note: A first cousin to Helen Keller once owned one of these homes and a relative of the historic Mabry-Hazen House in Knoxville also once owned one of the homes.
All-in-all, not a bad day! Lots of interesting tidbits. And all homes did a fabulous job of decorating for the holidays. I do appreciate the efforts they put into it. It was a wonderful tour and we would definitely go again.
Life is an Adventure.