Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mary Carol Garrity Fall Home Tour 2012, Part 1

The autumn-like weather yesterday was absolutely wonderful, perfect for driving to Atchison, Kansas, for the fall home tour of Mary Carol Garrity, founder of Nell Hills.  This tour featured only autumn decorating since there will be another open house in November for the holidays!  You can see the spring tour here and last year's autumn tour here, which also featured Christmas decor.

The stairs to her home were flanked by two large lanterns.  Notice the pumpkin inside perched on top of a small mercury glass pedestal.  Love that!

I'm always in awe of the architecture of her home.  Atchison is filled with historic homes and grand buildings, a lasting legacy of the city's prosperity during the overland trade period of the mid-1800s and early industrial era of 1870-1900.

Most of her fall decorating was the abundant use of floral stems, pumpkins, and pinecones.  Mary Carol said in the past she and her decorating team used pipe cleaners for constructing the displays, but now they use zip ties.
Mary Carol named a few trends for decorating this season, including mercury glass, and she said that "orbs are the new lanterns."  These orbs were flying out the door at her two shops, Nell Hills and Garrity's.
I couldn't decide how I felt about them.  I'll probably regret not picking up one.  Let's go inside!

All the sparkle wasn't limited to mercury glass.  Check out this huge silver bowl.  Besides the colors, I think I love decorating for autumn because it's so easy.  A good faux pumpkin can be prettier than the real thing.  Gourds last for weeks.  Twigs are free, and pinecones can be a one time investment (and good for Christmas decorating, too).

A small den is off the grand foyer.  Don't let this photo fool you.  It's a dark, masculine space, but I love all of rich textures.  Mary Carol almost always has a display on top of her cabinets, like this dough bowl overflowing with the colors of autumn.  By the time I find one of these at a price I'm willing to pay, the trend will be long gone.
In contrast to the den, the living room is filled with light.  Not much new here by way of comparison this fall, but I did admire the mantel.  Notice how the asymetrical display frames the artwork, the twigs wrapping around the image.  Gorgeous!
Let's check out the dining room, which always promises to be dramatic.
Remember the secret?  Zip ties!
Lots of mercury glass on the table.  I always see those over-sized martini glasses at hobby stores, and I think they look so tacky.  Here, they are actually pretty.
After all the grandeur of the exterior, the foyer, the living room, and dining room, I'm always happy to see the kitchen.
As in most historical homes, the kitchen is pretty darn small!  I happened to catch it when no one was in there so I could get a good picture.  Even though it's small, it is full of practical style.
And yes, those glass containers filled with dishwashing liquids aren't just for looks.  They appear to be used everyday.  Who wouldn't love to cook here?

Be sure to check back on Tuesday for the garden tour!
If you pin, please be sure to give Mary Carol credit for her work.
I'm linking up...


  1. Heather, I surely wish Georgia wasn't so far away. I'd love to attend one of her tours. Thank goodness you took us with you! So much fun...thanks for a great tour!

  2. I would love to attend one of these tours, but like Susan, I am too far away. I read through many of your posts Heather, I love your Christmas pillows - and that sleigh was such a find! Thanks for posting this tour. I just loved it!


  3. I found you from your link to Between Naps on the Porch. So sad I missed the tour, I live Kansas City. Great pictures, thanks for sharing. I wll be on the hunt for that orb she has outside with the pinecones.


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