Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mary Carol Garrity Holiday Home Tour 2012

I'm going to depart from my tour of France series because Mary Carol Garrity's Holiday Home Tour was today.

For those of you not familiar with Kansas's decorating darling, Mary Carol Garrity is the founder of several home decorating stores in Atchison, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, including Nell Hills, plus the author of several books.  She lives in a historic Greek Revival home in Atchison, and she opens her home a few times a year for tours.

And after the tour, we go shopping at her two Atchison stores.  I almost bought this lantern, but I decided I have enough lanterns to decorate.

I think Mary Carol was a little under the weather, but she kept smiling and played the gracious hostess like a champ.

I loved this statue in the urn next to the door.  I'm planning on copying this look!
Let's go inside!
Imagine a holiday party here.  Oh, that red against the buttery yellow walls!  This statue is available in her stores.  Someday, I'll probably regret not buying her, like those orbs from the fall open house.
I asked Mary Carol about decorating trends this Christmas, and she said that anything goes, but understated elegance was popular.  I love how she layers on vertical surfaces, like this wreath over the mirror in the foyer.  Understated yet elegant indeed.
Mary Carol's style is very busy with lots of books, artwork, and knicknacks.  I like how she uses a more monochromatic color scheme for her holiday decorating.
The pretty mantel sings "holidays" without screaming "Christmas."
Let's get a closer look.
The dining room was more understated this year.  It was set up to serve a buffet rather than a formal meal, which was clever.  My side of the family sits around the table for holiday meals, but my in-laws serve them buffet-style.  Neither family is as fancy as this!
Shall we go outside to look at the garden?

Today's weather was clear with temperatures in the low 60s.  I doubt she keeps those ginger jars outside all winter! 
I always admire how she uses basic foundation pieces, like these iron posts, to decorate for each season. 
It isn't Christmas quite yet, so if you would like to see the fall home tour, click here for the home tour and here for the garden tour.  If you pin, please be sure to give Mary Carol credit for her work.

I'm linking up...


  1. We missed each other by one day. So glad you went today. I was there yesterday. So many ideas and so much fun.
    Great post.

  2. Great photos of Mary Carol's lovely home. I put a link to your post on my blog. I'm a big MCG fan!


  3. Heather, I have enjoyed exploring many entries in your blog, and I have a question; what kind of camera did you use to photograph Mary Carol's home, and what setting did you use? I thought your pictures were very good, and I could use some tips. Thanks.

    1. I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3. I'm by no means an expert on using it! Since I didn't use a tripod, I switched back and forth between the automatic and the P-mode settings, depending on the lighting. Here's my little secret to getting good photos on an automatic setting with a DSLR: Depress the shutter button part way and if the flash pops up, push it down, then finish depressing the shutter button. It takes a little practice, but I get great indoor pictures with this method. Outside, I usually shoot on the P-mode and adjust the exposure only.

    2. Thanks. I have a Canon Rebel too. I shoot a lot in P-mode , and lately I've started using automatic more and more. I'm going to try the trick you mentioned where you push the flash down when shooting automatic.

  4. I am so glad that you shared this! I would love to be close enough to go one time!

  5. I love all things Christmas....her home is amazing....thanks for the tour!!

  6. What a beautiful home tour! I love the statues in the urns out front.

  7. What a gorgeous tour! I am visiting from Kim's (Savvy) blog.

  8. Not sure how I found you, but I'm a Nell Hill's lover too and, of course, a Kansas girl to boot! Love the Flint Hills and am glad you do too. Your pictures are gorgeous and let me see what I missed this year. Your newest follower too. Happy Holidays!

  9. Thanks for posting these yummy sights! Mary Carol is such a dear...I shopped in the Atchison store several years ago and her husband was kept quite busy lugging ladies purchases out to their that! Her store is definitely a treat and things are reasonably priced too! One of the great Kansas treasures for sure!

  10. I was there too! It was beautiful. Where in Kansas are you? I've live in many parts of the state but have found home in the KC area.


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