When my friend asked me to help decorate her 1905 Farmhouse for an upcoming Christmas tour of homes, how do you think I responded? Beyond excited, more than honored, jumped at the chance — it was all of the above! I had so much fun helping my dear friend Ruth decorate her home for this Vintage Farmhouse Christmas Tour. Step back in time to see a turn of the 20th century home decorated for Christmas.
This 6th generation homestead is from one of the families that helped found this area of Tennessee back in the early 1800s. The original log structure no longer stands, but this beautiful home, built in 1905, still shines.
This gorgeous porch, complete with a haint blue ceiling is the first thing you see.
Ruth wanted to give honor to how this home would have been decorated over 100 years ago, so we used what she had on hand, making ornaments from feathers and acorns, and gathering clippings from her farm.
Her husband, Bobby, dug these old trunks and chests out from the barn for us. It’s perfection with that vintage sled leaning up against them.
The entry of the home welcomes you with the original floors, soaring ceilings and pieces of family history in every corner.
The old family bible sits at the entryway, recording the history of those who lived here.
The large painting is of Bobby’s mother, Elizabeth Gale Armstrong, whose 4th great grandfather was a Colonial in the Revolutionary War and was instrumental in finding this area to settle.
Ruth’s dining room is so stunning. Using the family china and silver, her table is set for six.
The centerpiece is a mix of asparagus fern, dried boxwood, Juniper, nandina and magnolia clippings. For color, we added faux berries and a few feathers for whimsy.
The Spode Christmas china pattern has been around since 1938 and is a lovely compliment to her table.
We decorated the mantelpiece in the dining room with more magnolia leaves and berries. Those pops of vintage red are the highlight of the room!
The view into the parlor is beckoning to come for a digestif while enjoying the Christmas lights and singing carols.
For this Vintage Farmhouse Christmas Tour, we continued the natural theme in the parlor, trimming the tree with sprigs of magnolia leaves, dried orange and apple slices, and acorn covered ornaments.
They honor their family history by displaying priceless heirlooms throughout the room.
Ruth found these old felt stockings of hers and Bobby’s to hang on the mantel.
Hanging over the piano is a collection of wedding photos – the perfect compliment to the vintage wedding dresses displayed in the room.
This view from the hallway looking back at the front door is one of my favorites.
Tucked in a corner is an old dusting broom, original to the house, for clearing cobwebs from the tall ceilings.
Down the hall, Ruth opened a guest room for this Vintage Farmhouse Christmas Tour. This WWI flag given to her grandfather for his service to our country adorns the walls.
Also in this room hangs this beauty. This 36 state flag came from a riverboat that Ruth’s grandfather, Mjr John Black Downing, operated. He was friend of Mark Twain – yes, THE Mark Twain. If you’ve ever read Life on the Mississippi – the character Alligator Jack is based off of her grandfather!
This vintage typewriter is so darling.
It sits next to the farm record book that chronicles each year’s profit and loss. And, of course, that pince-nez is an heirloom as well.
Not only did I love decorating this gorgeous home with all these vintage treasures, but I so enjoyed hearing the stories and the history behind each item. Ruth may not know it, but this was a perfect Christmas present she gave to me. An opportunity I will never forget!
To learn more about this house steeped in Tennessee history, you can read about the write up from the Christmas Tour of Homes, along with other homes in our area.