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Marion's annual Christmas Home Tour to focus on decor

Staff writer

The walls of four homes will be festively decked with more than just boughs of holly this year for Marion City Library’s annual Christmas Home Tour.

Event patrons can expect to visit a bona fide log cabin, a restored apartment in downtown Marion that used to be a hospital, a home inspired by Pinterest projects, and a lakeside abode with a panoramic view and a parrot that talks and sings.

The library will be decorated in “A Country Christmas” theme, and a delectable assortment of refreshments will be available in the Santa Fe Room.

“Our tree will be decked out in denim, burlap, and jute ornaments, as well as rope garland, lassos, and bandanas,” library director Janet Marler said.

Teresa Huffman will show her “glamped” camper, too.

The log cabin

Ken and Malinda Stuchlik’s log cabin, north of Marion at 2219 Sunrise Rd., has many south-facing windows that overlook pastureland, with a quaint pond in the distance.

It was built in 2013 with an emphasis on reclaiming old wood.

The main floor’s interior walls are exposed logs. It has a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams.

A second floor open office overlooks the main floor and offers a unique view of a large stone fireplace, the mantle of which came from the trunk of an old cedar tree that once grew on the property.

Ken, a talented woodworker, created end tables to look like old-fashioned iceboxes. He also converted an old sewing machine into a TV stand.

The Stuchliks are in the process of incorporating old wood from an existing granary into their basement walls.

They also have a picture book for patrons to page through that shows the various stages of construction available.

The old hospital

Randy and Rachel Collett live at 420½ Main St. in the upstairs of the historic C.B. Wheeler building that once was Marion’s hospital.

“People know the building and always ask us about it,” Rachel said. “Some may have been born here or had family members who were born here or had their tonsils out while it was a hospital.”

The hardwood floors are from the 1890s when the building was originally built. Much of the apartment’s trim was repurposed wood from the renovation.

A miniature New England village featuring little houses and a festive street scene will be on display at their home, Rachel said. There will be nativity sets with special meaning on display, too. Her mother painted a ceramic set and she has two other nativities that her children made when they were in elementary school.

A collection of logs, carved to look like Santa faces, and a live Christmas tree, decorated with sentimental and family heirloom ornaments, will be additional items of interest.

“Our kids always said they’d never come back for Christmas if we ever stop putting up a live tree,” Rachel said. “We like remembering the stories behind the ornaments.”

The Colletts also will display some of county resident Judy Christensen’s homemade ornaments including a life-sized wooden Santa Claus and a large holiday wreath.

A Pinterest dream

Newlyweds Colton and Rachel Olsen live in a home built in 1957 and more recently remodeled by Rachel’s grandfather.

Rachel personalized their home by decorating its interior in what she called a “pastel shabby chic design.”

She used her aptitude for crafts to festoon their house with Pinterest projects, many of which are repurposed decorations from their wedding.

The only place that might possibly escape Rachel’s creative touch is Colton’s “man cave” where he enjoys his own décor: Colts and Royals memorabilia, a drum set, and TV.

Their Christmas tree will be decorated with red and turquoise adornments, snowflakes, and ornaments from both of their childhoods. A stone fireplace will feature a special place for their “baby” stocking to be hung.

The couple also will have a coffee and cocoa bar in their kitchen.

A lakeside abode

The home of Barry Guinn and Molly Smith at 4 Lois Ln. overlooks Marion County Lake, and offers a memorable view from every window.

The house was built in 1997 but the couple has removed old wallpaper, painted, and completely updated the house.

“We wanted to help the library and we also wanted our first Christmas in the house together to be extra special,” Smith said.

Eight feet above the top of their 12-foot Christmas tree rests the main room’s ceiling. The giant tree is trimmed with rustic and burlap ornaments.

Near the fireplace is a 1916 baby grand Chickering piano that Smith.

Marler said Wanda Williams, Rose Davidson, Anita Hancock and possibly one other musician would provide seasonal music on the couples’ 99-year-old piano.

There are two other smaller Christmas trees decorated with ornaments from Smith’s childhood in each of her kids’ rooms as well as a fourth tree in family room on the lowest floor.

Inside a little alcove in the kitchen is a butcher-block table Smith’s grandfather once used in his grocery store. Guinn fully restored and refinished it. Above the table hang pictures of her grandpa, his store, and other memorabilia from that era.

The couple also keeps a parrot named Taco in their sunroom.

Taco does not know any Christmas carols, but he does talk and sing.

“He is Barry’s parrot,” Smith said. “He looks like a pirate’s parrot.”

Smith said Taco would be in a cage where visitors can interact with him. (Read more about the parrot in an article in this issue called, “The many talents of Taco the parrot.”)

The tour is from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5, available at the library or at each home the day of the tour. More information is available at (620) 382-2442.

Last modified Dec. 3, 2015

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