Immeasurable Christmas cheer abounds in this charming Fairway home.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photography by Matt Kocourek
Working within roughly 1,800 square feet of living space, homeowners Kathie and Jason Rogers, along with their two teenagers, have figured out how to transform their home into a dazzling holiday extravaganza worthy of front page news. To be totally transparent, however, this annual project is actually Kathie’s pride and joy. Jason helps her bring up the 15 or so boxes and bins filled with holiday décor of all types from the basement, but when it comes to the strategizing and implementation, Kathie is a one-person show. But she is not complaining. She loves the spirit of the season and sharing that with family and friends. Kathie begins this adventure right after Thanksgiving and confesses it takes a good three or four days to have everything in position and on full display.
“My collections and displays have grown every year,” she noted. Whereas she used to only display one tree, Kathie took the leap and recently added a second one to her presentation.
“We have so many ornaments that having a second tree is necessary,” she smiled, noting both trees are real. She also places small trees in each of the kids’ rooms. And if she is feeling extra ambitious, she will place twinkle lights over the window in the master bedroom. But, for the most part, the main living spaces and the areas just outside the front door reap the rewards of her efforts.
A fan of themes, Kathie enjoys switching up the look each year. This particular year she went with a red plaid theme, with pops of that style showing up throughout her displays. She also has hundreds of ornaments she has gathered over the years, and her collection could probably put Hallmark to shame. Of course, it is her annual tradition of adding to the collection that keeps it new and exciting.
“Each year we each get a frosted glass ornament and write the year on it,” she noted. “We also have the kids do a photo with Santa every year and hope to do this until they have kids of their own. I then put those photos into frames and put them on display with my other decorations.”
Kathie has been meticulous and methodical about decorating for many years now, almost as if she comes by it naturally. She did have some influence in her early years, but admits she just can’t help herself when it comes to bringing the fun of the holidays to life.
“When I was a kid, my mom did some decorating and Christmas was always a big deal for us, but I tend to go all out and do things in an over-the-top manner,” she said. “I have a background in kitchen and bathroom design and really enjoy decorating.”
In fact, Kathie is so skilled at decorating and space planning that she can continually add to her displays year after year without overwhelming her home, simply by employing one ingenuous trick.
“I still add to what I have; I just call it layering,” she expressed.
For example, she has a wreath made entirely of ball ornaments on her front door which she purchased from Target. She took that wreath and placed it on top of a boxwood wreath, giving two items a singular purpose.
There is one crucial element that those with keen eyes may realize is missing. Do you know what is hung by the chimney with care? The stockings!
“We have stockings, but I just don’t have any room for them up on the fireplace,” she laughed. “We just put them out on the floor by the fireplace on Christmas Day.”
Kathie likes to have her decorations up and on display shortly after Thanksgiving and leaves them up through New Year’s Day. At that point, she will take everything down and put it all back in storage, except for one crucial part…and for one understandable reason.
“I leave the trees up with just the lights on them throughout the month of January,” she explained. “Because the month is so dark and depressing, we like to have something to keep our spirits up. I also keep the wreath up that sits above the fireplace.”
One of her favorite parts about all of the excitement that surrounds her annual decorating traditions, however, is when everything is in its place and she can just relax and take it all in.
“I love to just settle down for a Hallmark Christmas movie with a glass of wine and just admire all of the decorations,” Kathie reflected.