Decadent Decorations Dominate the Staircase

Decadent decorations in front of the big window behind the staircase

Although Hurricane Sandy struck Rhode Island last Sunday-Monday evening, Blithewold’s dedicated decorators were back in action Wednesday, pushing forward with their decorating mission. While walking through the mansion I was able to speak with a few of the decorators and take a sneak peak of their progress. Beautiful!

I was fortunate enough to speak with a second-year decorating volunteer, Julie Martin. Julie and her partner, Robert Costa are responsible for decorating the staircase with a

Julie’s window pane of hand drawn Paris, France sketches

theme of Paris, France. Julie explained that once they found out the staircase’s country was France, the team knew they wanted their decorations to be extremely “decadent” and lavish, representing the elegant night-club era of postwar Paris. They did through a color theme of black and silver with bold pops of red, Julie’s personal favorite touch.

In addition to decorating the staircase, the duo is responsible for decorating the big window behind it. Julie was enthusiastic about this area because it gave her and Robert even more space to get creative with. Because the team has such a unique space to decorate, I asked what challenges they faced this year. Julie explained, “It can be challenging to reach all of the high places near the ceiling above the window.” This didn’t stop the team, though. They hung beautiful rows of garland, strung with lights.

Closer view of Julie’s hand drawn sketches of Paris, France

Julie, an artist, shared that last year was her first year decorating for Christmas at Blithewold Mansion. She came back this year because she loved her experience last year and how creative it allowed her to get. Julie’s traveled to Paris before and has the most beautiful sketches from her trip. When she learned of her assigned theme, she fed off the ideas behind her personal sketches until the staircase evolved into a masterpiece. Julie’s sketches can be seen in a handmade window pane on display at the bottom entrance of the staircase.

For more progress on Blithewold’s holiday transformation check out our Facebook page and Twitter. To see more photographs of Christmas at Blithewold please visit our Flickr and Pinterest!

Warmest Regards,

Caitlin Galeotti
Roger Williams University ’14
Blithewold Communications Intern