A toy soldier guards the front door at 1647 Stoney Brooke Lane, but don’t let him stop you from entering this very welcoming and warm home belonging to Lori Carlson and Patti Nowman. They have called this place home since 2001, and they especially enjoy decorating it for the Christmas season with greenery, white lights and many Christmas trees.
Gazing up the stairs in the foyer, game boards are cleverly displayed on the wall. This is not just checkers here, but parcheesi, backgammon and even an antique Monopoly board that the girls found in Shipshewana. Lori also displays some croquet mallets that belonged to her grandparents. Snowmen sit on each step, and at the top of the stairs is a Victorian hall mirror that dates back to the 1880s.
The office, which is used by both girls but especially Patti during the day as she works from home, has a 7-foot Christmas tree decorated with bubble lights and ornaments from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.
For those interested in local history, photos showing the demolition of the Morris River Bridge to clear the way for the building of the current bridge are displayed here in the office. Because both Patti and Lori enjoy antiques so much, there is a child’s wooden sleigh filled with teddy bears also here in this work room.
Housewalk guests will pass through the downstairs guest bathroom, but be sure to see the collectible medicine bottles bearing the name of local physician Dr. John Roth, Sr. and also the shaving brush and mug that belonged to Lori’s dad.
The kitchen also has a Christmas tree, and this one is decorated with metal cookie cutter ornaments that actually belonged to Lori’s grandma, Sarah Erickson. Many may remember that Sarah was the head cook at Morris Community High School cafeteria for many years.
Don’t miss another very interesting antique in the kitchen — a bedside commode chair dating back to the 1890s.
The main floor also has the master bedroom with furniture that can be described as art deco 1940’s waterfall pattern. Patti’s parents initially had the chest of drawers. Patti then began the search and has been able to find matching pieces to complete the room. On the bed is a beautiful Amish quilt purchased in Shipshewana – a favorite place that Lori and Patti enjoy visiting. A friend, Beth Reno, made the curtains in the bedroom to coordinate with the quilt. And, yes, there also is a Christmas tree in this room with decorations that complement the décor.
The narrow hallway that connects the kitchen and the master bedroom boasts many collections of family treasures. One interesting treasure in particular is the Squirt bottle salt and pepper shakers that Lori’s grandma used to use daily.
The dining/living room speaks welcome and warmth with its earth tone walls and comfy furniture. Many holiday family dinners are enjoyed at this plank dining room table, which seats 10 comfortably. Lori and Patti especially like to entertain with the Sorrento dishware that they purchased locally at The Front Porch in downtown Morris.
A continual guest in the dining room is the Chatty Cathy doll that Patti had as a girl. Patti confesses that Cathy’s hair did suffer a bit because of the haircuts she endured from Patti when she was young.
So many unique and interesting pieces are part of this living room. From Lori’s grandpa’s spittoon on the hearth to the RCA Victrola dating back to the 1900s that actually uses needles made from cactus, housewalk guests will have much to see. There’s also the oak secretary desk with the drop down door dating back to the 1890s and Patti’s grandfather’s icebox with the original wire shelves originating from the early 1900s.
The largest Christmas tree in the home decorated with Hallmark ornaments and also hand-painted ones done by friend Louise Terando sits proudly in the front living room window. Lori’s nieces, Hannah and Grace, have the honors of trimming this tree each year.
As a final bonus, visitors exit through the sunroom to the backyard, so be sure to see the aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel. This will definitely take you back to the ’50s and ’60s.
This lovely home at 1647 Stoney Brooke Lane, owned by Lori Carlson and Patti Nowman, along with four others, will be featured on the 2012 Home for the Holidays Housewalk from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at downtown businesses as well as at any of the homes on the Housewalk or the complimentary tea done by Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 202 W. Jefferson St. Proceeds from the Housewalk are given to Grundy Community Hospice, Morris Downtown Beautification and scholarships for Morris High School and GAVC seniors.
Home for the Holidays tickets are also entries in the grand prize drawing ,which features a $300 Grundy Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificate, a dinner at Chapin’s, wine from Montage Spirits and Gifts, a collection of gift certificates from the Morris Retail Association, and a complimentary stay at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites.
Lois Patnode is the hostess coordinator for this home.