Homes for the Holidays

Aaron Leimkuehler

The Kappa Kappa Gamma 2016 holiday homes tour featured four homes decked out in their seasonal finery

Every year the Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour features four Kansas City homes dressed to the holiday nines to raise money for charitable organizations in town. Local floral designers work swiftly and efficiently to decorate these homes that will both delight and inspire. Last year’s tour featured two colonials, a turn of the (last) prairie style and a thoroughly modern midi. Each home offered its own character and insight into decking the halls.


The Colonial

In the living room, the Rita Blitt painting above the mantel is flanked by blue-and-white vases filled with winterberries.Aaron Leimkuehler


Local designer, Barbara Yeast updated her Mission Hills home a few years ago to reflect the way her family lives. More relaxed. More casual. Sisal rugs lay beneath English chairs. Floral designer Chuck Matney capitalized on this synergy of casual elegance in his design for the home.

“It’s a classic Christmas look,” says Matney, though he used some unexpected touches. He and his team used a lot of magnolia, mixed greens and winterberry. An elaborate garland drapes the door and wreaths hang in each window.

While the dining room has a traditionally festive feel, the stargazer lilies add a fresh touch. Their deep pink and red centers with white edged petals are a natural for Christmas decor, though its not common.

Matney used Yeast’s containers for many of the arrangements, including the large copper pot of greenery in the living room and the charming collection of silver julep cups that is scattered around the dining table. His design perfectly compliments Yeast’s appreciation for tradition with a fresh perspective.

The Little Flower Shop | 913-677-5006 |


The Georgian Colonial

The kitchen is tailored to understated elegance, complete with colorful floral arrangements and elves swinging from the light pendants.Aaron Leimkuehler


It’s a very traditional English house with very traditional English colors,” floral designer Craig Sole says of the Georgian Colonial home of Kathleen and Michael Callahan. Sole used an old world vision to compliment these lovely interiors created by Lisa Curran.

A row of wreaths, bedecked with red berries, pinecones and sheer red ribbon, run across a row of windows in the sunroom. The homeowner’s caroler collection is gathered on a nearby end table to sing their imaginary song.

“We wanted to compliment the house and think about tradition a little differently,” says Sole. “In the living room we set the Christmas tree stand into an old, large copper bin.” It both hides the trunk and elevates the tree, lending a lovely form that suits function.

Craig Sole Designs | 913-649-9299 |


The Arts and Crafts Prairie Style

Butch and Christie Rigby’s milk glass collection is scattered around the dining room.Aaron Leimkuehler


The old Missouri home of Butch and Christie Rigby, located near Loose Park, is an Arts and Crafts Prairie Style estate. It’s rich colors and stone mantle were the perfect backdrop for holiday fare.

“I loved working in that house,” says Randy Neal. “I was able to take advantage of the homeowner’s collections which blended seamlessly with holiday decorations.”

Neal was particularly enamored of the mantle, which he covered with white lights and garland and accented with the owner’s milk glass containers filled with branches of hydrangea. Neal used milk glass, too, in the dining room with pieces scattered across the mantle in front of the gilt sunburst mirror and arranged charmingly down the center of the dining room table.

The designer did not ignore the home’s private spaces. He took advantage of the red curtain that creates a privacy screen on the second floor porch. Outfitted with a day bed, television and drinks table, Neal added jaunty “Merry Christmas” garland and a fir tree draped with red ribbon.

Randy Neal Floral Design | 913-754-7200 |


The Mid-century Modern

Slender trees, loaded with oversized ornaments, flank the fireplace. The print is by New York artist Donald Baechler.Aaron Leimkuehler


This updated ranch in Mission Hills had received a thoroughly modern and thoughtful renovation. The owners, Mary and David Schulte, are long time clients of Rebecca Ederer of Beco Flowers, so she was a natural fit to deck the Schultes’ halls.

“We are in and out of this home all the time,” says Ederer. “Since we were so familiar with the house and their style, Mary gave us free reign.”

Ederer and her team were careful to respect the tone of the house. “The banquets in the living room have a boutique hotel feel. We didn’t want to compete with that.” Instead, the designer hung rich fir garland around the doorway and provided sparkle and shine with metallic ornaments, votive holders and candles.

The red accents throughout the house, like the striking dining room chairs, provided a definitely non-kitchy holiday cheer. In this room Ederer decorated the table with bold red roses and branches of berries. “We really wanted to play off the wallpaper,” she notes.

Trees flanking the fireplace in the living room are smartly framed by tall rectangular windows. Linear, contemporary planter boxes in the front drive are graciously filled with greenery and pinecones. Ederer’s treatment of the house proves that mid-century modern is anything but cold.

Beco Flowers | 816-472-4242 |


This Year’s Tour

The 2017 Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour will take place on Wednesday, December 6 and Thursday, December 7. For more information, visit





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