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Designer perks up holiday collection page 2
Designer returns to lend a hand with Christmas decorating.

 Hickman gathers live greenery from around client Elizabeth LeDoux's home to enhance inside decor.
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Date published: 12/14/2012


There were four areas that Hickman was going to take on, the living room, foyer and main hallway, dining room and family room. The more formal spaces--all but the family room--would have themes of classic or traditional elegance in their Christmas decor. They would be tied together with touches of pink, a favorite of Elizabeth LeDoux, and a soft color that works better with the existing interior colors and decor than a lot of red.

"The family room--we're going to have some fun with that," said Hickman, envisioning a more casual holiday style.

The original portion of the house dates to the 1890s. When it was restored several years ago by Jon Van Zandt of Van Zandt Restorations, the formality of the existing rooms was retained and enhanced with new trim, drywall and cherry-finished hardwood flooring. An addition that created a family room and new kitchen was built at the same time. It has an open, modern floor plan.


Hickman turned her attention first to the living room fireplace mantel. A metallic garland was strung across and accented with pink and silver ball ornaments. Mini white lights were wound through the garland, providing a pleasant, muted effect.

"I like to have this on all day," said LeDoux of the mantel lights. "I'll put it on first thing in the morning."

Three other ornaments were hung with ribbon tacked to the top of the mantel. A child's Christmas stocking was hung to the side using a cup hook screwed into the mantel's underside. On the wall above the mantel Hickman placed a natural-looking faux green wreath accented with pink ornaments.

"I like to start with good fake stuff and add in the real stuff," she said. "The fake stuff holds in the real and gives structure."

The tree, also with mini white lights, is situated by a living room window where it shares holiday warmth with passersby on Lee Avenue. It is decorated with pretty traditional ornaments and wrapped with pink ribbon.

The banister is a good example of blending faux with real. An artificial lighted garland is wound between the newels. Fresh greens, many from the LeDoux's own backyard, are tucked in to create a fuller, more lush appearance. The newel post is decorated with pink and green ornaments, and topped off with a bow Hickman crafted--a skill handed down from her mom.

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The home at 713 Lee Ave. was one that contractor Jon Van Zandt moved into with his family once he had completed its renovation and was continuing work on other Lee Avenue houses. There was more than one house along the pleasant, tree-lined street that he flipped that way.

In fact, Van Zandt has had a role in the restoration of as many as eight homes on Lee Avenue, helping to transform the neighborhood from a row of rundown rentals to beautifully restored homes with proud owners.

Elizabeth LeDoux said the home was move-in perfect when she and her husband came upon it in 2009.

"I just fell in love with it," she said. "This is no stepping-stone house for us. This is where we want to stay."

She also likes the fact that Van Zandt remains a neighbor.

When 701 Hanover St. came on the market--it's the larger house at the corner of Lee and Hanover--Van Zandt bought and restored it, making that his family's home. A stop on the city's Candlelight Tour this year, the Van Zandts' home is beautifully decorated inside and out.

After the LeDouxes moved into 713 Lee Ave., Elizabeth called on Andrea Hickman for advice on colors and decorating.

The dining room provides a good example of the results. The walls above the chair rail are khaki, while below the chair rail the walls are a dark salmon or brick color, highlighted by the white shadow box trim. The ceiling is a light, sky blue.

In the living room, where the walls are an inviting green, Hickman found drapery fabric and throw pillows with that incorporate the same shade.

In LeDoux's young daughter's room, the theme is pink and green, and features a bed and chest rescued from junk/antiques stores and repainted.

"We wanted a room that she could grow into and not grow out of, and that's what we got," LeDoux said.

--Richard Amrhine