Beneath the Tree (7th annual home tour and art sale)

I love this event. What’s better than touring 12 homes (all decked out in amazing Christmas decor) while shopping for various items from over 100 local artists? This is my idea of a FUN day! And that is was. I tagged along with three friends, two of which have made this an annual tradition for several years. We started early, hit all 12 houses and shopped til we dropped (at about 7 pm). I found so many great items and now I’m so excited to decorate for Christmas this year. My holiday decor hasn’t changed much over the last eight years, so it’s REALLY due for an update. I snapped a ton of photos with my phone today so I could refer back to all of the inspiring decorating ideas later.

As if all of this fabulousness wasn’t enough… you can feel great about your purchases. Because not only do they support local artists, designers and stores, but a portion of the proceeds also benefits local charities such as CREATE Arts Camp in Alger Heights and Cure Search, as well as River Tree Community Church’s outreach fund.

Fortunately, it’s a two-day event (Fri., Nov.9  10am – 9pm and Sat., Nov. 10 9am – 3pm). So if you’re local (Grand Rapids area), I highly recommend checking it out today. For future reference, Friday is the day to go. It’s not as busy, parking is not a problem and you get first dibs on all the merch! HOWEVER, if you start early on Saturday (right at 9am), it will likely be less crowded.

Here is a small sample of what you’ll find…

The twelve featured homes are located in the Byron Center, Grandville and East Grand Rapids areas. Each home is beautifully decorated by talented local designers. Tickets are $8.00 for the whole tour, and can be purchased at any host home the days of the event.

Some helpful tips for you…

1. Next year, go on Friday if you can.
2. Start early.
3. Bring cash (for your $8 ticket). Credit cards are accepted for all other transactions. Cash helps the line move faster, tho.
4. Wear comfortable, easy on/off shoes. Be respectful of the home owners by removing your shoes.
5. If going with one or more other persons, CARPOOL – take one vehicle.
6. Be ready and armed with the list of addresses. Have a buddy navigate while you drive (or vice versa).
7. Take photos (to recall decorating ideas later).
8. Have your ticket punched/marked at all 12 houses and be entered to win one of several gift baskets.
9. Definitely get a sitter if you can. You’ll enjoy yourself so much more without having to watch over little ones while you browse.
10. Lines are much shorter if you start in the middle of the list (instead of starting with house #1), and then work your way out. We did houses 7 thru 12, then 1 thru 6.

I’ll show you some of my finds in an upcoming post. Until then, let’s talk holiday decor… when does yours go up/down? Faux tree or real tree? Theme or no theme? Outdoor lights or not? Favorite traditions? Talk to me…

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6 thoughts on “Beneath the Tree (7th annual home tour and art sale)”

  1. How fun! We have done a few Christmas home tours around here, but never with the local artists featured so you can buy their items. Such a cool idea… might have to suggest that to a few people :)

    I have learned (since the Littles arrival) that decorating has to be a gradual process of adding some decorations little by little each week. The week-long marathon of decorating at will is out the door with curious little hands :/ So… yeah, I am now a “ninja decorator”. Come in with the cover of darkness and decorate while they sleep.

    I started some themes a few years ago. But, mostly anything that is white or natural is what I have come to like. This year, with the addition of Pinterest to my repertoire, I will be doing a natural, white and green color scheme for my newest handmade creations. Adore this time of year. Even with little hands trying to sabotage my decor!

  2. I am so excited to see items that I had decorated with at house #11 and items I had for sale there included in your treasury of beneath the tree 2012. so cool.
    This was our first time as a home designer, my daughter Jennifer, one of the artists was a great partner. My husband solved all our problems(love you)
    I must include the most wonderful hostess, Jennifer Lannon. She and her family went full in to this adventure and were wonderful. I know my daughter and I made a new friend in Jennifer.
    this was really hard work but so rewarding in so many ways. Thank you for trusting a mother/daughter team could do it.

  3. That is such a great idea to get inspiration for your decoration. I would like to join you guys next year if you will have me. As for christmas decoration in my house I try to stay as natural as possible. Real tree lots of wreaths all over the house. Thanks for sharing Livvy

    • Yes, Uli! You should definitely come next year, you would love it. And au natural is great — but real lit candles on the Christmas tree?! Still not sure about that! LOL!


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