Blog: On The Fringe

Again this year, I was notified by an email from Jeremy Bernard, the Social Secretary at The White House notifying me that I was again selected to be among the volunteers to decorate the house for Christmas.  My method for applying was the same as last year.  I wrote a letter to the Chief Floral

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Summer is always a favorite season at Casa Real. We love this garden. After the hail storm here in Knoxville in April, it was crippled. Mother nature has been a fast healer, and finally, in summer’s final days, it has become beautiful once again. Enjoy these photos of our little paradise in Summer’s final days.

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Many of today’s hottest young interior designers— Nate Berkus, Ruthie Sommers, Laura Kirar— were introduced to the national scene in House Beautiful , in an annual tradition called the Next Wave. Here, for the first time in five years, the Next Wave is back, with 20 interior designers our editors have picked as the ones to watch. Who will break through? Who will we all be talking about . . .next year? >> Todd Richesin, Knoxville TN

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You may have read about a house we designed in Key West in the June issue of Traditional Home magazine.  Shortly before the article went to press, the homeowners had the opportunity to purchase the house immediately behind theirs.  This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to combine two properties with such historic significance

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Wednesday evening, after having worked on the decorations for the past five days, all of the volunteers were invited to a reception at the White House. This would be the first of many holiday parties at the house this season. Mrs. Obama estimated that over 100,000 people would get to enjoy the decorations we had created.

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It took an hour for 90 people to get through three security checkpoints to get inside the White House. They were super thorough.

[White House Reception 322]
Green room with trees and wreaths made from recycled magazines and newspaper

Once inside, it was easy to move about the public areas of the house. There was a screen set up in the lower cross hall to screen the President and First Family as they came and went. I am certain they have little privacy, so this was understandable. The house is really beautiful. It feels very intimate for the President’s residence, which surprised me. It is a big house, don’t get me wrong, but the overall feeling is very approachable and welcoming.

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About the second week of October I got a wonderful surprise. It was an email from the Social Secretary at the White House asking me to be one of the 100 volunteers they select each year to help decorate the White House for Christmas. I had written a letter to the Chief Floral Designer and to the Social Secretary back in January telling them of my interest, and finally word came. As I talked with the volunteers once I was in DC, it was clear that we all had done the same thing. We were not really selected on our ability to decorate….or who we were….or what we did in our daily lives. We were selected because of our passion to want to be a volunteer in the People’s House, and to help make it beautiful for the People of the United States. If I learned anything during this week of decorating, I learned that being a proud, helpful American is one of the most important things we can be.

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Making Spirits Bright Eclectic translates to selective at Bobby Todd Antiques where Christmas reigns supreme. “For most, October is a month of Susan G. Komen 5K’s, pumpkins and candy corn. In Sweetwater, however, the first chill off all air signals the approach of the merriest season—a season which begins with the Bobby Todd Antiques Annual

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Recently, I attended the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, North Carolina.  This is the showcase of everything new and exciting in the furniture and design business.  Designers, buyers, retailers, and manufacturers all descend on this small town twice each year to see what everyone else is doing.  For me, this is usually a

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Traditional Home is one of my favorite magazines.  I have had a subscription since I was in college.  Their outlook on design is much the same as mine.  Classic interiors that are timeless.  There are ways to make them feel fresh, and that is exactly what we do at Todd Richesin Interiors!  They have just published

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