Festive affair

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Twinkling lights are strung across rose brick walls, stone pillars and flat-top hedges in the New Albany Country Club, a neighborhood of Georgian-style homes skirted by white fences. The area provides a great Christmas lights viewing excursion, and this Saturday the public is invited to step inside for a closer look at several of the festive homes.

The foyer of Pat and Mervin Dunn's winding, J-shaped home greets visitors with a Santa statuette and garland, poinsettias and red bows in all directions.

"We usually start decorating [for Christmas] right after Thanksgiving, but we needed a head start for this," said Pat Dunn, one of six homeowners opening their doors for the annual Junior League of Columbus Holiday Tour of Homes.

The marble floor separates to take visitors in three different directions. One path leads to a formal dining room with a low-hanging chandelier, another reveals a white piano in a sitting room with ornate wallpaper, and the last choice heads past a stairway to a view of a traditional English garden outside.

"We tried to go for an old European feel [here], but keeping in mind we had two kids and pets," Dunn said.

Dunn's no stranger to interior design. She and her husband have relocated for jobs several times, and the moving process has helped her hone her decorating style.

Every inch of their New Albany home seems to ask for closer inspection - from tall, wallpapered ceilings to scattered worldly antiques, like Turkish rugs or Russian trinkets. The Dunns' attention to detail carries over into their holiday decorations, with small touches like festive doorknob ornaments and night lights.

"We've been very fortunate, so we need to share some of that with others," Dunn said, a Junior League of Columbus member.

The tour's proceeds will benefit the nonprofit, international organization of women, which is aimed at improving the community.

Tickets for the Holiday Tour of Homes are available for $20 in advance or $25 the day of the tour at the New Albany Country Club. Tickets for a kickoff party on Friday are $75, which includes tour access.

What: Junior League of Columbus' Holiday Tour of Homes

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6

Where: New Albany Country Club