Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christmas on Sea Island; Homes, the Cloister and Historic Tabby Slave Cabins Part of This Year's Tour

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christmas on Sea Island; Homes, the Cloister and Historic Tabby Slave Cabins Part of This Year's Tour

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

SEA ISLAND | The Cassina Garden Club's annual Christmas Tour of Homes typically brings a crowd.

But with Saturday's 30th annual tour again concentrating on opulent Sea Island houses, the attraction goes up.

The tour will stop at five Sea Island houses, all decorated by Cassina members this week, and at the Cloister, where participants can have lunch.

The Jingle Bells & Seashells theme relies heavily on using natural material, including some that are important to Georgia. The Christmas tree in one house is decorated in tiny wreaths made of reddish peach pits, gold sweetgum balls, peanut garland, magnolia and cotton, all to reflect the owners' Georgia roots. The owner, however, also did a good job of that with a gubernatorial portrait of the owner's great-grandfather, the antique chairs used in the portrait and Civil War portraits in a hall.

The house has a cypress ceiling and reused wood from a Savannah warehouse in the study and master bedroom. Paintings by island artists are also featured.

One cottage has an obvious nautical theme with weathered ships' lanterns, sail blades on ceiling fans, a driftwood mantel and shells on a fireplace hearth.

The decorations also reflect the owner with a lot of shells in the handmade wreaths and swags.

A home built in the 1940s has a large, bright family room with an art wall filled mostly with the work of local artists. It has an antique apothecary sideboard, and a bank of glass doors provides an expansive view of the dunes and beach.

A house with heart pine floors has a beautiful view and the tree is trimmed with a family collection of silver bells.

A courtyard with iron gates, arched stucco walls and curving stone columns are exotic features at a house with wall lanterns, high ceilings and a row of fountains in a sun lounge.

Participants in the 10 a. …

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