Megan Pesce: The Concord Museum Holiday House Tour
November 28, 2016
Text by Megan Pesce
Holiday decorating is always a joy, but when the home you are working on is steeped in local history, that joy becomes an education as well. In my case, literally a history lesson; as the home in Concord, Massachusetts, was the original site of the Nashoba Brooks Schools.
Gladys Brooks founded The Brooks School of Concord in 1928, and our design of the foyer was inspired by the holiday decor of that time. In step with tradition, guests are greeted with a refurbished schoolhouse desk, complete with an antique slate, primer, and school bell. Burlap and a simple garland wrap the staircase, while “brown paper packages tied up with string” are at the base. We also incorporated photos of the home that were generously lent to us from the archives of the Nashoba Brooks School. It was a pleasure to see the true history of the space and incorporate that into our design.
Given the fantastic color scheme of the formal living room, which once served as the Nashoba Brooks School faculty lounge, we decided to embrace an old Hollywood vibe. Small wreaths in the windows are decorated with reindeer ornaments and finished with silver ribbon. The combination of the fur and sequined pillows on the sofa bring a bit of Hollywood regency glamour in historic Concord. Speaking of Hollywood, did I mention that Steve Carrell was also a student at the Nashoba Brooks School? The sparkle of a silver bowl full of ornaments is a beautiful way to let this holiday decor stay in your own home throughout the winter months.
Those red walls are the perfect backdrop for our Christmas Tree room! Usually no one has a space dedicated solely to a tree and all those presents beneath it, but I was thrilled when the homeowner gave me permission to do just that. I can only imagine how much the teachers at the Brooks School would have loved all of the coordinating wrapping paper.
Jewel tones fill this room and bring holiday glamour to life. Ornaments don’t just have to be for your tree —try using command hooks and fishing wire to hang a few from your windows as well.
This homeowner wasn’t afraid to use color, and what a blessing that was for me! Our table was set in a traditional Christmas color scheme with wreaths pinned to the backs of each chair.
As far as I’m concerned you can never have too many candles in your holiday decorating—unless, of course, you actually want to serve from your sideboard.
Our festive centerpieces were created using fresh greens inside Frosty’s top hat, paired with a collection of vintage brass candlesticks.
The three little ones lucky enough to sit at this “kids table” get mini top hats of their own. We also used a real wool scarf as a table runner in their space. Their stools are extra cozy too, because you can never have too much fur this time of year!
The dining room and kitchen also open up to the family room, and the vibrant green wall color is carried throughout. We continued the traditional theme by bringing pops of red, in sailcloth pillow and stocking from my line of reclaimed sailcloth home decor, MK Coastal. Bookshelves aren’t just for books, try hanging small wreaths from the bottom of the shelves above or fill a top shelf with red organza to add a pop of color and whimsy.
In keeping with the history of the home, the bookshelves are also lined with antique books and candles sourced from local Concord antique shops. This was the perfect spot to display the class photos taken on the front stairs of this home in the 1930’s through the 1970’s.
This white sofa is the perfect backdrop for an array of red and green pillows. We also brought in a small tree as an accent in the corner. A tray on the cocktail table is filled with candles and an antique reindeer decoration while a beautifully blooming amaryllis adorns the table under the window. Once again, these decorations don’t have to go away after the holidays but could stay put all winter.
This last space in this design was wrapped up with the school children in mind. Who doesn’t love a candy buffet? Gumballs, gumdrops, and peppermint swirls are the finishing touch on this festive design!
Megan Pesce is the principal of Megan Pesce Interiors. Her firm offers a full range of design services including the MK Do-Ovah, a service designed to help homeowners create a beautiful home by jumpstarting the design process with a two-hour consultation that provides both a floor plan, and a game plan for completing the spaces on their own. Megan is also the co-founder of MK Coastal a line of recycled sailcloth decor.