Decorating the Kidwell Farmhouse

We began decorating the Kidwell Farmhouse for the holidays.

1930’s Christmas Party

So, this year we are going with a 1930’s Christmas party theme. In the farmhouse, up goes a small Christmas tree and a display making baking faux cookies in the kitchen.

Every year, we try to do things a little differently to the delight our visitors. One year we even set the dinning room up for musical chairs.

Decorating the Kidwell Farmhouse is always a lot of fun to do.

Creating an Illusion in Decorating the Kidwell Farmhouse

However, it is all about illusions when decorating historic places. Since the farmhouse has a museum-status, we only create the illusion of a holiday party or making cookies. No real food is ever used nor is a real party ever held in the farmhouse.

The farmhouse, built in 1895, has only three rooms we decorate–the kitchen, the dinning room, and the parlor. But those three rooms are full of authentic historic decorating details. We usually try to keep within the time range of 1930’s to the 1950’s but we have also done WWI and earlier years.

To start decorating, the previous display is carefully removed and stored. Then the tables, chairs, and other pieces of furniture are meticulously dusted with a clean white specially ordered dust rag. I wore a pair of clean white gloves to handle the historic or vintage items. Each vintage item needs to be carefully handled and carried with both hands.

Vintage Christmas Bulbs

Setting Up the Christmas Party

Our first room to decorate is the dinning room for the “Christmas party” theme. Because that is probably the easiest room to decorate.

We placed faux snowflake-decorated sugar cookies on a large vintage dish. We then brought out the faux chocolate cake roll and “plated” it on a large vintage aluminum tray. Lastly, we added a few springs of plastic greenery/herbs on the sides of the cake roll.

We added wax paper wrapped faux taffy and chocolate fudge to a small candy dish.

The farmhouse has an antique wooden nut bowl of which we fill with a bunch of faux nuts in their shells. A few faux nuts are randomly tossed on the table along with the vintage nut picks.

We left the vintage glasses out we had previously on the table.

There are a couple of white candles on the table which we will twist and turn on during the tours. No real candles are ever used for safety reasons. A small sprig of greenery is the centerpiece on the dinning room table.

We added some greenery around the mirror and left out a pack of vintage playing cards.

Again, all the greenery is artificial and made of plastic but the pine cones are real.

Vintage Christmas Bulbs in Carton

Making Christmas Stockings

In the parlor, we set up a small table for making Christmas stockings. Children during the 1930’s did not get a lot of gifts for the holidays but might receive a stocking.

For example, the stockings held one orange or tangerine, a piece of candy or candy cane and perhaps a small toy. That was the only orange or tangerine that they got the entire year, so it was quite a treat.

When setting up museum displays, it is best to have things not look too perfect. For instance, in this case we allowed one stocking draped over the top of the chair. In the dinning room, there is a plate with a couple of cookies on it. It needs to look like the farm wife just stepped away for a minute or two.

Kitchen Magic

In the kitchen, we placed a cookie and a tangerine on the baby’s highchair. The apple pie is stored in the wood stove’s warming oven.

However, during the holidays though, sometimes the apple pie magically becomes a mince meat pie for tours.

That is about all we accomplished. The small artificial Christmas tree always takes a lot of time to put up and will do that later. This year we have a new special patchwork quilt tree skirt we will be adding. I’ll have to get more details on that at another time.

Ending Notes and Decorating the Kidwell Farmhouse

For those who decorate historic places, or only their homes, happy holiday decorating from Farmhouse Magic Blog.

None of the photographs on today’s blog are of the Kidwell Farmhouse.

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