It’s A CASA Kind of Christmas
Holiday home tour delights visitors every season
Flying high for the 19th annual CASA Christmas Home Tour, the home of Brett and Liz Molgren was one of four residences fabulously decked out last year to raise money for Child Advocates of Fort Bend. The happiness of the holidays was evident everywhere as almost every room of the home was transformed into a Christmas wonderland, each displaying a distinctive theme that transformed the ordinary to the extraordinary with holiday magic, leaving guests inspired with the wonder of the season.
Christmas designers and family friends Ellen Odom, Peggy Reiland and Laura Hartman worked hand in hand with homeowners Liz and Brett, who are both busy pilots for major airlines. The couple began decorating just after Thanksgiving and Liz said, “I was the gopher for the team and I completed specific tasks, like spreading the garland. And of the five trees, I decorated the traditional tree which displays our family ornaments.” Brett’s role was more R & D in nature. He disclosed with a smile, “About a month and a half prior, I started planning everything.” Additionally, this DIY man completed the couple’s outdoor living space by finishing the tile, installing the outdoor appliances and finishing the stucco. The girls on the team agreed that they were happy and impressed that Brett got everything done on time for the tour.
Incorporating Christmas decorations into the home’s existing décor was easy due to the three-story floor plan and the fantastic outdoor space. Each level of the home exudes a dramatic unique theme which blends beautifully with the Molgrens’ terrific design taste. As CASA tour guests entered the first floor of this garden abode, they encounter a gold and silver fantasy fused with a little Southern charm. The dining room is set for Christmas feasting as the fine china and sparkling crystal serve to reflect the glistening gold and silver accents. The dining chairs are adorned with beautifully tied golden bows which are embellished with silver Christmas balls. Shiny gold glittered candles and the gleam of the silver centerpieces return the room’s soft light. Fragrant magnolia flowers adorn each place setting, and an ornamental angel heralds the season from atop the china cabinet. The tree in the corner echoes the theme found within the first floor with golden ribbon dancing through its branches, silver twinkling lights and magnolia accents. Just beyond the dining room is the family room and draped across the picture window overlooking Oyster Creek, the Christmas greenery is enchantingly intertwined with magnolia leaves, branches and blooms.
In the kitchen, guests meet up with Frosty the Snowman on Candy Cane Lane. Soft green bows add flair to the dropped lighting above the island where the focal point is the evergreen floral design, which includes fruit, mistletoe and ribbon interspersed among snowmen, conical candy canes and a large take on Frosty’s top hat. Christmas stoneware sets the breakfast bar backed by red and green striped place mats adding just the right touch of the season’s favorite colors to the cook’s delightful space.
On the second level, guests find the bedrooms bedecked with more traditional Christmas décor. The floating candles in the master suite allow elegance and an understated approach to the holiday spirit, while in the guest rooms, the decorations are craftier. The tree is decorated with family ornaments and a softly glowing star and soft white lights give off a warm glow. A simple wreath and a Christmas quilt and pillow lend comfort to the furniture in the room.
The third floor is the couple’s game room which includes a bar and a big screen television as well as an outdoor fireplace and an additional TV. “We love this part of our home,” said Liz. Brett adds, “We call it the Danger Zone because when we have guests, we hang out up here, drink wine and then they don’t want to leave.” The Christmas décor on this floor reflects the couple’s passion for flying. The tree is decorated with airplane ornaments and even the couple’s flight caps are whimsically incorporated into the table arrangement. The couple admits that this is their favorite part of their home.
The Christmas design extends to the Molgrens’ outdoor living area where floral arrangements, garland, mistletoe and magnolia are situated naturally between the pizza kitchen, the fire pit, the putting green and the fountain, and as a centerpiece on the large outdoor dining table — all magically overlooking the serenity of the water.
The Molgrens became involved with the CASA Christmas tour through Liz’s sister, but their builder, John Kirksey, invited them to be a part of the home tour. The couple’s Tuscan-style garden home overlooking Oyster Creek was the first home built in The Enclave at Lake Pointe. The Molgrens were downsizing after both of their children had left the nest. They love the home’s size (a smaller 3,100 square feet as opposed to their previous 6,200 square feet home in Sugar Creek), the elegant cleaner lines and the fact that their new home is “green” in its design, featuring tankless water heaters, spray foam insulation, 16 seer air conditioning with hospital grade filtration, water-based paint, recycled material carpets and double-paned windows. Brett says, “Aside from the obvious energy-saving aspects of the home and its aesthetic beauty, we now are so convenient to everything we need.” Liz adds, “The fact that we are in a smaller space only makes sense, but we are so happy that we still have a backyard and we love overlooking the water, as well as the brightness the home allows.”
Builder John Kirksey adds, “The home is built to a standard that allows it to operate at roughly 60 percent of normal cost to run a home of its size. We used new technologies to improve energy efficiency, to reduce water usage, to ensure sustainability and to create a healthier indoor environment. Using building science as our guideline, every aspect of the home is taken in to account so that all systems run in tandem and are supportive of each other.” Also notable, Kirksey discloses, “This home was actually the first in the Greater Houston area to be certified under the NAHB Guideline program launched just before commencement of construction, and I continue to use the practices on most, if not every, home that I construct these days.”
The CASA Christmas Home Tour is now in its 20th year of showcasing homes decorated for the holidays in three of Fort Bend County’s most beautiful neighborhoods. CAFB executive director Ruthanne Mefford shared, “In 2010, tour proceeds totaled more than $180,000, providing approximately 20 percent of our annual budget. With expenses at 6 percent, most of the money goes directly into services for the children.”
This year’s CASA Tour takes place Dec. 9-10 and features homes in Sienna Plantation, Riverstone, Sweetwater, Sugar Creek and Greatwood. Tour hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and a special Candlelight Tour on Friday from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Tickets are available online at cafb.org, at all Fort Bend county Kroger and Randalls stores, and the Riverstone Information Center. Tickets are $20 advance; $25 tour days.
Text by Cheryl Alexander | Photography by J Pamela PhotographyBuilder: John Kirksey, Kirksey Homes | Christmas Décor by Ellen Odom, Peggy Reiland and Laura Hartman Florals by Blaine Stacey of Creative Branch | Finishes by Decorative and Faux Finshes | Draperies by Sophie’s Upholstery