NASHUA, NH — Looking for a bit of holiday spirit to kick start your own decorating or shopping agenda? Friends of Symphony NH are once again offering a tour of Nashua area homes dressed for the season. From beautiful workmanship of period homes to ambitious remodeling efforts to the diversity of a festive Indian holiday, the tour, on December 3 and 4, 2016 offers the wonders of Christmas with fresh greenery, colorful decorations and holiday music at each home to lift spirits all round.
Tickets ($20) available at 41 Berkeley Street, Nashua, during tour hours, 12 noon to 4 p.m. Homes may be toured in any order on both or either days.
At 41 Berkeley Street, homeowners Laurie and Michael Ortolano have opened their 1925 Federal-style home to showcase the beautiful restoration done over the past seven years. A stunning nine-foot Christmas tree greets guests in the foyer and showcases the grand staircase to the second floor. The fireplace in the living room, red walls of the dining room, and classically appointed traditional white cabinetry in the gourmet kitchen are all just part of the home’s warmth and casual glamor.
Gloria Henry, owner of Glorious Possibilities in Nashua, assisted Laurie in fulfilling her holiday design and décor. Glorious Possibilities, 227 Main Street in Nashua. www.gloriouspossibilities.com
Nearby at 9 Monadock St., the home of Stephen and Meghan Chaloner is warm and wonderful and includes design inspiration fueled by HGTV’s Fixer Upper program. Megan loves the style of Joanna Gaines and it shows with her use of shiplap and rustic details. Also, Meghan is an expert calligrapher and her hand-lettered signs are sprinkled throughout the house, also headquarters for her business, Bliss Lettering. A fire pit in the back yard will warm toes and hands for the next stop.
Also on the North End, at 49 Chester St., the brick home of Cathy and Tom McAndrews was built for the Rudman family in 1938. There is a wood-paneled den harboring a secret liquor cabinet, a period chandelier and lovely crown molding throughout. Cathy loves to decorate at Christmas and has been collecting Christopher Radko and vintage ornaments for years. Floral and evergreen arrangements are by Fortin-Gage Fresh Flowers and Distinctive Gifts (fortin-gage.com)
Though not really a residence anymore, 90 Concord St. offers tour goers a step back in time. The large 34-room manse was built in 1908 for Frank E. Anderson, a shoe manufacturer. Most recently it was Mount St. Mary Seminary and is now owned by the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. The Beaux Arts mansion is well preserved with a red-damasked foyer that opens on to four staterooms. One is a Ladies’ Parlor complete with a Civil War-era piano. At the west end of the foyer rises a grand staircase illuminated by a lantern of caryatids that might have lit a Spanish galleon.
During the Holiday House Tour, the Parlor will host performances by Thomas More College students and Sinfonietta Strings, a Nashua-based youth string orchestra. The Library will showcase paintings and works on paper by Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs and Carole Robey, area artists trained in the Boston School of classical realism. In the Billiard Room, Thomas More College students will highlight the school’s Medieval-inspired Guild Program with demonstrations of woodworking and flower arranging. Refreshments will be available in the Dining Room, and the New Hampshire Orchid Society will accent the classic grandeur of the house with winter blooms.
In the south end, the home of Krishna and Latha Mangipuda at 20 Salmon Brook Drive, showcases different Indian rituals surrounding the holiday season. Look for the display of dolls which form the traditional South Indian festival of Dasara and the festival of lights — Deepavali. Other displays include Gombe Habba (Festival of Dolls) and Rangoli decorative design and Diyas oil lamps.
Also on the tour is a sneak preview of the Festival of Trees at the Hunt Memorial Building at 6 Main St. Thirty-five trees will be on display and available for purchase. There will be a holiday music performance and refreshments will be available.