PHOTOS by Hillary Ehlen
This year, we celebrated the 31st Annual Homes for the Holidays event with a few familiar faces and a fresh face too. Join us as we take you on a tour of Audra Mehl’s own home, which was decorated with festive, farmhouse décor from Grace 1972, Gathered. Boutique Rentals & Events and greenery from Floret + Foliage.
The stylists who staged this home include Allison Lunde, owner of Floret + Foliage (formerly Blue Barn Event Floral); Carrie Brusven, owner of Gathered. Boutique Rentals & Events; and Audra Mehl, local social media influencer and owner of Grace 1972. Together, these ladies began decking the halls on Thursday, November 2.
About the Event
For the past 31 years, Alpha Gamma Delta has organized the Homes for the Holidays event. Each year, the organization chooses a local beneficiary that will receive a share of proceeds from ticket sales. In 2017, they partnered with the Great Plains Food Bank Backpack Program. The tour took place November 4-5 with homes decorated by Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique, Holland’s Landscaping, SCHEELS Home & Hardware, Trever Hill Design with McNeal & Friends and Northern Home Furniture & Design as well as the home pictured in this article.
Tour this Festive Farmhouse
When decorating the exterior, Brusven and Lunde wanted people to know right away which home was on the Homes for the Holidays tour. For optimal curb-appeal, Lunde added arrangements of pampas grass, spruce cuttings and balsam garlands. Leading up to the door, Brusven created an inviting atmosphere by staging her buffalo-check plaid Eugene Chair with rustic lanterns and woven baskets full of pine cones and winter greens. She also added the Toledo Scale from her Farmhouse Collection to the ensemble for an unexpected touch.
You may recognize the Mehls’ home from our April issue. Since then, the Mehls have completed a few more projects. Audra Mehl was happy to share the shiplap fireplace and reclaimed wood mantle that her husband remodeled with tour-goers. “This was just a standard oak fireplace with brass and a 250-pound mirror. I love the fireplace because it was such a transformation. I used to be embarrassed of it, but now I’m proud,” Audra Mehl said. Projects like this inspired Matthew Mehl to open his new business, On Point Construction.
Caption: Above the fireplace is an authentic, antique tobacco basket from Grace 1972.
At the very top of the fireplace, Lunde went to great heights to hang a balsam garland. She also wrapped garland around the chandelier and banister. In the living room, you can see dogwood arrangements from Floret + Foliage that Lunde placed throughout the home.
Most of the products in the living room can be found at Grace 1972. Under the tree, Brusven and Mehl came up with the idea to use vintage suitcases in place of presents. The woolen Christmas trees were made by Mehl’s sewing and craft-savvy mother. “She’s moving from the pumpkin factory to the Christmas factory,” Mehl laughed.
The dining room features inventory from Gathered. Boutique Rentals & Events and more greenery from Floret + Foliage. The gold-leaf place cards were handmade by Brusven. “I have started doing calligraphy for weddings now—place cards and escort cards. I’ve also done name tags for corporate events,” Brusven said. Her favorite part of the room is the dessert bar complete with cookies from Mehl’s Bakery, chocolate truffles, a bundt cake and lefse.
This tree features ornaments that can be found at Grace 1972, including some that have been handmade by Mehl’s mother.
The parlor is staged with the Georgia Tufted Sofa and Clementine Cubby from Gathered. Boutique Rentals & Events. Brusven decorated the cubby with holiday sheet music, vintage sports balls and wool roving. Woven elements were a common theme throughout the home.
Finally, the kitchen features products from Grace 1972 and greens from Floret + Foliage. To make the room feel even more cozy, Mehl added a hot cocoa station with vintage rolling pins from her store. On her tablescape, Mehl used a set of authentic, antique juggling pins, which are very rare.
For more information, please contact:
Audra Mehl, Grace 1972
Carrie Brusven, Gathered. Boutique Rentals & Events
Allison Lunde, Floret + Foliage