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Fox and Ward homes offer opposite kinds of holiday charm

Nov. 24, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Next week, Dec. 1, the Arts Resources for the Tri-State's holiday homes tour will be in full gear.

This is an event you just don't want to miss. The homes this year offer great variety and are going to be a wonderful treat for the community. Two of those homes will be featured here today - they are as different as night and day, however, both are lovely and special in their own rights.

Ken Fox and Ken Epperly, owners of Magic Makers, have a wonderful experience in store for everyone who takes the tour. Not only will guests be touring their home but can can also learn about their collections. In each room showcased there will be a speaker briefly discussing the décor and treasures the two have accumulated and displayed in such a creative manner.

Family heirlooms, movie memorabilia and historical keepsakes are displayed in rooms that feature a theme. The dining room has elements of Fox's Egyptian travels and features reflecting his interest in Frank Lloyd Wright. Tucked under a table one will see Yul Brenner's slippers from the movie, "The Ten Commandments" and tableware from the "Cleopatra" and "Titanic" movies. Upstairs in the Keith-Albee room one will get to see a dress worn by Bette Davis and in the Chinese Room a Mandarin priest will appear.

Intertwined in all of the memorabilia are lovely Christmas decorations that Fox has created to fit his busy lifestyle.

"It seems we move right from Halloween into Christmas at work, so this time of year we work long hours," Fox said. "I have to be efficient with my decorations. In four hours I can decorate this house because everything has been created to hang on a hook in the attic. All I have to do is take it off of its hook and put it where I have made a note it goes. The trees are wrapped in sheets and just carried upstairs to be stored until the next Christmas when they are unwrapped and put in their special spots."

On the other end of the spectrum is the home owned by Jina and Gary Ward. They have barely been in their home a year and still have lots of plans for it. Their North Boulevard home will be decorated for the first time this year and they wanted to do something special.

"The decorations are our presents to each other this year," Gary said. "I love Christmas and the decorations, so I really get into it. We agreed to be on the tour as a way of giving back to the community."

The Wards' home will be trimmed in gold and glitz throughout the downstairs. Jina explained that their friend Matt Smith has agreed to help them get ready since he is the one who recruited them for the tour. They also have hired designer Matt Reynolds to lead them through the project.

"We plan to have family heirlooms featured in the great room," Jina said. "We have Christmas decorations that we have accumulated over the years that we put on the family tree, which will be flocked. Our son loves the flocked tree and even questioned that we would be putting one up in the new house."

The living room and dining room will be rather formal and the kitchen and breakfast room will have a whimsical touch.

Gary went on to describe the foyer where an antique sled will be the focal point.

"We drove to Florida to get this sled," he said. "It is a true antique that was used to collect maple syrup at one time. It is pretty good size but we wanted to use it in our decorations."

As Gary was describing the Christmas season he said, "If Christmas could be all year round I'd apply for the Santa Claus job."

"Gary loves Christmas," Jina added. "It is his favorite time of year and he totally enjoys it. We all do."

This house, like all of the others, looks to be a wonderful dressed-up home and it is not something to miss.

Come out and see them all dressed for the occasion next Sunday.



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