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13 December, 2009

The Christmas Tour of Homes in Madison, Georgia..."The Prettiest Small Town in America"

homes Last weekend, I went to the annual Christmas Tour of Homes in Madison, Georgia. You may not be familiar with Madison, but in my neck of the woods, it is very well-known. It was voted the Prettiest Small Town in America by Holiday Traveler Magazine and is also called the Town that Sherman Refused to Burn during the Civil War, having been saved because there was an important Northern sympathizer who lived there. His presence was a lucky thing for Madison, since over 100 Antebellum homes are still standing! So every holiday season, a select number of the beautiful homes go through their Christmas metamorphosis and open their doors for public viewing! The entire town of Madison becomes a mecca for house peepers like myself!

brady outside 2The first home we visited is actually a bed and breakfast…the Brady Inn. It was built around 1885 and later purchased by Patrick Henry Brady. Our beautiful hostess met us at the door! I am sure that our handsome host Baby Kitty would love to meet her!

straight spindles Upon entering, you are greeted by this gorgeous spindled opening above the door with a view to a stained glass window over the entrance to the dining room.

brady interior All of the rooms are exquisitely furnished with wonderful period pieces. Oh! It looks like one of the rooms already has a guest! lol

straight condo This next home is actually a loft-style condominium in a refurbished cotton warehouse. You enter through this shady vine-covered porch. Wouldn’t you love to have your morning coffee here?

IMG_9264 I love this unusual mantel! The owner is a Native American and you can see those influences throughout the home.

straight dr Isn’t this a fabulous tablescape? Notice the stacked pottery used as the centerpiece. You can see the brick walls and high ceilings in the background.

IMG_9274 This is my favorite, I think, and you will see why! It is the D’Huart Ivy Cottage, built in 1853.

fr home mosaic Its current owner lived in France for 20 years and has filled it with wonderful French antiques that she brought with her! I lingered over every little treasure and tiny detail!

IMG_9281 There was a pair of these lovely French antique chairs…with wonderfully detailed needlework!

IMG_9284 I have never seen a more intricately carved armoire outside of a museum…fabulous!

IMG_9285 I love this old prayer chair! Don’t expect finely carved pews in the cathedrals of France. Instead, there are rows of these low chairs with a ledge on the back for kneeling in prayer.

IMG_9287 This antique deer head hook was in the kitchen. I love the hoof!

IMG_9280 There was a pair of antique miniature sedan chairs on the mantel. The larger one of the two only stood about 10 inches tall!

straight sedan chairIt has hinges and a latch so that it can be opened. There are tiny packages waiting on the seat for its miniature passenger! Adorable! As you can see, I loved every minute detail of this home!

IMG_9297 This next home is exactly what you are wishing for when you go on a tour of homes! It is called Hilltop and was built circa 1832 with wonderful Greek revival details.

IMG_9306 Many of the furnishings are American antiques, with English porcelains and antique oriental rugs. I love the detail on the mantel!

IMG_9308 The Christmas tree also stands in the same room. Can you see the dried hydrangeas scattered about in the tree? It would take my little garden a long time to produce that many! lol

IMG_9301 In the dining room, there was a lovely portrait of a child over the mantel. I love the pecan garland…so unusual!

straight molds In the kitchen, the owner had displayed her collection of antique oriental candy molds. I had never seen these before!

IMG_9309 And what little boy wouldn’t love this room? My grandson would have gone straight for the truck collection on the hearth! lol

IMG_9305 But I think the family room was my favorite. It had such a warm glow!

straight house The final home, the Caldwell Cottage, was more modern. Set on a wooded lot, it was built in 2004 from a plan by William Poole of Southern Living fame.

IMG_9319 This home used all natural greenery in its decorations. I showed you a close-up of this centerpiece in my previous post. I love the use of artichokes, Key limes, and cranberries!

straight kitchenThe kitchen was decorated with a candy theme and starred a wonderful pass-through to…

IMG_9334 …a rustic two story living room! Gorgeous!

straight toile Of course, I fell in love with this toile bedroom! Notice that the walls are all constructed of wide planks, as they were throughout the house. It gave the feeling of a much older home.

IMG_9337 Isn’t this an unusual chair? I loved the little doggie pillow, too!

IMG_9335One final view…of their beautiful pool looking through the paper whites that were blooming in the sun room. Sigh!

I don’t know about you, but I am hungry after all of that walking! Hmmm…my camera battery seems to have died! Too bad I can’t show you the…er…slice of hummingbird cakehealthy raw veggies with fat free dip that I had for a snack! lol

Thanks so much for going on the tour with me! I hope you enjoyed it! Please head on over to Mary’s at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday to see one of her beautiful mosaics and to find a list of this week’s participants. You will be treated to some wonderful photos from some very talented people!

met mon Next, be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday where you can get a peek at her gorgeous home and see what sorts of changes she is making, as well as find out who else is playing along! I’m betting there will be lots of Christmas decorations!

deck the halls

And then on Tuesday, please join Susan at thoughtsfromovertherainbow for Deck the Halls! We will be showing off our Christmas decorations every Tuesday between December 1st and January 5th, so come get in on the fun! Thanks again for stopping by! See you next time! A la prochaine!


  1. Wow ... that was a great tour you took me on! Thank you ~
    Living here in the Northeast, I don't get to see first hand what southern Christmases look like... this was a great 'virtual' tour! I live in an OLD village and 90% of the homes here are over 200 yrs old and remind me of these, in Madison. My home is 23 years old, but I would love rooms that are "square" for easier decorating.
    Thanks again ~ this was very Merry *

  2. What fun, Debbie! I loved going on this tour with you, and there are so many shiny objects that I will have to go back and ogle them more! ;-)

    I love those French needlepoint chairs and the tiny sedan chairs with tiny packages! How cute! They had some fabulous mirrors in there, too. And I am in love with the home that had all the period English and American antiques... what gorgeous oil paintings and so tasteful! I also loved the brick walls and detail in the cotton gin conversion. Oh, how I love brick walls! And did you notice that the Caldwell Cottage had my same dishes I used for my Thanksgiving Tablescape? That's Mottahedeh's Duke of Gloucester pattern. I enjoyed seeing them on their table, AND Caldwell is a family name in our family!!! They might even be distant kin. Do you think they might invite us all over to eat??? ;-)

    I always look forward to your tours. They are SO much fun, and this one certainly was. Thanks for taking us along. I think that was a mighty pretty kitty posing to attract Baby Kitty, but don't let his head get turned for just any pretty female. We need to interview her to make sure she's puuuuuuurfect for him.


    Sheila :-)

  3. Those houses were really pretty. Now I want to visit Madison, GA. I just love house tours. It's so much fun to get a peep into someone's home.

    I went on one tour last weekend and am supposed to go on another today. I just love it!

  4. Debbie,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful and interesting holiday tour! These homes are absolute jewels of history. It's very fortunate this city was not harmed during the CW. Your favorite home is filled with so many unique French treasures. I love outings like this, and enjoyed it thoroughly via your camera lens.

  5. Hi Debbie!
    Oh my hubby and I have wanted to drive over to Madison for a while now!
    I LOVE LOVE those beautiful homes!
    We definitely will be taking a drive very, very soon. Would LOVE to see it while decorated for Christmas:)
    Thanks so much for the wonderful photos, just gorgeous, each and every one.
    I bet the hummingbird/raw veggies was soooooo delish;)!

    Merry Christmas!

    ~Let FREEDOM Ring!~

  6. Oh Debbie, what gorgeous homes. I would have loved to take this tour. All of them are so pretty and all of the rooms are so beautifully decorated. There are some really unusual pieces of furniture and accessories. I don't think I've ever seen all those candy molds either. Loved all of your pictures and what a fun tour. Hope you're having a super weekend. Hugs, Marty

  7. Oh what absolute gorgeousness, wish we had this sort of thing here in the U.K.....thats it...I'm moving to your neck of the woods...I wouldn;t get much done at home I'd be noseying around all the time...great inspiration though, thank you for sharing, have a great week Debbie...Oh by the way are you really a Deborah? thats my middle name. hugs Teresa

  8. Debbie, this was fabulous. I enjoyed going on the tour via cyber space. My grandson would have gone right for the trucks on the hearth as well. lol. I've seen sugar molds displayed on the wall, but it's been awhile. What fun you must have had. I would have come home full of inspiration and all fired up. Thanks for taking us along..hugs ~lynne~

  9. Well that was fun. I love house tours, it is such a wonderful way to get ideas for our own homes and to see how others live. This was a great assortment of home styles. Thank you!


  10. Oh Debbie. What a beautiful house tour .Those are all houses you can see in those beautiful magazines at Christmastime. So wonderful. Everything is so perfect . It is good you took your camera with you to take all these beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing

  11. Thanks for the tour, Debbie. I think I want to come to your little town for a visit next year at this time so I can enjoy the homes first hand! My favorite was the red and white toile bedroom...just beautiful...but I do love the kitchen with the Asian candy molds. I have half dozen or so Chinese wooden moon cookie molds that I bet could be used for candy...not antique, though. This is giving me ideas on trying them out for candy for stocking stuffers. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful homes.

  12. Oh Debbie thanks for the fun tour today...still say you should have waited for me to come along ha ha!! I hope you are having a great weekend my dear friend....Many Hugs to you girl...Gl♥ria

  13. Thank you for taking us on the tour too! So many beautiful homes and rooms! I went on our home tour yesterday with some friends and my mom. What a great time. Unfortunately they don't allow cameras on our tour. I was bummed!
    Enjoy your Sunday!

  14. Debbie... Georgia does have some of the most beautiful homes... thanks for sharing these beauties today!

    Good Luck in my giveaway drawing tonight... thanks for commenting and following!

    blessings. Dixie

  15. Thanks for the house tour. I love those holiday house tours, and will get tickets most years.

  16. I find it interesting how minimally they decorated. Most of what we see nowadays is over the top...mine included.

  17. Hi Debbie,
    Just beautiful! Thank you for the tour; it's been a real delight. Have a lovely week.

    Christmas blessings,

  18. wow! I can see why it was voted pretties small town in America. I could imagine being there, must have been fabulous because the photo tour was awesome :)

  19. I love all those images on your post.All very interesting.Love to take a peek into other peoples houses.


  20. What a beautiful town. I would so love to visit - I know my eyes would be out on stalks!

  21. You are a lovely tour guide! You brought us the beauty of Madison on my screen! Your photos in your mosaic are very gorgeous!

    Ebie's Mosaic.

  22. Oh my goodness. Too beautiful. I really loved that wardrobe. Isn't it a shame that so many antebellum homes were destroyed? A couple of years back, my hubby and I went to Natchez, MS and toured several antebellum homes. It was awesome. Thank you for the tour. Rosie

  23. What a fabulous tour you were on. Thanks for sharing all your photos, I enjoyed every one.

  24. Hey Debbie... where are all the Xmas decorations? lol
    I have heard of Madison. We lived in GA. as you know, but didn't venture out very much because of the traffic.
    I love the loft and the last home being more modern. I must ask "where is the pink" lol kidding, loved the tour.
    Sorry it's been awhile visiting. I was in Vancouver last week, and this week all the Olympic excitement.
    Thanks for coming over...Big change huh?
    Miss you
    Love Claudie

  25. Oh, these homes are gorgeous! Happy holidays!

  26. Hi Debbie....I need to make apoint of visiting Madison next Christmas...I have never been in all the years I have lived here...Infact i was suppose to go to the Marietta house tour this year and never made it...Too cold!!
    We missed you at the luncheon the other was much good food and ofcourse the company was great...I hope your grandson is feeling better....Sue.

  27. Beautiful tour! I love the beds with the high headboards. The Christmas tree is gorgeous -- what a pretty town for a Christmas tour. Thanks for visiting my NYC tour too -- together, these were the best of both worlds...don't you think? I had been to NYC before...but I have to admit, it's pretty amazing at Christmas.

  28. What a great tour Debbie! I LOVE that cotton warehouse conversion. And the Ivy Cottage, the blue bedroom looks dreamy! Such beautiful homes, and I love all of the Christmas decor ideas, particularly the centerpiece. The pecan garland is really neat, but it looks pretty labor intensive. Thanks for the tour, this does look like a beautiful town. Hugs, Kat

  29. Debbie- I would have loved going on this tour! I am originally from a town where a huge civil war battle was fought, but we do still have beautiul homes left. I always wanted to live in one! Love that truck collection and the pecan garland looks like something they might have used back then. Thanks for sharing this. I think Madison deserves its nickname!

  30. Thanks so much for the tour. We Georgians are lucky to have Madison near Athens and Atlanta, but not too near. I remember my first time though.

  31. I have lingered and looked and went woooh and aweeee. and so I am hastily posting to say wonderful!!

    Only so i can run back and re-read some more.

    Thanks for shaing.

    May you and your family enjoy this blessed time of the year! Merry Christmas!
    TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

  32. Debbie, thanks for taking us along on this fabulous home tour. Your amazing photos made me feel like I was right there with you. I like the interesting chair and the needlepoint pillow of the dog. Too cute!
    Hugs ~ Sarah

  33. Deb, Oh how I would have loved to stroll through all these beautiful homes. What a great little town. If I had to choose one to move into it would have to be Ivy Cottage,loved the front porch. What a fun tour,thank you for taking us along hugs,Kathysue

  34. Really fantastic post... great mosaics of all the things to look at... I lingered for a while on your blog! I could almost smell the paperwhites... oh wait mine are blomming too! hehehehe...
    Merry Merry!
    ~Really Rainey~

  35. What a fun tour!! I so wish we had tours like this where I live now. I do miss getting to peek into others homes!


  36. How fun to tour antebellum homes, Debbie! I love doing that too. Aren't the homes just lovely? They all look so warm and I just love all the antique furniture in them. We just got back from our fabulous trip and I am still unpacking. Welcome back to reality, huh! Sigh!....Christine

  37. What an amazing tour! I loved your favorite house too! ♥

  38. Wonderful tour of Madison. I loved yoru favorite too. The porch was cute and I loved the stacked pottery used as the centerpeice on the table. Great photos and thanks for the tour.

  39. Debbie this is a tour I would have loved to take! All the homes are lovely.

  40. Thanks for the tour of such lovely homes. Loved all the details you showed.

  41. I enjoyed this so much. Thank you for the pictures and details!

  42. Debbie... you comment about Sheila winning my giveaway was right on. She said the same thing last night when I notified her of winning... how's that for karma? thanks for joining in the fun!

    blessings. Dixie

  43. Those are gorgeous homes filled with lovely rooms. I went to a home tour yesterday.
    They are beautifully decorated and always a source of inspiration.

  44. Oh, this was the best of the best home tours. I'm so envious to be able to see inside these homes in person. Thanks for taking all of the wonderful pictures and sharing them with us. Sally

  45. Hi Debbie...

    Ohhh my...these homes are absolutely breathtaking, my friend!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your wonderful tour of homes with us! I have never had the opportunity to tour any of the beautiful homes of the this is such a treat!!! I have to agree with favorite was the fabulous french cottage!!! Ohhh...all those beautiful french pieces...and fabrics...sooo beautiful!!! Thank you, Debbie!

    What??? Forget the low-cal veggies and dip...I want a piece of that hummingbird cake! Hehe!

    Warmest wishes and Christmas Blessings to you and your family, Debbie!

    Chari @Happy To Design

  46. Hi Debbie, another wonderful post of your house tour... I would be so, so happy in that tour!!! Thank you for the pictures, I enjoyed them all!!!!!!!
    Muchos cariños
    maria cecilia

  47. Wow! Thank you for that beautiful tour. The homes are just wonderful and I love all the decor.

  48. What a wonderful tour! These homes are just gorgeous! I have a thing for historic homes...I used to live in a house built in 1920, unfortunatly around here they don't keep up the neighborhoods so it's hard to find one in a good area.

    Thanks for your nice compliments on my tree!! I still love your mantle! Kristen

  49. Wow Debbie, how gorgeous!!! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely images at MM. :) Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!

  50. Debbie - how lucky to able to see all those homes. So many gorgeous pieces..I can see why the cottage was your favorite with all the French pieces!! Would love to have one, two, ten or so of my own!!

  51. What a wonderful (and inspiring) post. Madison has been on my list of places to visit for quite awhile but I've yet to make it. Maybe next year.

  52. What a fantastic home tour. I wish ours had been that good. We were so disappointed. This year we skipped it but will give it a try next year.
    Thanks for taking such wonderful photo's! It made me feel almost like I was there!

  53. Oh my... these home are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing the tour with us.

  54. Debbie this is truly a gorgeous and amazing home tour! Loved it!

    Chestnut says Hi to the staff!
    He's feeling better today after his trama filled photo shoot...:)

    Many Blessings! ~Melissa :)

  55. Debbie ~ You did an exquisite presentation of these homes. When we are in the south we treasure visiting the historical homes. Such elegance & history abounds ...

    Merry Christmas ~
    TTFN ~Marydon
    **NEW BLOG**

  56. I loved the tour; historic house tours are my favorite activity! Joyeux(sp) Noel,

  57. Hi Debbie, I loved the tour! I think my favorite is the loft because it looks so warm and inviting. I also loved the doggie pillow. Merry Christmas!


  58. Enjoyed the tour so much! Watched it several times and saw new things the second time around. I love Christmas home tours.

  59. What a wonderful Christmas home tour Debbie! That wonderful fireplace in the loft really "spoke" to me - I think it wasy saying "even if you could find one of me, you have NO place to put me". OOOO, those beautiful French furnishings and accessories. And that house with the pass through from the kitchen looks so inviting. Thanks for the photos. It was almost as good as getting to on the tour. laurie

  60. What a wonderful tour and I did not even have to drive:) I am crazy about house tours and will put this on my list of places to tour next year. I am having a blog gal tea for Valentines day Feb so tell Linda too. I will send out all the info in January. Oh and Childrens hospital is the best and always fast. I hope your little GS gets better soon. Merry Christmas.

  61. Dear Debbie, I wish you and your family a very, very happy christmas, and may next year brings much happiness and blessings to you all.
    Meeting you has been one of the best things that happened to me since I start blogging this year and I´m so grateful for it.
    Muchos cariños
    Maria Cecilia

  62. Fabulous tour Debbie! I love all the pics and the details, Madison,GA will go on my places to visit list! Hugs, Cindy


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie