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Downsizing Tips – 2011 Fort Myers Holiday House, Part 1

 

Since this is the week before Christmas, I’ve decided to dedicate several articles to that very theme.

Today’s START To Downsize  article, Downsizing Tips – 2011 Fort Myers Holiday House, Part 1, is a great example of how Floridians celebrate Christmas.

Sponsored in part by the Fort Myers Women’s Community Club, they consider the Holiday House to be a “gift to the community of Fort Myers”.  It’s a 55-year tradition and a wonderful testament to the generosity, creativity and tireless, energetic vision of club members.

Tours run daily from 5 pm – 9 pm, beginning December 9 and running through December 23.  Tickets are $5 for adults, and children 12 and under are admitted free of charge.  Tickets are available at the door.

Two historic homes are included in the Holiday House tours, the first of which, today’s topic, is the Langford-Kingston Home.

First off, let me say that as a lifelong Minnesotan, I’m not used to seeing palm trees and traditional Christmas decorations simultaneously.  And seeing the Chicago Bungalow-style home, in the tradition of Frank Lloyd Wright, situated amidst the royal palms, seemed incongruous to me, but the feeling quickly faded.

The expansive home’s beauty begins at the marble stairs which lead to a large wrap-around porch.

This red brick, 5,232 square-foot home was built in 1919 by Walter Langford, who was prominent in the railroad and banking industries.  Sold to George Kingston, the inventor of the Kingston carburetor, in 1925, the home remained in the family until 1953.

On one side of the front door is the formal dining room, complete with wainscoting and beamed ceilings.

 In one corner of the dining room is a Christmas tree decorated with (in my opinion) appropriate Floridian decorations, starfish and seashells.

 A piece of original Christmas artwork is hung on one of the dining room’s walls.

 

Moving through the butler’s pantry, you enter the kitchen, which is completely covered with tile.  Blue and white squares adorn the floor and all-white tiles cover the walls and ceiling.  The picture, above, reveals a pass-through from the kitchen to the dining room, facilitating service.

A hallway from the kitchen leads back to the foyer, where the magnificent center-hall staircase captures your attention.

The home’s beautiful woodwork was originally hand-sanded between seven coats of paint.  What a lot of work!  It makes me VERY thankful for today’s paint sprayers, which make the job so much easier!

One popular use of the Langford-Kingston Home is that of a wedding site.  The picture, above, shows a bride and groom in their wedding splendor, right, and dressed for their honeymoon trip, left.  I especially like the groom’s sporty spectator shoes!

Upstairs, one of the four bedrooms is decorated as the bride’s dressing room.  What an exquisite location to prepare for your wedding!

The room’s Christmas tree reinforces the wedding theme with the addition                of “love”-ly ornaments.

One of the front bedrooms serves to showcase the royal robes, crowns and sceptors of the Reigning Monarchs of the Edison Pageant of Light.

Each year, the members of the Fort Myers Women’s Community Club and the Edison Pageant of Light elect the new King and Queen of Edisonia, which was formed in 1928 by a local businessman, to honor the efforts and inventions of Thomas Alva Edison, a long-time winter resident of Fort Myers.

Back on the first floor, in what was originally the living room, sits a real live Santa, patiently wating to listen to every child’s Christmas wishes.

In the adjacent music room, we were invited to leave Christmas greetings in Santa’s guest book.  I couldn’t resist!

We exited the Langford-Kingston Home onto one side of the wrap-around porch.  The low brick balustrades feature painted railings, plenty wide for lounging in  the sub-tropical twilight warmth.

In the background of the picture, above, can be seen the subject of tomorrow’s article, the Burroughs Home & Gardens, but more on that subject will have to wait until then.

One of the benefits of downsizing is the freeing up of time.  Take advantage of your new, downsized home to spend that time seeing new sights and visiting new places.  Don’t miss today’s enchanting location, the Langford-Kingston Home in Fort Myers, the topic of today’s START To Downsize article, “Downsizing Tips – 2011 Fort Myers Holiday House, Part 1.  You’ll walk away with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Kate

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