fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Home(s) for the holidays

Lush berries, magnolia leaves and evergreen garlands imbue Donna Sherbourne’s Medford house with yuletide spirit.

Sherbourne’s traditionally festive aesthetic attracts admirers for an annual December home tour. But the artist also wants visitors to take home some of her unique holiday decor.

“Christmas is just my thing,” Sherbourne says. “I go shopping back East, and I create a lot of things.”

Sherbourne’s two studios, separate from her 2,200-square-foot Cape Cod-style residence, will be open during Soroptimist International of Medford’s Holiday Home Tour. Swags, figurines and ornaments, all embellished in Sherbourne’s locally celebrated style, will be for sale while the tour runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Tickets cost $15 and benefit a variety of local nonprofit organizations.

Sherbourne’s remodeled 1890s farmhouse returns to the 23rd Soroptimist tour after a 10-year hiatus. Also on the 2014 itinerary are a new, hillside home with a panoramic perspective of the valley; a sprawling, Mediterranean-inspired villa; and a grand lodge in the English half-timber style.

Local winery Kriselle Cellars is an added point of interest on this year’s tour. The Modoc Road tasting room will serve as a staging area for shuttling guests to one of the tour’s homes, and the cathedral-ceiling venue constructed of natural wood and stone also will be open for wine-tasting.

Both architecture and holiday cheer recommend homes for the annual tour, which hosted 700 people last year and raised $12,000 to assist local women and girls in need, says organizer Crissy Christian. Raffle tickets for a getaway package also support Soroptimist causes and can be purchased at each of the tour’s four homes.

A portion of proceeds from Sherbourne’s studio sale will augment the tour’s profits. Items range in price from $5 to $500 and can be purchased with cash or check only, says Sherbourne.

“This is my work for the year — the Christmas season,” Sherbourne says, who also has donated elaborate trees, centerpieces, mantelpieces and table settings each of the past six years to Providence Festival of Trees.

Eight Christmas trees, assorted Santa Claus figurines and other seasonal sundries complement the English country theme of Sherbourne’s three-bedroom, three-bath home. The first floor’s great room, kitchen and master bedroom will be accessible to tour participants. Each of those rooms boasts a fireplace for focal point. The great room’s 12-foot-wide brick expanse is draped in garlands and punctuated with vintage violins, a trumpet, French horn and clarinet.

Wingback chairs, a four-poster bed and other antiques echo the pastoral tone of Sherbourne’s original paintings of the English countryside. Rendered in oils, the canvases depict scenes from five trips Sherbourne has taken across the pond with husband Dave.

The Rogue Valley’s own countryside, including the Table Rocks, is framed from various vantages in the Sherbourne home, which sits on 20 acres formerly planted in pear trees but now leased for hay. The simple, single-story farmhouse was converted to the Cape Cod style in the 1930s, says Donna Sherbourne.

Since purchasing their home 43 years ago, the Sherbournes converted the attic into two guest rooms with sloped ceilings, dormers and a shared bath. The master bedroom suite with whirlpool tub expanded the first floor, while French doors, a bay window and built-in bookcases evoke an era of elegant craftsmanship. Dark-stained woodwork lends a sense of coziness.

In addition to the Sherbournes’ spread on Coker Butte Road, homes on the tour are located in east Medford, White City and Jacksonville. Tickets can be purchased in Medford at Essentials Home Décor and the Medford Visitor Center, in Jacksonville at Country Quilts and Fifth Street Hair & Nail Design; at Judy’s Central Point Florist & Gifts, Oregon Books & Games in Grants Pass and Towne & Country Cleaners & Laundry in Ashland and White City.

Past tours have benefited ACCESS, Magdalene Home, Community Works’ Dunn House Shelter, Sexual Assault Victim Services, Jackson County Relief Nursery and Start Making a Reader Today.

Reach freelance writer Sarah Lemon at thewholedish@gmail.com.

Donna Sherbourne stands among holiday decorations displayed throughout her Medford home, which will be featured on the Soroptimist 2014 Holiday Home Tour. Mail Tribune / Julia Moore