The holiday season has come a little early at one of Calgary’s most historic sites with Lougheed House’s Christmas All Through the House Nov. 17-25.
For the fifth year, The Calgary Design Group — a group of 10 local designers who meet on a regular basis to talk the trade, its products and how they can best work with their clients — have collaborated with Lougheed House creating a variety of holiday themed design throughout the house.
“We’re quite diverse, some of us have more of a decorating background some of us specialize more in renovations, some of us do a little bit of both,” explained Kevin Gray of Kevin Gray Interiors, current president of the design group and the creative mind behind this years dining room design.
The group donates its time for the event while utilizing products from vendors and suppliers in Calgary such as McArthur Fine Furniture and Pottery Barn. In turn House visitors can inquire with the various designers about purchasing products used throughout the home.
Because of Lougheed House’s National Historic Site status, the designers are unable to hammer nails in the walls or use tape encouraging them to utilize their creative savvy in other ways.
“Because we’ve been working on this for five years we work closely with the curator of the home, Ian (Rogan), and closely with the rest of the staff, we’ve got a really good relationship of trust built up between them and us now that we understand the dos and don’ts,” said Gray. “So that’s the difference between this and a normal show home styling.”
Lougheed House was constructed in 1891 for Senator James Lougheed and Lady Isabella with an addition constructed in 1907 for the family, which would grow to include six children as well as house staff. The Lougheed’s were among some of Calgary’s most influential citizens and entertained the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Prince Edward.
“Even though it was rough and cow town and old west and dirt streets, (Calgary) was also a very social city even as it is now,” said Georgia Martin of Creative Touch Inc. who was responsible for designing the Mission Room this year. “Lady Isabella loved to entertain in their home so I’ve brought that in (the design) that they’re preparing for Christmas.
“The room is set up actually very similarly to how it may have been in those days and I’ve integrated leather which works beautifully with the arts and crafts design, but also the graciousness of how Lady Lougheed would have tried to do the room and decorate the room for anybody that was visiting.”
As well as Christmas Through the House, the museum is also encouraging visitors to vote on a Gingerbread House Competition featuring works created by chefs from local hotels and bakeries. Proceeds from the competition go towards supporting Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta.