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11 designers transform Old Governor’s Mansion for the holidays

The Old Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort has been decked out for holiday tours.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2012) – The Old Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort is being transformed into an “inspired Christmas in a historical setting,” showcasing the talents and creativity of 11 designers from throughout Kentucky.  Presented by Flower Magazine and L.V. Harkness, the mansion will be open to the public for daily tours starting today through Sunday, Dec. 9.

“The Old Governor’s Mansion holds a particularly special place in my heart because it was our home when Steve was lieutenant governor,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Since that time, the mansion has been beautifully restored and now is the perfect backdrop for Kentucky designers to display their creative and decorative talents. I encourage everyone to visit the mansion during this event and truly experience a beautiful and historical Kentucky Christmas.”

The mansion tour hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door, per person. State employees will receive a 50-percent discount with valid state identification, and military personnel will be admitted free with valid military identification.

A holiday gift shop offering a range of Christmas, garden and Kentucky-themed items will also be open in the mansion’s garden cottage during tour hours.

Last year was the inaugural launch of Christmas at Old Governor’s Mansion.  Locally renowned garden designer Jon Carloftis, came up with the unique idea to open the mansion during the holidays to raise money for its restoration and to give visitors the chance to view the historic executive residence.  Carloftis worked with Govenor’s Mansion Executive Director Ann Evans to bring together other designers, sponsors and volunteers to help present the Christmas at the Old Governor’s Mansion tour event.

“This is one of the peoples’ houses,” said Linda Roach, a Lexington designer and this year’s chair of the showcase.  “The old mansion isn’t open often, and this is a good chance for people to see the house in holiday finery. It’s a celebration of history and the holidays.”

This year, the 11 Kentucky designers and design teams decorating the mansion represent several disciplines including interior, floral, garden and landscape design.   Each is decorating a specific area or room in the mansion and many of the designers are incorporating native Kentucky plantings and personally crafted items in their designs.

Jennifer Wilson and Teresa Abell, both of Wilson Nurseries in Frankfort, are designing an area this year and feel it is great exposure for all the businesses represented and for Frankfort.

“The Old Governor’s Mansion is a part of Kentuckians’ heritage and this event gives visitors the chance to be introduced to local designers,” Abell said. “The festive and historical experience is yet another great reason for people to visit Frankfort during the Christmas season.”

The designers for Christmas at the Old Governor’s Mansion include:

–  Jon Carloftis, Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens, Lexington

–  Lynn Parris deSeroux, Paris

–  Greg Hofelich, Working Eye Design Consultants, Lexington

–  Patrick Howard, P.G. Howard Designs, Lexington

–  Mary Cynthia Martin, Joe Martin and Martin Durr Caldwell Interior Designs, Danville

–  Carol Mitchell and Ruth Babcock, Carol Lynn Originals, Lexington

–  Tracey Meade, Garden Design and Kendrick & O’Dell, Cold Spring

–  Roiann Ridley, MacKenzie’s Floral, Bowling Green

–  Ellen Timmons, Flower Power, Louisville

–  Lee Waterfield, Frankfort

–  Jennifer Wilson and Teresa Abell, Wilson Nurseries, Frankfort

All proceeds from this event will benefit the Kentucky Executive Mansions Foundation Inc. (KEMFI) and are for the preservation of the Old Governor’s Mansion. The mansion is one of the nation’s oldest executive residences, originally built in 1798.

For more history on the Old Governor’s Mansion, click here.