Decking the Halls at Hotel Fiesole in Skippack

Guest writer Cindy Brody, owner of Le Blue Goose Custom Interiors in Skippack Village

Guest writer Cindy Brody, owner of Le Blue Goose Custom Interiors

Holiday time in Skippack is always special for me: I get to decorate one of Skippack’s most beautiful landmarks, Hotel Fiesole. It is both a labor of love and a responsibility that hits close to home: I am the owner of Le Blue Goose Custom Interiors, an interior design firm located in Skippack Village, across the street and a couple of blocks from the hotel.

Holiday Home Decorating Tip

“Doing something slightly unexpected can have a dramatic effect when decorating for the holidays. For example, touches of blue and silver mixed in with traditional holiday colors can make a wonderful statement.” —Cindy

My first step is to get all the decorations from storage and make sure everything is in its finest condition. I open boxes filled with beautiful ornaments. I go through the garlands to make sure all the lights are in working order. The wreaths need to be unpacked and bows need to be remade. All the decorations will be placed around the hotel in a precise spot, planned well ahead of time.

Getting to the Top of the Tree

To perform the actual physical work, I must assemble a team. It takes five or six people to transform the hotel to its holiday grandeur. My husband Marc Brody and John Souder help me get the trees up and do most of work requiring a high ladder; Marc and John may be on the ladder for hours at a time.

Holiday decorating at Hotel Fiesole: Reaching for the top

Holiday decorating at Hotel Fiesole: Reaching for the top

My elves, Kathy Bean, Carol Souder, Diane Kwas and Beth Florentino and I dictate to John and Marc where to move each ornament or to add more lights. We have lots of fun, though I suspect it is more enjoyable for Kathy, Carol, Diane, Beth and me than for Marc and John. It takes us about three full working days to finish.

Christmas trees in Hotel Fiesole are decorated with hundreds of lights. Once the trees have sufficient lights, then the trimming starts. We transform the trees with a spectacular array of colors and textures. Reds and golds are the main colors, accented by the white lights on the trees.

Old-Style European Charm Combined with a Welcoming Warmth

Hotel Fiesole is a small boutique hotel; the decor and ambience must distinguish it from a chain hotel. When guests come in, I want them to feel as if taken back in time to an old-style European hotel. But a Skippack hotel must be more than elegant, more than beautiful — it must make people feel warm and welcome; it must be a place where you can relax with friends and feel comfortable and at home.

 A lighted garland adorns the mantel of the fireplace in the lobby of Hotel Fiesole at holiday time

A lighted garland adorns the mantel of the fireplace in the lobby of Hotel Fiesole at holiday time

A beautiful lighted garland graces the entrance way and welcomes you to the hotel. It is a tease foretelling what to expect inside. As you open the stately doors and step into the lobby, your path is illuminated by two sixteen foot Christmas trees dressed with beautiful ornaments, one to your right and one to your left.  Ahead of you is the library with it’s garlanded fireplace, a great, semi-private space to sit with friends and enjoy a glass of wine. Check out the restaurants and bars, the stairways, the banquet room and the landings: Every place in the hotel has a touch of holiday.

From the Hotel Lobby to Home

Reindeer help bring holiday spirit to one of Hotel Fiesole's restaurants, Mistral, located in the hotel’s main dining room

Reindeer help bring holiday spirit to one of Hotel Fiesole’s restaurants, Mistral, located in the hotel’s main dining room

Decorating the hotel is not much different from decorating any client’s home. I work with the client pick a color theme and to carry the selected color theme through the entire project. Achieving a nice flow of color and style is essential to communicating a unified message through interior design, in a home in Skippack and surrounding communities, just as in Hotel Fiesole.

Many people are concerned about how much money to spend on decorations that will be displayed for a short time. I tell my clients to buy a few quality decorations that can be used year after year; to keep the budget under control, mix in some less costly decorations. If using an artificial tree, start with a good quality tree; it makes all the difference. I also advocate using good quality garlands. Doing something slightly unexpected can have a dramatic effect when decorating for the holidays. For example, touches of blue and silver mixed in with traditional holiday colors can make a wonderful statement.

The Welcoming Heart of Our Village at Holiday Time

Members of the Hotel Fiesole Holiday Decorating Team: Kathy Bean, Cindy Brody, Beth Florentino

Members of the Hotel Fiesole Holiday Decorating Team, from left to right: Kathy Bean, Cindy Brody, Beth Florentino

Holiday decorating is very personal; just like in home decor, everyone has different taste and likes different colors. Every person is unique and my job as an interior designer is to recognize and respect individual differences. When decorating Hotel Fiesole, it is as if my client is the entire village of Skippack and I must convey the characteristics that make our town unique: that special combination of personal warmth and sophistication that is Skippack.

When I drive by Hotel Fiesole, and see the parking lot full, groups of people walking in for some holiday cheer, the brightly lit windows and outside lights revealing the magnificent brick exterior and just hinting at the warmly decorated rooms inside, I can’t help but be inspired: This is the bright, celebratory, warm and welcoming heart of our village at holiday time.

Happy Holidays from Le Blue Goose Custom Interiors

Le Blue Goose is a full interior design resource located in Skippack Village, committed to giving superior custom service and working within your budget. Located at 4013 Skippack Pike in Skippack Village. Phone  (610) 584-9800.

Le Blue Goose Website
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 Exterior view of Hotel Fiesole at night during the holiday season: Note the lighted garland outlining the doorway

Exterior view of Hotel Fiesole in the heart of Skippack Village at night during the holiday season: Note the lighted garland outlining the doorway at left