Distinct decoration for Christmas

Published 12:11 pm Saturday, December 22, 2018

Glennie Bench always knows what her Christmas gift from her husband Steven will be. Several years ago he began giving her the gift of a professional decorator at Christmastime. And that is how it all began. Each year Allyson Cantley comes to the house and decorates in a very distinct, minimally sophisticated style.

She has been doing it for so long that she has an organizational chart she follows each year, while adding a few new touches here and there.

Notable new additions this year are two large reindeer in flight perched atop wooden candlestick holders and centered on the long kitchen island.

The remodeled kitchen opens to a large family sunroom where a long table is beautifully set for Christmas meals. It boasts a large reindeer sleigh filled with greenery as a centerpiece. This is a more casual setting for intimate meals, or possibly for handling overflows from the formal dining room where the couple entertains.

The front foyer welcomes friends and family with a beautiful staircase banister  draped with greenery, lights and bows. There is also an accent table with a silver nativity scene and two tall silvery pyramid trees.

Enter the living room and find a fireplace mantel decked out with lit greenery and tall red accent pieces. Glennie’s mother, Mary Cox, was well known for her artwork, especially her pen and ink drawings of Bainbridge buildings and scenes. An iron tree shaped holder on the coffee table in the living room displays all of the Bainbridge City Christmas tree ornaments that featured Cox’s works through the years.

Her presence is very evident in the home as another reminder is the years-old Christmas cactus in full bloom in the dining room. “I don’t remember how long she had this plant,” explains Glennie. “We have kept it going while she was in a nursing home for a year and now after her passing in 2014.”

The Christmas decor doesn’t stop with the home interior, but carries the Yuletide theme to the covered patio, complete with a decorated fireplace and table. There you find a small tree in the corner that is decorated with many of the little elves that were part of Glennie’s mother’s collection.

The Bench home decorations set the tone perfectly for their style of holiday entertaining.