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It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: A Calming Christmas



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STORY BY ANGELA REEVES
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALAN HUDSON

Calming. Restful. Peaceful. Those aren’t normally words used to describe the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. But when you step into 412 Autumnstone Lane that is exactly what you feel. Liz Bradley, owner of Lulus Home Furnishings, has adorned her home is Christmas decor of gold, silver, and white - a simple elegance which allows for the peace the season should bring.

Lulus Home Furnishings has been open for 15 years but Liz was practicing interior design for
other designers in Bowling Green before and has been in love with home decor since she was
a child. As a kid, Liz remembers redecorating her rooms and other rooms constantly, asking forhome decor books as gifts, and making books of wish lists long before pinterest was around. She used to visit her Great Grandmother as a little girl and she would tell her the grandest stories. She remembers her as opulent and magical, and named Lulus after her.

The Bradleys bought their home in Fountain Trace in 2017, after having an offer on another home which fell through. They had no intention of moving, had it not been for the other home they found and loved. They had limited time to find a new home and move and when they saw this house, the enclosed patio and outdoor living space had them sold. Liz knew she could renovate and decorate the interior to have the house they needed and wanted and looked forward to the challenge. Renovations to the home included a painted exterior in Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore with shutters added, a complete gutting and remodel of the kitchen, laundry room and pantry as well as a complete overhaul of the upstairs to add a second floor living room.

The Bradleys are no stranger to entertaining, especially for the holidays. The home is decorated beautifully in each room to celebrate the season. Inside the front foyer stands a 14 foot tree with a funny story. “We always had a live tree,” said Liz. “Last year, it was from Bear Creek Farms. When it came, our base wasn’t sturdy enough to hold it and it fell down six times! After the 6th time, they were kind enough to pick it back up. I got online and paid full price, which I never do, plus overnight shipping for an artificial tree. I couldn’t stand the thought of not having a tree on Christmas Day. I haven’t gone back to a live tree since.”

Liz’s office, is right inside the front entry way, in the room which used to be a formal dining room. She loves having the office at the front of their home so she can be a part of what’s going on and not tucked away. When she was 15 years old she “had the bug early” and started subscribing to Martha Stewart Living magazines. She has collected them every year since and displays them in artistic stacks in the office. “I’ve been married 21 years and this is the only thing that has stayed around. I change everything,” said Liz.

When they moved in, the back of the top floor had a “butler” staircase down to the kitchen which really wasn’t needed. They filled in the area and made a spacious upstairs living room for the kids. Their daughter Mogie’s (Mary Morgan) room shares a love for design like the rest of the house. Liz says Mogie is spunky and her personality shows through in her room. The walls are painted Simply White by Benjamin Moore with solid black furniture for contrast. The bed is the focal point in the room with a bright floral patterned headboard. Mogie picked out and decorated her Christmas tree - white with purple and black ornaments with a crown on top. Her bookshelf holds The Dept 56 silhouette collection, a nod to Liz’ Dad who had a much larger collection she remembers from her childhood.

The formal dining room is decorated for Christmas in gold and silver with greenery. The room is furnished with creativity by Liz with a dining room table made of an old door she found on the side of the road, held up by two old columns from a table brought into Lulus she bought and spruced up, then topped off with glass. The home is filled with many personal finishes including a ceramic nativity scene made by Liz’s mother which is her favorite Christmas decoration, an impressionist painting of her oldest daughter Katie, commissioned by an up and coming Russian artist and a cookie tray inscribed with “Chris and Liz 1998” used for holiday cookies.

Around the corner is their spectacular kitchen with eat in area. The kitchen is simple yet elegant, bright and clean with white furnishes and gold accents and a beautiful grey and white marble countertop. The building Lulus went into, was previously an old plumbing store with a grand, large piece of furniture with lots of tiny drawers left behind. Liz turned it into a large buffet, adding glass and shelving. It now holds a collection of sterling silver - given to her as a Christmas gift each year from her Mom’s own collection. The peaceful Christmas decor continues throughout with stockings and wreaths of gold and silver beads.

The kitchen, living room and sunroom all blend together and are the hub of the home. There is an indoor fireplace in the living room and outdoor fire place in the sunroom. The area is decorated with original artwork and water color painting which they love collecting and for Christmas - a tall skinny tree decorated in gold with more gold trees surrounding the fireplace.

The sunroom table holds an old dough bowl with greenery which is changed out with different accents for through the seasons. The decorations for Christmas are a continuation of the day to day decor at the Bradleys, meant to be relaxing and calming.

The Bradley family is constantly on the go, with the family motto of, “Well that escalated quickly.” Liz says the master bedroom, “is a place for my mind to rest when I get home.” The neutral palette throughout the home continues in here with whites, grey and clear furniture and accents. “It’s peaceful and calming, all year long,” said Liz.

The bedroom has a small Christmas tree of branches only which Liz bought to display ornaments at Lulus and loved so much she brought it home. The basement, on the other hand, is where her husband Chris spends all of his time. It has a bedroom and bath, utility room, and wet bar. During the holidays the basement boasts the house’s third Christmas tree, each holding their share of presents for everyone in the family to find on Christmas Day. The basement is decorated with unique antiques, many of which were found at Lulus, and has more of a manly palette including Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore on the walls and gold, brown, tan, ivory and black in the furniture and decor. Liz was going for a “rustic, masculine feel” for her husband to enjoy.

You can catch Liz on WBKO’s Midday Live hosting segments from holiday decorating to gift wrapping. She loves to transform spaces, especially for this magical time of year. To see many decorations like the ones in her own home, visit Liz at Lulus Home Furnishings at 1116 Broadway Avenue in Bowling Green.

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