Snohomish tour features holiday-ready homes

  • By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, December 5, 2012 2:30pm
  • Life

Toby Weller was surprised when a neighbor asked for his house to be on the Snohomish Historical Society Parlour Tour.

“I said, ‘We don’t have a parlor,’” he said.

Much less a parlour.

No matter.

At one time a parlor was associated with an old-fashioned sitting room or formal living room where kids were banned.

Well, times have changed.

Toby and Michelle Weller’s living and dining area is their parlor and romping ground for daughters Isabelle, 5, and Abigail, 4.

Their rambler is one of eight stops on the self-guided tour that includes five private houses and the society’s cabin, museum and holiday bazaar.

If the Weller girls get their way, visitors on the tour will also get to see their bright, fun bedrooms.

The girls inherit their enthusiasm for decorating from their mom, who gleans ideas from Pinterest and blogs such as younghouselove.com.

“My wife is the creative genius,” Toby Weller said.

The couple commutes to Seattle for work, but family life revolves around Snohomish, where they moved in 2005.

A bowl on the sofa table displays photo holiday cards from the first year Isabelle was born.

On the wall is the biggest Advent calendar in town, maybe in the county.

It’s a chalkboard laced by twine with clothespins holding brown paper lunch sacks numbered for every day until Christmas

Michelle Weller, a media buyer for an ad agency, snagged the basic idea online and her husband made it happen. It helped that he’s a prepress/graphic designer for a commercial printing company. He cut the backing in the ornate shape of last year’s family holiday card and coated it with chalkboard paint.

The calendar not only adds a festive accent to the room, it drives the girls wild with curiosity about what’s inside those bags.

In the bags, opened daily, are lip glosses, treats and notes with things to do, such as paint their nails in holiday colors or pile in the car to look at the holiday lights.

After the holidays, the board can function as a chalkboard.

“The girls love chalkboards,” their dad said.

“I have a smartboard at my school,” Isabelle said.

On the coffee table are snow globes made from canning jars.

“You shake it,” Abigail said, showing how it works.

The tree and penguin figure inside her jar get doused by glitter when flipped around.

“Mine has a horse,” Isabelle said, “‘cause it’s my favorite animal.”

The room’s centerpiece is the 8-foot tree.

The tradition is to go to Stocker Farms the weekend after Thanksgiving.

“It’s vote by committee,” Toby Weller said. “We chop it down and have a little ceremony right there and put it on the car. We bring it in and introduce it to the house for a day.”

Then it’s time to attack it with ornaments.

“Each year we put them on the tree, and we can look back on all the items we made,” Michelle Weller said. “It’s collecting memories.”

New this year are animal ornaments that began as inexpensive plastic animals from a 24-pack tube. The figures are painted glossy white, then hooked with bright ribbon to hang on the tree.

“It’s nice that the girls are a little older,” their dad said, “so all the ornaments aren’t all a foot and half from the bottom.”

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com.

Take the tour

What: The Snohomish Historical Society’s annual parlor tour features five private homes decorated for the holidays, plus the Blackman House Museum, Kikendall Cabin and Waltz Building.

When: The tour will be held noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for those older than 62 and younger than 12.

Advance tickets are available at Kusler’s Pharmacy and Gifts, Annie’s on First, McDaniel’s Do-it Center, Speckled Hen and Joyworks, and tour day at the Waltz Building, 116 Ave. B.

More information: 360-568-5235 or snohomishhistoricalsociety.org

More in Life

Using a rod to assist in running wiring through an attic space, Don Thomas, of R&D Handyman Service, works on installing a ceiling fan at a home in SE Everett on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
                                Don Thomas of R&D Handyman Service installs a ceiling fan at a home in southeast Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
When fall chores loom, just hand them to the handyman

Here are three local businesses that can help you prepare your home for the rainy season.

And this year’s winners of Everett’s Monte Cristo Awards are…

The awards recognize local homeowners and businesses that take special care of their properties.

‘Happy Death Day’ applies ‘Groundhog Day’ premise on horror genre

Smart writing and Jessica Rothe’s performance make this worth seeing.

Adventurer 1st to finish Race to Alaska on stand-up paddleboard

Karl Kruger will speak about his trip at the Everett Mountaineers Banquet on Nov. 4 in Lynnwood.

Therapy helped ease debilitating pain after injury

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley shares her experiences with complex regional pain syndrome.

How to prune a hydrangea: An exception to the pruning rule

It helps to think of a growing blackberry vine when you’re about to cut back this blooming shrub.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Can you top ‘Hamilton’? Author Ron Chernow is about to find out

The notable writer’s latest book, published Oct. 10, is a lengthy biography on Ulysses S. Grant.

Most Read