During winter, we most especially are thankful for home and hearth as the air grows colder and the sky turns darker earlier. Whatever the denomination, most religions have some kind of celebration around this time of year to celebrate family, friends and the warmth they bring to our lives and homes during these harsh, bitter months. To commemorate all of these ideas and to raise money for a good cause, Anchorage Public School will be hosting the 35th Annual Christmas in Anchorage celebration. Admission is $50 per person, and proceeds support enrichment programs at the school.
The festivities begin on Thursday, December 10 at the Christmas in Anchorage Holiday Soiree and Home tour. Hosted by Leslie and Jeff Robinson, the event is your chance to view exquisite holiday decor while enjoying drinks and appetizers by Vincenzoâ€™s, all in their beautiful home.
Speaking of their home, what a lovely sight it is. Currently residence to Leslie, Jeff, their two children and two dogs, the Robinson home was originally constructed in 1912. It is 6,880-square-feet and features four bedrooms, one master bedroom, two full bathrooms, one master bathroom and four powder rooms. As soon as one walks in from the covered parking area, the eloquence and taste on display is staggering. The spaciousness of the rooms and the height of the ceilings is impressive, but everything is tastefully decorated so that the guest immediately feels welcome and secure. â€œMy family and I travel to Charleston, South Carolina regularly, and I just love the charm of Southern architecture. The bungalow style, the ogee arches,â€ says Leslie Robinson. Her taste is clearly influenced by Southern and French country design, but she wishes to avoid pretension and likes to mix things up: â€œWhen I see something I like, I do it.â€
The family room is full of inviting places to sit thanks to Leslie and her consulting designer, Alex Rice from Moloney-Smith & Associates. Sofas and chairs are smartly laid out so that guests can have separate conversations but also cross over and join others when they so choose. It is the kitchen, however, that holds the strongest marriage of modern and classic interior design, containing appliances of stainless steel, counter-tops of marble and even a rustic table, hand-crafted from Indian wood specifically for the Robinsons by Merridian Home Furnishings.
The living room, dining room and study are located in the original part of the house, mostly untouched from the renovations and additions made over the century of the homeâ€™s existence. One look at the fireplace, its surround and the floors is enough to know this. The astute observer will also notice Leslieâ€™s eye for color coordination in the living room, as everything from the backing of shelving to the painting on the wall to the ornaments on the Christmas tree match blues and greens with an accurate aesthetic.
What makes this home truly unique, however, are the breathtaking murals created by Sandy Kimura, a local artist who has worked in several homes and for several families. The two murals currently in the Robinson home mark the fourth such creation done for the family. One mural is located in one of the first-floor powder rooms and depicts Kiawah Island, a popular vacation spot for the Robinsons in South Carolina. This mural employs realism and muted colors to take the viewer back and reminisce. The other mural, this one in daughter Carolineâ€™s dressing room, is modeled after the young girlâ€™s equestrian interests. A real photograph of Caroline on horseback is the basis of the mural. These works of art are beautiful, and Sandy is justifiably proud of them. â€œThese pieces are unique, and they are what makes it the Robinson home,â€ she says.
The Soiree is only the kickoff for the PTA fundraising event as there are several other activities that continue into the weekend. For more details or to reserve a spot, the APTA suggests visiting their website at anchoragepta.wordpress.com/christmas-in-anchorage-2. Continue the tradition of charity and celebration this holiday season and attend. As Leslie Robinson says, â€œWith everything going on in the world, I think itâ€™s important to enjoy your time and love each other.â€ VTÂ