By Madoline Markham
Photos by Lauren Ustad
Joseph and Carrie Kreps first walked into the home on Woodridge Place on a cold February day in 2019. Its kitchen and bathrooms hadn’t been updated since the house was built in 2000, but that didn’t matter once they stepped outside the back door into a serene landscaped patio complete with an outdoor fireplace. “We loved the natural energy,” Carrie says. “It felt right.”
After moving in, though, they brightened up most everything in the house with white paint, added molding and putting in touches to make the it their own, most notably by renovating both the kitchen and bathrooms.
When it came to furnishings, Carrie mixed antiques with new pieces. “I like traditional things but also throwing in something different and unexpected,” she says. And last year she stepped up her Christmas decorating game for their home to be on the Samford University Legacy League Home Tour (See more information below on it).
2020 certainly did not bring the Christmas season anyone expected, but decorating the house for the tour became a fun project for Carrie and her mom, who has worked as a decorator, while staying home. Since her parents weren’t hosting a big Christmas party like usual, Carrie borrowed some of their décor in addition to items she had collected herself over the years—starting with tree decorations going up as trick or treaters stopped by her house.
It’s fitting that the home tour benefits Samford University scholarships too, since Carrie and Joseph met at the university when they were in pharmacy school and law school, respectively, and their home overlooks the school with views of the campus from its second story windows.
No matter the time of year though, you’re likely to find Joseph outdoors with a head lamp doing yard work or the whole family enjoying their backyard oasis together.
Carrie likes to mix old with new, as you can see on her holiday table set with her set her mom’s Christmas china. The china cabinet that had also been her parents’, but she purchased the chairs new. She also foraged magnolia branches for the center of the tablescape.
Before moving into their home two years ago, the Krepses had the kitchen completely renovated, refinishing the existing wood cabinets with white paint and adding quartz countertops and crystal door pulls.
A more formal room called for a more formal Christmas tree, so Carrie decked this flocked tree in serene blue and metallic ornaments with glitzy decorative stems at its top.
About the Home Tour
The Samford University Legacy League holds a Christmas Home Tour each year to raise money for scholarships for students with significant financial need and challenging circumstances. Last year the Kreps’ home was on the tour, and this year it will feature three homes in Mountain Brook and two in Vestavia Hills.
- Christmas Home Tour
- Thursday, Dec. 9
- 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-8 p.m.
Advance tickets are required and may be purchased at samford.edu/legacyleague.