Sharon Tetterton had a massive Christmas decorating dilemma in 2013.
That was the year her family moved from a 3,500-square-foot house in Dogwood Trace in south Lexington to an 11,000-square-foot home in Emerald Estates in rural Jessamine County. As December approached, Sharon told husband Michael they needed some serious help decorating for the holidays.
The Tettertons were planning to host a Christmas party at their new home for the employees of their company, Creative Lodging Solutions.
“Sharon said ‘Our little boxes of Christmas decorations aren’t going to do it,’” Michael Tetterton recalled.
That’s when they called interior decorator Ed Botkin of Petra Designs, who had helped them furnish and accessorize the large home on Pearl Lane.
Botkin was game to decorate the interior of the Tettertons’ house for the holidays, but he could not tackle the exterior lighting on their five-acre lot, so the homeowners turned to Sharp Lawn for that part of the project.
Inside the six-bedroom, eight-bath home, Botkin annually dresses up the living and dining spaces of the Tettertons’ home for their holiday entertaining. He knows the house well because they hired him immediately after purchasing it in March 2013.
Ready to upsize
“We had lived in our house in Dogwood Trace for 20 years,” Tetterton said. “It was home. We weren’t really looking to move when we bought this house.”
While looking for a small investment property, their Realtor showed them a large house in the nearby Champions Golf Course neighborhood that was on the market. Although they didn’t like the floor plan of that home, they realized they were open to upsizing because of their large extended family and their frequent business entertaining.
When the Tettertons toured the Pearl Lane home, they fell in love with its floor plan and the outdoor living and dining spaces that include a swimming pool. Since purchasing the house, they have added an outdoor kitchen that features multiple grills, plenty of workspace and a buffet area. They also have purchased an adjacent five-acre lot.
After agreeing to sell the house, the previous owner offered them a four-hour timeframe for a home inspection. It would be the only time they could visit the house until the closing.
Michael successfully negotiated an eight-hour access to the house and asked Botkin to spend the day there, so he could take measurements in all the rooms and begin purchasing furniture and accessories for the house.
“Even bringing over our own things that weren’t so dated, we could only have filled a couple of rooms,” Tetterton said. “Ed made a trip to North Carolina to the furniture market for us. The guy’s taste is impeccable and he has the dedication to get it done. We bought all our furniture from him.”
One of his favorite pieces of furniture is the massive U-shaped sofa in the family room.
“That couch can seat 14 people,” he said.
For Christmas, Botkin spends two days at the house, setting up trees and decorating tabletops. His creations blend seamlessly with the color palettes in each room.
In the large family room, he hangs lights and ribbon on the Christmas tree, leaving the rest of the decorating for the family.
The Tettertons have a big family dinner after son Taylor, 21, a senior at Western Kentucky University, arrives home from Bowling Green for the semester break. Taylor and the rest of the family hang all the ornaments on the family room tree after their meal.
The family includes daughter Leslie, 34; son Chris, 27, his wife Shana and their daughter, Laelyn, 2; and son Jordan, 17, a senior at West Jessamine High School. Marsha Couch, the CFO of Creative Lodging Solutions, and her sons, Tyler and Brandon, are neighbors and celebrate special occasions with the Tettertons.
“Once all our kids come home, this house becomes the center for the holidays,” Tetterton said.
They also welcome Jarred Miller, a South African native who coaches tennis at Asbury University; the Tettertons consider him part of their family, too.
“Santa still comes to see our kids,” Tetterton said. “They will believe in Santa until the day they die.”
Other family traditions include sponsoring needy families in the community and having their individual pictures made with Santa.
From Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve, the family watches a nightly parade as 40 to 60 cars drive by their home to see their exterior decorations.
A week or two before Thanksgiving, four or five employees from Sharp Lawn’s Brite Ideas Holiday Lighting spend three days at the house, hanging lights along the rooflines and the fencing and setting up lighted displays in the yard.
The first year, it took 15 people four days to install everything, Tetterton said.
While decorator Botkin teases him about all the red wreaths on the exterior, Tetterton likes some red and green for the holidays. He jokes about the over-the-top lighting displays.
“It’s like the Clampetts have come to town,” he laughed.
There is one more item on Tetterton’s wish list. He’d love to have an antique sleigh parked on his lawn during the holidays, and he’s counting on Botkin to find it.