SIDNEY — “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …”
When entering the Barker home, one would think it had been decorated by a professional, with the elegant, cohesive, silver and celadon colored décor flowing throughout the entire upper level of the home and a silver, black and mustard color them in the lower level. Kelli and Tony Barker, of Sidney, are enjoying their first Christmas in their newly built home they moved into in July 2021. The entire home, inside and out, is decorated for the season.
Recently, during Kelli and her 20 high school girlfriends’ annual Christmas party, held this year at the Barker home, Kelli’s friends were in such awe of the décor, she was encouraged to share her home’s Christmas spirit.
The Barkers’ daughter Beth Barker, of Sidney, whose real job is as liaison Honda operations manager for Kendall Electric in Sidney, decked the halls and all common-use areas of her parents’ house with decorations. Her dad Tony put up the outdoors lights.
“It felt awesome to get to show it off to my friends and I absolutely love the house! And they all know how well she decorates, so they were all looking forward to seeing it as well,” Kelli said, “She should be in decorating! — That is exactly what I said and many others have told her that as well.”
From the moment you walk in the front door and into the great room, the twinkling lights woven through garland, the Christmas tree, hanging snowflakes, candles and center pieces and stairway draws your eye around. Although some of the silver decorations were to be reused from last year, Beth and her mom Kelli began shopping in October for the just-right color theme and décor for the new interior. Once the shopping was finished, Beth began her work on the main floor’s Christmas tree first.
“She came up with the color theme, but I loved the color!!” Kelli said, by email, about Beth’s vision. “We probably went shopping about three times for all the décor. She just walked around the stores and picked things (some of what I would have not even thought of) then comes home and puts it all together.”
Beth said, “This (main) tree, I used some of the things she already had, cause she would have different themes each year, so a lot of the silver stuff was from last year, and the celadon is all new.
“I have this thing where I have to be alone. I told her (mom at the store) don’t bother me. I need silence and I need to go around the store by myself and pick things out, because once you start talking to me, then I get distracted and lose my focus. And once I get going, I just keep going. It just kind of snowballs and I keep coming up with things,” Beth said of how she visualizes the décor. “I love creating things, that’s why it’s fun for me, and I love color schemes.”
She gains inspiration sometimes from Google, but mostly from Hobby Lobby and At Home stores, which Beth said always have matching decorations, so it’s easy to find things that go together.
Annually she comes over to decorate her parents tree, but this was the first time she has decorated their entire home for Christmas. Beth began her work on the tree in early November, and then slowly transformed the living room and kitchen areas, as well as the stairway and the lower level. She said decorating the entire home took about nine hours during each of the three sessions she was at work, and always at night while her parents slept.
“I worked on (her parents’ home) for over the last month. I broke it down by projects,” Beth said. ““I’m happy with how it turned out.”
Then Beth would be gone before morning when her parents awoke to their winter wonderland transformation.
“I came out of the back room, and felt like Santa had been here – I actually cried,” Kelli said of her reaction when she first saw the finished look.
Tony hung lights outlining the front of the house and also upon several trees in the back wooded area of their property over four days.
In early December, when giving the Sidney Daily News a tour of her parents’ decorated home and was asked about her own home’s décor, Beth said with a chuckle that she hadn’t even begun decorating yet, nor puts as much into her own home.
“It was fun doing the project with her, it brings us closer when we work on things together and she has beautiful taste!” Kelli said of her daughter.