Historic Holiday Décor: Gilded Age
November 26, 2021 - January 6, 2022
The Historic Holiday Décor is on display daily, November 26 – January 6, 2022, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is free with General Admission: $15 for adults and $7 for children (ages 4-14). Admission is free for Deering Estate Foundation Members and children under 4 years old.
Non-Members can choose their date of visit / purchase General Admission tickets online here or can purchase at the Main Gate Ticket Booth the day of their visit. (Members do not need to reserve; please show your membership card at the Ticket Booth on the day of your visit, 10am-4pm). Become a Member today!
This holiday season, visitors can tour the historic houses at the Deering Estate as they come alive with holiday accents and festive decorations that will transport visitors to the glamor and elegance of the Gilded Age. Glittering holiday décor will be featured in each room of the Deering Estate’s historic Mediterranean-revival Stone House (1922) and pioneer era Richmond Cottage (1896). The holiday decorating program is a beloved annual tradition and features some of South Florida’s top interior designers, led by Deering Estate Designer in Residence, Alfredo Brito. Based in Miami, Brito is an award-winning designer whose talents have been recognized in important publications, including Architectural Digest, the Miami Herald, Florida Design and many more.
‘The Gilded Age’ is attributed to Mark Twain to describe the period of American history from the 1870s through the early 1900s. Many of Charles Deering’s contemporaries built their palatial American homes during this time. As well, several American holiday traditions became popularized in this period due to the influence of European art and culture in the United States.
This year, guests of the Deering Estate’s historic holiday décor will be surrounded by a time of grace and elegance. Each room is thoughtfully decorated to illustrate the Old and New World influences of the Gilded Age and recreate a nostalgic holiday experience. Our invited designers will stimulate all your senses with the melodies of Tchaikovsky and the scents and the spices of the season that complement their intimate and grand designs. The first floor of the Stone House, which includes the Great Hall and Deering Library will feature designs by Alfredo Brito and the 100 Ladies of Deering that recall the magic and wonder of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday ballet The Nutcracker, first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and adapted from E.T.A Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816). Alfredo Brito will adorn the library in the spirit of the Russian Imperial style in gold and deep blue tones, with motifs and ornaments inspired by The Nutcracker’s masculine characters. In the Great Hall, the 100 Ladies of Deering will be recalling the feminine movements of characters like the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy. The Great Hall will include a 15 foot holiday tree with ornaments that highlight the levity and magical world of The Nutcracker. Original costumes on loan from the Armour Dance Theatre will bring the sprightly energy of the characters to life in our Great Hall and Library. The walls of the Great Hall will also be animated by projections of selected performances of the ballet.
The second floor landing of the Stone House will include a modern take on the opulence and grandeur of the Gilded Age with designs by Josh Humphrey of Pottery Barn, Miami Beach, FL. Mrs. Deering’s bedroom is designed by Rosalba Calvo, and will be adorned in rose-colored tones blended with rich fabrics, and gilded ornaments that highlight the original art and artifacts of the room, including a headboard made from a 13th century painted altarpiece belonging to the original Charles Deering collection. Mr. Deering’s bedroom is designed by Miguel Roman Garcia of Carpet Boutique, Miami, FL. The room orients itself around the rich velvet black and gold textiles of Mr. Deering’s bed and draperies. Mr. Deering’s custom gilded spindle headboard that includes the red, blue and gold insignia of Maricel castle in Sitges, Spain, where Mr. Deering lived prior to relocating to South Florida. Original paintings and furnishings from Mr. Deering’s Spanish home are woven into Mr. Garcia’s design that include boldly decorated garlands and a grandiose holiday tree. Fanny Mesa of Drapes by Fanny designs Mr. Deering’s personal study, and collaborated with Andreina Chirinos for the hidden Prohibition era Wine cellar in the Stone House basement. In Mr. Deering’s Study, her resplendent design features gold and jewel tones that recall the iconic era. In the prohibition wine cellar, tables are set to toast the season with a festive holiday aperitif on inviting table settings fashioned by Ms. Mesa and Ms. Chirinos to celebrate historic late 19th century literary figures including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton and others.
History also comes alive in the Richmond Cottage with enchanting rooms designed to transport you to the traditional turn of the century holiday parties of the early 1900s. The kitchen is stocked and ready to prepare delicious meals with inspirations from Marion Deering’s own cookbook. The dining room is set for a festive meal to share with family and friends framed by rustic buffalo plaid curtains and decorative details. Guests will travel back in time to the when the Richmond’s operated the only hotel between Coconut Grove and Key West and experience the holidays as winter guests of the innkeeper, Ms. Edith Richmond. The dining room and kitchen displays will include table settings, cookware, and bakeware collections inspired by the holidays of the past from Williams Sonoma.
Alongside the holiday décor, visitors will also discover many of the permanent features of the Estate’s historical furnishing plan. Complementing the restored historic color scheme and recently acquired antique furniture pieces, all the rooms are dressed with refurbished art, objects and textiles including two recently restored European stained glass windows depicting the Holy family.
The exterior of the homes are designed by Anna Noriega of Alore Designs, and local garden clubs. These include hand decorated wreaths on our historic main gate, thousands of glittering lights wrapped around our historic tree lined path, as well as a 17 foot artificial tree decorated to celebrate the majesty of the holidays outdoors.
A special thanks to the designers, volunteers and Miami-based Garden Club members who have donated their time and services for this year’s holiday decorating effort:
- Richmond Cottage & Stone House Library – Alfredo Brito, Alfredo Brito Interiors
- Richmond Cottage Kitchen – Alfredo Brito in collaboration with Williams-Sonoma, Gulfstream Park
- Deering Study – Fanny Mesa, Drapes by Fanny
- Mrs. Deering Bedroom – Rosalba Calvo, L’Excellence Design
- Mr. Deering Bedroom – Roman Miguel Garcia, The Carpet Boutique
- Stone House Great Hall – 100 Ladies of Deering
- Stone House second-floor landing & staircase – Pottery Barn, Miami Beach in collaboration with Marina Bargouti
- Prohibition Wine Cellar – Andreina Chirinos & Fanny Mesa, Drapes by Fanny
- Richmond Cottage front porch – Anna Noriega, Alorè Event Firm
- Richmond Cottage back porch – Palmetto Bay Garden Club
- Stone House front porch & historic restroom – Pinecrest Garden Club
About Alfredo Brito, Deering Estate Designer in Residence
Alfredo Brito is a renowned Cuban-American interior designer with more than 34 years of experience, whose work has been recognized with numerous and prestigious awards. Mr. Brito carries on the tradition of creating elegant interiors at his design firm located in Miami Florida where he focuses on residential and commercial interior design. He also specializes in showroom design for fine furniture’s companies, including the creation of spectacular store windows in great cities such as Buenos Aires, New York and Madrid. In all his interior designs to date, refinement and contemporary sophistication are strongly defined, focusing on quality and comfort.
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Please note that the Deering Estate is closed on December 25.