Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes

Guests will be treated
to Wooley’s skills as a decorator

By Michella Marino
Contributing Writer

(November 2005) – Barry Wooley is a man with a lot on his plate. However, you can be sure that plate is of the finest quality, has a unique pattern and complements the tablecloth, napkins, silverware and decorative candles on the table.

Barry Wooley

Photo by Michella Marino

Barry Wooley operates Artful Living
interior design store in Madison
and co-hosts a TV show in Louisville.

Wooley is an interior decorator and recently opened Artful Living at 313 W. Main St., Madison, Ind. Not only is he busy with his decorating and new store, he also recently purchased the former White-Koehler home at 318 Broadway St., Madison. His new residence will be one of the five private homes and four public historic sites featured on this year’s “Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes.”
The tour is sponsored by the Madison Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 601 W. First St., and will be held on consecutive weekends: Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 2-4. On Fridays and Saturdays, the homes will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday’s hours are 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
According to the book titled, “The Early Architecture of Madison, Indiana,” written by John T. Windle and Robert M. Taylor Jr., Wooley’s new home and the former White-Koehler home is a Classic brick building that was built around the 1850s. Currently, the home is Wooley’s weekend retreat, since he still has a larger house in New Albany, Ind. But he plans on making Madison his permanent residence very soon.
Wooley found his home on Broadway first before starting Artful Living, but things shortly fell into place since the current location for the store connects to the back of Wooley’s home through a master closet.
After purchasing the home, Wooley knew that he eventually wanted to be involved in Madison’s various home tours, but he wanted to work on his own home first. He was thinking about showcasing his house on some of next year’s tours.
However, pressure applied on him by his home and business’s co-owner, Jude Loew, and by tourism officials soon convinced him to let his home and decorating talents be featured on the “Nights” tour for 2005. This has meant that Wooley sped up construction, including flooring that he hadn’t planned on installing until next summer.

Inside Barry Wooley's Home

Photo by Michella Marino

Barry Wooley’s home,
located at 318 Broadway St., in Madison,
will be featured in this year’s home tour.

Although, this will be Wooley’s first home tour in Madison, he has participated in at least 20 others in the past. Therefore, he knows what needs to be done to his home to make it spectacular for the holidays, and he loves to do just that. The theme for his home’s Christmas decorating this year is quintessentially Madison meets Old World Luxury for two, with perhaps a bit of Asian holiday as well. He plans on decorating “over the top and will rearrange it to be fantastic while preserving the historic aspects of the house.”
His big project is the dining room, but all the rooms will be filled with Christmas cheer from the minute details on the Christmas trees to the bed linens.
Wooley has a slight advantage over the other homeowners whose houses will be featured on the tour because, for one, he’s a professional decorator, and two, he uses decorative items from his store.

2005 Nights Before Christmas Tour
Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 2-4

• Tickets: $15 adults; $5 children ages 5-15. Advance tickets purchased by Nov. 15 are $12.50. Available at the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 615 W. First St. or by calling (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956.
• Tour Hours: 5-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 4-7 p.m. Sunday.
• Special Event: "Nights and Nibbles Express."
Tour home sites and various restaurants on the Madison Trolley for only $40 and enjoy a Progressive Dinner along the way. One tour only on Sunday, Nov. 27. Seating is limited. Call to reserve.
• Website: www.nightsbeforechristmas.com

Private Homes:

Glen and Lisa Spencer, 610 W. Main St.
George Alcorn and Kristi Barron, 730 W. Main St.
Barry Wooley and Jude Loew, 318 Broadway
Barry Hebner and Allen Ginkins, 1224 W. Main St.
Herb and Louise Kant, 956 W. Second St.

Public Sites:

• Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, 511 W. First St.
• Jefferson County Historical Society's Heritage Center, 614 W. First St.
• Madison-Lanier Visitors Center, 601 W. First St.
• Lanier-Schofield House, 217 W. Second St.
• Sullivan House, 304 W. Second St.

Hospitality Sites:

• Bella Vista Italian Restaurant, 1251 W. Main St.
• McQuiston’s Malthouse, 605 W. Main St.

He likes to find items that “inspire the room.” In his home as well as in his clients’ homes, Wooley likes to “think outside the traditional box” and rearrange and decorate in a fashion that’s “conducive to their lifestyles.”
Not only has Wooley been labeled as “the host with the most” for his grand dinner parties by Louisville Magazine, he also is a regular guest on the “Louisville at Home” television show. Wooley is trying to organize it so “Louisville at Home” will visit Madison the first weekend of the home tour and get footage of each house on the “Nights” tour to air before the home tour weekend in December. However, Wooley isn’t sure that it will happen since the first weekend of the home tour is Thanksgiving weekend.
A new addition to the 24th annual Candlelight tour is the “Nights and Nibbles Express.” This is a progressive dinner at local restaurants and home tour stops with transportation aboard the Madison Trolley.
Rick Lostutter, one of the new trolley owners, said he is excited to participate in the new event and is actually keeping the trolley running through the end of the year to accommodate the tourism office’s various events. “Nights and Nibbles Express” is $40 per person, but there is limited seating. The Express will run from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday Nov. 27, only.

Back to November 2005 Articles.



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