Deck the Halls with Artful Arrangements

Writer / Janet Gilray

Making arrangements is art unto itself. Those who prepare the beautiful arrangements, charm their customers, knowingly or not, set a stage for festivities to come. These carefully crafted arrangements are an integral part of a time honored holiday tradition: window shopping. A stroll about the central square to visit with merchants open revealed insight into this ‘art’.

Corner Cottage
895 Conner Street

Corner Cottage A Corner Cottage is located at one of Old Town’s busiest intersections, 9th and Conner. The building is a only half a block from the town visitor center, so it is a natural stop for out-of-towners. Proud to welcome them all is owner Peggy Kumler.

“We love visitors,” said Kumler. “And, our regulars, too! They gush over our arrangements and we’re glad they do because we have a blast getting ready. We love how our customers come in, say, ‘Wow!’ and then start talking about childhood memories. Just love it!”

Delk’s Antiques and Collectibles
84 S. 9th Street.


Delk’s Antiques and Collectibles is owned by Michael Delk, who takes a less studied, more casual approach to his arrangements.

“I begin my holiday arrangement by gathering everything with possibility, into one area,” said Delk. “I look things over, as a storyteller would, keeping in mind that good stories must develop and change. In retail, that story can change in the twinkle of an eye. Pages turn rapidly at times. In the weeks before Christmas, displays must be continually refreshed up to keep the story vibrant and interesting.”

Delk’s approach is a good one to remember as a crescendo of decorating frenzy builds into the final weeks of December. He says to start with a foyer, table or hearth. Then gradually add items, and later rearrange or replenish. And keep clutter to a minimum. This will for allow new purchases, as well as nostalgic favorites, to be showcased throughout the season.

Linden Tree Gifts
856 Logan Street

For owner Rori Anderson, artful arrangements begin early each year on an annual trip in January to Georgia for the Atlanta Home and Gift Show. Here, Anderson studies emerging trends, and explores showrooms for new, exciting items for Linden Tree Gifts.

“Throughout the year, I keep on the lookout for fresh ideas—magazines, other stores and from my customers, too,” said Anderson.

Anderson also attends classes on tablescaping and floral design. As for that moment in late autumn when the actual ‘arrangement’ must start, Anderson confesses, “It can be difficult getting going, but if the weather is cold, that helps! Once the pretty vignettes start coming together, it just kind of steamrolls itself.”

Old Picket Fence
894 Logan Street

For more than half-a-century of watching the Yuletide Season in Noblesville come and go, Old Picket Fence owners Janet and her husband Ottis Hatmaker, have witnessed trends galore. Recently, she has noticed a distinct change.

“Years ago, people decorated to copy a certain style,” said Janet. “These days, more and more people decorate to express their personal style and to please themselves. For that reason, we keep it simple here. Our store, the Old Picket Fence, is a place to find unique homey items, as opposed to elaborate or grand. We appreciate nostalgia and those who comes in searching for it, to bring back favorite memories that touch the heart, especially at Christmas.”


Whimzy, Unique Finds & Custom Designs

940 Logan Street

To discover the world of vintage with a modern twist just step inside Whimzy, owned by Donna Rugenstein. There shoppers will find Urban Chic and more than 70 small boutiques. All overflowing with art, antiques, collectibles and ‘eye candy.’ A plethora of wood, steel and repurposed vintage items greet shoppers. Even as these not-so-whimsical elements create an arrangement that has a casual, yet sophisticated tone.

“We primarily used steel, hand-cut lumber, and repurposed vintage for our holiday décor this year; because my business partner and I work with these materials in manufacturing custom furniture,” said Rugenstein. “It seemed natural.”

Rugged leather, snippets of lace, and even box spring coils provide a marked contrast to traditional decor. Different and distinctive is an Urban Chic hallmark. Rugenstein is quick to credit the many members of Whimzy’s ‘vendor family’ for holiday magic within the environs, lauding one vendor in particular, Tammy Applequest, for ‘topping the tree’ by way of her decorative focal points, scattered throughout the store.

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