The double doors that lead into Joe Ennd’s Bolton Hill home are framed in yards of red and gold ribbon intertwined with garland, leaving no doubt that an eye-popping holiday extravaganza awaits inside. As the owner of the event planning firm In Any Event, the decorator and horticulturalist readily admits to going over-the-top at Christmastime. Though he decorates a dozen houses every holiday season for his clients, it’s a different process when he decks his own halls.
“For my clients, I spend a lot of time planning and I present my ideas before I begin working,” says Ennd. “For my house, the ideas come as I go.”
Every other year Ennd alternates between a traditional take on the season or an unconventional theme. This year’s decorations, for example, will incorporate hot pink into a multi-holiday, months-long extravaganza. Last year Ennd captured the traditional feel of the holidays with three Christmas trees, a life-size Santa and a profusion of fresh flowers and greens— all watched over by Ennd’s prodigious collection of angels.
The mantel in the sitting room received the most attention, lined with fresh greenery and arranged with holly and clusters of white roses. Tall crimson candles stood at either end of the mantel with an arrangement of flowers and a whimsical Santa statuette in between. A fresh wreath made by Ennd’s partner, Jim Spellissy, hung in front of the fireplace between two angels.
Also in the sitting room was a fresh Fraser fir decorated with Ennd and Spellissy’s ornaments from holidays past. In the dining room, two other trees— artificial blue spruces— were trimmed with gold ribbon that reflects a glow when the strings of white lights are turned on.
Among the poinsettias and wrapped presents spilling out from under the sitting room Christmas tree, visitors found a menorah amongst influences from other holiday traditions. “My house is a tribute to all holidays, not necessarily what I celebrate,” says Ennd. He and Spellissy do a lot of entertaining during the holidays and want to make all of their friends feel comfortable.
While Ennd changes his concept from year to year, many of the materials stay the same. “I use everything I have, but I add to it or decorate it in a different way,” says Ennd. “I do this for a living. It comes easy for me.”