Lori had the wonderful opportunity of helping Rob and Kathy Cook decorate their beautiful home on Bilgarie Court in northeast Cedar Rapids this holiday season. The home was featured in The Gazette on December 16th, 2012, with an article titled “A Cook Condo Christmas.” The article touched on many of the unique and meaningful displays the home has to offer, including the lovely button trees Kathy and her mother made, a little village hand-carved by Kathy’s father, the animated elves from a 1950s Armstrong’s department store display, and a one-of-a-kind, ornament-packed Christmas tree.

“We don’t have ‘decorator-themed’ trees,” Kathy explains in the article. “We want something that’s meaningful to our families, so you’ll see everything on this tree, from pictures of our children to decorations made by them when they were children themselves, to ornaments designed by my mother.” A miniature violin and mandolin represent instruments played by family members, and there are polar bears, souvenirs of a trip to Alaska.”

This wasn’t Lori’s first trip to the Cook’s home. She has worked with them to add a stunning wall of windows with a glass balcony on the second level to create a beautifully open feel – and the view is beautiful as well. Lori also offered creative solutions as the newlyweds blended their two houses and lives together.

While Kathy had lived in the condo for 10 years, Rob moved from the historic Cook family home in southeast Cedar Rapids. Blending the furniture and memorabilia from the two homes was part of Lori’s challenge. She helped the couple preserve many of the beautiful old pieces from the historic home by incorporating them in interesting and functional ways in their current home. Oak paneling and an antique buffet, for example, now partner comfortably—and stylishly—with modern, beveled-glass tables.

And the couple is definitely enjoying their place. “We love where we’re at, both in this condo and in our lives,” Rob reports. “We’re just at a golden stage in life. It’s wonderful,” Kathy adds.

The couples’ love of life is contagious and makes them a joy for all to be around. “The couple was – as always – an absolute delight to work with,” says Lori.