‘Holidays at Highfield’ creates a world of wonder
Highfield is a community treasure, and an afternoon spent walking the grounds or exploring the historic house makes it clear why this spectacular property has been a perfect location for an annual holiday fundraiser event since its opening in 2006. The gardens and surrounding 400 acres are both stunning and inviting, and the home has an unexpected modern flare, making it all the more interesting. “We are a historic house museum, but that is not our point of view,” says Dean. “Our point of view is to do things that aren’t being done elsewhere. When you walk in here, you don’t feel like you’re walking into an old house.”
The Highfield staff credits local designer Sandra Cavallo and her visionary nature for the unique creativity of the holiday events, this year being no exception. “Sandra brings this point of view that is very different from what we have done before,” says Dean. When the project is complete, Cavallo likes to visit Highfield with her two children in the midst of the event, incognito, wearing a ski cap, and eavesdropping as visitors react to her work.
Lee Geishecker of VagabondView Photography in Falmouth has also been an integral part of the transformation of this event over the years. She credits the success to the team’s collaboration. “My role is helping the team transform what’s in Sandra’s mind to something that we can create in reality,” says Geishecker. The dedication of this team of professionals and volunteers is obvious—from trips to Vermont to pick up the perfect chairs to fit a design, to weeks of volunteer work—and their commitment to fluid and, above all, progressive design becomes clear with their successful creations.
Last year’s theme was “Winter Wonderland,” where visitors were greeted by a dramatic fake birch tree gracing the entrance hall. Another year, the theme was “Holidays Around the World,” which saw the dining room converted into a French bistro, the billiard room transfromed into an English tea shoppe, and upstairs a child’s bedroom plucked from the mountains of Germany beguiled the public. Geishecker says the team continues to grow every year and members of the community are excited to get involved in this project. It’s all “for the love of creation and the belief in Sandra as a visionary,” she says.
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