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Bartow-Pell Trees Unveiled in Pelham

Storybook Christmas at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum_9885

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum’s  Storybook Christmas trees, eight trees inspired by children’s books, are decorated by  interior designers from Manhattan, the Bronx, Greenwich, and Westchester. The books are a charming mix of nature-oriented stories, including well-known authors such as Eric Carle and Caldecott Medal winner Ezra Jack Keats.

Beginning Friday, Dec. 5, the Storybook Christmas trees set the stage for the season.

Friday evening, the HolidayFirst Friday! features the Hudson Valley Chamber Singers performing  in the double parlors. Throughout it all, visitors can browse for gifts and books in the museum’s holiday pop-up shop (stocked, once again, with the help of Bronxville’s Kensington Paper), and indulge in home-made delicacies.

On Saturday, December 6th the trees serve as  backdrop for theAnnual Holiday Family Day when children and parents alike will enjoy holiday storytelling and crafts, caroling by the Morrisania Glee Club, shopping for gifts, and of course, the much-anticipated meeting—and photo—with Santa. At Saturday night’s Holiday Party, guests celebrate the season—and support the museum—with the mansion in all its holiday splendor. A live auction featuring vacation houses and a very special winter dinner at the mansion, a raffle of over-the-top items including hotel stays, and more ensures the festive feelings will linger on well into the New Year (as do the trees which are up through Wednesday, January 7th).




In the entrance hall…

The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits Storybook by Ulf Stark; illustrations by Eva Eriksson; Tree design by Alice Pirsu, Alice Pirsu Interiors, Pelham, NY

Alice Pirsu founded her firm in 2010 after working on large residential projects in NYC, Bedford, and the Hamptons for well known NYC designers such as Julie Hillman. A Romanian native, Pirsu holds a bachelor’s degree from the Universityof Pennsylvania and an AAS degree from the New York School of Interior Design. Her designs draw inspiration from modern lines and classical architecture, allowing her to elegantly update spaces while respecting and highlighting their original, historic features. Pirsu uses a variety of natural materials and textures giving her interiors an organic flow with environmentally sustainable choices in design, construction, and maintenance.


In the north parlor…

The Snowy Day Storybook by Ezra Jack Keats; Tree design by Suzanne Eason, Suzanne Eason Interiors, Greenwich, CT

Suzanne Eason founded her interior design firm in 2006 after years of working as a creative director for luxury brands in New York and Santiago, Chile. She holds a BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Her interiors boldly fuse classical and contemporary design and have garnered many awards. Her work has been published in Traditional Home, Newsday, and The Daily News.


In the downstairs sitting room…

Christmas Farm Storybook by Mary Lyn Ray; illustrations by Barry Root; Tree design by Joshua Greene, Hernanadez Greene Design, New York City

Joshua Greene and Katrina Hernandez make up Hernandez Greene Design. They met while overseeing the interiors department at Sawyer | Berson, an Architectural Digest “ad100” ranked firm. Their hallmark is ultra-sophisticated interiors ranging from modern to traditional and characterized by a refined sense of color, texture, and pattern.


In the dining room…

Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel Storybook by Shirley Climo; illustrations by Jane Manning; Tree design by Bartow-Pell Docent Tom Berta, Westchester

Upon early retirement from a career at IBM, Tom Berta started an interior design firm called the Decorating Den that was recognized in several national magazines including Good Housekeeping. He now volunteers as a tour guide at both Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate in Pocantico Hills, NY and Bartow-Pell MansionMuseum.


In the upstairs parlor…

One Snowy Night Storybook by Nick Butterworth; Tree design by Ken Binder, City Island

Ken Binder is an interior designer specializing in residential design, but has also worked on hotels, offices, stores, synagogues, and a Middle Eastern palace. Before moving his business to New York, Binder was the senior designer in a major design studio in the Midwest doing projects throughout the U.S. and abroad. He also worked for HGTV, both behind the scene and on camera, and was a regular on the program Room For Change.


In the Lannuier bedchamber…

Dream Snow Storybook by Eric CarleTree design by Peti Lau, Peti Lau Interiors, New York City

Peti Lau began her design career in Thailand and Mauritius—two of the many places she lived during an extended globe-trotting stint. Upon transitioning back from the tropics of Asia to the concrete jungle of New York City, she earned a degree from The New York School of Interior Design. Over the past decade, she has worked on a variety of projects including restaurants, a Gentleman’s Club, an international villa, a post-modern house, pre-war apartments, and more.


In Clarina Bartow’s bedchamber…

Angel Pig and the Hidden Christmas Storybook by Jan Waldron; illustrations by David McPhail; Tree design by Charles Farruggio, Charles Farruggio Interior Design, New York City

A native New Yorker and graduate of Parsons School of Design, Charles Farruggio established his firm in 2009 after a decade working with design icons Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, David Rockwell, and Phillipe Starck. His portfolio includes guestrooms for Starwood Hotels Westin brand; corporate apartments inNYC, Boston, and Miami; design management for SBE’s SLS hotel brand; Katsuya restaurant in Los Angeles; design lead for Ames Hotel in Boston; Fontainbleau’s Gotham Bar & Grill in Las Vegas; and the renovation of the Carlton Hotel in New York.


In George Bartow’s bedchamber…

Snow Storybook by Uri Shulevitz; Tree design by Michael Van Nort, MVN Interiors, New York City

Michael Van Nort received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from BinghamtonUniversity and a master’s degree in elementary education from HofstraUniversity. While teaching third grade, Van Nort realized that his favorite part about teaching was redecorating his classroom, so he returned to the classroom himself to obtain formal training and a degree in interior design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and began working at a boutique design firm, Full Scale, Inc. Van Nort went on to work for Jed Johnson Associates and in showrooms for design industry leaders Donghia and Holly Hunt. MVN Design was established in 2013 and focuses on residential interior design and event planning for intimate occasions.




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Alexandra Maruri
Alexandra Maruri
December 5, 2014 1:49 PM

There is a small typo, It should read Bartow-Pell, not Barrow-Pell… Thank you

Polly Kreisman
December 5, 2014 2:02 PM


December 5, 2014 2:06 PM


Alexandra Maruri
Alexandra Maruri
December 11, 2014 4:10 PM
Reply to  loopeditrix

No worries – Thank you…

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