It was 35 years ago when Ann and Tom Atkinson first laid eyes on the old farmhouse Victorian in Los Gatos. Almost a century old at the time, it had been home to numerous families over the decades and for a time was a boarding house. It needed a lot of work.
Their parents, on the other hand, "thought we were crazy," Ann said.
The house was built in 1886 on two-and-a-half acres by Grace and Levi Kimball and is considered bracketed farmhouse style. The entryhall is what first captivated the Atkinsons. The staircase is a 180-degree turned balustrade.
Over the past four decades, which included the devastating 1989 earthquake, the couple has lovingly restored and updated the gracious home. They remodeled the kitchen and family room and, when a new foundation was added after the earthquake, built a master suite above the family room.
"We call it 'Suck-A-Buck Manor,'" Ann said. "But I love this place."
The couple opened their house to more than a dozen decorators to transform the house into Christmas splendor for the Summit League Home for the Holidays tour in early December. (Here are the two other houses from the home tour, a turn-of-the-last century Craftsman and a contemporary French Chateau.)
Front Porch — Kelly Loughran, The Garden's Consultant, Los Altos
Entry, Downstairs office and Staircase — Nancy Keil, Fleur Fine Gifts & Interiors, Aptos
Dining Room — Brian Neel, Tiffany and Co., Santa Clara, and Anne Patrick, Flowers Ltd.
Master Bath — Gigi Hardy, Tapis Rouge Design, Boulder Creek
Master Bedroom — Dianne Van Voorhis, Design & Interiors, Los Gatos
Upstairs Bath — Lynne Johnson, Petale, Los Gatos
Children's Bedroom — Coleen Hickey, Saffron and Genevieve, Santa Cruz
Upstairs Office — Jan Corrie and Lorri Kagan, Collaborative Design, San Jose
Intimate Weekend Retreat — Stacey Costello Design, Scotts Valley
Living Room/Sitting Room — Patricia McDonald, Marcia Moore & Monica McAllister, McDonald & Moore Ltd, San Jose
Kitchen — Ann Timm Interior Design, Pescadero
Family Room — Judy Carollo, Presentation Designs, Los Gatos
Back Porch — Flowers by Jose Ibarra, San Jose
Laundry Room — Linda Arietta, Country Essences Flowers, Watsonville
Here's the complete slideshow: