Reed starts with a general idea of a design, but the details emerge as she works. "I start something, then I walk away and come back to it. It's like art. I have to step away as I work," she said.
Red and white candies inspired the color scheme she developed for the dining room. A mantel filled with artfully arranged apothecary jars filled with striped peppermint sticks and balls, red jelly beans, white marshmallows and red and silver wrapped candies creates a light and fun focal point in the formal dining room.
"The candy is pretty and so festive. So many people walk by and say, 'I have those jars. I could do that too,'" said Reed, who encourages people to create similar displays in their own homes.
"Anyone can do it. They just need to think outside the box."
The well-lighted sunroom with its red walls holds an all-white snowy display highlighted by a tree whimsically decorated with snowmen. Crystal icicles drip from white hydrangeas hanging in the windows.
The library, with its warm, wood-paneled walls, showcases a collection of 14 Santas that Reed has carefully selected over the past few years. A wild-haired Santa that sits on a coffee table was her first purchase. She placed a long-stemmed rose in the hands of a Santa with a knowing smile that sits on the top of an armoire.
"We call him the bachelor," she said. "He looks like he's saying, 'Could it be you that I choose?'"
In the family dining room, Reed decorated in silvers and whites with crystal snowflakes, mercury cups, jingle bells and ornaments to give the less formal room a twinkling appearance.
The twinkling effect greatly increases on events when the mansion is filled with holiday guests because Reed and the other members of the mansion staff strategically place tiny battery-operated LED lights in all of the rooms. The lights draw attention to features that might otherwise be overlooked and sparkle off the glass, crystal, silver and gold surfaces to create an eye-catching effect.
"I love being here and decorating the mansion. I feel good about making the Governor's Mansion magical," Reed said.
To arrange a tour of the Governor's Mansion, call 304-558-4839.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.