Feature Friday: Christmas at Callanwolde, Part 1

One of the huge perks of being a design blogger is getting opportunities to visit places that I might not otherwise see.  Even though I grew up in Atlanta, I had never been to Christmas at Callanwolde.  I had heard about it and knew that it must be a delightful event for the holidays, but just never made it down there.

When I got an email recently with a personal invitation to tour Callanwolde and take photos, I jumped at the chance.  I decided that my birthday would be the perfect day to go.  What a treat for me and my sister!  We went to Callanwolde in the morning, stopped in at Mary Mac’s for lunch, and took a stroll through Ikea on the way home.  Quite a fun birthday outing!  I’ll report in on those other events later too.

Callanwolde is in the Druid Hills area of Atlanta, the same area that Driving Miss Daisy was filmed and it is truly gorgeous. My sister and I got a personal tour from Jerry Poole, the President of the Board and it was such a fun treat.  We enjoyed every minute inside this beautiful Tudor mansion.  In case you didn’t know that The Coca-Cola Company was started right here in Atlanta, Georgia, this house is associated with that family.

Callanwolde Front

I’ll share some of the history from the Callanwolde Christmas brochere I received:

This 27,000 s.f. historic mansion was transformed for the holidays by Atlanta’s top interior and floral designers.  Period furniture, designer treasures, fine art and breathtaking Christmas trees reflect a glorious era when the Candler family lived in the mansion from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.  With music playing on the Aeolian pipe organ, it’s a sight to behold.

The magnificent Gothic Tudor mansion, set on 12.5 acres in Atlanta’s Druid hills neighborhood, was built in 1920 as the home of Charles Howard Candler, the eldest son of The Coca-Cola Company founder, Asa Candler.  The mansion, centered around a large courtyard, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The immaculate attention to detail throughout the home is evident in the excellent craftsmanship of the walnut paneling, stained-glass windows, bronze balustrades, delicate ceiling and fireplace reliefs.

Callanwolde back

This is the back side of the magnificent house.

Callanwolde Pottery

A greenhouse and pottery is in the back also.

Callanwolde front door

Front doors of the house.  Isn’t this gorgeous?

Christmas at Callanwolde

Inside the house are trees everywhere. This one is a beautiful example of the trees you’ll see in the house.

Foyer Trees Callanwolde

The foyer is filled with trees too.

Christmas great hall

Part of the gorgeous vignettes in the Great Hall.

Antique bar

Beautiful walnut paneling and priceless antiques are in the house.  Loved this special piece, a bar with running water.

Foyer table lamps

Another sideboard filled with bountiful splendor for the season.

Great hall table

We loved this moss bowl.

Great hall to upstairs

Looking towards the grand stairway.

Natural tree great hall

Close-up look at one of the natural trees decorated by designers.


Love the hydrangea, ribbon and natural feel.


See, they do paperwhites too!


A wall in the hallway.  Decked out for Christmas.

Porte Cochere

This side area is called the Porte Cochere, coming in the side door.

winter living room windows

The winter living room.  No furniture in here, but there is a magnificent fireplace and what a view with those windows.

Winter LR fireplace

Breathtaking fireplace.

Winter living room overall

This is one big living room, with all the beams on the ceiling, quite a sight to behold.

Winter living room floors

Original floors have seen a lot of love and families living here.


The library is off the main hallway and it was decorated beautifully.

Library console

Sofa table with natural greens and glitz.

Library fireplace

The fireplace mantel was so beautiful.

Library garland fireplace

Draped natural greens, stockings and a lot of natural elements.

Library mantel Christmas

So pretty, don’t you think?  Mercury glass is popular with this designer too.

Library purple centerpiece
This purple centerpiece was so delightful to the senses.

Purple wreath library

Purple ribbons add a festive touch.

Library shelves poinsettias

One bookcase all decked out for the Holidays, with live poinsettias and lots of pretties.

Library tree

Another live natural tree in this room was bedecked beautifully.

Library tree purple

Lovely ornaments.

We will stop the tour here for the moment and I’ll be back this weekend with Parts 2 and 3.  This house is so magnificent and I don’t want to leave anything out, so breaking it up in 3 parts will work best.

If you live in the Atlanta area and have never been to Christmas at Callanwolde, I would strongly urge you to do so.  It’s $20 for the tour and you will be delighted with this grand house, especially at the most wonderful time of the year. 

It is open through this weekend, December 18th for the Holiday season and you can check out the Callanwolde Fine Arts website for all the details.  I’m so appreciative to Katie, who is on the board and invited me for a personal tour of the house.  We SO enjoyed every bit of it and I’m so glad I finally got to see this fabulous Atlanta mansion in person. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 coming this weekend!

Designers on this part of the tour:

Entrance Foyer:  David Williams D’Ambrosio, Redefined Home Boutique

Great Hall:  Sharon Anderson, Allied ASID, Sharon’s Interior Images

Library:  Lathem Gordon, Allied ASID, Clayton Bond, Allied ASID, John Ishmael, Nandina Home & Design

Living Room and Main Entrance:  Sumaya Maghariaf, Julep’s Home decor

Porte Cochere:  Ann Wisniewski, ASID; Theresa Druckenmiller, IFDA, DOWNsize Design

Porte Cochere Florals:  Cornelia Ohl, Cornelia Design

- Rhoda


  1. Eye candy for sure Rhoda….I love that part of Atlanta!! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to the next parts as well!

  2. It really is a beautiful mansion and reminds me of the luxury we saw in the old governor’s mansion that I wrote about yesterday. I can’t wait to see part 2. I thought the sheet music on the back of one shelf was a look we could do here in blogland.

  3. Deb & I went yesterday to see the house & it really is beautiful! There were so many things I wanted to photograph, but they had their little signs out everywhere prohibiting any photography. I am so glad you were able to capture the essence of the home with all the different trees & table vignettes. I look forward to your next couple of posts! I’m hoping you got a picture of the breakfast room table centerpiece, it was wonderful!

  4. Wow!! just jovely!! what a special treat for you and your sister!

  5. umm that would be Just LOVELY not jovely! 🙂

  6. Love this house…thanks for sharing. Can you imagine what the area must have looked like at one time before so many of the older grand homes were torn down?

    Amanda, I thought you’d coined a new word – jolly + lovely – jovely:)

  7. Love those grand old houses! Fab tour

  8. Rhoda,
    Thanks for sharing your photos of beautiful Callanwolde. Can’t wait to see parst 2 and 3.
    Belated birthday wishes. How much fun to have lunch with your sister at Mary Mac’s.

  9. Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!

    Christmas hugs,

  10. Oh, Rhoda! How perfectly lovely this is. I’m so grateful to you for posting this. First, because it’s stunning, and a part of history. Secondly, because it reminds me of when I used to decorate showcase homes for Christmas. I ♥ decorations that are large, but to scale with a grand room, and definitely have a theme. And thank you, thank you, thank you for crediting the designers. (I might, just possibly, have an *issue* with not receiving credit as a designer 😉

    What a treat this was! Mwah!

  11. Rhoda…that was fun..beautiful place indeed!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  12. Wow! Those shots of purple especially. What a lovely spot.

  13. Thank you for sharing! We attended a wedding at Callanwolde in May, it’s so fun to see it decorated for Christmas 🙂

  14. Rhoda, I grew up in Marietta and used to sing every year at Callanwolde during the holidays. It was beautiful then, and it’s beautiful now! Thanks for sharing.

  15. That home is absolutely gorgeous. I love that beautiful stairway. I love to go on those types of home tours and see how each of the different designers have a unique take on the decor.

  16. Thank you for the blog tour of the beautiful Callanwolde all decorated for Christmas! It is truly lovely and I love that you share these trips with us. Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays to you and yours!

  17. What a fabulous birthday agenda! I live in metronome Atlanta too and would thoroughly enjoy spending a day that way. I look forward to your next posts!
    I work for Emory University and Asa Candler built the home that is now the President’s mansion and its also Tudor style. It’s in Lullwater Park on the campus and I enjoy walking there on my lunch break. Try to.visit sometime

  18. Please excuse the typos in the previous post. I’m trying to type on a Kindle Fire. The space is next to the period – can you tell? 🙂
    and that should be metro Atlanta…blame that one on autocorrect!

  19. DOUBLE WOWZA!!!!

    Now THAT is the way to spend a birthday!!!!

    I’m thrilled for you that you got invited to go!! I LOVE Tudors!!!!


  20. Holy smokes Rhoda this place is amazing! I love the fireplace and the front entrance with the christmas decor! Yozzaaaaa! Good find & share!

  21. Beautiful! So traditional and grand! That staircase is breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

  22. …remember taking my students to story telling at callanwolde years and years ago…after Christmas it was empty…and the house itself was always the very best story… you could hear the echoes of other voices…a special atlanta treasure…

  23. I just wanted to say that this place is AMAZING!
    Also, a little funny.
    When I started reading this post and saw that you said that the Coca – Cola Company started in Atlanta, this Lookout Mountain girl immediately thought, “No, the Coca- Cola Company started in Chattanooga”, so I looked it up. I had remembered that the Lupton Family lived on Lookout Mountain. I knew there was a Chattanooga connection. =)
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful house!
    in HIM-

  24. Gorgeous. Just a quick info tidbit. A porte cochere is actually an exterior area at an entrance that is covered and a vehicle drives through so that the passengers could enter a home under cover from the weather.

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