Set in Lewes’ historic district, Brenda Jones’ holiday home exudes comfort and joy
Written by Kristen Hampshire | Photography by Pamela Aquilani
Brenda Jones was born and raised in Lewes — she’s a “BB baby” — so when one of the charming town’s last remaining corner lots in the Historic District became available, she captured the opportunity to build a modern farmhouse home with an airy office, where she runs her architectural firm.
Aside from the fact that she is rooted in Lewes, Jones loves the town’s walkability, and some of her favorite times are spent relaxing on the front porch in the evening. “You have such a connection to the sidewalk and to those who walk past,” she said.
Of course, there’s also the Lewes holiday season, which she likens to a Hallmark movie. “The music and festiveness of the street being closed off and the stores are open; people are carrying packages,” she said, rehashing the kickoff of the annual Lewes Lights holiday tour.
Jones’ home, built in 2018, introduced fresh possibilities for Christmas decorating — including room for an eight-foot tree rather than the tabletop-sized one she displayed at her former home. “Christmas decorating is timeless,” she added of her approach.
Born and raised in Lewes, Brenda Jones wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, citing the town’s walkability and connection to the people who travel its streets.
Holiday spirit starts on the generous front porch, where Jones fashions lit greenery in eclectic containers and hangs garland around the door. A small tree flanks an antique wagon brimming with spruce, twigs and lights. A brightly painted red shutter offers a perch and backdrop for ice skates. Every element has a story. The skates were Jones’ when she was young, and the wagon rested in her parents’ Lewes attic for decades. “My father bought it at a barn sale, and it sat — and I finally figured out a purpose for it,” she said.
Jones participates in the Lewes Lights tour, for which she switches up her front-porch decor every year. “This past year, our street won the Jingle Bell Lane award, so the opening ceremony will take place here,” she shared.
Festive touches throughout the property include dressing Adirondack chairs with holiday pillows and cheery throws, setting a dining tablescape that combines Danish china with Santa-red chargers and touches of gold by way of a centerpiece candle and flatware. A Nativity scene dresses the mantle, while garland bedazzled with cranberries, lights and ornaments embellishes the banister. Centerpieces include a rustic lantern housing glass ornaments. “I like to combine heirlooms with newer decor,” Jones said of mixing past and present.
Then and Now
To create more hanging space for ornaments, Jones introduces elements from the outdoors, such as twigs fashioned into a tree display. She collects antique ornaments at estate sales; she discovered a treasure trove of them when she cleaned out a previous historic home, and boxes of holiday decor were left behind. “I think it’s important to bring in all of the years from Christmases past — your childhood, maybe your children’s younger days,” she said. “I just love revisiting the old memories and knowing we will make new ones.” CS