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Deck The Halls



Story by Gay Lyons | Photography by Ben Finch

One of the Christmas songs you’ve likely been hearing starts with “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...”

At the Louisville home of Darryl and Janice Haynes, it’s looked like Christmas since early November. “I’ve always decorated a week before Thanksgiving,” said Janice, who wasn’t terribly thrown by the early appearance of trees, bows and such. Darryl wasn’t so sure.

“I told Janice, ‘we’ll be ready to throw this stuff out the door by the time Christmas comes,’” said Darryl. “We’re scheduled to have it taken down in early January, so it’ll be up for a good two months.”

Darryl and Janice’s courtship almost exactly matched the construction period for the 6200 square foot house. They were introduced by friends shortly after construction--by Darryl’s friend Joe Houck--began in September 2017.

Darryl hadn’t initially planned to built on the waterfront lot.

“I lived in Mallard Bay on the water,” he said. “I sold it on ‘a trade.’ I took this lot and their house. I wasn’t going to build on [the lot] until I came here and saw it. I had planned to move downtown for a year and decide what to do, but I couldn’t find anything I wanted to rent, so I decided to build here.”

“We came [to the house under construction] on our first date,” said Janice. “The footers had just been laid. In February 2018, he asked me to marry him in the master bedroom.”

“It was sheetrocked” said Darryl, “but not finished. There was plywood on the floor.”

The home was finished in July, 2018; the couple married in August. “We had a small, casual wedding near the pool,” said Darryl. “I wore shorts; she wore a little dress.”

“It’s just not in us to do this ginormous over the top thing,” said Janice.

Darryl is in the coal retail business in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee and owns an aircraft maintenance business at Island Home Airport; Janice works as inventory manager for “a small flexible air duct company.” His family lives in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia; her family lives in Georgia. Darry’s son Alex, age 26, a pilot with PSA, and wife Katelyn live in Georgia; Janice’s son Carson, age 18, lives in Knoxville and attends Pellissippi State Community College.

Busy, complicated schedules led Darryl and Janice to forego the DIY approach to holiday decorating and hire Samuel Franklin Floral & Home. Molly Bland has decorated Darry’s previous homes.

“This is the third house she’s done for me,” said Darryl. “This house has a lot of the characteristics of the other two. I think the things you like follow you around. The things you don’t like, you leave behind.

“This kitchen layout and appliances are exactly the same as in the Mallard Bay house,” he said. “The colors are different, and we went with a single large farmhouse sink. The master bedroom, bathroom and closet are identical.”

“I asked Molly who we could get to come in and [decorate for Christmas] start to finish,” he continued, “and she recommended [Samuel Franklin Floral & Home].”

“It was kind of scary,” said Janice. “I couldn’t picture exactly what it was going to look like, but it’s been great.”

“It wasn’t that expensive,” said Darryl. “The price included the labor and all the decorations. They’re ours. They’ll come back and pack them up and store everything until next year. They’ll disassemble the garlands and reassemble them next year. Next year we’ll pay for labor and probably buy some more things.”

“I could never have done this,” said Janice.

“Even owning the stuff now, I couldn’t do it,” said Darryl.

“Not even with photographs,” said Janice.

The Haynes economized by decorating only the most visible areas: front exterior; living, dining, kitchen areas; hallways, staircases, balconies. Some decoration is on a grand scale, but some of the loveliest touches are smaller in scale and exquisite in detail.

And it’s all been done for family.

“Janice’s family came for ‘ThanksChristmas,’” said Darryl. “We’ll get together with my side in the middle of [December.] We do that so we can all have Christmas day with our own families.”

“We hope we’ve started a tradition where everyone can get together,” said Janice.

“This is our first Christmas together,” said Darryl. “We wanted this year to be special.”

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