Santa Sightings


(Stocking) hats off to our innkeepers who embrace the holiday season with enough good cheer to stretch all the way from Wisconsin to the North Pole. Get ideas for decking your halls from our own “cheer” squad of B&B owners.

If you’re feeling ho-humbug about your holiday decorations, we have some ideas that will cheer you up in the wink of an eye.

The front door of the The Lamppost Inn is stately on its own, but when the innkeeper adds holiday touches of greenery and decoration fit for the season, it’s a very fine welcome indeed. Whether you are a first time B&B'er or a seasoned one, you'll find this inn intriguing and cozy.

Fresh greenery at The Lamppost Inn, Fort Atkinson


At Fargo Mansion Inn, the owners take pride in their trees. Magnificently decorated, the mansion is sure to help you capture the spirit of the season. Whether you are in town to visit family or friends or attend a holiday party, you are sure to be warmed by the charm of the inn.

Fargo Mansion Inn Christmas Trees, Lake Mills


If magical and whimsical is your mantra, then take a cue from the innkeepers at Christmas House B&B, who create a lovely fireplace mantle vignette for all to enjoy. At Christmas House B&B, the innkeeper loves to fill up the rooms of the house with decorations of the season.

Holiday fireplace mantle at Christmas House B&B, Racine


Here’s one of our favorite holiday centerpieces on the dining room table of Apple Tree Lane B&B, where a full, delicious breakfast is served each morning. Early risers at Apple Tree Lane B&B can awaken to freshly brewed coffee and teas, set up on the buffet to enjoy with the morning paper before breakfast is served.

Christmas Centerpiece at Apple Tree Lane B&B, Waupaca


Last but not least, outdoor lighting. This twinkling scene at Westphal Mansion is fit for the cover of a holiday card. Inside, a crackling fire invites quests to cozy up with a favorite book or play a game of chess next to a warm fireplace in the living room.

Winter Evening at Westphal Mansion, Hartford


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Hygge Makes Us Happy

  Hygge is hot right now. It’s a Danish word for cozy, comfortable and content, and it’s showing up in home décor and travel trends. See how some Wisconsin B&Bs are interpreting the simple pleasures of hygge. If Pinterest is any indication of trends – and it is – hygge is big. How to hygge, you ask? Create a cozy atmosphere, be present in the moment, partake of simple pleasures, slow down, be thankful, embrace harmony, and carve out time and space for friends. Count us in! For us, this Danish word, pronounced "hue-guh", really boils down to “contentment.” And here are inns that have been serving up hygge long before it became a thing:  

Real tea and coffee: Lindsay House B&B, Manawa

[caption id="attachment_2356" align="aligncenter" width="363"] French pressed coffee, comfort, and a good book on the porch at Lindsay House B&B[/caption]  

Candles at breakfast: Garden Gate B&B, Sturgeon Bay

[caption id="attachment_2361" align="aligncenter" width="431"] Candlelight and pleasant conversation await you with breakfast at Garden Gate B&B[/caption]  

Freshly baked pastries: The Livingston Inn, Madison

[caption id="attachment_2354" align="aligncenter" width="276"] This homemade pistachio breakfast ring is just one of many delicious pastries from The Livingston Inn[/caption]  

A sprig or two of fresh flowers from the garden: Red Forest B&B, Two Rivers

[caption id="attachment_2342" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Enjoy your refreshments outdoors in the beautiful garden area at Red Forest B&B[/caption]  

Less-is-more home décor: At The Lake House, Lake Geneva

[caption id="attachment_2341" align="aligncenter" width="277"] At The Lake House offers modern simplicity to feel right at home[/caption]  

A reading sanctuary: Castle La Crosse B&B, La Crosse

[caption id="attachment_2344" align="aligncenter" width="444"] Pick out a book and set yourself up in a quiet spot by the window at the Castle La Crosse B&B library[/caption]  

Conversation nooks: 1810 Emerson House B&B, Beloit

[caption id="attachment_2338" align="aligncenter" width="387"] A quiet corner for your enjoyment at 1810 Emerson House[/caption]  

Crackling fireplace: Honeybee Inn B&B, Horicon

[caption id="attachment_1621" align="aligncenter" width="457"] Bask in the warmth of the fireplace in the Queen Bee Victorian room at the Honeybee Inn[/caption]  

Hiking path with picnic spots: Lake Orchard Farm Retreat, Sheboygan

[caption id="attachment_2363" align="aligncenter" width="449"] Rolling fields, natural woods, fruit orchards and a Lake Michigan view greet you on the trails around Lake Orchard Farm Retreat[/caption]   WBBA Seek the Unique

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3 Holiday Decor Ideas to Brighten your Doorstep

We can't get enough of those online holiday decorating slideshows. You know the ones, with pretty pictures featuring easy ideas to spruce up your home. As you'd expect, our member B&Bs do a beautiful job in that department. Here are ideas from just a few of our inns on how to transform your home from so-so to so-lovely for the holidays. [caption id="attachment_1709" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Westby House Inn is decked out for the Holidays.[/caption] The Westby House Inn & Restaurant in Westby is decked out for your holiday get away.  The outdoor scene is festive and the indoor will enchant you. [caption id="attachment_1708" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Lamppost Inn B&B uses fresh greenery to create a festive atmosphere[/caption] Celebrate the season in vintage style at The Lamp Post Inn B&B, an 1874 Victorian home in Fort Atkinson. [caption id="attachment_1707" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A fresh coat of snow and lots of greenery puts the Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in the Christmas Spirit[/caption] Take in this winter wonderland on 120 scenic acres of beauty at Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville. [caption id="attachment_1710" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Warmth & Tradition emanate from the White Gull Inn[/caption] Warmth, charm, tradition...Since 1896, generations of guests have loved the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek.   Whether inside or out, these Inns have been beautifully transformed for the holiday season.  So what can you do to get your home looking as lovely at these B&B's?  Here are a few tips for decorating the outside of your home for the holidays.  you don't have to go all out with lights and inflatables, there are ways to create a warm, inviting welcome to anyone who approaches your doorstep. Tip #1 - Create your own Porch Pots.  Porch pots can be a great way to welcome friends and family to your property, whether they be on your porch or at the end of your driveway.  Porch pots can be expensive if you buy them already assembled, especially if you like to have several of them.  With a little planning and the right tools, you can create your own porch pots for a fraction of the cost. [caption id="attachment_1704" align="alignleft" width="300"] A porch pot created with fresh greenery, hydrangeas and painted branches[/caption] By purchasing two Christmas Trees you will be able to get 3-4 porch pots (depending on their size) and a window box or two, again, depending on the size of your window boxes.  So, for the cost of two pre-made porch pots from the local nursery, you can create much more.  If you purchase 1 balsam fir and one white pine you will have 2 different types of pine needles that will add texture and interest to your decorations.  Once you get your trees home cut the branches off, be sure to leave the top 18-24 inches of branches on the tree, this will give you 2 tree tops for two of your pots.  If you're fortunate to have trees on your property, save some of the branches that fall into your yard and paint them with white, silver or gold spray paint, add some glitter for a little extra shimmer.  Do you or your neighbors have beautiful hydrangea plants and are at a loss what to do with all the flowers at the end of the season?  Don't throw them out, they add great interest to your pots and window boxes.  Those, too, can be spray painted if you like.  The best tip ever, assemble your pot before it is cold enough to freeze.  Once you have the pot put together, water it so the soil is wet.  Then, when it does freeze, the contents won't be blowing out of the container when it gets windy. Tip #2 - Decorate your Window Boxes.  If you have window boxes, be sure to add some fresh greenery from the trees you purchased to make your porch pots.  Using the same tips for creating a Porch Pot can be applied to putting together a window box. [caption id="attachment_1705" align="alignright" width="300"] Adding lights to the window box adds warmth to the display.[/caption] If you use some of the same materials in the window box as you used in the porch pot, this will help tie everything together. Adding some outdoor lights will add warmth to the display, and here in the northern part of the country where it is dark by 4:30 in the afternoon, adds some light to the house as well.  If you choose decorations that are not too seasonal, your porch pots and your window boxes will take you well into January or February. Tip #3 - Add a wreath.  One of the easiest things you can do to add holiday cheer to your doorstep is to hang a wreath.  Whether you purchase a fresh one, or have an artificial wreath that you hang year after year.  If you have the gumption, hanging wreaths from your windows always looks beautiful and festive. All of the B&B's in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.  Happy Decorating!!  

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