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Love that red!

Story by Vicki Hunkler Photography by William Carter

Young and fresh with all things red! That's the home of Kim Meeks, not only at Christmas, but every other day of the year.

Kim admits that it's easy to decorate when you have already accessorized with red. Neutral paint colors provide a good back-drop for colorful decorating.

Her home is located in Olivet Village, a new subdivision off Olivet Church Road in Paducah. The house is fully equipped with beautiful tile, dark hardwood floors and crown molding, which Kim says are the way they are outfitted. "The homes are built by Falconite Development and are really this nice without upgrading," she said.

It's November and time to begin decorating for the holidays. Kim will hang antique crossed snow skis on the front door. A wire snowman full of mini white lights will sit on the steps. Open the door and 5-foot tall Santas will welcome those who enter. An antique hall tree is the ideal place to hang vintage hats - and a red Santa top hat.

"I inherited my mom's decorations. She and my sister collected Santas, so I have lots of them throughout the house," she added.

She and her sister and Kim's daughter, Catherine, all like to rummage around in antique shops. "I like searching for Christmas things. We can be driving along and see a place and the car shrieks to a stop and we go in!" Kim laughed.

The kitchen/breakfast area is spacious with plenty of light filtering through the wide arched window. Granite counter tops contrast with the dark wood cabinets. A glimpse of the home last year finds cute Santa place mats dotting the table and counter where guests can sit and enjoy mingling.

Two simple evergreen trees adorn a lazy-susan in the middle of the beechwood table. Over-sized stacked ornaments take their place on each side of the window.

The first of eight slender Christmas trees is placed nearby.

"The kitchen tree is full of hand-made Santa ornaments. Most of these are really old," Kim noted. Burlap ribbon is trending-a large bow and streamers top the tree.

Kim's love of the color red is certainly not lost in the kitchen. A free-standing electric mixer and a tea kettle on the gas stove are shining examples.

The kitchen is also home to one of many Clyde Lawter paintings - this one features poppies - in red, of course. "I was good friends with Clyde's daughters growing up, so many of these he did especially for me."

The crystal and iron light fixture in this area was purchased at Southfork Lighting in Paducah. "All my fixtures came from Southfork and furniture that is new mostly came from Higdon's. I also have accent pieces like the antique grate in front of the fireplace that came from Wahl's," Kim said.

"I use a ton of silk garlands and red velvet poinsettias to decorate. If it's red, I use it!"

Red feathers and antlers cover the tree in the master bedroom. Underneath, is a miniature train set running around its tracks. A gold and red brocade bedspread is accented with a variety of pillows, while a "full-time" reindeer hangs above the bed.

The guest bedroom at the "Cat Nap Inn" isn't red - it's white. (Cat Nap Inn is the name Kim calls her home because she and her sister love to take short naps when time allows.) Off-white Paula Deen cottage furniture was selected for this room and the vanities in the guest bathroom. A white ceramic Santa and trees adorn the vanity.

Needlepoint pillows of angels are interspersed with regular ones on the bed, while a green tree laden with gold, silver, and white ornaments, white velvet ribbon, and white branches stands near the over-sized white framed mirror in the bathroom.

Kim likes the idea of a new house and new furniture mixed with old pieces to add warmth and charm.

Comfortable is the key word to describe the great room where leather chairs, a rich-colored area rug, and fireplace with mantel create a casual atmosphere. Needlepoint stockings done by the ladies in the Meeks family hang from the mantel.

An old Santa sign, antique outdoor clock, and a moose over the big screen TV draw attention from the "new" to the "old." Additional touches of days gone by include Santa in a ferris wheel and a sleigh with Scrooge sitting in the driver's seat.

Kim's father, Gordon Meeks, was an electrical industrial contractor well-known in Paducah and in the state. Chances are you may have stopped at one of the traffic lights he installed. "He was the contractor for highway lighting and lots of lights around town and I have one of those old lights. I turn it on at Christmas every year."

Kim hosts the family Christmas at her house now. The tradition was passed from her aunt to her parents and now to her. But she's happy to do it. It gives her that extra incentive to decorate ... in red! n

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