Fort Wayne University of Saint Francis’ Brookside gets decorated for Christmas

Tracey Dinius gets some decoration advice from her daughter Sarah Chambers as they work in the library at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Tracey Dinius of Designs by Dinius decorates the library at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Sarah Chambers decorates the library at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Shades of pink and purple add pops of color to the parlor at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Brass instruments serve as decorations for a tree in the center of the ballroom at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Ribbons and floral designs pull the colors from the fireplace front in the parlor at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
An image of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus stands in front of the fireplace in the dining room at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Pat Loechner, a decorator with Indulge, works on a mantel in the dining room at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Ribbons and gold-covered pine cones fall from the chairs of the dining room at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
A peacock-themed bow lies near a box at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Silver and gold ornaments shine with others in a box at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Michael Abele of Indulge decorates inside a grandfather clock cabinet at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Kiley Letner helps her grandmother Dawn Mahan, manager of Moring's Flowers & Gifts, by putting ornaments on a tree at the top of the stairway landing at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Ribbons glisten against the dark woodwork and marble of a room at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)

Tracey Dinius’ room designs for Christmas in the Castle will be music to the eyes.

Dinius, of Designs by Dinius of Huntington, and her daughter Sarah Chambers, spent hours earlier this month decorating the ballroom and library at Brookside Mansion on the University of Saint Francis main campus, 2701 Spring St. The ballroom includes displays of musical instruments donated by Sweetwater.

Their creations and those of several other designers decorate the former Bass Mansion, once the summer home of the John H. Bass family, that now serves as USF’s administrative building.

Christmas in the Castle, one of several events on the USF campus, takes place Dec. 1-5. Paying guests can tour the Romanesque mansion, rebuilt in 1902 after a gas explosion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About 98 percent of the rooms are decorated for viewing, said Kimberley Brinneman, Christmas at USF coordinator. They include USF President Sister Elise Kriss’s office, which she decorated herself. Aside from a few rules – no nails or moving the furniture – “we give (designers) complete creative freedom,” Brinneman said.

Each guest will receive a list of designers and rooms to vote for their favorite.

The room guides how Dinius decorates it, she said.

“The size of the room, the feel of the room” determines it, she said.

She used the mural in the dome of the ballroom, showing draped female figures, some with musical instruments, for her inspiration in there. A tree in the middle of the room shines with brass instruments pointed skyward.

Meanwhile, designers from Indulge of Fort Wayne, pulled items from boxes to decorate Brookside’s dining room. Amid the hunting scene on the walls, Gerry Abele arranged a village scene.

CHRISTMAS IN THE CASTLE

WHEN: 4-6 p.m. Dec. 1, 4; noon-5 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 5

WHERE: Brookside, University of Saint Francis, 2701 Spring St.

COST: $7 per adult, $3 for children (10 and under); $5 for seniors 55 and older on Dec. 5.

PARKING: Free parking at North Campus, 2702 Spring St.; shuttles available.

NOTE: No private tours this Christmas season. No strollers allowed in Brookside.

MORE: Click here for a full list of events.

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