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Resident Will Bring Design Expertise To Lounsbury House Judging Honors

Published: November 15, 2017

RIDGEFIELD — Newtown resident Nora Murphy will be one of three judges for the 18th Biennial Tree Festival in Ridgefield.

The festival opens with a ticketed Champagne Preview Party on Thursday, November 16, before opening to the public on November 17. The festival benefits the preservation and operation of historic Lounsbury House on Main Street and features the Unique Holiday Boutique, a carefully curated selection of unique gifts and holiday décor.

The Lounsbury House Women’s Committee invited seasoned professional and talented amateur designers from Fairfield County, Westchester County, and beyond to decorate trees. Each designer was provided with a tree ranging from 4 to 6½ feet tall, but given carte blanche to trim their tree. A few designers opted to provide their own tree.

Trees will wind through the rooms, hallways, and grand staircase at Lounsbury House, transforming the landmark building into an elegant winter wonderland.

“Our Tree Festival shepherds in the holidays,” says Belinda Lasky, executive director of Lounsbury House, “but it’s also a celebration of the incredible talent and the spirit of whimsy that exists in this area. We’ve exhibited trees trimmed in traditional silver and gold, and trees resembling the skirt of a ball gown. It’s exciting, inspiring, and — since each tree is for sale — an easy way to get your home ready for Christmas.”

The Unique Holiday Boutique will run concurrent with the Tree Festival, November 17-19, and sell jewelry, home décor, objets d’art, and a host of other gift options.

Trees entered into the Festival will be judged during the Champagne Preview Party at 7 pm on November 16. In addition to Ms Murphy, the judges are Caroline Kellen and Ruth Loisseau.

Ms Murphy studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, after which she founded Balogh Murphy Renderings, a residential design studio, before going on to work for Polo Ralph Lauren Home Collection and Ethan Allen.

In 2011, she launched Nora Murphy Country House, a lifestyle brand focused on decorating, gardening, and entertaining.

Ms Kellen earned a degree in fine arts from Skidmore College. The local philanthropist has taught art at Dwight School in New York City, been an art apprentice to Maureen Gallace for more than ten years, and has furthered her studies in painting, photography, and industrial design at NYU.

Her entry won Most Artistic during the 2015 Tree Festival.

Ms Loisseau is a master floral designer who served at the White House for more than 28 years. She owns and operates RuthL, RuthL Organics, Fleur De La Vie and Couture Flowers Magazine, and lectures throughout the country on the art of floral and interior design.

Lounsbury House is in the heart of downtown Ridgefield, at 316 Main Street.

Admission to the Champagne Preview Party is $50 per person.

Tree Festival and Holiday Boutique hours are Friday, 10 am to 8 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; and Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. Festival tickets $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for children.

All tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 203-438-6962.


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